Preventing home burglaries

How to prevent home burglaries and what to do if your home is broken into.

Key crime prevention tips

To prevent your home being broken into:

  • secure the property
  • secure valuables
  • make it look like someone is home when you are out or away
  • make it harder for thieves to get in without being seen.

Burglary prevention checklist 

Secure the property 

  • Lock all doors including:
    • the internal and external garage doors
    • windows
    • gates
    • sheds
    • pet doors
    • skylights
    • other access points.
  • Lock your mailbox.
  • Remove any spare keys hidden outside your home. Do not leave keys in window locks. 
  • Install deadlocks on all external doors and windows. Remember to unlock the deadlock when you are inside, so you can get out if there is a fire. 
  • Install a peephole (door viewer) to see who is at the door. 
  • Install a security screen door, monitored alarm system, cameras, and sensor lighting.
  • Do not leave items at the door. 
  • Leave out a dog bowl or lead, even if you do not have a dog. 
  • If someone knocks on the door, make a noise to show you are inside. 

Secure valuables

  • Install a safe to store valuables. 
  • Install GPS trackers/tags on vehicles such as cars, motorbikes, and quadbikes. 
  • Keep tools and ladders locked away so thieves can't use them to access your home. 
  • Backup computer data. 
  • Install a 'find my' application on devices such as phones, computers and tablets. 
  • Keep valuables away from windows. 
  • Record serial/model numbers and photograph any valuable items.
  • Mark your valuables with 'V' followed by your driver's licence number i.e. V123456.
  • When you buy new items, don't leave boxes on the nature strip. This lets thieves know what you have inside. 

Make it look like someone is home when you are out or away

  • Cancel any newspaper subscriptions. 
  • Ask a neighbour to collect your mail (including junk mail), or have your mail diverted. 
  • Ask a neighbour to take out and bring in your bins.
  • Ask a neighbour to occasionally park their car in your driveway. 
  • Ask a neighbour to mow your lawns and maintain your garden. 
  • Set timers to turn on lights, the radio, and/or TV at appropriate times. Consider varying the time these turn on and off. 
  • Install a video doorbell to remotely interact with someone who rings the doorbell.
  • Do not advertise your holiday plans online. Do not upload holiday photos until after your return.
  • Consider getting a house-sitter. 
  • Turn down the volume on your telephone so thieves cannot hear it ringing. 

Make it harder for thieves to get in without being seen

  • Make sure your house is visible from the street. 
  • Cut overhanging branches and trim shrubs back to make it harder for thieves to hide. 

Other things you can do

  • If you are going away, register your absence from residence on the Service Victoria website
  • Make it easy for police to find your house by making your house number easily visible from the street. 
  • Get to know your neighbours. They may recognise unusual activity when you're out. 
  • Join your local Neighbourhood Watch group.

What to do if your home has been broken into

If you have been burgled: 

  • Do not confront the thief. Get out or find a safe place. 
  • Do not touch anything. 
  • Call your insurance company. 

Report it

For emergencies, to report a crime in progress, or for immediate police attendance, call Triple Zero (000).

For non-emergencies, call the Police Assistance Line on 131 444 or report online at Police Assistance Line and Online Reporting.

You can report anonymously to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Additional support

Your local police station can connect you to counselling and support services. 

Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal

You may be eligible for financial help through the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT).

Help can be for counselling, medical expenses, and loss of earnings.

VOCAT does not provide compensation for lost or damaged property. To apply visit Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal.

More information

For more information:


Download a printable checklist:

Preventing home burglaries checklist – print only version
PDF 95.08 KB
(opens in a new window)