Protect Your Home From Thieves: Tips and Strategies for Homeowners

Secure your home from burglars.

Thousands of home invasions are reported in New Zealand every year.

Over 43,000 incidents of burglaries and break-and-enter were reported in New Zealand in 2020. Don’t become a statistic; take steps to make your home less vulnerable to theft. In this article, we’ll share tips and strategies beyond home alarm systems to help you protect your home from thieves.

9 Ways to Protect Your Home From Thieves

Install Security Cameras

No surprises here; one of the most effective ways to deter burglars is to install security cameras around your property. These cameras deter not only would-be thieves but also provide valuable evidence for law enforcement in the event of a break-in. Set up cameras in strategic locations near the front and back doors, garage, and any other vulnerable entry areas.

Use Smart Locks

Smart locks are another great tool for keeping your home secure. This type of door lock can be remotely controlled through a smartphone app or other compatible smart home devices, and it also tracks who enters and exits your home when you’re away. Some smart locks allow you to give access privileges to selected people; others have features like fingerprint scanning or facial recognition, making it even more difficult for burglars to access your home.

Keep Your Property Well-Lit

Keep your property well-lit to avoid attracting burglars looking for darkened homes. Install outdoor lighting around the perimeter of your home, including motion sensor lights near doors and windows. A light coming on can be enough to deter criminal activity and alert you, or a neighbour, to investigate.

Maintain Your Garden and Yard

Thieves often look for homes with overgrown gardens that appear unoccupied. Keeping your garden well-maintained can deter burglars and strategically place spiky, scratchy plants to make entering the property more challenging. Otherwise, try to create large, open spaces around your home; intruders know they’ll have a much higher chance of being noticed by someone.

Consider Home and Contents Insurance

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, thieves break into your home. If this happens, home and contents insurance can offer peace of mind that stolen property can be replaced. This type of insurance covers repairing or replacing your home and possessions in the event of theft or other covered events. Review your policy regularly, especially if you’ve just made an expensive purchase, to ensure that you have sufficient coverage and that your policy is current.

Don’t Advertise Your Valuables

Burglars often target homes that appear to have valuable items inside. Avoid advertising your valuables by keeping curtains or blinds closed and avoid leaving expensive items, such as jewellery or electronics, in plain sight.

If you’ve purchased a new TV or another costly item, tear apart boxes and tell-tale packaging before throwing it away. Don’t post about your expensive items or latest purchases on social media to avoid making your home a target for theft.

Install a Video Doorbell

Installing a video doorbell lets you see who’s at your door from your phone or tablet, even when you’re away. This can be a great tool to deter potential thieves, as they are less likely to target a property with a visible security camera.

Plus, in the unfortunate event of a break-in, the footage can be used to help catch the intruder and recover any stolen items.

Pretend You Lost Your Keys

One useful trick to assess the security of your property is to imagine yourself locked out without any keys. How would you try to get inside? This exercise helps you spot potential points of entry that a thief might also consider. Once you’ve identified these vulnerabilities, you can take steps to reinforce and secure these areas.

Act Like You’re Home

When you’re away, make it look like someone is home. Leave a light on and turn on a TV or radio so it appears as though there is some activity inside.

Don’t forget about your mail and packages, too. If you will be away for a while, make sure you have a plan for collecting them. When it’s clear that nobody has been picking up the mail or packages, it could make your home a prime target for criminals.

By following the tips and strategies you can make your home less vulnerable to break-ins. However, home and contents insurance can offer peace of mind that you’ll be covered in the unfortunate event of a home invasion.

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