The Road Ahead : December 2012
ROADAHEAD.COM.AU 74 THE ROAD AHEAD DEC 2012/JAN 2013 MEMBER ESSENTIALS INSURANCE RACQ INSURANCE IS cautioning Queensland householders to be aware of security around their homes during the high- risk Christmas holiday theft period. The Queensland Police Service Annual Statistical Review 2011- 12 showed home break and enters across Queensland have risen 12 percent, from 24,902 cases in 2010-11 to 27,809 in 2011-12. The police statistics also showed 9114 reports of items being stolen from local homes over the past year. RACQ Executive Manager Insurance Communications Mike Sopinski said the Christmas holiday period was traditionally a high-risk time for home theft as many householders went away and those staying at home often became relaxed about security. "The most common entry point for thieves is an external door such as the front or back door, yet householders often forget to lock deadlocks around the home or to use window locks," Mr Sopinski said. "And doormats and pot plants at home entrances are among the first places thieves will check (for keys) when trying to break in." RACQ Insurance is urging Queensland residents to take a moment to check their home contents insurance, as thieves have been known to target specific household items such as audiovisual equipment, jewellery and expensive items of clothing. "Householders planning an extended Christmas holiday away are also reminded that insurers often require notification if a home will be unoccupied for an extended period," Mr Sopinski said. RACQ Insurance provides cover on unoccupied homes for up to 60 days, but does require the policyholder to advise if their home will be vacant for a longer period. RACQ Insurance tips for keeping your home and contents secure 1. Remember the basics -- it's no good installing locks and then not using them. 2. Make sure everyone in your home is equally security conscious. Have a routine that everyone follows to check locks and switch on alarms when the house is left unoccupied. 3. Tell your neighbours if you're going away -- then they can remember to be extra careful and report any suspicious activity to police. 4. Don't assume balcony doors or high windows are safe to leave unlocked -- thieves are good at finding ways to overcome these obstacles. 5. Store easy-to-carry, expensive items such as laptops, MP3 players and jewellery away and out of sight so thieves can't see them -- consider installing a safe. 6. Don't leave doors or windows wide open, even while you're at home. 7. Don't leave car keys and wallets beside open windows or doors. 8. Engage deadlocks when you leave the house so that thieves cannot carry items out through your main doors. 9. If you can't arrange for someone to collect your mail when you're on holiday, ask the post office to hold it until you return. Also, attach a 'no advertising material' sign to your letterbox so it doesn't overflow. 10. Lock your meter box to prevent thieves tampering with your power supply. Insurance products issued by RACQ Insurance Limited. Read the PDS before making a purchase decision. Contact us for a copy. avoid a not so merry christmas Surge in burglaries brings holiday home security warning.