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20 tips for protecting your home

Prevention is better than cure – 20 tips for protecting your home

We're all familiar with the phrase 'prevention is better than cure' but sometimes we focus on the cure forgetting about prevention. When it comes to protecting your assets, you should work on both prevention and cure.

Prevention

You don't necessarily have to secure your home tighter than Fort Knox, but there are many things you can to help prevent theft. Start by eliminating opportunities as many burglaries are opportunistic by nature.

1.Leaving items laying around your yard makes for easy pickings. Put away toys, tools, bikes, barbecues, lawn mowers etc. Tools – think ladders and hammers – can also invite and aid break-ins.

2.Keep your garage locked. Don't forget the internal door if your garage is attached to your house.

3.Keep doors and windows locked – even when you are home.

4.Separate your house and car key.

5.Don't label your keys with your name and address. If the wrong person finds lost keys then it's an open invitation.

6.Moving into a new home? Make sure you change the locks. And invest in good ones!

7.Lock valuables away in a safe or use a bank safety deposit box.

8.Don't hide a spare key in an obvious spot outside. Burglars know all the usual places.

9.Don't leave keys, wallet, purse, credit cards or other valuables in obvious places or visible from windows.

10.Know thy neighbour – neighbourhoods where people know each other watch out for each other.

11.Report any suspicious activity in your neighbourhood.

12.Make your home easy to identify by using large reflective house numbers. This makes it easier for police and other emergency services to find your home. Sometimes a few precious minutes can make a big difference.

13.Sensor lights act as a deterrent. Install them back, front and side.

14.Consider installing burglar alarms.

When you go on holiday

15.Double check all doors and windows are locked before leaving on holiday.

16.Disconnect an automatic garage door opener while you're away.

17.Turn down the doorbell – that way if someone comes to the door they can't hear the doorbell which will make them less certain about whether the house is unoccupied. (For 16 and 17, don't forget to turn them back up when you return home!)

18.Leave a radio playing.

19.Enlist the help of friends, family and neighbours to make your home look lived in. Have them bring in the post, drop in to open and close curtains, use timers on lights, mow the lawn etc.

20.Be careful what you say on the answering phone, email or social media. Use something suitably vague about being unavailable now.

Fill out this home safety checklist from the New Zealand Police to see where you might improve.
Watch this video from the NZ police for more helpful tips: https://youtu.be/d5T342joQ6w


Cure

If you are broken into, there really isn't a cure as such. It's an upsetting experience. Following the points below may help ease the pain.

1.Report any break-ins to the police.

2.Record details of valuables. Consider SNAP ( Serial Number Action Partnership) – an initiative of the New Zealand Police which makes it harder for criminals to sell stolen goods.

3.Having the right house and content insurance coverage in place is vital in the unfortunate instance that you need to replace any losses incurred due to unforeseen circumstances. You also need to keep it up-to-date.

How we can help

At NZ Advice Group, we can help you with all your personal insurance needs including house and contents.

As an independent insurance broker, we help you identify the risks you may be exposed to and find the best insurance protection to meet your needs. We act on your behalf and our professional objective advice leads to cost effective solutions.