By Anja van den Berg
For most of us the holidays mean spending more time with family and friends, seeing new places or just relaxing somewhere else. However, for criminals this time signals the opportunity to break into homes.
Don’t let the anticipation of a well-deserved holiday blind you to the risks of leaving your home unprotected. Taking precautions before you leave will keep your home and belongings secure while you’re gone so that you won’t come back to the horrible reality of a house robbery. Here are a few suggestions:
- Inform your security company
Make sure your alarm is working by having it tested at least a week before you go away. Jarred Horn of Fidelity ADT advises: “Tell your security company that you’re going away and inform them if anyone will be staying at your property – such as a family member, a house-sitter or a domestic worker.”
- Create the illusion of activity
Install sensor lights at exit points of the house that will go on as soon as there’s movement on your property. It’s also wise to install timers on some of these lights so they’ll switch on automatically at night. This creates the illusion of occupancy. Horn recommends that you ask a trusted friend to switch on lights, the TV or radio to create the typical noise and light of a regular family night.
- Think like a burglar
Horn recommends that you think like a burglar when you check for ways to enter your home. Can criminals use the dustbin to reach the second-storey window that’s open? Are items lying around that can be used to break into your home, such as a hosepipe or garden tools? Keep these locked away and out of sight. A typical point of entry for burglars is breaking in through an unlocked door or window or kicking down the door. These are excellent reasons to install burglar bars on your doors and windows.
- Don’t advertise your departure or publish the dates that you will be gone
It is tempting to post (and boast) about your upcoming trip on social media but avoid the urge. It is easy to forget how many people see your posts. The more people who know your house will be unoccupied, the more you open yourself up to the possibility of a break-in.
East Coast Radio: https://www.ecr.co.za/lifestyle/house-home/home-security-10-things-do-leaving-vacation/
APBCO Brokers: https://www.apbco.co.za/2018/03/23/6-home-security-tips/