With the risk of a break-in or home invasion on the rise, there’s ways to protect your castle.

Anyone who has ever experienced a break-in or a home invasion will tell you the house feels dirty. Everything feels touched, you are looking over your shoulder, feeling invaded and angry.

With home break-ins (or as the law calls them – unlawful entry with intent) up ten percent across Queensland for the past year, experts warn home security should be top of mind in the lead up to the Christmas season.

Many break-ins still occur when people are at home says Community Safety and Crime Management senior sergeant Kim Jackson. “Opportunistic crimes are most often the case. People might even be at home and not locking doors or using the security they have,” snr sgt Jackson says.

But Snr sgt Jackson says there are several basic measures that can be taken to keep your home safer.

“If people are going away we encourage them to contact their local police and advise them when they’re away and provide a contact phone number. We also encourage people to have a clear line of sight to the house as it ensures intruders can be seen. Give your house a lived-in feel using lights or talk-back radio on a timer, have a car parked in the driveway and have your mail held or collected.”

Bunnings Warehouse national safety buyer Kelly Merry suggests a number of products for securing the home. “The Swann Window Wireless Alarm RRP$11.25 is easy to install, no tools required and detects the vibration of a window during an attempted forced entry. A piercing 110-decibel siren provides a strong deterrence against intruders,” Merry says.

“The Arlec Themmis Stainless Steel Dual Halogen Sensor Light RRP$74.90 features a motion activated infrared sensor – wiring must be installed by a qualified electrician.” Or the Swann Dome Imitation Camera with Flashing Light RRP $15.87, which is “quick and easy to install, the imitation camera is a visible deterrent by giving the impression a surveillance camera has been installed. A nifty way to keep strangers away!”

Jack Ryan of Amplimesh says “people don’t want to spoil their view. If they have a large sliding door you don’t want to have all the grills on the front of the home.” But Amplimesh offers fine, marine grade stainless steel screen doors from $750.

The options for security systems are vast, but a reliable starter package will cost around $500-$600 for a monitored system, says Thornton Security’s Adam Thornton. “Basic systems consist of a key pad with a pin code to turn the system on and off.” Two types of detectors are available including a passive infra-red (PIR) detector or dual-technology system which incorporates PIR and movement sensors.
“The latest can be iPhone controlled and developments are underway for voice activation,” says Thornton.

As a security minimum, Nick Reed of H.A. Reed Locksmiths advises home owners should install double cylinder deadlocks to doors, as well as hinged, lockable windows. Home safes are also popular and options range from around $300 for a 40kg fire proof safe to $1000 for a 100kg version.

Spend a moment to think about your security but also consider your exits in case of fire.