Robberies are rife throughout summer, especially around school holiday time - so if you're planning on leaving your home alone for a few days or a few weeks this silly season, it pays to take some precautions.
Christmas is a time of year when many of us travel interstate or overseas to spend time with loved ones.
“Whatever you have planned, whether it’s an extended overseas holiday or simply a long weekend away, it’s important to make a few easy preparations to your home to ensure that you return to find it in the same state in which you left it,” explains Paul Mylott, General Manager of CENTURY 21.
Because December is typically a time when many of us go away, thieves are very aware of the fact that there are a reduced number of watchful eyes monitoring their moves.
“Thieves will be on the lookout for any sign that the occupants of a dwelling have not been present for a number of days,” Mylott warns. 
“By taking some precautions, you can reduce the tell-tale indications that a thief looks for to determine whether or not you are away.”
Mylott’s top safety tips:
  • Cancel your regular deliveries
    Or, have a friend or neighbour collect your mail and regular delivery services, such as milk and newspapers, that arrive while you’re away. “Nothing signals ‘not home’ like a build up on your front doorstep,” Mylott says. 
  • Keep a car parked in the driveway of a house
    A carport or driveway that remains empty for several consecutive days can serve as an instant signal that no one is home. “At least if a car is in the driveway, your property may not be so immediately obvious to anybody with undesirable intentions,” he advises.
  • Arrange your curtains
    “Keep the curtains in your home at varying stages of ‘openness’,” Mylott suggests. “While you don’t want to leave curtains wide open so that people can see right into your home, fully-closed curtains for extended periods can indicate that you’re away.” Having some curtains open, some closed and others halfway often creates the impression of activity in a home, as though people are coming and going.
  • Think ahead
    To ensure that you return to a welcoming home after your relaxing trip away, make sure you take care of certain things before you leave. Before you leave, “ensure that any pets are being minded, remove any products from your fridge or pantry that are likely to go off, and make sure that any bills that will fall during your holiday period are paid”, Mylott says.