Keep your home safe this sum­mer

Lesotho Times - - Property -

ALTHOUGH some types of crime have de­creased, sum­mer is the worst time of the year for break-ins, with re­search by Yale show­ing that in­door bur­glar­ies in­crease by at least 10 per­cent in this sea­son, and out­door bur­glar­ies by 41 per­cent.

So you may want to take some ex­tra pre­cau­tions over the next few months to keep your fam­ily and pos­ses­sions safe.

Take ad­van­tage of some rel­a­tively in­ex­pen­sive tech­nolo­gies that can be linked and added to as your bud­get al­lows. Th­ese in­clude:

A good bur­glar alarm, as its shriek will of­ten be enough to send would-be bur­glars run­ning. It can also be linked to an armed re­sponse ser­vice and your neigh­bour­hood watch net­work.

Se­cu­rity lights, which are also strong crime de­ter­rents be­cause bur­glars and robbers usu­ally pre­fer to op­er­ate in dark­ness. It is also rel­a­tively easy to rig ad­di­tional out­side lights with move­ment sen­sors so they will put in­trud­ers “in the spot­light”, and pos­si­bly also trig­ger your bur­glar alarm.

Timers on ex­ist­ing out­door lights, and even in­door lights, so th­ese will come on at night even if you are out or away. Th­ese handy and easy-to-use de­vices can also be used to turn the TV or ra­dio on and off to give your home that lived-in look, even if you don’t have a “smart” home se­cu­rity sys­tem that you can run from your cell phone.

Another form of se­cu­rity sys­tem that’s great, for big­ger prop­er­ties es­pe­cially, is the in­fra-red perime­ter beam that helps you de­tect in­trud­ers be­fore they even reach the house.

Such beam sys­tems can be linked to your alarm sys­tem and will be set off when a beam is in­ter­rupted by some­one pass­ing through it.

Mean­while, de­vel­op­ments in CCTV tech­nol­ogy mean th­ese sys­tems are now also widely avail­able to home­own­ers, and can be linked to your cell phone so you can see and cap­ture ad­di­tional pho­tos of in­trud­ers, even if you are not at home.

You should also make a check­list of what needs to be done to ac­ti­vate your se­cu­rity sys­tems. By glanc­ing at this each time you leave home to visit friends this sum­mer, or set off on hol­i­day, you can rest as­sured you won’t miss any­thing.

“For added peace of mind, it’s also re­ally help­ful to have good com­mu­ni­ca­tion with your neigh­bours. You can agree to keep an eye on each other’s prop­erty when one of you goes away, and share con­tact de­tails so you can let each other know if any prob­lem arises. Even bet­ter, you could start a neigh­bour­hood watch or­gan­i­sa­tion,” he says.

Mean­while, some­thing you re­ally must do if you have re­cently moved, or will be mov­ing into a new home this sum­mer is to change the locks on all the gates and out­side doors. Re­search shows that 75 per­cent of new own­ers do not do this, even though it rep­re­sents the most ba­sic threat to se­cu­rity.

Just think about how many peo­ple might have keys to the front door of a 20- or 30-year old home!and fi­nally, although it might seem ob­vi­ous, many peo­ple need to be re­minded not to put mes­sages on their an­swer­ing ma­chines ad­ver­tis­ing the fact that they are on hol­i­day –– or to openly post pic­tures and up­dates on so­cial me­dia while they are away. You never know which “friend” of a friend might take this as an invitation to drop around –– and help them­selves to your be­long­ings.

— Prop­erty24

Se­cu­rity lights are a strong crime de­ter­rent be­cause bur­glars and robbers usu­ally pre­fer to op­er­ate in dark­ness.

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