House-breaking is one of the most common crimes. Most intruders are looking for (and often find) a house left open or unlocked where they can get what they want with ease and make a quick getaway.
Some general security tips:
- Your house number should be clearly visible from the street in case of an emergency.
- Keep your front door locked when you are at the back of the house.
- Do not leave messages on the front door. It lets people know you are not home.
- Avoid having parcels left on the door step.
- If you have to have something delivered while you are out have the neighbours collect it.
- When out, leave a radio or television on or a light in the evening to give the impression you are home.
- Keep cash and valuables out of sight.
Home security is an issue for you to consider when you are deciding on a place to live. Windows and doors should preferably have security screens or locks; doors should have dead-bolts, a security chain and a peep hole; an alarm system is also advantageous.
It is recommended if you are in a rental property that you obtain contents insurance for your belongings. This is a form of house insurance that insures the contents of the house. Landlords will usually have house insurance but your belongings will not be covered. Contents insurance will replace your belongings if your house is robbed and your belongings are damaged or stolen, or you have a house fire and your belongings are destroyed or damaged. This may cost you up to $200 per year depending on the value of your belongings.
Smoke alarms are devices that detect smoke and sound an alarm. Smoke alarms alert and wake people allowing valuable time to get out of a house during a fire. When you go to sleep, your sense of smell also goes to sleep. If there is a fire, toxic fumes may overcome you before you wake up. For your protection, a smoke alarm must be installed in your home.
Smoke alarms are designed to alert you when their power source (battery) is low. The battery source lasts a long time, so the short, sharp, piercing sound that provides this warning doesn’t happen very often. Sometimes people forget that it is a warning built in to the system and are tempted to disable the unit. Please read the advice list below and remember:
- Look after your smoke alarm; it can save your life.
- Test your smoke alarm monthly by pressing the test button.
- DON’T remove the battery
- DON’T take the smoke alarm down
- DON’T cover the smoke alarm
- Replace the battery in your smoke alarm yearly.
- Regularly vacuum over and around your smoke alarm to remove dust and debris to keep it clean.
- If there is no smoke alarm or it does not work report it to your landlord.
Visit the MFB (Metropolitan Fire Brigade) website for a helpful home safety checklist.