Coverage for life events and family asset protection
Having security installed at your home can act as a precautionary measure to protect you against burglary and theft. Installing security can prevent an intruder coming into your home when unattended. Some options include;
- Key-operated two-cylinder deadlocks fitted to all external hinged doors
- Key-operated lock or patio bolts fitted to all external sliding doors
- Key-operated single cylinder window locks fitted to all accessible windows
- Security grills or security screens fitted to all accessible windows
- Local or monitored burglar alarm system installed in the home
In addition to these measures, here are some easy steps to help make your home safer;
- Always lock all outside doors and windows when you go out, even if you are only going to be away for 10 minutes.
- Lock your external garage or garden shed with a quality key-operated lock or padlock.
- If you go out at night, leave some internal lights and a radio on.
- Trim trees and shrubs around windows.
- Do not leave keys hidden outside your house.
- If you are in the garden or watching TV, lock up parts of the house you can't keep an eye on.
- Lock away ladders, garden tools and bicycles.
- If you have a lot of jewellery, valuable documents, cash or other negotiable items, consider installing a safe and alarm.
- Never leave notes for people telling them you are out and when you will be back.
The most common entry points for a burglary are the garage, followed by the bedroom and kitchen. Make sure:
- Garage doors and windows are closed when you are in another part of the house and secured and locked when you are out.
- Windows and sliding doors in bedrooms and the kitchen are closed and properly secured when you are away from home.
Here are some precautions recommended to protect your family and your home:
- Make sure keys to all locked doors are readily accessible if you have deadlocks fitted.
- Make sure each and every window and door can be quickly opened when required.
- Install an adequate number of suitable smoke alarms and test them regularly. Don't forget to replace the battery in each smoke alarm at least once a year.
- Have a written escape plan in case of fire and practise it regularly.
- Never leave cooking or any other open flame unattended.
- Never smoke in bed and take extra care if consuming alcohol while smoking.
- Store all flammable liquids in purpose-designed containers.
- Fit a fire extinguisher in the home.
- Regularly clean the lint filter of your clothes dryer.
- In winter take extra care when using heaters, electric blankets or open fires. Do not exceed the manufacturer's recommended use by date for electric blankets.
- Don't overload power points. Switch off appliances when not in use.
- Always keep lighters and matches away from children.
- Keep emergency numbers in a visible place and educate all members of the family how to call for help and escape from fire.
Bushfires are frequent in Australia with many of various sizes and impact occurring each year. In 2011 alone, bushfires caused of $86 million dollars worth of damage to properties around Australia according to figures from the Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department.
If bushfire threatens your home here are some precautionary steps.
Preparing your home
- Regularly clean leaves from gutters and fit quality metal leaf guards. Screen vents on roof voids with fine metal wire mesh.
- Keep woodpiles and other flammable materials well away from the house and covered.
- Keep your lawn short and the backyard tidy, free from any build up of flammable material.
- Consider purchasing a portable pump to use from your swimming pool or water tank.
- Turn off gas and power.
- Close all doors and windows and block gaps with wet towels or blankets.
- Move flammable curtains and furniture away from windows.
- Notify a neighbour, friend or the local authorities of your new address.
- A portable battery radio, torch and spare batteries; water containers, dried or canned food and a can opener;
- Matches, fuel lamp, portable stove, cooking gear, eating utensils; and
- A first aid kit and manual, masking tape for windows and waterproof bags.
- Wear protective clothing such as enclosed shoes, wool or cotton full-length clothing for protection, a hat and gloves. Close all windows and doors.
- Have eye and breathing protection.
- Ensure all family members and pets consume enough water to prevent dehydration.
- Ensure that someone has notified the fire brigade by ringing 000.
- Do not under any circumstances leave the house while the flame front moves through.
- You can go outside and extinguish any spot fires in gutters etc.
- Beware of any electric power lines that may have dropped on the ground.
- If you cannot extinguish the fire move all family members to a burnt out area.
- If you have to leave your home because the fire has left it unsafe, protect the fire site from any further damage by weather, theft or vandalism. Do not leave the site unsecured.
The most common form of flooding in Australia is the flooding of rivers following heavy rainfall. Another major form of flooding is the overflow of drainage systems in urban areas, particularly in heavily populated areas. According to the Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department, in the last two years, over $450 million worth of damage has been caused by flood, making it one of Australia’s largest causes of natural disaster.
If you live in a flood prone area, here are some precautionary measures as recommended by Emergency Management Australia.
If you need to evacuate
- Notify a neighbour, friend or the local authorities of your new address.
- Turn off power, water and gas and take your mobile phone.
- Pack warm clothing, essential medication, valuables and sentimental items in waterproof bags, to be taken with your emergency kit.
- Move furniture, clothing and valuables onto beds, tables (electrical items highest).
- Lock your home and take recommended evacuation routes for your area.
- Don't drive through flooded ground.
- Stay tuned to local radio for updated advice.
- Don't allow children to play in, or near, flood waters.
- Avoid entering floodwaters.
- Stay away from drains, culverts and water over knee-deep.
- Don't use gas or electrical appliances which have been in flood water until checked for safety.
- Don't eat food which has been in flood waters and boil tap water until supplies have been declared safe.
Cyclones are frequent visitors of Australia between November and April. Cyclones mainly affect coastal areas north of Perth along the WA and NT coasts, most of the QLD coast and occasionally the far northern NSW coast.
Here are some precautionary measures as recommended by Emergency Management Australia:
- Before the cyclone season, check with your local council if your home has been built to cyclone standards.
- Check that the walls, roof and eaves of your home are secure.
- Trim treetops and branches well clear of your home (obtain council permission).
- Fit shutters, or at least metal screens, to all glass areas.
- Clear your property of loose material that could blow about and possibly cause injury or damage during extreme winds.
- In case of a storm warning or other flooding, know your nearest safe high ground and the safest access route to it.
- Prepare an emergency kit to take with you and keep a list of emergency numbers on display.
- When a cyclone watch is issued, fill your car's fuel tank. Ensure that your family members know where is the strongest part of your house.
- Listen continuously to your local radio/TV for further warnings.
- When the cyclone strikes, disconnect all electrical appliances. Listen to your battery radio for updates.
- Stay indoors (unless you are asked to evacuate) in the strongest part of the building, i.e. cellar, internal hallway or bathroom. Keep evacuation and emergency kits with you.
- Protect yourself with mattresses, rugs or blankets under a strong table or bench if the building starts to break up.
- Drive carefully as roads may be filled with debris.