More than two-fifths of Kiwis have been the victim of a break-in, a report by ADT Security has found.
Of the 1013 New Zealand renters and homeowners surveyed by Perceptive Research for the report, 43 per cent said they had their home broken into during their lifetime.
When ADT Security compared this data to the results of its 2014 survey, it found the number of reported break-ins had increased by 34 per cent.
And according to Statistics New Zealand, nearly 18 per cent more break-ins were reported to police in the year to September 2016 than in the previous year.
Ben Clement, a spokesman for ADT Security, said Kiwis' relaxed attitudes to home security could be contributing to the spike in break-ins.
"The warmer weather is a time when many people open up doors and windows to cool down the house.
Yet, open doors and windows can also be an open invitation for burglars, so it is important to remain vigilant and try to reduce a home's appeal to thieves."
Half of the 2016 survey respondents admitted to leaving windows and doors unlocked and nearly a third said they hid a spare key outside their house.
In addition to those who reported break-ins, 37 per cent of people surveyed said they had items stolen from outdoor areas on their properties.
Clement said Kiwis needed to be vigilant to prevent themselves from becoming victims of burglary.
"Security can often be reactionary with many people only considering home security after an incident. With such high burglary rates, we are urging New Zealanders to be proactive about their home security rather than waiting until it is too late."
He recommended Kiwis ensure they locked their windows and doors before going out or going to bed, locked their sheds and garages and performed a security audit every six months.
A five-step security audit
1. Walk around the home from front to back checking every area for security loopholes
2. Cut back hedges and fix the fence to keep burglars out and eliminate hiding spots
3. Install motion sensor lights at each entry point to the home as well as the garage
4. Check all window and door locks are secure and consider upgrading security screens
5. Consider installing a monitored home security system, ideally with remote access