Enforcing Effective Security Measures at Home this Festive Season
As many hardworking individuals pack up and leave their homes to take their year-end vacation, many criminals are still hard at work devising strategies to gain their respective Christmas bonuses, bearing in mind homes are probably filled with brand new expensive goods and less presence of residents. Despite recent South African crime statistics indicating that there has been a noticeable drop in home burglaries, it’s better to be safe than sorry this festive season and take the necessary precautions to avoid your home being the next target of something that could have been prevented.
If you do intend on leaving home these holidays, be it just for the day or a significantly longer period, invest in an alarm and surveillance system. If you already have one installed, take the time to test it and make sure it’s in good working order. Make sure you inform your security company that you’re performing this to assess the response of the system at your property and their control room. Although some things don’t stop criminals from taking chances, make sure your security company’s armed response poster is displayed at all entrances of your home. You can also make use of decoys that might steer them away before attempting anything. Do this by adding dummy-cameras in areas visible from outside your property. Sticking a “beware of the dog” sign on your gate can also be deterrent. Electric fencing and outdoor motion sensors can offer a tougher layer of security that is tricky for trespassers to tamper with and bypass. Your security company should offer a vacation watch service where you can simply call in and ask them to patrol your street and check in on your house more frequently until you’re back.
If you don’t already know your neighbors, its best to get acquainted. Security is always good in a tight-knit community, especially one with a neighborhood watch. If you find them trustworthy, let them know you’re leaving home for a while (it’s probably best not to disclose exactly when you’ll be back) and ask them to kindly alert the police and contact you if they notice any suspicious behavior in your absence. You could also ask them to park their vehicle on your property to make it seem like residents are present. If you’re going away for an extended period, don’t make it obvious by leaving your home in a state that looks like it’s unoccupied. Make sure your grass is cut, weeds are pulled and arrange for a neighbor to water your plants and clear your mailbox while you’re away. Make sure that no trees are obstructing your property’s doors and your address is clearly visible should there be a need for police on the scene. It’s important to bear in mind that not all crime is planned and some criminals may spot valuables within reach and impulsively take a chance, therefore, valuables such as laptops and televisions should not be visible through windows and should be locked away or concealed better.
Delude a Presence
Instead of wasting electricity by leaving your lights burning day and night which is also a dead giveaway that nobody’s home, have an electrician set your lights on a timer so that they automatically switch on in the evening and off in the morning. It’s also good to have motion sensitive lights that will automatically activate and attract attention to any trespassers on your property. Another equally bad idea is leaving your radio and TV on. If you want to give a sense of presence, leave your TV on standby and set it to switch on at a certain hour and off at another. If you’re out for the day, decrease the volume of the ringer on your telephone to make sure the continual ringing of unanswered calls go unnoticed by people passing by.
Crime never takes a vacation, so don’t lose any sleep while you’re away and administer the necessary precautions to keep your home and valuables safe this festive season.
Author: Dormehl Phalane Property Group