Car Break In Prevention Tips

Car break in being attempted.

Having your car broken into definitely flips your day. Unfortunately, car break ins occur every year in Australia. According to the Crime Statistics Agency Victoria, 18,097 vehicles were reported as stolen in 2014.

In some cases, break ins can be prevented if a vehicle owner follows some very standard and simple security tips. Do what you can to avoid falling victim to criminal activity and opportunistic vehicle thieves. To help vehicle owners throughout Melbourne, we’ve compiled some very easy to follow tips that can help prevent your vehicle getting broken into.

Hide Your Valuables

Hide your valuables like wallets, phones, headphones, portable speakers and portable navigation systems. If they can be seen from the outside, these can attract opportunistic thieves. If they see nothing worthwhile, they may move on figuring that it won’t be worth the effort.

Lock Your Car Doors

Lock your car doors when you’re leaving your car. As simple as it sounds, there are people that choose to never lock their car doors, thinking “it’ll be right”. Unfortunately, opportunistic thieves often depend on this, looking for vehicles with relaxed owners that choose to not lock up their car. We’ve often heard cases where people have had their valuables or car stolen, simply because they never lock their car. Don’t give thieves the opportunity to pinch your valuables or vehicle by keeping it locked up.

Check and Close Any Open Windows

An open car or truck window makes an easy target for thieves. With an open window, a thief could easily lean in and grab what they want or unlock your door and grab even more, potentially including your vehicle. While it may be tempting to leave a window open if you’re in rush a rush or want air flow in the heat, is it really worth it to risk your valuables and your car? A bit of heat or fifteen seconds saved is a small thing to endure compared to the agony of losing your possessions.

Block or Tint Your Car Windows

Tinting and blocking your windows is effective to stop thieves looking into your car and seeing what they could steal. A dark legal tint on your windows can obscure outside vision significantly. A sun visor can be useful, along with curtains and similar. Curtains in motor homes are particularly useful for protecting against unwanted attention.

Don’t Leave Your Car Keys in the Car or Ignition

Car keys sitting on your chair, on the dash or in the ignition is incredibly tempting for vehicle thieves. If they spot these, they know that they’ll be able to start and drive off with your car if they go through the effort of breaking in. Car thieves that are just after a joy ride won’t care if they just have to deal with a broken window. Prevent the temptation by hiding your extra keys or better yet, just take them with you.

Install a Security System

A security system and immobiliser can deter and stop thieves in the act. Some of these security systems include decals that you can place on your car windows, providing an effective visual deterrent to opportunistic thieves. Newer vehicles generally include an alarm and immobiliser. Many older vehicles can be fitted with a security system to suit. Some security systems can send an alert to your mobile device if an alarm condition, such as a broken window, is detected. Hidden switches or “kill switches” can be implemented that must be switched on for the vehicle to start, helping slow down and stop car theft attempts. GPS tracking systems are also available which can provide you with the location of your vehicle in the worst case situation of your car being stolen. Speak to a trusted auto electrician and vehicle security product supplier about what is possible with your vehicle.

Why a Portable or Cheap Safe May Not Be Worth It

A high quality safe verses a cheap portable safe.

Having a safe can be a great benefit towards protecting your valuables in your home or business. This can help provide access to only particular trusted people, help protect the contents from fire damage and of course, help protect against burglars.

While safes can be a fantastic investment, ideally you should make an educated decision when obtaining a safe to suit your needs and what you’re protecting. A cheap safe could have numerous problems that make it far easier for thieves to break into and less resistant to fire or moisture.

In this article, we’re covering security elements to keep in mind when you’re looking to acquire a safe to protect your valuables. As always, get professional advice – an expert can advise you on a quality safe to suit your property and what you’re protecting.

Is the Convenience of a Safe with Wheels Worthwhile?

We’ve seen scenarios where a business gets burnt having obtained a safe with wheels for the convenience of being able to move the safe into position. Generally, the safe only gets moved once into position and then lives there for the rest of its life. That initial portable convenience isn’t doing much for the business but for any burglars, it’s extremely convenient. In one case, burglars moved the safe into a workshop area and used the business’s own tools to cut open the safe.

If you’re purchasing a safe to protect valuables at your property, chances are you may not be moving it any time soon. Even when you’re initially moving it or decide to move it later on, there’s heavy duty trolleys and professionals that can help you move it. Consider a safe that will be difficult for anyone malicious to remove or access. Some safes are made to be fitted into floors or bolted into place.

Get a Safe Suited to Your Needs and the Contents

Not all safes are created equal. Cheap safes generally are just that – cheap. Thin metal, low quality locks and terrible seals are just some of the disadvantages cheap safes can include, making things far easier for any burglars.

When selecting a safe, get a quality safe that’s suited to your requirements. If you’re looking to protect storage drives and other digital material, consider a data and media safe. If you want your safe to be resilient to fire, look at a fire rated / resistant safe. There’s numerous types of safes designed for securing jewellery, guns, depositing cash, use in a hotel environment, use in an office, being hidden in the floor or a wall, being resistant to burglary and many more use cases.

Use a Multi-Layered Approach to Security

A high quality safe can be a fantastic addition to your security. A safe won’t ward off every security problem though. Alongside a safe, implement additional enhancements throughout your property and your security practices.

CCTV installed throughout your property can be a powerful deterrent and can help with finding the criminals if a break in as to occur. Access control systems and intercoms can help with managing who can enter your property, along with logging what time they are accessing your property. Security alarm systems can be very effective if a criminal does break in, disorientating them and alerting anyone in the vicinity or connected to the security network that a breach has been detected.

External of improvements to your property, consider how the actions of you, your staff and / or your family could be bettered on a security front. Loose lips sink ships – as exciting as it could be to talk to people about your new safe and what you keep in it, avoid doing so. The same goes for discussions about the security systems around your home or business.

If you’re a business owner in Victoria, check out the Business and Commercial crime prevention resources and tips from Victoria Police. Included is information about preventing the theft of laptops and other electronic devices, environmental design towards improving security and many other useful tips and resources.

Complement a high quality safe with effective security strategies and you’ll be doing a lot to protect your valuables and your home or business.

5 Common Areas of Your Home Where Burglars Look First

Burglar looking through common areas in a home.

Experiencing a robbery at your home is a nightmare that we all want to avoid. According to The Crime Statistics Agency Victoria, Victoria Police recorded 30,941 residential burglary offences across the state in the 12 months up to March 2015. Preparation can go a long way towards stopping any opportunistic thieves and making any robbery efforts incredible difficult and unfruitful.

When reviewing your home security, consider not just ways to keep thieves out but also how to make things very difficult for them if they do get inside. To help you with your security improvements, we’ve compiled a list of 5 of the most common areas where burglars will look first once they’re in your home.


Entranceways along with areas and containers near doors are often first for a burglar to search. That could be inside your house or just outside. Some home owners and renters choose to leave their house key under pot plants or the door mat for convenance. Leaving your key in obvious places would make it far easier for a burglar to obtain access to your home.

Once inside, your car keys hanging up or in a drawer near the front door could be easy pickings for a burglar, ultimately leaving you without a car.

Living Room

Burglars most likely will perform a quick sweep of your lounge room to grab as many valuable items as possible. Burglar s are less likely to go for the big items like TVs and instead go for smaller electronics and valuables like laptops, phones, tablets, watches and jewellery.

The Master Bedroom and under the Mattress

The master bedroom and almost any bedroom can be a target for burglars. Bedrooms are where people often keep their jewellery, watches, medication and various valuables.

The mattress is also a common area that burglars search in people’s homes. People often hide things under their mattress, from valuable jewellery to significant amounts of cash. Unfortunately, we’ve heard quite a few experiences about people falling victim to thieves grabbing what’s under their mattress.

The Bathroom Cabinets

Bathroom cabinets and in particular, the medicine cabinet are a go-to for thieves. Pharmaceuticals stolen can be sold on the black market.

The Office or Study

Do you have a home office or study? Thieves often search these rooms, aiming to pick up cash and easily portable electronics like laptops, phones, tablets and headphones. Personal documents may also be targeted by some thieves.

In Conclusion: Outsmart the Burglars

Find the balance between good home security and enjoying your home. Implement a range of powerful deterrents and security measures throughout your property to keep thieves at bay. These can include access control systems, CCTV, alarms, high quality locks and even a faithful dog. If thieves do get inside, make things difficult for them. Don’t necessarily leave your valuables in obvious places and install good locks on drawers where appropriate.

6 Home Security Tips for Older Australians and Seniors

Two older Australians using security tips to secure their home.

For many older Australians and seniors, retaining independence and living at home is important. Feeling safe in your home and having help easily accessible is important. To work towards improving your safety around home, follow these 6 home security tips for older and Australians and seniors.

Light Up Entrances to Your Home

Lighting up entrances to your home can be a very effective deterrent for criminal activity. Make sure every entrance to your home and buildings The last thing many criminals want is to be lit up in plain sight while they’re attempting a break in. Complement this with other forms of security like CCTV and criminals won’t be keen about being easily visible and recorded.

Use Quality Secure Locks

Implement high quality secure locks on the doors and windows throughout your home. A high quality lock can make a big difference towards stopping opportunistic thieves. A high quality lock can require intricate specialised tools to break and in most cases, criminals may not have the tools or skills to pick these locks.

Personal Alarms

Personal alarms are easy to wear devices that can be used in case of an emergency, such as a fall or if you notice any active criminal efforts in your home. Some personal alarms can also detect if a fall has occurred, providing extra care assurance for yourself and peace of mind for your loved ones.

CCTV and Security Alarms

CCTV and security alarms are fantastic additions towards securing homes for older Australians and with that, any home owners. CCTV and visible wall mounted alarms create a deterrent to ward off criminals. CCTV can help apprehend people involved in criminal activity towards your home.

Secure and Easy to Use Access Control

Make your home security with easy to use access control systems. Digital keypad locks on doors remove the need for a key. Various systems allow you to track when someone entered your property and you can even set schedules for when the gate to your property will be open. Schedules can be useful if you have carers and cleaners visiting at certain times of the day.

Get a Consultation from a Security Expert

If you’re looking to take your home security a step further or want many of these tips performed for you, consider a consultation from a security expert. Use an Australian licensed security technician and consultant that has significant experience in the industry. Our team at Twenty First Security have been helping home owners throughout Melbourne for over 33 years. We can advise and install security measures suited to your property and needs. If you’re interested, send your enquiry or call us on 1300 315 522 to start improving your home security.

6 Tips To Secure Your House While Selling It

Real estate agent with house buyers and article title.

The process of selling your house can be a huge effort. You want to make this process as easy and trouble free as possible for you and your potential buyers. As part of that process, you’ll want to think about the security, privacy and safety of your property. Something like a theft or injury is the last thing you need.

Before you have any prospective buyers visit, follow these 6 tips to secure your house while selling it. These tips aim to help you reduce the risk of a theft, injury or other unneeded circumstances.

1. Hide Valuables

Hide, remove and lock away any small valuables throughout your home. Depending at what stage you are of selling and moving out, consider removing as many appropriate valuables as possible. This can reduce the risk of any opportunistic thefts. If you’re having an open house inspection, your real estate most likely won’t have the time to follow everyone around either.

2. Remove Family Photos

Remove your family photos from throughout your home to protect the privacy of your family.

3. Remove Prescription Medications

Remove and lock up any prescription medications before any showings. Like your valuables, you want to keep these safe.

4. Show Your Home by Appointment Only

Be aware of unexpected visitors. Only meet with people by scheduled appointments. If you’re using a real estate agent, make sure your real estate agent is present.

5. Make Your Home Safe for Visitors

Before you have any prospective buyers visit, make sure to remove any dangerous objects or tools and fix anything that someone could injure themselves on.

6. Perform Housekeeping After Viewings

After each open house inspection or viewing, go through your house and make sure all windows are closed and locked, the taps are off and any appliances or the stove have been switched off. Prospective buyers might check out these parts of your house to ensure they work before buying.

By following these 6 tips to secure your house while selling it, you can help protect your belongings and the privacy of your family. If you’re using a real estate, check with them too as to what they advise you to do before and after any inspections from potential buyers.

Why Padlocks Have a Tiny Hole at the Bottom

Padlock with a tiny hole at the bottom.

Chances are you may have used a padlock, whether for your home or workplace. Have you ever noticed a tiny hole at the bottom of some padlocks? These pinholes may not be the most obvious thing but they serve an important purpose. We’re going to explore why these small holes on padlocks are so important.

What Does the Tiny Hole at the Bottom of a Padlock Do?

The pinhole at the bottom of a padlock works as a drainhole. Most often padlocks are used outdoors and can be exposed to the elements. These pinholes allow water to drain from the lock and helps prevent the internal components from rusting. Additionally, draining the water from locks in freezing cold environments helps stop water building up and freezing the inside. This can cause the internal mechanisms to seize until it thaws or severely damage the lock as there’s no room for expansion.

Another use for the small hole on the bottom of padlocks is to insert lubricant. Is your padlock is becoming difficult to open or can it not be opened at all? Insert the appropriate quality lubricant into the hole, let the lock stand for a bit and then attempt to open the padlock. Repeat the process if need be. Remember to check the manufacturer specifications regarding what lubricant they recommend for your padlock.

Do All Padlocks Have an Extra Hole at the Bottom?

Not every padlock has a hole for drainage and lubrication but many do. Some padlocks also have holes for drainage and lubrication on their sides, rather than on their base.

There are high quality weatherproof padlocks on the Australian market that are sealed in different ways to deal with the elements. Depending on your requirements and the level of protection you require, speak to your locksmith about a quality padlock to suit your needs.

4 Maintenance Tips for Your Locks

Man using a lock and performing maintenance.

Locks can be a straightforward yet highly effective method of protecting your property. Whether on a gate, door, window or container, they’re an option we recommend in many cases.

Did you know though that locks need regular maintenance? Keeping your locks maintained helps stop them sticking and maintains their resilience to the elements. Lock maintenance can also improve the life of keys, as you can turn a key with lot less pressure if the lock works well.

We’ve compiled 4 easy to use tips that you can apply to keyed locks throughout your home, business or organisation. Action these to keep your locks running well for longer.

Clean out the Dust

Dust are dirt can get into a lock. As the dust builds up, it can degrade, slow and jam the internal mechanism. A small brush, toothbrush or cloth can be used to first remove any dirt while you avoid pushing any into the keyhole. The dust can be cleaned out of the keyhole and shackle (if a padlock) by using a can of compressed air. Do not place the compressed air can straw directly within the keyhole as these cans can release moisture. Moisture inside a lock can potentially damage it overtime and require more maintenance.

Lubricate Regularly

One of the best things you can do for a lock is to lubricate it regularly with an appropriate quality lubricant. Lubrication can clear dirt from the internal components, protect them against corrosion and get your key turning easily again. Avoid using any petroleum-based lubricants as these can attract dirt and clog up your lock. Depending on the lock type, a particular lubricant could be best. Check with the manufacturer / supplier of your lock as to what lubricant they recommend. In many cases, a dry lubricant that isn’t an oil is recommended.

Many manufacturers recommend that you clean and lubricate a lock every 6 to 12 months.

If a lock is in extreme conditions, such as considerably dusty or corrosive environments, then you should increase the regularity of your lubrication routine to 3 months.

Protect Your Lock from the Environment

The constant bombardment from the elements like dust, rain and salt water can deteriorate a lock. Use a lock that is appropriate for the environment that it will live in. Corrosion-resistant locks exist on the market which can be great for marine, outdoor and dusty environments. Dust covers can be effective for some keyholes, if a cover can be fitted appropriately. If using a padlock attached to a chain, raise them off the ground so that the padlock isn’t in the dirt.

Go Easy on the Keys

Keys, like a lock, require some care and consideration too. Keys are often made with a soft metal like brass, thus they could be damaged with force or wear down over time.

If you now have to forcibly turn your key to open a lock, it most likely could be time to lubricate the lock. Many people experience a night and day difference once they properly lubricate a lock, restoring it to its original state where the key opened it easily. If you continue to forcibly turn your key, it could twist or break your key. This could be particularly annoying if part of your key breaks and gets stuck in the lock.

If even lubricating the lock, your key is still tough to turn, then it could be time to replace your key. The soft metal of keys can wear down overtime. Having spares that can be recreated can be useful to keep a reasonably original key in a good state, thus easily opening your lock when you need to.

Do I Need a Water and Dust Resistant Security Camera?

Water and dust resistant security camera during rain.

Installing security cameras is an effective step towards protecting a property. When installed at a business, home or not-for-profit, cameras are powerful deterrents to criminals engaging in theft or malicious damage.

Cameras are effective at warding off criminals and capturing footage of criminal activity. To improve their effectiveness, they should be optimally installed to record an appropriate area, resist malicious damage and also be able to resist the elements.

If any of your cameras are indoors, they should potentially be well protected against UV rays, rain, dust and moisture, depending on your environment. Cameras in dusty indoor environments, like some manufacturing facilities, can benefit from featuring a dust resistant rating.

If your security cameras are placed outdoors, you’ll want them to be weatherproof or waterproof and potentially dust proof as well. A security camera with a good IP rating will provide protect against water and dust.

Keep in mind that even if a camera is placed under cover, like under an awning or verandah, then it can still potentially be susceptible to dust or moisture. Rain coming in at an angle is something to be cautious of too. If any UV rays hit the camera throughout the day, you’ll want to be sure it’s made to withstand UV.

What Do IP Ratings Mean?

IP Rating stands for “Ingress Protection Rating”. This determines how protected a device is from water and solids getting inside it.

For security cameras, the IP rating is represented by two numbers following IP. The first number is the protection against solid and the second number is the protection against water.

The higher the IP rating number, the greater the protection.

For example, the first number being 6 means that the device is rated to be dust-tight, so not dust will get in for 2 to 8 hours. The second number being 6 means it can withstand a strong jet of water, like a non-damaging pressure washer. Alternatively, if the second number was 7, this means it can also withstand being submerged underwater at 15cm to 1m, for up to 30 minutes.

What Do IPX Ratings Mean?

Sometimes you will find a camera rated as IP6X, IPX7 and similar. The X indicates that the solid or liquid IP rating was never tested or provided.

Getting More Advice on Water and Dust Resistant Security Cameras

Properly installing the appropriate rated security cameras boosts their longevity and reliability. The last thing you want during criminal activity is for your security cameras to fail due to dust or water.

If you’re looking for more advice to suit your unique situation, speak with a qualified, licensed and experience security product installer, like the team at Twenty First Security. For over 33 years, we have installed a range of high quality weather resistant security cameras for businesses, not-for-profits and individuals throughout Melbourne Victoria. We know what works well in the Australian environment, installing quality products for our customers that protect them for years and years. If you want security cameras that are made to handle Australian conditions, then get in touch with the experts at Twenty First Security.

Why Durability Is Important for Security Products in Australian Conditions

Durable camera outdoors in rain weather conditions.

Australians are not foreign to intense weather conditions. From hail to scorching summers, these not only affect us but also affect the equipment and buildings we use.

Even in Melbourne, the elements can be formidable. Intense rain storms, hail, wind and sunlight batter everything is in their path. It doesn’t help sometimes having multiple seasons in one day.

These intense weather conditions degrade equipment and structures overtime. UV from the sun can cause the deterioration of plastics and coatings. This can be accelerated with rain, hail, wind and sudden temperature changes. If the weather is intense enough, it could destroy equipment and infrastructure there and then.

Ultimately, you want your security systems to last and remain effective for as long as possible. When installing or having a new security system installed, keep in mind the merits of protecting the equipment where possible, along with using quality components.

To Protect Your Security Equipment, Consider the Following:

  • Use security products tested for Australian conditions. An experienced and licensed Australian security technician will be able to advise you what products do and don’t work in Australia.
  • If installing cameras, locks and other equipment outdoors, use products made to endure the outdoors. IP rated cameras exist on the Australian market that are resistant to water and dust. UV resistant cables and conduit can protect and significantly extend the life of cabling. Locks can be rated to endure corrosion from the outdoor elements.
  • Be cautious of cheap DIY security products made overseas. Sometimes these are not made to deal with the rain, moisture or UV, thus can degrade and fail very quickly.
  • Get your new security system professionally installed. Save yourself the hassle and time of installing a security system yourself by using a licensed professional. An experienced professional can install an appropriate durable system to suit your needs, using quality components and methods that protect the overall system from the elements and malicious damage.

Keep in mind that the physical durability may not be the only factor towards the longevity of a security product. Some more intricate security systems, like alarms and access control systems, may require firmware/software updates overtime to protect against the latest threats.

With the proper care and thought given during selection and installation of a security product, complemented by appropriate maintenance, your security system could last a long time.

Are you considering installing security devices to protect your Melbourne-based home or business? Get quality advice and assistance from the qualified and licensed security experts at Twenty First Security. With over 33 years of experience, we can help you with implementing the best security products to protect your property.

Property Security Tips for Rural Homes around Greater Melbourne

Property security tips with rural homes around Greater Melbourne.

Living in rural and more remote areas can be fantastic. You’re surrounded by nature with a lot of space and privacy to savour. Plus, you could even have some livestock, depending on your location.

Like any property, security is still important. Rural properties can be at risk of theft and malicious damage, given their potentially remote and secluded nature.

If you’re living in one of the more remote and rural areas and satellite cities / towns surrounding Melbourne, like Sunbury or part of the Yarra Ranges, then these tips are for you. These tips can also apply to rural businesses, such as farms and supply yards.

Place Lighting on Entrances and Exits

Lighting fitted to entrances and exits of your property, gates or buildings can illuminate criminals and deter them. Plus, these can help you with visibility at night time.

Motion sensor security lights can be very effective for deterring criminals and alerting people to intruders. Solar powered options exist, as do wired versions. Motion sensor lights can be great for alerting neighbours to someone entering your property if you’re away. They can also be energy efficient at points, as they only come on when they detect motion. Find out more about motion sensor security lights.

Install Security Cameras

Security cameras are a very effective feature that deter criminals and can also capture footage, which could be provided to police in the event of criminal activity.

Solar powered security camera options exist that work well in the Australian environment. These are useful if you have a large property where installing power cables could be difficult and expensive.

A wide range of security cameras exist on the market today. These include IP cameras, which connect to the internet and can allow remote access. Low light cameras can capture footage at night.

Use High Quality Locks

A high quality lock goes a long way. Make sure all windows and doors throughout your home, any external buildings and gates have quality locks fitted where appropriate. Locks are a great deterrent and can stop a thief there and then.

Depending on the conditions your property experiences, consider using locks that are made to withstand harsh weather conditions and corrosion. Locks are also available that include protection for the shackles against cutting and components that reduce the ease of picking the locks.

Get Help from Your Neighbours

If you have neighbours that you get along with well and trust, you could ask them to keep an eye on your property while you’re away. Automated security sensor lighting could help here if they can see your property from a distance, alerting them to anyone visiting your property.

Don’t Leave the Bins Out

If you’re going to be away for some time, don’t leave the bins out on the street. Empty bins left out for some time can indicate that nobody is home, potentially encouraging thieves and criminal activity. If the rubbish does need to be taken out while you’re away, ask friendly and trusting neighbours if they can put the bins out out and/or bring them back in.


Living rurally has great perks. Fresh air, nature and lots of space. Whether you’re living rurally or in a city, keep in mind though the value of having good security measures in place to protect your property. From quality locks, to security lighting, to cameras and friendly neighbours lending a hand, to even not leaving the bins out – all of these measures can help protect your property from malicious damage and theft.

If you’re looking to improve the security of your property but not sure where to start, speak with a qualified and licensed security product provider and technician in Australia. The skilled and licensed team at Twenty First Security are here to help homes and businesses throughout Melbourne, with over 33 year of experience behind us. Get in touch with us to discuss the security needs of your property.