Tips for Keeping Your Home Secure During The Christmas Holiday
It doesn’t just happen in the movies (remember the Christmas movie, “Home Alone”?). Burglars getting busy during the holiday season is true and it can happen to you. It’s the perfect opportunity for them to ransack homes, especially those whose owners are away on holiday.
But this shouldn’t stop you and your family from taking that much needed time to enjoy, relax and have fun. Making sure your home is safe and secure while you’re away is not that difficult, but it will need a bit of planning on your part.
For your peace of mind, here are a few tips to keep your home secure, regardless of how long you’d be away on holiday:
Don’t overshare on social media
Social media has made it easy for people to share thoughts, a few happy photos and the exotic location where you are having a grand time. But this is not always a good thing as this might alert thieves that you’re away and your home is an easy target.
Making your account private, even temporarily, doesn’t help either because people don’t know personally the majority of their “connections” in their social network.
Don’t announce on social media that you’re going away and refrain from sharing photos until you’re back home. It’s easy to compile data about you, including where you live and if you will be away, through your social media posts.
Check your home security
Make sure your security is up to date. A faulty deadlock or loose window frame will make it easy for burglars to get into your home.
Ensure your alarm system is working, your sensor lights have new light bulbs, and your smoke alarms have new batteries.
It’s not a good idea to hide your keys under the welcome mat or in one of your potted plants-ever. Be careful in letting tradespeople or acquaintances borrow your keys because it’s easy to make a duplicate, and for burglars to get into your home without any obstacle.
Ask the help of a trusted neighbour
It pays to be friendly to your neighbours. Ask a neighbour you trust to look out for your home and collect mail, leaflets or newspaper while you’re away. Uncollected mail or newspapers is an obvious sign that nobody is home.
Another sign of an empty house is an empty driveway. Your neighbour parking in your driveway will signal that someone is home.
These are just a few of the things you can do to make it look like you’re home.
In addition, install lights that automatically turn on during the evenings. Hang some laundry on the line. Or, have a friend mow your lawn to prevent it from getting overgrown, if you won’t be returning for weeks.
Keep your valuables in a safe
Hide valuables like money, jewellery and watches in hard to find places like a safe or small vault. But remember that burglars know that the family safe will likely be in the bedroom, so considered hiding your safe in an unlikely place in your home.
One final tip, make sure everything is locked before leaving. This includes doors, windows, side fates, outdoor sheds, garages, and even the doggy door. In the chaos of leaving for the airport, or beginning a long road trip, people can forget things. You don’t want your holiday to be ruined by constantly thinking and worrying if you had everything locked before leaving.
Drowning is the most common cause of traumatic death in children aged under five years in Queensland. Approximately five toddlers drown in Queensland swimming pools every year. Almost all swimming pool drownings are preventable.
As the temperature increases, so too does the need to find a cool spot in which to relax and escape the heat, especially for children.
Many parents look to small inflatable pools for this relief but there are several issues parents should be aware of before buying these pools. Unfortunately, every year at Christmas time, a number of lives are lost around Australia due to children drowning in small pools. Sometimes, people just aren’t aware that it only takes a small amount of water for a child to drown.
Portable pools and spas can pose a serious safety risk to young children. A number of child drownings in recent years have occurred in portable pools and spas. It is therefore important to consider the safety of young children around these pools.
If your portable pool or spa can hold more than 300 millimetres of water, has a volume of more than 2,000 litres or has a filtration system, the new laws apply to you. You will need to:
Obtain a certificate from a licensed building certifier stating that your pool complies with the pool safety standard, before filling the pool or spa with more than 300 millimetres of water.
Obtain a building approval.
Register your pool or spa.
If you are selling, buying or leasing your property with a pool or SPA, a safety certificate is required from a licensed pool safety inspector. Alternatively, the portable pool or spa can be removed.
Exclusions From the New Laws
Queensland’s pool safety laws do not apply to portable pools or spas that:
Cannot be filled with more than 300 millimetres of water.
Have a maximum volume of 2,000 litres.
Have no filtration system.
All three criteria above must be met to be excluded. Many models of portable pools sold at department stores and pool shops meet these criteria, but you should check before buying.