Home Security

Planning a garage sale: don’t leave your home open to thieves

With nearly 250,000 Australians set to participate in this year’s Garage Sale Trail, October has officially become garage sale season across Australia.

Items laid out outside with a cardboard sign saying "Garage sale"

Running from Saturday 19 to Sunday 20 October, the annual event encourages Aussies to embrace their inner Marie Kondo and declutter their homes in time for summer. As well as creating a calmer, cleaner home environment, garage sales are a great way to minimise our impact on the environment by recycling unwanted household goods while earning some extra cash.

However, inviting strangers to your home – even just the front yard or garage – can present some security risks, so consider these tips to better keep you, your home and your possessions safe.

1: Lock the house before the sale

Unless you’re planning on holding the garage sale inside your home, make sure you lock all the doors and windows before the garage sale officially kicks off; even the connecting door from your garage into the home. You may be planning to pop in and out during the sale but opportunistic thieves will know that there’s a good chance the door has been left open and that no one’s inside. You may also think you can just guard the door but inevitably your attention will be elsewhere at times and it won’t always be easy to be vigilant.

2: Protect your money

Don’t keep cash sitting in a box on the display table. Even if you or a friend have vowed to keep an eye on it, it’s easy to get distracted as customers ask about your wares. The best solution to prevent having money stolen, is keeping a zip up bag attached to your person. It’s also worth taking large sums of money back inside and locking it away every now and then, just keeping enough money outside for change.

3: Restrict access to your house

Do not let strangers go inside your home even if they ask to use your bathroom or try clothes on. No matter how genuine they seem, you never know who they really are or what their intentions might be. They might be looking to steal something then and there or sizing up your home to regain entry at a later date. If weather and space allow, it’s advisable to hold the garage sale on your driveway or lawn rather than in the garage, especially if it connects to your home.

4: Enlist the help of friends

Rather than dealing with a group of strangers, and money, all by yourself why not ask a couple of neighbours or friends to help you? Not only will it make the day more fun, it will allow one of you to keep an eye on the house and the more expensive sale items whilst

others assist customers. It also means that if you do run into any trouble, there’s someone there who you trust that can get help or call the police.

5: Install cameras around the home

If you have a security system but don’t have integrated live streaming cameras, now is the perfect time to upgrade and add another layer of protection to your home. ADT’s home automation app, for example, will then allow you to monitor what’s going on inside the home from your phone whilst you’re outside tending to customers. Furthermore, cameras enable you to capture video footage of anything that triggers the alarm so, if someone does break in, you’ll be able to see exactly what happened and provide the police with video evidence. Of course if you’re already an ADT customer then you also have the reassurance of our 24/7 monitoring centre. Nothing delivers peace of mind like knowing security professionals are ready to notify you the minute your alarm activates.

Garage sales can be great fun but it’s important to be mindful about security. Likewise, when selling second hand items to strangers online through online sites, you should always consider safety precautions. If you’re going to be handing over purchases in person, rather than posting them, suggest meeting the interested buyer in a busy, public place. Try to avoid inviting them into your home and whenever possible, have a family member or friend accompany you while the transaction takes place.

We hope these tips help you have a safe and successful garage sale. Good luck!


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