Channel Seven: Despite the fact that home robberies are at a six year high, it seems that Australians are still pretty slack and in their attitudes when it comes to Home Security. Now recent statistics suggests that around 40% of people leave doors and windows unlocked when they leave their house, and more than 30% leave a spare key out.
These are pretty surprising figures given 1/3 of Australians have been a victim of breaking internet security experts are now wanting people to be vigilant, saying a standard Home Alarm System just isn’t enough. Daniel Lewkovitz is the CEO of calamity security. And he joins us now to discuss Daniel, why are home robberies on the rise?
Daniel Lewkovitz: There’s a lot of things that cause robbery, drug droughts, changes in law enforcement, but one of the other things that’s happened is people these days have a lot more stuff that’s worth stealing. And it’s a lot easier for criminals to sell that stuff, portable electronics, small valuables, and these are all attractive targets to thieves, you know, they can steal it, get away with it, sell it and not get caught.
So if we have stuff that’s more valuable, why aren’t we taking enough precautions?
Daniel Lewkovitz: Well, we should be and this is one of the biggest problems, we get calls at calamity all the time from people who say we just got robbed, we need help. And that’s always disappointing, because I think a lot of people have insurance, and they’ve never made a claim. A lot of businesses have fire extinguishers, and they’ve never had a fire. security needs to be the same. You need to have it in place before you one day need it rather than learning a very expensive lesson that you didn’t.
Channel Seven: So what are some of the mistakes people make them when it comes to their home security?
Daniel Lewkovitz: Well, there’s two key mistakes. The first one is having not thought about it until it’s too late. So as I said, You’ve got to get onto these things. When you’re renovating your house, when you’re moving to new premises, when it’s a Thursday, that’s a good opportunity to start thinking about security. But the other thing is that sometimes people think they have security because they might have installed an alarm system 20 years ago, it’s now old and decrepit, or they just simply forget to use it. There’s no point having a strong door with solid locks on it. If you forget to lock the door when you go out.
Channel Seven: Today, what should people be doing to best secure their home?
Daniel Lewkovitz: Okay, so the first thing they need to do is think if I were a criminal, how would I get into this place? Start looking at it. The second thing is, have it planned for your family. Think about well, what are we going to do if we have a robbery. The third thing is actually put in control, such as an alarm system that’s properly monitored, and well installed solid locks on doors. And then make sure that you use all of these things as well. And keep checking and checking and rechecking, the security of any place is only as strong as its weakest link. So if the front of the house is secure, and the backs wide open, you’re going to have a problem. Yeah,
Channel Seven: It’s a good thing about the checking, isn’t it? Because you never know when your kids are running around opening up doors and leaving them unlocked. So when everybody leaves the house, yes, you have to do that double check and go back around.
Daniel Lewkovitz: That’s right. But a lot of the technology that we put in these days is very good for young families, because it can tell the parents that the kids have come home, it can tell you when they might have left the door unlocked as well. So it helps with your lifestyle as well as helping with security as well.
Channel Seven: What else about the family plan? You said have a family plan? What does that mean?
Daniel Lewkovitz: Well, I get asked all the time, what do we do if we wake up one night and we find someone in our bedroom, for example. And there’s no one size fits all answer because some people might get up and fight other people might panic other people might pass out. So the main thing that people need to do with any sort of risk management is think about if this happened to me, what would I do and have a plan in place so that when you mentally rehearse that you’re actually ready to put that into action. But having things like alarm systems that work while you sleep at night are also very useful at telling criminals. You know what, don’t go here, Rob next door instead, their house is a softer target.
Channel Seven: Okay, social media is often blamed, isn’t it as well. You know, if you’re posting pictures of your great holiday in Fiji, sort of telling people you’re not home?
Daniel Lewkovitz: Well, 20 years ago, we used to tell people that on boxing day after Christmas, don’t put the cardboard box of all your new televisions and presence on the front lawn because criminals see that and that was the advice we got 20 years ago. Well now they’re effectively advertising that to the whole world by saying we’ve gone away on holiday. This is when we’re getting back and by the way, he’s that really nice new bracelet that I got last Christmas. Hey, come and rob me.
Channel Seven: It’s so obvious when you point it out.
Daniel Lewkovitz: No one’s bought me a bracelet.
Channel Seven: Well, I’d heard that basically people are getting in the car, obviously with you know, he texted your Uber driver saying, Hey, I’m off to the airport. This is fantastic. And you’re basically saying, Hey, I’m leaving my house for two weeks.
Daniel Lewkovitz: Well, again, these are problems that have been around forever. Luggage tags on the carousel at the airport with your home address on it also said that this person isn’t at home but it’s okay to leave the house. It’s okay to go away provided you’ve got proper security set up in your absence. And just like insurance, you’ve got a properly monitored alarm system. You’ve got prominent signage from a well known security company on the fence and then you can go away and you can enjoy your holiday knowing that all your stuff and your privacy is going to be there when you get back.
Channel Seven: Daniel, any other advice, is a dog or a ferocious cat still good to deter burglaries?
Daniel Lewkovitz: I’m going to upset half your audience by saying I am a dog person. Look it’s a function of a number of things that you need that you need to have. There’s no one thing so you need to have good locks that work. You need to know what’s normal in your neighborhood, having your neighbors on site as well so that you see what’s suspicious and just generally thinking about security from time to time and not waiting till it’s too late.
Channel Seven: We had up on the screen there to be wary of door knockers. What do you mean by that?
Daniel Lewkovitz: I would be wary of any person who wants to come onto your property unless you have invited them in so you know exactly who they are. And if you don’t ask for ID now, we’ve always been told to check strangers for ID However, a lot of people don’t have the guts to do that. These people aren’t offended, say, what’s your ID and ring the company to find out that they are who they claim to be before you let them breach your security device.