The festive season is just around the corner and holidaymakers are preparing for a well-deserved year-end break following another busy year. Whether your final destination is the beach, bush or mountains what matters most is that your home remains safe and secure while you’re away.
Statics show that there is a noticeable increase in the amount of home burglaries over December and the months leading up to it. This is because criminals rightly assume that people will be away and that neighbourhoods are quiet over this time, making your home an easy target if it is not properly secured.
It is well worth the time and expense spent to ensure that your home is fully secured this festive season. Follow these simple, preventative measures for peace of mind:
Alert your trusted neighbours or friends of your departure and when you’ll be returning, and make certain that they have emergency contact numbers for you and those travelling with you.
If you have a security company such as ADT patrolling your area notify them of your departure and ask them to keep a close eye on your property during your absence.
Closely inspect the locks and latches on all windows and doors, making sure they are secure and in good working order. Close and lock the windows and doors before you leave, and if possible install burglar bars and security gates as an added security measure.
Remove keys from inside the doors, under the doormats, above the doorframes or other “secret spots”.
An important thing to remember is that insurance policies will often times become invalid should the alarm system not function properly. For this reason check and test your alarm system on a regular basis, and especially before you leave to avoid leaving your home vulnerable and the possibility of a rejected claim. The alarm system should cover all areas of the property for maximum protection.
If you’re in the financial position to do so, install a CCTV system and reliable software that connects remotely to your cellphone or laptop via the internet. Visible cameras will deter criminals and help you keep an eye on your precious home.
It’s a good idea to leave the radio on to deceive potential burglars; however, do not leave out-of-town messages on your postbox, front door or voicemail. Arrange that someone collects and clears all post from your driveway and mailbox. Should you have a newspaper delivering service, cancel that for the period you are away.
Leaving your lights on day and night is a clear indication that no one is home. Alternatively install and set electronic timers on interior and exterior lights so that they turn on and off at appropriate times of day. Good outdoor lighting is a definite benefit; exterior motion sensor lights will switch on when they detect movement and activity which should discourage burglars of entering and alert neighbours to any unusual behaviour.
Increase your home security measures and remain vigilant over this holiday period to avoid the emotional and financial stress of coming home to a burgled house. Taking these simple, preventative steps before you set off will give you the peace of minded needed to relax and enjoy your well-deserved break.