Suburb Security Spotlight: The Worst Streets in Auburn, Sydney for Burglaries

It is an unfortunate fact of life that some suburbs, and some streets, are more prone to property crime like burglaries than others. Heck, it’s unfortunate that there are any burglaries in the world! It is impossible to completely escape crime, and there is little point trying to do so … but it does help to be prepared for what your area is like. This way you can confidently implement security measures like backto base alarm monitoring, CCTV camera systems or special locking devices and know that they are worthwhile. Today we turn the suburb security spotlight Auburn in Sydney, and find out where it is all happening.

 

Break and Enter – Dwelling

There are relatively few areas of Auburn that are untouched by dwelling break-and-enters, making back to base alarms a solid investment.

 

The worst areas in Auburn for break and enters of dwelling are:

  • The streets bordered by Railway St at the south, the Tooheys factory to the west, and Bachell Ave to the east.
  • The streets surrounding the Auburn Hospital, bordered by Vaughan St to the south, Park Road to the west, and Olympic Drive to the east.
  • The streets surrounded by Parramatta Road to the north, St Hillier’s Rd to the east and Rawson St to the west
  • The South Granville area

 

Break and Enter – Non Dwelling

Businesses located in the commercial break and enter hotspots in Auburn should have extra security measures in place. Make sure you implement safety measures like back to base alarms, smash proof windows and a non-tiled roof which cannot become an entry point.

 

These hotspots are less active than the residential break-and-enters in Auburn, but still significant:

  • The area surrounding St Josephs Hospital
  • The area surrounding the railway station at Lidcombe
  • The area to the northwest of Auburn surrounding Parramatta City Raceway

 

Malicious Damage to Property

Damage to your property can be significant for businesses, but is uncommon for normal residences. The hotspots for this type of crime in Auburn are:

  • The area surrounding Lidcombe railway station, including several streets past Olympic Drive to the west, to around Kerrs Rd to the south.
  • The streets bordered by Parramatta Road to the north, St Hillier’s Road and Park Rd to the east, Wellington Road to the south and Clyde St to the west.

 

Steal from Dwelling

This type of crime is almost identical to the Break and Enter – Dwelling type of crime, but it means that a homeowner has left an entrance point for the burglar so that they didn’t need to smash a window or force a door.

 

There are significant hotspots for this type of crime around Lidcombe train station and around Auburn train station, with the Auburn station hotspot extending up to Parramatta Road in the north, mostly bordered by Park Road in the east and the streets surrounding the botanic gardens in the west.

 

If you live or work in any of these hotspots, it is especially important that you talk to Pacific Security Technology about back to base alarm solutions, and potential extras such as CCTV or high tech locking devices.

 

5 Important Things ‘They’ Won’t Tell You About Installing Monitored Alarm Systems!

We all know that often the marketing hype for products often fails to live up to reality. Those ‘healthy’ fat free snacks turn out to be full of sugar, there is a tiny disclaimer on the bottom of an advertisement which says “Results May Vary”, or you discover that the only place that a product is ‘the highest quality available’ is in the opinions of the salespeople. Today we go beyond the marketing hype for home alarm systems, and look at the things that security salespeople would usually conveniently ‘forget’ to warn you about. We’re doing this not because you shouldn’t get a home alarm system, but because you should be fully informed before you do so.

Your Installer and Monitoring Company Don’t Have to Be the Same

You have free choice of the entire market when setting up the monitoring part of your home alarm system! That’s why we offer no contracts for security monitoring – we aim to keep your business by service, not by ‘force’ through a contract.

There Might Be Extra Charges for Phone Calls

Depending on your particular alarm and its security protocol, you might have an additional expense of phone calls for back to base monitoring. Some alarms use your fixed phone line to ‘check in’ with us, even if the alarm hasn’t been activated. It’s actually a good precaution that allows us to identify any problems with your alarm before they actually threaten your home or your family. The cost for these calls will vary depending on your carrier.

You’ll Need Extra Hardware for Some Phone Carriers

If your alarm is a data dialer, you may need a central filter installed for the alarm to be able to dial with some phone carriers. This is fairly easy for us to arrange at Pacific Security Technology, but just something to be aware of if you change phone companies.

Changing the Battery is Not Like Changing a Light Globe!

Your backup battery should last a minimum of 2 years. However, when it needs to be changed, your alarm will go off when you open up the panel – this is a security measure to prevent tampering. Some alarm systems require a licensed security company to change the battery. Some have an ordinary supermarket battery, some have a specialised alarm battery. Sometimes you require an installer code to change the battery. It is often easiest to call us if your battery has gone flat – we can let you know the best course of action for your particular alarm!

You Should Buy a Recognised Brand

Unknown brands may not only offer less protection because of compromised build quality, but you may be stuck with one or two home alarm system companies that are able to monitor it and replace the batteries. Then, if you happen to move outside their service range or you become disappointed with their business, there’s a chance you’ll have to have a new system installed.

Home alarm systems are a fantastic investment in your family’s safety, a way to get discounts on insurance and peace of mind for when you’re on holidays. However, you might say that they are ‘only human’, and certainly have their quirks … which we like to be honest about!

 

Fight or Flight? What to Do If You’re Home During a Break-In

For females, the elderly and the ill, the fear of being home when a burglar breaks in is very real. These physically vulnerable members of society know that people will sometimes act desperately to avoid going to jail for burglary … and they may be seriously injured as well as their most important things being stolen. If it ever comes to the crunch, you’ll need a plan of action. Today we help you decide whether ‘fight or flight’ is the best option, if you happen to hear footsteps when you’re home alone …

Plan in Advance

There are hundreds of ways you can better protect yourself BEFORE somebody breaks in. Once they are in you house, there is very little you can do. The most essential actions to take are:

Installing a back to base alarm: There’s no need to be worried about your personal safety if you know that there will shortly be a big, burly person with expert physical protection skills along to help you!

Having your back to base alarm monitored: Research shows that most passers by ignore a flashing or wailing house alarm, either because they don’t want to put themselves in danger (understandable) or because they think it is likely to be a false alarm. Having your back to base alarm monitored is the most important step in protecting yourself.

Installing window grates, security chains, deadlocks etc: A security chain is a small but worthwhile investment, even in a rental property. Window grates and deadlocks are also essential to keep you safe.

Buy a Dog: Dogs are fantastic for personal safety, even if they’re quite small! Burglars will think twice about confronting a dog even as big as a blue heeler. Additionally, their ultra-sharp hearing will give you early warning of anybody entering the house who shouldn’t.

What If My Back to Base Alarm Goes Off While I’m Home?

If your back to base alarm is set off by an intruder while you are home, be thankful that you have it! We will phone the premises if it isn’t shut off within 30 seconds. If you don’t answer the phone, it is all systems go at Pacific Security Technology!

If your alarm goes off, don’t answer your phone. It will only let the burglar know that you are home and that you are near the phone. Some may be scared off … some may not be.

What If I Don’t Have an Alarm?

If you don’t have a monitored home security system and are home during a break in, you should:

  • Immediately dial 112 from your mobile phone, which you should keep within reach of you at all times.
  • If it is safe to talk to the operator, let them know what is going on. If the burglar might hear you, simply whisper ‘Help!’ into the phone. Using 112 as the emergency number allows your phone to be tracked via GPS, so you won’t have to give your address.
  • Consider leaving the premises if you can do so safely (for example, by going out your bedroom window). If you can’t consider hiding.

Don’t Try to Hurt Them

If you stab or shoot a burglar as a pre-emptive move, you could go to jail. If it becomes a self-defence situation you would have a legal defence … however, simply using your kitchen knife against an intruder coming round the corner could land you in very hot water.

Staying quiet and getting out of your home is the best solution. And if you didn’t have a back to base alarm before this happened, you know what your first order of business should be when you return home!

Crime in Australia: How Do We Compare?

Australia’s streets are no doubt safer than those of Mexico, South Africa or much of the middle east. Yet 44% of us still fear we are likely to have our homes burglarised (Australian Institute of Criminology). So where does this once former British penal colony rank in terms of personal safety? Today we consider Australia’s crime rate and look at how the laid-back Aussie lifestyle can put us at an increased risk of crime.

 

How does Australia’s crime rate compare to other countries?

Different reporting and recording standards for crimes can make it difficult to accurately assess criminal rates between different nations. In one 2002 United Nations survey (Crime Trends and the Operation of Criminal Justice Systems) Australia ranked 19 in a list of 81 countries for robberies. Spain headed the list, followed by Argentina, the US, South Africa and Mexico.

 

Are robberies on the rise in Australia?

Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that there were 18,000 robberies reported to police in 2007. This represented an increase of 600 over the previous 12 months. Interestingly, young people were more likely to be the victims of robbery and just under half of all robberies took place on a street or footpath. Knives were the most common weapon, used in 20% of robberies.

 

How safe are we in our own homes?

The alarming reality is that household crimes, including car theft, house, garage or shed break-ins or attempted break-ins, pose a significant risk. One in 17 households (6.2%) fell victim to such crimes in the 12 month period leading up to July 2005, according to the sixth national Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) household survey of crime and safety. In total 488,200 households experienced one or more of these selected household crimes. House alarm system’s provide protection against becoming one of these statistics.

 

Fun in the Sun Down Under – a Burglar’s Dream!

It appears our laid-back Aussie lifestyle, full of warm summer nights, makes us prime targets for opportunistic criminals. An AIC report titled A Comparison of Crime in Australia and Other Countries (1990) showed Australians were more at risk of crime than their northern European counterparts. It argued that living in large cities, in detached houses made a burglar’s job easier! Equally the suburban dream may be a security nightmare.

The report also shows many of us travel to work in the city and leave our residential suburbs with little protection and at the mercy of thieves. Coupled with long daylight hours and an enviable climate, Australians having fun at the pub or beach are again subjecting their homes to attack. A house alarm system is like leaving a trained security guard at your house while you go out to play!

Household crimes such as break-ins and theft are a growing concern for Australians but with a house alarm system you won’t need to become a statistic!

Alarm System Monitoring and Australian Insurance Quotes Reviewed

We always hear about how having a back to base alarm can reduce your home and contents insurance, thereby helping the system pay for itself over a set period of time. We are not the type of people that take things at face value at Pacific Security Technology, however, so today we decided to investigate exactly how much difference these things make to an insurance quote! The results are revealed here.

What Makes a Difference to Your Quote?

The security features that make a difference to your quote vary at each different insurer. The three most common features that can increase or decrease your quote are:

  • Whether you have key operated deadbolts on all external doors
  • Whether you have locks on all external windows
  • Whether you have any type of alarm system, whether it’s a back to base alarm or a local alarm

However, other security devices can also make a difference to your quote, including:

  • Whether you have smoke alarms fitted
  • Biometric locks (this made a difference to our tested AAMI quote)
  • Keycard access to your property
  • Whether you have security patrols in your housing complex or apartment block

Our Quote Details

All of our quotes were based on the following details:

  • Contents insurance ONLY
  • House built in 1980 on a concrete slab, made of brick veneer with a tiled roof
  • Located in Parramatta, NSW
  • Owner occupied by a female born on 10th April 1970
  • $500 excess
  • $50,000 replacement value for contents
  • External deadlocks fitted, but windows locks not fitted to every window
  • No previous claims history

How Much Difference Can a Monitored Alarm System Make?

The difference between having a monitored alarm system and not having a monitored alarm system, for a quote with the same company, varies from nothing at all, to a humdrum minor discount, to whopping savings!

The results are below:

Allianz AAMI NRMA Budget GIO
With monitored alarm system 301.74 364.83 291.92 386.00 357.65
With no alarm system 334.89 501.46 367.14 386.00 404.56

Is It Worthwhile Getting a Monitored Alarm System?

Naturally, there is far more value in a back to base alarm system than just in the discounts on your contents insurance. The everyday feeling of peace and security, the potential to not need to pay an excess on insurance claims, and the personal safety of your family all make back to base alarms worthwhile.

In monetary terms though, monitoring can cost around $1 per day ($365 per year); with a potential saving of around $140 according to our quotes. That’s a pretty substantial discount … and makes it a very small price to pay for such peace of mind!

10 Signs That You Have a Fabulous Security Alarm Monitoring Company

There are quite a few security alarm monitoring companies about in Australia … and their quality is as variable as the Aussie dollar on a day-to-day basis! Short of checking out each local security monitoring company by trial and error, how do you know when you’ve stumbled across the best in the business? We look at the 10 signs that you’ve got a security alarm monitoring company worth hanging onto.
1. Security Master Licence Number
Security alarm monitoring companies in every state should be licensed. In NSW, the licence required is called a Security Master Licence Number; if you live elsewhere in Australia, it will be different.
2. Free consultations
It shouldn’t cost you anything to have a security alarm monitoring company give you a personalised consultation on how they can help you meet your security needs. The security alarm monitoring company will have ongoing business for some time if they impress you enough … this is reason enough for any worthwhile company to offer free consultations.
3. No lock-in contracts
Lock-in contracts can be a red flag for poor service in the security alarm monitoring industry. A good company will keep your business through prompt responses to activations and fabulous service, not through the threat of financial penalty.
4. Experience
How much experience do the management and staff have in the security industry? The more experience they have, the ‘merrier’ your security alarm monitoring experience will be.
5. They offer a full range of services
At a minimum, a good security alarm monitoring company will offer sales of your house alarm system, back to base monitoring, and servicing when required. This indicates that they’re familiar with all stages of the house alarm lifecycle, and base their recommendations for you on full knowledge of their products.
6. Emergency call outs available
If you’ve ever had an alarm malfunction because of a freak electrical storm, because the dog chewed the cable or the kids threw a ball at the sensor, you’ll understand the value of having emergency call outs available through your security alarm monitoring company!
7. They take special instructions
If your security alarm monitoring company has the capacity, and the willingness, to personalise your service for events like you going on holidays, you have one of the better ones in the industry!
8. Power monitoring
The best security alarm monitoring companies will also come check out your property if the AC power is cut to your alarm, or in the case of wireless systems, if both the main and backup batteries fail.
9. Training available
A worthwhile security alarm monitoring company is willing to show you how to get the best out of your alarm, how to identify and fix occasional occurrences, how to change zones, how to add and delete passcodes, etc. They shouldn’t require you to call them for every little update.
10. Full range of security solutions
If you decide to upgrade your home security systems later on to include items like intercom systems, CCTV monitoring, or other access control solutions, it is very handy to be able to do this through a single company!

More Home Alarm Monitoring Tips from Real Homeowners – Part 2

Back in the pre-internet Dark Ages, we used to get all of our information from family and friends. And sometimes, if we were really stuck, the library! Nowadays we turn to the internet … but sometimes you long for the simplicity and straight talk of your friends and family, especially when you’re looking for information about something as critical as your home’s security. So today we continue our gems of advice from real homeowners about back to base alarm monitoring.

“House alarms are generally ignored by surrounding people as they don’t want to get involved”

This is vital to remember when you’re considering installing a home alarm system. You can’t rely on your neighbours to be home when your alarm goes off … and you certainly can’t rely on people passing by to call the police! We’re well trained not to call 000 unless it is an emergency, and people either fear for their own safety when getting involved in a tense situation, or they assume that somebody else has already called the police. Back to base alarm monitoring is the only smart solution.

“Won’t the burg sue me if I set up any sort of ‘alarm system’ that will hurt them”

This is a very common question, and there are several points to consider if you’ve thought about simply keeping a baseball bat next to your bed:

  • In every physical confrontation you get into, there’s a real risk that you’ll come out the loser. If you introduce violence, a burglar’s only possible response is violence.
  • Yes, there is a real risk of being sued for actively trying to hurt somebody that has come into your home. There’s the slim but real chance they are looking for sanctuary from something that may hurt them.
  • There are almost no verifiable cases where a burglar has successfully sued a homeowner for accidentally injuring himself in the house.
  • There’s also the possibility that your intruder may die if you physically attack them. Is a television and a few electrical goods worth somebody’s life, and do you want to be the person that takes it … really?

“Can the guards really doing anything, do they have any more authority than the next person?”

Yes, the guards that respond to back to base alarm monitoring calls do have more authority than you and me. Every state has their own version of the NSW Security Master License Number; security is a licensed industry nationwide. In many cases they also have more training, and are selected for physical strength and handling. Guards will detain an intruder that they find on responding to a back to base alarm monitoring call and await the arrival of the police … far better than just letting a thief go!

“Some alarm systems are silent; the back to base alarm monitoring firm gets an alert and comes down to catch the thief in the act”

For those that are worried that by installing a home alarm system they’ll be annoying the neighbours with any false (or real) alarm activations, a silent alarm system is the obvious solution. Back to base alarm monitoring is naturally the only option for silent alarms, though … a thief could be long gone by the time you get home from work, if you choose a ‘self call’ system.

“Sounds like you’ve never been broken into, when you say an alarm isn’t worth it. Just the trauma of the entry into our home and the effect on my family was enough for me. We also had so much irreplaceable stuff stolen”

This is one of the most convincing and inarguable reasons for getting back to base alarm monitoring. Yes, paying the excess on a home and contents insurance claim may be lower than paying for monitoring month to month. But when every minute in your home feels uncomfortable and restricted, and every tapping of a branch on your window at night wakes you up, the service is about more than the money.

In the Brain of a Burglar

You know, it can be hard enough to get inside the minds of our nearest and dearest …  I don’t know how often I shake my head in amazement at the way my family or kids are acting! So obviously it is even more difficult to get inside the mind of a criminal. However, doing just that can greatly add to your home security, going above and beyond even alarm monitoring services to help you make security part of your everyday thinking. Today we get inside the brain of a burglar!
Who is likely to be a burglar?
Burglars actually come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Young people, older people, males and females are all equally likely to be caught by an alarm monitoring service trying to break into a house. Alarm monitoring service intelligence tells us that burglars:
• Often break into houses in familiar territory. These areas might be the routes to work, school or a friend’s place.
• However, they don’t tend to burgle too close to their own houses, because of the risk of being recognised by somebody they know.
• Burglars will often look a little lost in a neighbourhood, or appear out of place. They spend time looking around at their surroundings, or they cruise around slowly by car checking out the area before they strike. However, alarm monitoring services cannot respond to simple ‘suspicious activity’, unfortunately. Even police are fairly powerless to do anything except question, and take names and addresses.
What time of day is best for burglars?
Intelligence from alarm monitoring services firmly dispels the myth that you are more likely to be burgled at a particular time of day. Some burglars prefer to work in the daytime because of the cover of ambient noise, and the likelihood that people are at work rather than at home. Some prefer to work at night time because it is easier whether the house is empty, and because they have the cover of darkness.
How do burglars work?
In the experience of alarm monitoring services that have spent a long time responding to these sorts of crimes, burglary operations usually have the following characteristics:
• People will sometimes knock on a door in advance to see if people are home, and make up an excuse if so.
• Sometimes property will be hidden nearby, and retrieved later. Keep your eye on the street for a while, for this reason; this is where Digital Video Recorders are an excellent addition to alarm monitoring services.
• Stealing to order is a common characteristic. The burglar may already have a buyer for a TV, but not be able to get rid of a stereo – hence the seemingly random nature of items that alarm monitoring services see being stolen.
• Cash is king for the burglar. No issues with serial numbers or getting rid of property. If you must keep cash at home, make sure it is in a safe … thieves have an uncanny knack for discovering hiding places.
What all burglars hate:
Both alarm monitoring services and the police see a lot of failed burglaries where any of the following are present:
• Alarms – especially one that indicate with signage that alarm monitoring services respond to activations!
• Dogs, and signs indicating guard dogs
• Quality locks. Burglars would prefer not to break glass, because of the noise.
• Indications that people are home, such as stereos and lights being on, or having a car in the driveway.
You don’t want to think too much like a burglar …  but it is critical to setting up your home security procedures, and will definitely convince you of the value of alarm monitoring services!

Common Questions About Back to Base Alarms Answered

It’s a lovely feeling to be inside your house, alone, and yet know that there are people outside watching out for your safety and the safety of your belongings. That’s exactly what back to base alarms do; yet many people still resist getting them because of misunderstandings about how they work. We’re aiming to smash down the walls of misconception today – or at least, answer some of the common questions which might be stopping you from getting a back to base alarm!

Aren’t back to base alarms really expensive?
Definitely not! Especially if you look at the figures involved:
• You can get a back to base alarm system installed for around $700-$1000.
• Your lifetime chance of being burgled is about 1 in 3
• A back to base alarm usually puts some pretty hefty discounts on your home and contents insurance, of around $50 to $100 per year
• You can also confidently put the excess on your home/contents policy up to the highest level, saving $100-$200 per year
• If your back to base alarm prevents a break-in being completed, you will have instantly saved yourself the excess amount on your insurance policy – up to $500.
When you look at the potential savings, even top-of-the-line back to base alarms are not particularly expensive.

Okay, isn’t the monitoring service really expensive?
Monitoring costs as little as $1 per day. Monitoring isn’t just the icing on the cake for a home alarm system, it IS the cake. Many passers-by assume that even if an alarm is going off, ‘Somebody is already dealing with it’. Your neighbours may not always be home, and you wouldn’t want to give them any reason to put themselves in harms way, anyway. When you consider that your home insurance discounts won’t be as sizable without active monitoring, you can see how essential it is!

Can’t back to base alarms be hacked anyway?
No. If anything happens to the alarm other than being armed or disarmed in the standard way, your back to base alarm monitoring company will receive a tamper alert, and will attend immediately. Life isn’t like Charlie’s Angels, fortunately!

Will my pets set off a back to base alarm?
No, there are plenty of ‘pet-proof’ models available nowadays. Most of these infra-red equipped don’t cost much more than standard systems.

But you can’t use them at night when you are home anyway…
Actually, by creating ‘ones’ within the home that your back to base alarm covers, it is possible to cover only certain rooms, certain levels of the house, or selected pockets. For example, you could secure the entire house apart from the bedrooms, or the downstairs only.

What if the power goes out?
Battery backup exists on all back to base alarms, and the monitoring company will be alerted if the battery fails also. However, most battery backups are designed to last around nine hours … far longer than the average blackout!
Back to base alarms will pay for themselves in just a few years, in monetary terms. However, in terms of your peace of mind, they pay for themselves instantly. Nothing else will instantly help you sleep better, and feel more free to enjoy your life!

Simplest Ever Ways to Keep ‘Burgs’ at Bay

Unfortunately, the world is full of people that would prefer not to work in order to earn things … full of people that would rather take what someone else has earned than do the hard yards themselves. Some home security measures (alarm monitoring, CCTV cameras, window films etc) take a bit of initial effort to install and then work to protect you for a long time. However, even alarm monitoring can only go so far if you don’t keep home security at the forefront of your mind. Here are 8 everyday ways to keep burgs at bay!

Keep a Secret

Not letting people know what is in, or around, your house that could be stolen is an essential first step in remaining burglary-free. So:

  • Bring your bikes and tools inside
  • Keep your curtains shut
  • Don’t leave the manufacturer’s boxes from new TVs, stereos etc out in the street next to your garbage.

The Illusion of Occupation

Burglars look for times when they are certain people aren’t home to break in – so leave music playing, or a light on a timer that goes on and off, especially if you aren’t home at night when burglars have better cover. Ideally your car will be parked away off the street, so people don’t have that clue as to whether you are home or not to try and test out your alarm monitoring!

Bringing in the Keys

No matter how clever your hiding spot for the spare key is, there’s a good chance that a burglar with a bit of time will find it. Of course, alarm monitoring will ensure that even if they do gain entry, they have little time to do damage … but better safe than sorry!

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)

This is actually a research discipline! Its main concepts include:

  • Removing low shrubs in front of windows
  • Ensuring that tree branches don’t allow access to rooves or upper stories
  • Keeping all entryways visible to the outside
  • Using landscaping and design to clearly define your own space
  • Natural access control using thorny shrubs, rose bushes, high spiked gates, etc.

CPTED is an excellent addition to basic safeguards such as alarm monitoring, CCTV, etc.

Vacation Prep

So, you remembered your toothbrush … but did you catch all of the recommended security points for going on a holiday?!

  • Arrange to have your mail and newspapers collected
  • Leave some appliances on timers to give the illusion of occupation
  • Arrange to have your lawns mowed for an extended vacation
  • Have a neighbour move your car periodically, or park their car in your driveway

Preventive Security

In addition to alarm monitoring, Pacific Security Technology has a broad experience base in home security. Get a thorough security evaluation to help you spot areas that need to be fortified against intruders.