Home se­cu­rity tips for fes­tive sea­son

Lesotho Times - - Property -

WITH the hol­i­day sea­son fast ap­proach­ing, we are left with many de­ci­sions and prepa­ra­tions to make be­fore pack­ing our trail­ers and mak­ing our way to our hol­i­day des­ti­na­tions. En­sur­ing the se­cu­rity of fam­ily and prop­erty is a key pri­or­ity at this time.

Most bur­glar­ies are op­por­tunis­tic and the Christ­mas sea­son pro­vides just the op­por­tu­nity your lo­cal bur­glars have been wait­ing for.

Over the Christ­mas sea­son many peo­ple will go on hol­i­day. Those who stay home are likely to be out shop­ping, so­cial­is­ing and vis­it­ing fam­ily. In ei­ther case, this leaves the fam­ily home at greater risk of bur­glary.

And it’s not just your valu­ables and elec­tron­ics the bur­glars are af­ter — they’re also aware that you might have a se­lec­tion of fab­u­lous Christ­mas presents to steal. So while en­joy­ing the fes­tive sea­son and your hol­i­day, don’t over­look your home se­cu­rity. Tak­ing a few sim­ple pre­cau­tions will help to de­ter all but the most de­ter­mined bur­glar.

Re­mem­ber: l Shut and lock all doors, even if you’re only go­ing out for a short time or gar­den­ing in the back yard.

Close and lock all win­dows — bur­glars don’t like to smash glass. l Do not “hide” keys out­side your home, nor leave them in an ob­vi­ous place near doors or win­dows. l Make sure your valu­ables — in­clud­ing tele­vi­sions and stereo sys­tems — can­not be seen from out­side.

When you buy new items like DVD play­ers or video recorders, don’t ad­ver­tise by leav­ing the empty boxes out for re­cy­cling, turn the boxes in­side out and fold them down. l Hide or lock away pass­ports and of­fi­cial doc­u­ments — iden­tity fraud is on the rise. l Don’t leave car keys near doors or win­dows — car theft through bur­glary is also on the rise. l Con­sider en­grav­ing your prop­erty — this puts thieves off be­cause it makes it harder to re-sell. l En­sure you have an up-to-date list and pho­to­graphs of your valu­ables and keep copies in a safe place.

Homes with good se­cu­rity are much less likely to be bur­gled than those with­out. l Dead­locks make it harder for bur­glars to get out with your goods if they got in through a win­dow. Don’t for­get to put a dead­lock on the in­ter­nal ac­cess door be­tween the garage and the house. l Win­dow locks de­ter bur­glars be­cause smash­ing glass at­tracts at­ten­tion and can leave foren­sic ev­i­dence. l Vis­i­ble bur­glar alarms are a great de­ter­rent — though it’s cour­te­ous to your neigh­bours to en­sure that they shut off af­ter a few min­utes. l Se­cu­rity light­ing is also a good de­ter­rent, but should be placed care­fully near en­try points so as not to dis­turb neigh­bours. l Timers on ra­dios and lights make it look like you’re home when you’re not. l Spy holes and chains on doors let you see who’s there with­out open­ing up.

When you go on hol­i­day l Make your home look oc­cu­pied by us­ing timers on ra­dios and lights. l Can­cel milk, news­pa­per and mail de­liv­er­ies. l Have a neigh­bour stop by to col­lect junk mail, and open and close cur­tains. l Make sure your neigh­bours know where they can con­tact you in an emer­gency and when you will be home. l In­vite neigh­bours to use your drive­way and clothes­line to make it look like some­one is home. l Lock away gar­den tools and lad­ders that could be used by a would-be thief to gain ac­cess to your house. l Make ar­range­ments for fam­ily pets to be looked af­ter. l If you are away for more than a few days, ar­range to have your lawns mown. l Con­sider invit­ing a rel­a­tive or friend to house-sit for you. l Do not post your hol­i­day travel plans on­line. Broad­cast­ing the lo­ca­tion or du­ra­tion of your trip on so­cial me­dia sites like Face­book and Twit­ter can be dan­ger­ous. It may be some­thing ex­cit­ing you re­ally want to share, but be aware that you are bla­tantly telling crim­i­nals, “I’m not home”. l Be wary of peo­ple go­ing door-to-door so­lic­it­ing do­na­tions. This is a com­mon ruse used by crim­i­nals. Ask to see an I.D. that con­nects them with the char­ity. Don’t feel pres­sured to give, trust your in­stincts and never give cash. Call the po­lice if you be­lieve some­thing is not right. — ADT

Most bur­glar­ies are op­por­tunis­tic and the Christ­mas sea­son pro­vides just the op­por­tu­nity.

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