With the last of the warm weather upon us, many are making the most of the great outdoors by getting as much use as possible from valuable toys and leisure equipment. It’s a common sight to see backyards strewn with bikes, skateboards, surf boards, golf clubs and camping gear, but getting caught up in all the fun and forgetting to put your toys away when you head out or at the end of the day may be tempting burglars. According to our most recent Secure Homes Report, one in four Australians surveyed said they have had goods stolen from their home’s outdoor areas.

The backyard can be one of the easiest targets for an opportunistic thief. It can allow them to survey the area by peering over a fence, letting them get in and out quickly. The backyard can also house some of your most valuable assets. If you take stock of the value of your outdoor equipment, the couple of hundreds of dollars worth of bikes, boards, and watersport equipment can quickly add up.

Don’t risk it. These simple tips can help to protect your beloved backyard valuables this summer:

  • Put your toys away when you go out or at the end of the day, either in a secure shed or out of sight from the street.
  • Lock the garage. It’s usually home to all sorts of handy tools, such as ladders and screwdrivers, that can make it easier for a burglar to get the job done.
  • Position furniture away from boundary lines so you’re not inadvertently giving burglars a leg up over the wall.
  • Install motion activated lights. This makes it more difficult for burglars to lurk around under the cover of darkness. Placing them at the entry way to the backyard may help to deter intruders before they get too far. As an added benefit, it will light up paths making it easier for you to get around without tripping.
  • CCTV cameras are a proven burglar deterrent and installing them can help to discourage thieves.
  • Take photographs of your backyard. In the event of theft, this will help to demonstrate that the valuables were on your property, should you need to provide photographs for insurance purposes.
  • If you’re installing fences, choose an appropriate height. Having a visible backyard can help to make it more challenging for burglars to move around undetected.
  • Consider installing outdoor sensors and cameras as part of a monitored alarm system. Many don’t consider alarms for outdoor areas, however these can be a natural extension to the home security system and help to protect valuable contents stored outside the home and in sheds and garages.
  • If you have an alarm system, make it known. Displaying stickers and signage can help to discourage thieves from setting foot on your property.

For more advice on how to protect your home and family, read the home safety and security tips on the ADT Security website www.adtsecurity.com.au or watch ADT’s home security video.