Security & Safety Tips

Whether you live in a rural or urban setting, every home in every neighbourhood is a target for burglary. Most homes contain valuables that are very attractive to burglars: televisions, stereos, cash and computers. Even worse, burglary is often compounded by violence. Here at ADT we have over 100 years of experience helping to protect families like yours from burglary.

Listed below are some sound tips to help you protect your family and home.

  • If exterior doors are hollow-core, replace them with solid wood, fibreglass or steel.

  • Make sure exterior door hinges are on the inside rather than the outside - where an intruder can remove the pins and pull the door out of the frame.

  • If you have double-hung windows, bolt the upper and lower sashes together or insert a metal bar in the track to prevent opening.

  • To secure sliding glass doors, add a bolt lock or use a "rod" to block the door closed.

  • Use bars to secure basement or garage doors and add bars to basement windows.

  • According to AAMI statistics, the most common time for burglary is between 8am and noon, so get in the habit of locking all doors and windows whenever you go out.

  • Invest in high-quality, name-brand deadbolt locks for all exterior doors.

  • If you have a double-cylinder deadbolt that is operated by a key both inside and out, keep the key near the door so every family member can find it and exit quickly in case of fire.

  • Alarm systems are an effective deterrent. Nine out of ten convicted burglars agree they would avoid a house protected by an alarm system. Security system decals and signs are also an effective deterrent.

  • Never leave an answering machine message indicating you're not at home. Instead, just say you "can't come to the phone."

  • Use timers to turn lights, televisions and sound systems on and off at different times to give your home a "lived-in look" when you are out.

  • Install motion-detecting outdoor floodlights around your home. Remember to mount them high enough to prevent intruders from disabling them.

  • If you have elderly or incapacitated friends or relatives, check to make sure their security devices are all in good working order.

  • Don't let mail, newspapers or flyers accumulate while you're away, tipping off criminals.

  • Have the post office hold mail, have newspapers suspended, and have a neighbour or friend clear away flyers.

  • Use a UV pen to mark an ID number, like your driver's license number, on valuables.

  • Make an inventory of valuables in your household and store it somewhere other than your home, such as in a safe deposit box. Never open the door to a stranger.

  • Install peepholes in all exterior doors so you can identify whoever is outside. Do not rely on a door safety chain, because these can be broken easily.

  • Ask for I.D. from service representatives who come to your home, and if they don't have it, check with their company to verify identity before letting them in.

  • When on holiday, leave a car in your driveway or arrange for a neighbour to keep a car there and move it around from time to time.

  • Prune overgrown trees and shrubs to eliminate hiding places for intruders. 

  • Many garage door openers respond to common codes, so follow the manufacturer's instructions to program yours with a unique code no burglar's opener will match.

  • Thieves always look in mailboxes, under doormats and above doorways for keys. Don't make it easy for them to get into your home.

  • Don't put your name or address on your key ring, because it might lead a thief right to your door with key in hand.

Even if you operate your system correctly, sometimes false alarms can occur. Unfortunately persistent false alarms can lead to your keyholders ignoring calls to attend your alarm when it goes off.

False alarms are caused by a variety of reasons including:

  • Open windows or external doors causing draughts which move curtains or plants

  • Pets not being confined to designated rooms

  • Insects and cobwebs interfering with alarm sensors

  • Electrical items which can change temperature quickly

  • Keyholders or users who are unfamiliar with your system

Here are a few tips and hints on how to best avoid false alarms:

Before leaving your property

  • Secure all windows and doors

  • Confine pets to designated rooms by keeping doors shut

  • Ensure detectors are free of insects and cobwebs

At night

  • Keep windows and doors shut in rooms which are being protected by sensors

  • Confine pets to designated rooms

Be prepared

  • Make sure everyone in the house knows how to use your system and show them how to cancel any unwanted alarms


  • Make sure sensors are not obstructed by furniture or suspended objects such as festive or party decorations.

Take Care

  • Protect sensors when doing any building work

  • If you are going away ensure all your key holders know

  • How to switch off the alarm

  • How to cancel a false alarm

  • Your password/voice code if ADT needs to verify your alarm

Fire. It is one of the greatest threats to your family and home. Not only do you need to be quickly alerted — you need to quickly respond as well. Fire has the potential to wipe out everything in its path in just minutes. It can smolder undetected for hours, then suddenly explode in fiery destruction. You need to take every possible precaution to minimise its risks.

Listed below are some helpful tips to help keep your family and home safe from fire.

  • When buying, building or renovating your home, make sure all roofing materials are fire resistant.

  • Clean your gutters regularly. Dry leaves in rain gutters can easily catch fire.

  • Trim back any tree limbs that are near your chimney and dead limbs overhanging your home to prevent them from catching fire.

  • To prevent sparks from escaping and igniting vegetation near your house, cap your chimney with a 1cm mesh spark arrested.

  • Store firewood and other combustibles away from your home, and keep the lid on your garbage bin.

  • To make sure firefighters can find your house, display your street number prominently.

  • Maintain your landscape to eliminate dead vegetation that could catch fire and where possible use fire-resistant plants.

Nothing is more precious than the safety of your children. At ADT Security we are committed to providing you with everything you need to keep your children safe from the dangers of theft, fire and a host of other threats.

Listed below are some helpful tips that will help you maximise their safety and security.

  • If your children are old enough and responsible enough to be home alone without adult supervision, be sure they know these safety essentials:

    - The fire escape route
    - Where emergency phone numbers and rules are posted
    - Basic first-aid skills
    - Safe route home from school
  • Make sure your children know who is allowed in the home while you are away, and how to check an individual's identity before opening the door.

  • If children are allowed to prepare and eat food while you are away, teach them how to do it safely.

  • When your children play outside, be sure they know exactly what their physical boundaries are and how to react to strangers.

The Internet is a vast new world of information, entertainment and learning opportunities, but "cyberspace" also holds many dangers for children. Fortunately, there are things you can do to protect your child.

How to Introduce your child to the Internet

  • Explain to your child that even though he or she may be alone when using the Internet, other people can connect to your computer to find out who and where you are and that precautions must be taken.

  • Explore the Internet together, letting your child take the lead.

  • Talk to your child about things that concern you about the Internet ... like exploitation, pornography, hate literature and the like ... so they'll know what to do if they encounter it.

How to Control Access

  • Choose an online service that enables you to block access to any site not marked as appropriate for children ... chat rooms, bulletin boards, news and discussion groups ... or to the Internet altogether.

  • Buy software that lets you design your own set of protective barriers to block sites and prevent your child from giving out information online.

  • Look over your child's shoulder from time to time, not only checking what is on screen but also watching for uneasiness or other signs that something forbidden may be going on.

Teach Your Child to:

  • Let you know right away if he or she sees anything disturbing online.

  • Never give out any personal information.

  • Never agree to meet someone face-to-face after encountering them online.

  • Never respond to messages that contain obscene or weird language.

  • Avoid sites that charge for services.

  • Never send personal or family photos to anyone online without getting permission from you.

Other ways to promote cyber-safety

  • Make sure Internet access at school is controlled and monitored by adults.

  • If your child has a friend with Internet access, find out from that child's parents if adequate controls are in place and if children are monitored when online.

  • Make sure your child's school has an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) that defines acceptable and unacceptable online activities and resources, spells out the consequences for violations, and has a place for you and your child to sign.

  • If your child receives offensive or threatening e-mail, save the material as evidence and contact your local law enforcement agency immediately.

  • If you encounter a site that's inappropriate for children, send its address to online services and sites that provide blocking software so they can review it.

Children need to learn how to stay safe when travelling to and from school to help reduce the risks of pedestrian and bicycle injuries.

Walking to School

  • Spend time walking with your children and observe how they deal with traffic.

  • Choose the route to school or the bus stop that is the safest for your child.

  • Take the same route every day and avoid short cuts.

  • Remind your children to demonstrate proper pedestrian behaviour. It is extremely important for them to look both directions twice and always walk facing traffic if no footpath is available.

  • Pick the place where your child will cross the street. Never enter the street from between parked cars or from behind bushes or shrubs. Cross streets at corners. Use traffic signals and pedestrian crossings whenever possible.

  • Provide your children with bright clothing so motorists can easily see them.

Riding on a Bus to School

  • If possible, an adult should be close to the bus stop at all times, and children should be remember the rules of the road.

  • Stay out of the street and avoid horseplay while waiting for the bus.

  • Wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before approaching.

  • Walk immediately onto the pavement and out of traffic after getting off the bus.

  • Finally, never cross the street behind a school bus.

Riding a Bicycle to School

  • Always wear a bike helmet.

  • Ride with traffic.

  • Wear bright clothes or reflective safety gear.

Riding in a Passenger Vehicle to School

  • If your child is less than 5 years old and less than 20 kilograms, make sure the child is properly buckled up in a weight-appropriate child safety seat in the back seat. For children age 5 and older, make sure they are buckled in all seating positions at all times.

  • In addition, safety experts say that all children under the age of 12 should ride in the back seat, and that children from 4 to 8 years of age should ride in a booster seat.

Statistics show that the older you get, the less likely you are to be a victim of crime. But it still makes sense to take precautions, especially against fraud and con games, which are the greatest crime threats for seniors. Safety Begins at Home

  • Install and use good locks on doors and windows.

  • Don't hide keys under the doormat, in the mailbox or in a planter. Leave an extra set with a neighbour.

  • When service or delivery people come to your door, ask for ID, and check with their company if you're still not sure.

  • Make sure the street number on your house is large, well-lighted and unobstructed so emergency personnel can find your home quickly.

  • If you decide to install an alarm system, consider one that is monitored for burglary, fire and medical emergencies.

Stay Safe When You Go Out

  • Go out with family or friends rather than by yourself.

  • Hold your bag close or keep your wallet in an inside front pocket.

  • Don't carry large amounts of cash or unneeded credit cards.

  • Keep car doors locked, be watchful in parking lots and garages, and try to park in well-lit spots near entrances.

  • Sit near the driver or the exit when riding on a bus or train.

  • If a person or situation makes you nervous, get away.

  • Don't Fall for Con Artists' Tricks.

  • If it sounds too good to be true — free holiday, miracle cure, sure-fire investment — avoid it.

  • It is illegal for telemarketers to ask for credit card, phone card or bank account numbers to verify prizes, so if anyone asks, don't give it to them.

  • If someone tries to rush you into signing an insurance policy, sales contract or anything else, be suspicious. Read it carefully and have a trusted friend check it, too.

  • Some con artists pose as representatives of companies or government agencies that, for a fee, recover money lost to fraudulent telemarketers. Don't fall for this trick.

  • When in doubt, check it out by calling the or your local consumer protection association.

Things You Can Do in Your Community

  • Report any crimes or suspicious activities to police.

  • Join a Neighbourhood Watch programme to help protect your community.

  • Get involved in activities that can make your community a better place, like mentoring children, serving as a volunteer aide for the police or fire department, or escorting disabled persons.

Travellers are prime targets for criminals. Here are some ways to better protect yourself at airports, on the road and in your hotel room.

Airport Safety

  • Keep your eye on your bags—especially a laptop computer or other valuable items — at all times. Don't let anyone but uniformed airline personnel handle or watch them.

  • Be wary of mishaps, like someone bumping you or spilling a drink ... they may be staged to set you up for a robbery.

  • Clutch your pocketbook close to your body or carry your wallet in an inside front pocket ... or wear a concealed money pouch.

  • Record the contents of checked luggage and carry valuables onto the plane with you.

  • Don't draw attention to jewellery, cameras or other expensive items.

Road Safety

  • Study your route on a map before you start.

  • If using a rental car, make sure it is in good operating condition and learn how to operate all controls before starting your journey.

  • Keep maps and rental agreements concealed, and store luggage out of sight in the boot.

  • Keep car doors locked and park in well lit areas near entrances.

  • Have keys ready so you can enter the car quickly ... after checking the back seat and floors.

  • If bumped by another car, rather than getting out you might want to signal the other driver to follow you to a police station or other place where you would feel safe.

Hotel Safety

  • Don't leave your luggage unattended.

  • Make sure your room has a peephole and deadbolt lock on the door and window locks ... and use them.

  • Caution hotel personnel against saying your room number within earshot of others.

  • In case of emergency, know where exits, lifts and public phones are located.

  • Leave valuables at home or keep them in the hotel safe.

  • If going out, ask hotel staff about neighbourhood safety and areas to avoid.

  • If someone claiming to be a hotel employee shows up at your door unexpectedly, don't let them in without first calling the front desk for confirmation.

  • Don't display your room key or leave it where it may be stolen.

Burglars don’t take holidays over summer! It’s a well known fact that holiday season is a popular time for break and enters, with lots of new presents, open windows and people away on holidays.

Here are some simple and effective things you can do around the house to help protect your home, family and possessions.

Overgrown bushes and trees close to your house can be good hiding places and can also indicate that you’re away. On the flipside however, thorny bushes beneath windows can be a deterrent to thieves.

  • Keep areas in and around the home well lit. A dark property is more attractive to burglars, so consider installing motion sensor lights outdoors and putting indoor lights on a timer. Also, install lights on other outdoor buildings, such as sheds or garages.

  • Always lock all windows and doors when you leave home. Many home burglaries occur during the day, when people are at work or school. It’s no surprise to learn that an unlocked door is an open invitation to a burglar!

  • Don’t hide keys around the exterior of your home. Thieves look in mailboxes, under doormats and above doorways for keys, so don’t make it easy for them to get into your home. If you’ll be away, leave emergency house keys with a trusted neighbour.

  • Don’t reveal your name on your mailbox or answering machine. Thieves look for any information they can find to gain easier access to your home. Only put the house number on your mailbox and door and say you’re “unavailable to answer the phone” on the answering machine without stating your name. Additionally, by reducing the volume on your phone ringer, thieves won’t hear unanswered calls – a sign that no one is home.

  • Consider a monitored burglar alarm system. Alarm systems can help deter intruders. Make sure your burglar alarm system includes a loud inside alarm, detectors at all exterior doors and motion sensors in bedrooms and main living areas. Many insurers also offer a discount when you install a monitored alarm.

  • Let thieves know that you have an alarm. A prominent security sign or sticker is an effective visual deterrent, thieves would rather rob a home without an alarm than with one.

  • Prevention is the best defence against burglary. With a little bit of planning, you can make your home difficult to break into and therefore an unappealing target for burglars.

A normal household contains many poisonous substances, from cleaning products to medications to painting supplies. To help protect children — and even pets—in your home, follow these precautions:

  • Select medicines that have childproof caps.

  • Keep medications and household products locked away out of reach of children.

  • Install protective devices that keep children from opening cabinet doors and drawers.

  • Keep dangerous products in their original, labelled containers.

  • Add poison symbol stickers to dangerous items and explain to children what they mean.

  • Don't give a child medicine in the dark.

  • Never tell a child that medicine tastes like lollies.

  • Dispose of outdated medicines as recommended.

  • Work with fume-generating products only in well-ventilated areas.

  • Set a good example for children by wearing protective clothing like gloves or a mask when using poisonous or hazardous substances.