Holiday Home Security

Today Show: So the holiday season is well and truly upon us and unfortunately it can be a time burglars target empty homes. So with some advice on how to keep your house safe, is home security expert Daniel Lewkovsk. I got that correct, did I?

Daniel Lewkovitz: Lewkovitz.

Today Show: Lewkovitz! There we go, I should have checked that! We’ve been talking in the break about how to protect your home. What are some of the common mistakes we make?

Daniel Lewkovitz: Well, the biggest thing I find people do is nothing. And they don’t think about security or protection or risk until after they’ve suffered loss. And one of the things that always upsets me is when we get a call from Calamity from someone who just got robbed saying, I need help. And you think, gosh, if you’d only called us a few weeks or a few months ago, around this time of year, Christmas, New Year, we also get people who are at the last minute ring up because they’re going away on holiday and they think I need to do something about security. And what they don’t realize is that crime happens all year round. 

And funnily enough criminals actually go away for Christmas. So you’re almost better off. Yeah, so you’re almost better off thinking about these things in January or mid year rather than at the last minute. Because generally Australia is a safe place. And it’s easy to forget these things. But it is something that everybody does need to take seriously.

Today Show: We’ve seen an influx of new products and those sorts of things. And is there any danger that people are bringing into their homes?

Daniel Lewkovitz: Well, it’s interesting now that there’s a lot of shape, do it yourself security type products, cameras, and so forth. They’re being sold at retailers, two things about them one, every other day, you find out that there’s a flaw in these cheap devices so that you’re essentially putting a listening device in your house and hackers and pretty much anyone on the internet can now see cameras inside your living room. It works, isn’t it? Yes. And people are actually bringing this into their house. 

But the other thing that I always tell people is if you go to a retailer or hardware store, and you see some, you know, cool security gadget on the shelf, anything that’s nice, look up at the ceiling. And you’ll find that the retailers actually don’t use that stuff in their premises, because they know it doesn’t work. And then they don’t really carry any liability if you take it home and it fails. 

Security is a professional discipline. And it is important to get the right help from a reputable company and not just see shiny gadgets and think oh wow, this is cool, better off spending the money on something that is proven and is known to work.

Today Show: So what should we bear in mind? If we’re leaving our home over the next few days and weeks to go on a holiday? What should we be wary of?

Daniel Lewkovitz: Okay, so first of all plan ahead. That means do some research on the place you’re going. 

The federal government has a fantastic resource called Smart Traveller, which is a government website, you can register your details. So if there’s an emergency when you’re overseas, the Australian government knows where you are and can assist in your evacuation. It also gives you crime tips about the particular countries that you’re going to. 

The other thing you should do is make sure that your home security is in order. You’ve got 20 year old locks on the doors time to look at changing that make sure you have a professionally monitored alarm, and you use it switch it on before you go just before you leave and head out, head out to the airport or drive off, check all the locks and the windows and then get someone else to double check. Because not only does that make sure your house is secure, it also stops you fretting the whole way to the airport that you might have forgotten something, letting you have an easier time. 

Let somebody know that you’re gone. Make sure that your insurance is checked and up to date. And make sure that there’s nothing in the house that screams come and rob me. So again, that means having a sign from a good security company on the front lawn. Make sure the neighbours know you’re away and look out for anything suspicious and generally go and have a good time.

Today Show: Yeah, and everyone stresses around this time of year. No, we don’t like leaving your house empty going down the beach or something. This should be really a year round thing shouldn’t

Daniel Lewkovitz: Absolutely. I mean statistically there’s a modest spike in criminal activity on Christmas Eve because criminals know that people who leave their house early in the evening aren’t coming back that night. Same again on New Year’s Eve on New Year’s Eve. Everybody goes into the city including all the police, which leaves the suburbs exposed, but generally speaking, statistics are flat all year round. 

So I would be telling people, their new year’s resolution should probably be looking at your home security and it’s probably easier to do that than to quit smoking or hit the gym, which is the usual resolution people have.

Today Show: And, an easier one to achieve. 

Daniel Lewkovitz: Hopefully. Yes.

Today Show: Absolutely, Daniel Lewkovitz! Thank you very much.