Youi insurance is warning householders to be even more security conscious these holidays.
Youi insurance is warning householders to be even more security conscious these holidays. Valerie Horton

Youi urges householders to check home security

YOUI Insurance has warned that thieves are targeting jewellery and has urged all householders to check their home security these Christmas holidays.

Close to 240,000 homes across the nation have experienced a break-in and there were 185,900 attempted break-ins, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics Report on Crime Victimisation, Australia 2015-16.

Sippy Downs-based Youi CEO Frank Costigan said Australian householders should put in place simple security measures to easily reduce the opportunity for thieves to enter their home over the holidays.

"Most home theft is random and opportunistic yet incidents of thieves targeting occupied homes and specific personal items are on the increase so it's essential householders think about the basics when it comes to securing their homes," he said.

Youi research showed jewellery was the most commonly stolen item from Australian homes with rings (14 per cent) the main target, followed by necklaces (7.4 per cent), watches (6.4 per cent), and bracelets (5.9 per cent).

Lap tops (6.4 per cent), Apple computing equipment and accessories (4.6 per cent) and bicycles (3.9 per cent) were also often targeted by thieves.

"The most common entry point for thieves is an external door such as the front or back door yet many householders often leave doors open and unlocked, many also fail to lock deadlocks and windows are not always locked when they should be," Mr Costigan said.

"We recommend householders take a few basic and affordable security measures.

"Consider installing motion activated external lighting, a home alarm or home security camera system as these identifiable measures often deter thieves.

"A common protection measure people often use when they go away is to ask a friend or trusted neighbour to collect mail and keep an eye on the home.

"Given the tremendous community spirt that exists across Australia, it would be great to see trusted neighbours looking out for each other."

When it came to home security there were several common household practices that were basically like putting out a welcome mat for would-be thieves, Mr Costigan said.

"Never leave house keys in places like under doormats and pot plants as these are among the first places thieves will check when trying to break into a home.

"By taking a few simple security steps, your home will be much more protected and you may avoid the trauma of a break-in over the holidays," he said.

Youi Insurance Christmas home security tips

1. Remember the basics - it's no good installing locks and then not using them.

2. Make sure everyone in your home is equally security conscious. Have a routine that everyone follows to check door and window locks when the house is left unoccupied.

3. Don't assume balcony doors or high windows are safe to leave unlocked - thieves are good at finding ways to overcome these obstacles.

4. Store easy-to-carry, expensive items such as laptops and jewellery away and out of sight so thieves can't see them - consider installing a safe.

5. Don't leave doors or windows wide open for long periods - even while you're at home.

6. Don't leave car keys and wallets beside open windows or doors - car keys are being targeted by thieves.

7. Engage deadlocks when you leave the house - so that thieves cannot carry items out through your main doors.

8. If you can't arrange for someone to collect your mail when you're on holiday, ask the post office to hold it until you return. Also, attach a 'no advertising material' sign to your letterbox so it doesn't overflow.

9. Consider installing motion activated external lights, home alarm and security camera systems - all good ways to deter thieves.

10. Tell your neighbors if your home is broken into - then they can remember to be extra careful and alert to report any suspicious activity to police.