We all have a right to feel safe and secure in our own homes. By following a few simple tips you can deter would-be criminals from making your house a target.
- Lock all doors and windows in your house whether you are at home or out. In over a third of WA’s burglary cases the burglars have climbed through an open window or walked through an unlocked door;
- Install quality deadlocks on all external doors and key locks on your windows;
- Install security screens so that you can have your windows open without inviting burglars in;
- If leaving the house at night, leave a couple of inside lights on which would normally be on if you were at home;
- Consider using electronic timing devices that turn the TV, radio or lights on and off at selected times;
- Keep doors and windows locked at all times and activate alarm systems when leaving your home;
- Consider installing movement-activated sensor lighting outdoors;
- Install key operated locks for doors with glass panels;
- Make windows more secure by fitting locks, safety film, security screens or external roller shutters;
- Put away tools, gardening equipment and ladders. Burglars may use these to gain access;
- Remember to lock up garden sheds and garages;
- Keep trees and shrubs trimmed to minimise hiding places available to a burglar. Installing low or see-through fences at the front of homes also deter burglars as they minimise hiding places;
- Fit an approved meter box with a viewing window. Contact your electrical supplier for further information;
- Mark valuable property with your driver’s licence number and prefixed by letters of state, e.g. WA 1234567;
- Photograph and record serial numbers of all valuable property and keep this information in a safe place; and,
- Join Neighbourhood Watch through the Office of Crime Prevention website www.crimeprevention.gov.au or by calling your local police station.
Please see below Home Safety Audit Checklist:
Home Safety Audit Checklist
Visitors and Home Security
Being careful about who you open your door to and who you let into your home is a key aspect of home security.
Keep these safety tips in mind when opening the door to visitors:
- Before you open the door, ensure you can see who the person is;
- Teach children to never open doors to visitors without a caregiver present;
- If you do not know the person, you have the right to ask them to leave;
If the person is a trader or a charitable collector:
- Ask them to produce an identification card up to the viewer or window;
- Note the person’s name and address on the card and who they represent;
- If you are suspicious about the person’s behaviour or validity, call the police on 131444; never let the person into your home and never provide your personal details or any account details without first checking with the company they represent, and
- You may wish to place a small sign near your door stating “No Door-to-Door Traders”.
Door-to-door traders are only permitted to operate within certain hours under the Door to Door Trading Act 1987:
- Weekdays between 9am and 8pm;
- Saturday between 9am and 5pm, and
- Door-to-door trading is not permitted on Sundays or Public Holidays
Any person that trades door-to-door must:
- Make it known what the visit is about;
- Produce an identity card setting out the trader’s full name and address and the supplier’s full name and address, and
- Leave the premises when requested, even if they are in the process of negotiating a contract.
A door-to-door trader must never harass or attempt to coerce a person not to exercise their rights under this law.
Door-to-Door Collections for Charity
Associations must be licensed to raise funds from the public for charitable purposes and are permitted to carry out door-to-door collecting from households under certain conditions:
- Collectors are only allowed to collect between the hours of 9am and 6pm on Mondays to Saturdays;
- Collectors must wear an identity badge;
- Children under the age of 16 may not act as door-to-door collectors, and
- Collectors must leave the premises when requested.
In all the excitement and rush to organise your holiday, security can be easily forgotten. By taking some simple precautions and giving your home a “lived in” look before you go on holidays, you can substantially reduce the risk of burglary.
Some tips to follow include:
- Ensure all doors and windows are securely locked, preferably with deadlocks and keyed window locks;
- Let your neighbours know you will be away and ask them to watch out for visitors and collect all your mail;
- Cancel all deliveries such as newspapers;
- Consider installing automatic timing devices for lights and electrical appliances such as radios and televisions;
- Give your house keys to a trusted friend or neighbour rather than hiding them outside your home;
- Be sure to notify the key holder when you return. This is especially important if you return home early;
- Give your neighbour or friend your contact address and telephone number;
- If you live in a Neighbourhood Watch area, tell the co-ordinator that you will be away, and for how long;
- Consider asking your neighbour to park a car in your driveway;
- Your answering machine message should simply say that you are unable to come to the phone; and,
- Consider leaving a pair of old work boots by the front door to give the impression that someone is home.
Motor Vehicle Security
Cars can be a soft target for criminals, however there are proven strategies you can adopt to reduce significantly the chance of your car being stolen.
To help protect your vehicle from crime, consider the following tips:
- It is compulsory to fit an approved immobiliser at the time of purchase of a vehicle;
- Park your car off the street, preferably in your yard or in a locked garage;
- If you need to park on the street at night, ensure you park in a well-lit area;
- It is an offence to leave your keys in the ignition while your car is unattended;
- Close all windows and lock all doors before leaving your car;
- Remove any items from your car that may entice a thief;
- Remove chequebooks, credit cards, driver’s licence and registration papers from your glove box; and,
- Keep a spare key in your wallet or purse rather than keeping them hidden in or on the car.
Most offenders choose targets that they perceive as vulnerable so it is important to always act and respond to others with confidence. It is also important not to put yourself in situations where your safety could be compromised.
Some tips to follow include:
- Tell your family, friends or colleagues your whereabouts and the time you expect to be returning. If you change your plans, let them know;
- Stay alert and aware of your surroundings at all times;
- Practice what you would do in a life-threatening situation with a friend or consider taking self-defence lessons;
- Walk in well-lit areas that are clear of overgrown bushes or trees;
- Walk against the flow of traffic, this prevents vehicles driving slowly alongside you;
- Walk with a friend or group wherever possible and always walk confidently at a steady pace;
- Keep the car doors locked at all times while you are in the car;
- Stay in control if you are drinking. Count your drinks and, if you planning to have a big night, go along with a non-drinking buddy to take care of you and make sure you get home safe; and,
- Check the surrounding area before going to your car and check your back seat before getting in. When approaching your car, have your keys ready in your hand.