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The front of a house with a blue door and doorbell
The holidays are a busy time of year. Most are busy shopping or planning the perfect trip and it's easy to forget about home security. So, this holiday season, we've prepared some security tips to help you keep your home secure while you're away.

Don't leave spare keys outside

Burglars are surprisingly good at finding spare keys. Before going away for the holidays, be sure to remove all spare keys from outside your property. You can also consider hiding fake spare keys in a key vault, which can delay a burglar from breaking into your home or prevent a break-in altogether.

Secure windows and doors

Doors and windows are the most vulnerable areas of your home. In addition to double-checking your locks before you leave, consider these tips to secure your entryways:

  • Consider replacing hollow wooden doors with metal doors; burglars can easily kick through hollow wood.
  • Unplug your garage door opener, so thieves can't open it with a universal remote.
  • Secure sliding doors with a long piece of wood or metal placed between the door and the wall.
  • Install deadbolts. Many robbers will break windows to unlock doors, but deadbolts that require keys will prevent this.

Home maintenance

Before you leave for vacation, make sure you have a plan to maintain the outside of your home:

  • Arrange to have your lawn maintained while you're on vacation.
  • Instead of having your mail stopped altogether, ask a trustworthy neighbour to collect your mail and packages for you. Clever burglars will notice homes that don't get mail delivered for a few days.
  • Have your neighbour take out and bring in your rubbish on collection days.

Lighting automation and timers

New technology is making it easier to keep your home secure while you're away. With smart home devices, you can use automation to make burglars believe you're still at home while on holiday. Here's how:

  • Put lights on automatic timers, so they turn on during the night. You can also get smart sockets, which let you plug in electronics and control them from an app, so you can turn them on while you're away.
  • Use motion-activated outdoor lights that turn on every time someone steps on your property.
  • Don't just set your timers and forget them. Savvy burglars will recognise if the same lights turn on at the same times. Instead, vary your schedule, and use apps to manually turn on and off devices to confuse them.

Get smart home security

Smart surveillance cameras and security devices can keep you connected to your home, even when you're halfway around the world.

Ring video doorbells send instant alerts to your smartphone, tablet or PC when anyone presses your doorbell or triggers its built-in motion sensors. 

For added security, Ring spotlight camera is a versatile surveillance camera that can be mounted anywhere in your garden. Like the video doorbells, spotlight cam sends you alerts whenever it detects motion, and you can use the app to see, hear and speak to people on your property.

Ask a friend to house sit

Instead of making it look like someone's at home, you can hire a trustworthy house sitter to actually be at your home while you're away. The majority of burglaries occur because thieves recognise when a home is empty and vulnerable, but with a house sitter, your home will always be occupied.

Avoid posting on social media

If you're going to post your vacation on social media, Ring recommend you do it privately, with a group of friends and family that you completely trust.

Protect your home for the holidays

You can never be too safe when you leave for a holiday. The festive season is stressful enough; you don't need the added headaches of dealing with a burglary. So, use our home security checklist to make sure your property is protected before you leave for your well-deserved trip. For more home security products check out our range online or at your local Bunnings

 

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More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.