The number of renovation projects in Australia is expected to rise by 3.2 per cent this year, 2.4 per cent next year and 2.5 per cent the following year, according to the Housing Industry of Australia.
This means that more home-owners will have tradespeople coming in and out of the home and it can be difficult for homeowners to keep an eye on things or notice if something goes missing.
Darryn Bull from ADT Security provided a few tips to keep your home and valuables safe: “Make sure valuables such as jewellery, laptops, credit cards and identity documents such as passports are locked away safely. Close off rooms that don’t need to be accessed during the renovation period; these can be useful storage spaces. Avoid leaving building materials or appliances unattended on site by coordinating deliveries as close as possible to their installation times. Seek recommendations and check references before contracting builders and trades. Be home whenever possible to meet trades as they arrive and pack up for the day. This avoids the need to leave keys with multiple people to access the property. Encourage your neighbours to report any suspicious activity. Install a monitored alarm system with live streaming cameras around the home to keep an eye on the renovation’s progress. Cameras help to deter unwanted visitors too, and have the ability to view live video or saved security recordings from a smartphone, tablet or computer,” he said.
Some home security systems also allow you to remotely lock and unlock your home’s doors and remotely arm and disarm your system, so you don’t have to share keys or passcodes.
It isn’t just the inside your house that is potentially attractive to thieves. Building materials, especially copper wire and pipes and brass fixtures and fittings can be resold for good prices.
Ensure any electrical items and fittings such as sinks are locked up. Talk to your tradies to find out what they plan to do with their tools overnight.
You also need to check with your insurer who is responsible should those tools get stolen (your insurer should know you are renovating in any case). Finally, once your renovation is finished, consider changing your locks. Even if you trust your contractor, someone they work with could easily make a copy of your keys.