One of my close friends had his house burgled last night.
They took most of the items of value that he owns – including his daughter’s brand new tablet she’d received for her birthday.
He’s not a wealthy guy. They didn’t have much, but what they had was stolen.
This made me think about how we can protect our own belongings.
Insurance. Please insure your belongings. Organise contents insurance, or house and contents insurance if you own your property. You can’t get your possessions back, but insurance will help a little.
Serial numbers. Take photos of the serial numbers of your electronic goods, and as you obtain replacements, photograph the serial numbers of those too. You’ll find the serial number on the bottom or back of your items usually, and a quick photo is all it takes to a) prove you owned the item in the first place and b) prove an item is yours if recovered.
Seriously, it takes ten minutes. Then upload the photos of the serial numbers to your off-site email or drop box. That’s all you have to do.
Engrave your belongings. The moment my friend was burgled, I got online and ordered an engraving tool for less than $20. That’s all they cost. When it arrives I’ll engrave my laptop, stereo and so on with my name and mobile number. My laptop will be engraved in bold on the lid, so anyone who sees it can immediately tell who it belongs to.
By engraving our belongings, we make them virtually unsaleable.
Deadlock the doors. If you haven’t already, install deadlocks on your doors if you own your property. Ask your landlord to install deadlocks if you rent. Sure, a thief might break a window to get in, and there’s not much you can do about that, but if you have deadlocks you’ll stop them walking out the front door with your belongings!
Lock all garden sheds where tools are stored. One of the hottest stolen resale items is power tools. They’re easy to steal, and easy to sell. Make sure you keep garden sheds and garages LOCKED.
Report suspicious behaviour. If you see something suspicious in your neighbourhood, report it to the police.