Home security tips for festive season
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.