Home se­cu­rity tips for the holidays

Lesotho Times - - Property -

IT’S that time of year again when fam­i­lies take a break and head out for an an­nual hol­i­day. Be­fore you go, here’s a check­list that you can use to make sure your home is se­cured over the holidays.

1. Check and re­view house­hold in­sur­ance

Check that your house­hold in­sur­ance is up to date and re­mains valid for the time you are away

You should also check for any ex­clu­sions that may ren­der the pol­icy void, for in­stance, would you still be cov­ered if you were away for more than a cer­tain num­ber of dates and if you should no­tify your in­surer of a hous­esit­ter.

2. Ask some­one re­li­able to check in on your home every now and then

Not ev­ery­one has the fi­nan­cial means to hire a house-sit­ter but we all have neigh­bours and friends.

Pro­vide them with your con­tact in­for­ma­tion and give them a key so they can take in the post or gain ac­cess to your home if there’s an emer­gency.

3. Store im­por­tant doc­u­ments and valu­ables safely

You can keep these in a se­cure place in your home or de­posit them in a bank. 4. Se­cure all win­dows and doors Take a tour around the house to en­sure that all the win­dows are se­cure and that all the doors have been locked. Fit ground floor win­dows with locks and make cer­tain that all ex­te­rior doors have dead­bolt locks.

You can add ex­tra se­cu­rity to a slid­ing door us­ing a dead­bolt or wooden dowel which can be placed in the groove of the door tracks. It won’t stop bur­glars from shat­ter­ing the glass, but it will make this a less de­sir­able en­try op­tion.

5. Make sure that there are no no­tice­able signs that your home is un­oc­cu­pied

Be­fore leav­ing, mow the lawn, re­move wash­ing from the line and take in the refuse and re­cy­cling bins.

Ad­vise your local neigh­bour­hood watch that you’ll be away so that they can help keep an eye on your prop­erty. Never leave the keys to your home un­der a door­mat or plant pot out­side.

Hav­ing cur­tains drawn through­out the day may ap­pear sus­pi­cious, so leave them ex­actly as you would when you’re at home. Make sure any valu­ables such as lap­tops are not vis­i­ble from the win­dow.

Give the im­pres­sion that your home is oc­cu­pied by in­stalling timer switches that turn the lights on and off. They are in­ex­pen­sive and easy to op­er­ate. Some can even be pro­grammed re­motely us­ing a smart­phone app.

Con­sider in­stalling mo­tion-sen­si­tive lights on your prop­erty, and if you have these, make sure all the bulbs work be­fore you leave. 6. Test your se­cu­rity sys­tem Test your home se­cu­rity alarm and mon­i­tor­ing just be­fore you go away to make sure that it’s work­ing prop­erly.

Be sure to call your se­cu­rity com­pany to in­form them that you’ll be away, so that any alert gets taken se­ri­ously im­me­di­ately.

7. Avoid dis­cussing hol­i­day plans with strangers

Like­wise, don’t post de­tailed plans of your hol­i­day on so­cial net­work­ing sites such as Face­book and Twit­ter. And never leave an an­swer­ing ma­chine mes­sage in­di­cat­ing that you’re not home. Rather say that you can­not take the call at that time.

If you are fly­ing, don’t at­tach the la­bels to your lug­gage un­til you get to the air­port check-in. — Prop­erty24

NOT ev­ery­one has the fi­nan­cial means to hire a house-sit­ter but we all have neigh­bours and friends. Ask them to keep an eye on your prop­erty.

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