Car Security Begins at Home

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 Most of us rely on our cars – whether it is for work or uni, taking the kids to school, or for social activities. Having a car stolen can be stressful, inconvenient and costly.Even if you’re insured, hidden personal costs such as insurance excesses, on-going loan repayments, car hire and alternative transport costs can add up to thousands of dollars.

The advanced immobiliser systems now fitted to new vehicles as standard equipment have helped to reduce theft volumes by more than 50 per cent over the past decade. However, no matter how sophisticated these systems are, if a thief is able to steal your keys and transponder, your car could be gone long before you realise these items are even missing.

Many people think it won’t happen to them. But around one in every 120 Australian homes fall victim to car criminals each year. By following a few simple steps to safeguard your keys at home you can greatly reduce your risks.

What can you do?

Enhance your home’s security – a secure home means a secure car:

  • Keep trees and shrubs well-trimmed in order to provide a clear line of sight to the street and reduce potential hiding places.
  • Ideally front fences should allow clear visibility to the front door and any windows.
  • External doors and frames should be of solid construction and fitted with quality deadlocks which comply with AS 4145.1:2008.
  • Fit quality key-operated lock sets to windows.
  • Lock doors and windows when gardening or working outside or in an isolated part of the house. Keep your garage locked to restrict unauthorised access.
  • Motion activated external security lighting can deter intruders.
  • Consider installing a home alarm system that meets AS/NZS 2201.1:2007.
  • Plan and discuss with your family or housemates what to do in the event that you or they encounter an intruder entering or already in your home.
  • Download a free security assessment guide from: www.carsecuritybeginsathome.com
  • and conduct an audit of your home’s security.

Safeguard your keys – they are worth as much as the value of your car:

  • Always store car keys out of view and away from external doors and windows.
  • Thieves mostly target the master bedroom first, followed by the living room and home office. If the car is at home but you are out make sure you have all the keys with you. (When you are out, don’t leave keys unattended in bags, lockers or the like.)
  • Don’t tag your keys with your name or address – use a mobile phone number or driver licence number instead.
  • If your home has been broken into and your keys are stolen, change the cylinders in the locks or fit additional locks.
  • Never leave a spare set of house or car keys in your car.
  • Be a good neighbour. If you notice any suspicious activity report it immediately to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or police on 131 444 in all states except for Victoria. In Victoria contact your local police station.

What to do if there is an intruder in your home

Most offenders try to avoid being discovered and will take flight if encountered. If you find an intruder in your home leave them a clear exit path (or vacate the house yourself if safe to do so).

Try to record the descriptions of any suspects or suspicious vehicles and call 000 as quickly as possible. Be sure to discuss a plan with your family or housemates on what to do in the case of an intruder entering your home.

Have you seen the NMVTRC’s latest community service announcements on vehicle theft with keys? Visit www.carsecuritybeginsathome.com to view the ads and download the NMVTRC’s free security assessment guide for your house.

This is an initiative by the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council in partnership with Hume City Council. For more information visit www.carsecuritybeginsathome.com or www.carsafe.com.au

 


Updated : 3:04 PM, 23 December 2019

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