Over the past few months, the Australian Security Industry Association Limited (ASIAL) has been conducting research into the security mindset of Australian householders through its free online Home Security Challenge. To date, almost 1,100 householders have taken the Challenge, revealing some interesting insights into the security behaviour of Australians.

Using this data to identify the most common security risks, ASIAL has prepared its five top home security tips for the holiday season.
1. Invest in a home security safe: “Almost 70 percent of Australian householders are leaving valuables lying around the home,” ASIAL CEO Bryan de Caires said. “Protect cash, jewelry, important documents and more, by investing in a home security safe – preferably one that can be secured or concealed, and is fire and flood resistant.”
2. Get a home security alarm system: “Almost 60 per cent of participants indicated that they do not have a home alarm system. Alarms with visible external sirens can act as a great deterrent and, when connected to a monitoring centre, can provide peace of mind and a prompt response when you’re out or away on holiday. Having an alarm can also reduce insurance premiums.” There are a range of affordable options available.
3. Install sensor lights: “More than 35 per cent of Australian householders say they wouldn’t know if someone was approaching their home at night unless they knocked on the door, which burglars are unlikely to do. Installing sensor lights is an affordable security measure that can help to deter burglars and alert you to the fact that someone is approaching your home.”
4. Always lock the front door: “Almost 30 per cent of Home Security Challenge participants believe it is okay to leave the front door unlocked. Whether you’re just popping around to see a neighbour or picking up some milk from the local shops, it’s important to secure your property. With Christmas just around the corner, burglars don’t need an invitation to steal your presents and valuables. An open door or window is just the thing an opportunist burglar is looking for.”
5. Don’t leave spare keys outside: “More than 20 per cent of Australian householders leave a spare set of keys hidden outside the house. It is much safer to leave a set with a trusted friend or family member. Another option is to look at investing in a keyless entry locking system.”

Mr de Caires said Australian householders appear to have become increasingly savvy about the home security implications when using social media.
– “Only two per cent of Home Security Challenge participants said they would send out an open online invitation to a party, with more than 85 per cent opting to personally invite a small group of close friends and around 12 per cent registering their parties with the police.”
– “When going away on holiday, around 80 per cent said they only tell close relatives and friends. For the other 20 per cent who let people know they’re on holiday by posting happy snaps on social, we’d suggest holding off until you’re home – then post an entire album. But if you can’t, check your privacy settings, and make sure you’re only sharing your location with trusted family and friends.”