The statistics are far from reassuring: one in four Australian households have been burgled and there are over 10,000 house fires every year leading to death and injury. Here we highlight some simple steps you can take right now to protect your home and your family.
Monitored home security systems are the most effective way of keeping out burglars. They can also provide early warning of fire when smoke detectors are connected.
Tips to secure your home
A combination of simple measures can help safeguard your home.
- Install a burglar alarm. NRMA Home Security offers a range of affordable options
- Lock up every time you leave - windows and doors
- Lock your side gates, garden shed and garage. Always lock doors between your house and garage
- Install movement-activated sensor lights and trim trees and shrubs, close to windows and doors that provide cover for intruders
- List all your valuable items, photograph antiques and jewellery and keep receipts with your list to help with insurance claims
- Make sure your home contents insurance policy is current. And that you're insured for the right amount to cover the replacement cost of your contents at today's prices
- Don't leave spare keys outside. Burglars know all the hiding spots
- Don't advertise that you're out or away. Whether you're away for a day or two or a few weeks, try and keep your home looking as lived-in as possible
- Don't advertise your possessions. Don't leave the box of your new TV outside the house, cut it up and recycle
Home fire safety
Each year there are thousands of house fires in Australia, causing many injuries and deaths. The tragedy is that most are started by accident and could have been prevented. House fires can happen to anyone but there are some easy things you can do to reduce the risk.
10 top tips to prevent and survive a fire in your home
- Install smoke alarms and test them once a month. Change the batteries at least once a year. Pick a day like a public holiday so you don't forget
- Keep a fire extinguisher or fire blanket in the kitchen and know how to use them
- Lock matches and lighters away out of sight
- Don't dry clothes near heaters
- Put guards around open fires and heaters. Never leave an open fire burning or radiant heater switched on when you go to bed
- Check lights and lampshades to make sure fittings aren’t getting too hot
- Clean the lint filter on your clothes dryer every time you use it
- Make a fire escape plan with the family. Draw a floor plan with arrows to mark at least two ways out (including windows) of every room
- Practise 'Get down low and go go go’. In a fire the air is best for breathing near the floor. And 'Stop, cover, drop and roll.' If a person's clothes catch alight, stop them from running and roll them on the ground to put out the flames
- Install safety deadlocks that can be opened from the inside without keys. If a door does need a key to operate, leave keys in deadlocks when you are home (provided they can’t be seen from the outside)
Did you know?
- About 40% of house fires start in the kitchen - don't leave cooking unattended
- Don’t throw water on a burning fat or oil fire, it will cause an explosive reaction. Put a lid over a burning pan or use a fire extinguisher or fire blanket
- Most fire fatalities occur at night. You can't smell smoke when you're asleep, so smoke alarms are essential.
- Don't rely on children to react; most won't wake up if an alarm goes off