With almost half of Australians (48 per cent) wanting to take home security into their own hands with self-monitoring smart devices, Crime Stoppers is urging homeowners to remember the basics and start home security with quality locks this Christmas.
Crime Stoppers has partnered with lock experts, Lane Security, and Cammy – an app-based security solutions provider, to prepare the Break-in busters report. The report surveyed 1,000 Australians on their security practices and beliefs in a world where Internet of Things (IoT) technology allows homeowners to see and act on security concerns in real-time.
"IoT devices that give homeowners the power to self-monitor their property through their smart phone or tablet are changing the game, putting homeowners on the front foot and burglars on the back," says CEO of Crime Stoppers NSW Peter Price AM.
"However, without reliable working locks on doors and windows homeowners are leaving themselves vulnerable," warns Mr Price.
According to the Break-in busters report, 94 per cent of homeowners currently rely on locks as their primary home security measure. Yet, 35 per cent say they're not confident in their locks and 32 per cent worry their doors and windows make them an easy target for intruders.
Homeowners are putting their property at further risk by relying on ineffective practices such as hiding valuables in drawers (29 per cent) or even the freezer (6 per cent), while others use 'beware of the dog' signs (10 per cent), fake surveillance cameras (6 per cent) or fake alarm systems (8 per cent) to trick would-be crooks.
For almost four in ten households, a home security upgrade is on the to-do list (37 per cent), however, cost (57 per cent) and confusion over the best way to approach security (14 per cent) appears to be holding people back from safeguarding their homes.
Of those surveyed, 51 per cent would choose to strengthen their home security with a lock upgrade with almost equal support (48 per cent) seen for IoT self-monitored systems.
"Personal safety is the biggest concern for Australians when it comes to home security with almost six out of ten worrying about the safety of their family if an intruder were to break-in. We know Aussies want to keep their families and property safe, but it seems many people simply don't know where to start when it comes to security in an IoT world," says Mr Price.
Leading security company, Lane Security, explains that upgrading your security does not have to be a difficult process and making a few simple changes can help homeowners avoid becoming another crime statistic.
"The best place for homeowners to start when it comes to improving their home security is by upgrading the locks on doors and windows. A basic deadlock can cost as little as $30 and take as little as ten minutes to replace. Deadlocks or deadbolts are a security essential as their flat design means they cannot be gripped or levered open," explains Lane Security spokesperson Dean Beardmore.
"We also recommend that locks are replaced every ten years and that regular maintenance is undertaken to keep them in good working order," says Mr Beardmore.
With an increasing number of Australians now ramping up security with IoT devices that allow them self-monitor their property, Cammy says app-based security offerings add that next level of protection.
"App-based security solutions give homeowners the ability to see and hear what is happening in their home, in real time," says Director of Marketing at Cammy, Louise Moule.
"Using this technology gives homeowners a birds-eye view of their property so they can take action and even help police to track down intruders using time-stamped, video evidence," says Ms Moule.
With more than a quarter of a million families affected by a home burglary in Australia between 2015-2016, Crime Stoppers is advising homeowners that all it takes is a few simple steps to better secure their home this holiday season.
"By sharing this research, Crime Stoppers, Lane Security and Cammy, want to remind Australians to be safe and smart when it comes to home security. Start with quality locks and complement these with smart devices for an extra level of protection and peace of mind," Mr Price concludes.
Question: What are the home security basics we need to put into place this Christmas?
Peter Price: While many Australians (48 per cent) want to take home security into their own hands with smart self-monitoring smart devices, Crime Stoppers is urging homeowners to remember the basics and start home security with quality locks this Christmas.
IoT devices that give homeowners the power to self-monitor their property through their smart phone or tablet are changing the game. However, without reliable working locks on doors and windows homeowners are leaving themselves vulnerable.
The best place to start when it comes to improving home security is by upgrading locks on doors and windows. Deadlocks or deadbolts are a security essential and a basic deadlock can cost as little as $30 and take as little as ten minutes to replace.
Question: How else can we protect our home against a break-in?
Peter Price: The recommendation from Crime Stoppers is to always start your home security with quality locks and for extra peace of mind and protection consider adding an IoT device.
If you are going away for a few days also consider getting your neighbours to collect the post and check-in on the house. If you're taking the car, maybe ask a neighbour to park their car in your driveway. It's also a good idea to leave lights on and ensure that all doors, windows, gates and the mail box are locked before you set-off.
Question: Are there ways to make our home less attractive to burglars?
Peter Price: There are a number of steps homeowners can take to make their home less appealing to burglars, these include:
Lock up – secure your car, garage, shed, windows, doors and mail box
Fit doors with a deadlocks or deadbolts, but leave the key in the door to allow for emergency escape during a fire
Fit windows with key operated locks or security grills
Keep plants and trees trimmed so intruders can't hide in or around the house
Use a timer and sensor lights
Install a visible alarm/camera monitoring system
Remove items from outside and around the premises that may be used as makeshift ladders
Question: What is a self-monitoring smart device and where can we purchase them?
Peter Price: The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the networking of devices, such as home appliances via the internet to another device, like a computer, smart phone or tablet.
The current consumer fascination with IoT means an increasing number of homeowners are now turning to self-monitoring smart device devices to monitor and manage their home security around the clock.
Adding app-based security solutions give homeowners the ability to see and hear what is happening in their home, in real time. Using this technology gives homeowners a birds-eye view of their property 24-7 so they can take action in the event of a break-in and help police track down intruders using the captured footage.
With an increasing range of IoT devices now on the market homeowners can spend as little as $249 on a security package such as Cammy's 1 pack which is great for small homes and apartments that only need one camera to monitor indoor areas or they can upgrade to a system like Cammy's 2 pack which works better for larger apartments or houses that need more than one camera to monitor areas.
Question: What types of houses are most likely and least likely to be burgled?
Peter Price: In many cases, break-ins are crimes of opportunity with thieves entering when it seems like no one is at home, through an unlocked door or window. We know that past research conducted with Australian criminals showed that burglars are most likely to choose properties that look like they are easy to access, where valuables are left in view, or where keys are carelessly -hidden'.
Homes that have quality security systems in place – including locks, IoT devices or electronic systems are far less likely to be targeted by burglars.
Question: What should we do, if an intruder enters our home, whilst we are inside?
Peter Price: If an intruder enters your home while you or your family are inside, we advise homeowners to try and find somewhere safe and call Triple Zero immediately. The same applies if you get notification of a break happening at your home via an alert on your phone or smart device – as this is a crime in progress you need to call Triple Zero immediately.
Question: What did the Break-in busters report show?
Peter Price: The Break-in busters report unveiled some interesting insights about Aussies attitudes to home security. For example:
Home security is a daily concern – almost a third of Australians (30 per cent) think about how secure their home is every day
DIY home security is on the rise – Almost half of those surveyed (48 per cent) would like to use smart, self-monitoring devices to protect their home
Security basics are still overlooked – 94 per cent of homeowners currently rely on locks as their primary home security measure, yet 35 per cent of Australians say they're not confident in their locks, 32 per cent believe their doors and windows make them an easy target for intruders and 39 per cent believe they could do more to make their home more secure
Favourite hiding spots – 6 per cent of Australians have hidden belongings in the roof, 6 per cent have tucked items away in the freezer and 2 per cent have hidden items in the toilet tank
Question: Where you surprised by any of the results of the Break-in busters report?
Peter Price: Considering the growing consumer interest in smart devices and the benefits IoT security measures offer, it's not surprising to see the increasing number of homeowners turning to these devices to better protect their properties.
However, Crime Stoppers advises homeowners that while IoT devices are game changing, getting the basics right with quality locks is a critical and fundamental part of home security planning that should never be overlooked.
We tell homeowners to always start with quality locks and then complement these with smart devices for that extra level of peace of mind that your family is protected.
Interview by Brooke Hunter