En­sure your house is safe this hol­i­day

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

IF YOU have sur­vived the re­ces­sion, still have one or two rands in the bank and were not one of the for­tu­nate few who have just had a hol­i­day, the chances are you are now plan­ning a Christ­mas break away from home.

This will prob­a­bly en­tail lock­ing up and leav­ing your home – but be­ware, De­cem­ber and early Jan­uary are the time bur­glar­ies and break-ins pro­lif­er­ate.

“Ask any po­lice sta­tion how they feel about the fes­tive sea­son and you are likely to get a rather sour re­sponse,” says Lan­ice Stew­ard, MD of Anne Porter Knight Frank. “At this time of the year bur­glars seem to ap­pear from nowhere.”

Stew­ard ad­vises hol­i­day­mak­ers to start check­ing on the se­cu­rity of their homes at least a week be­fore they leave.

That ev­ery se­cu­rity light is work­ing.

That the bat­ter­ies in the alarm sys­tem are in tip-top con­di­tion and con­nected to an ef­fi­cient charger.

That the perime­ter beams, con­tacts, lights and elec­tric fenc­ing are op­er­a­tional and are not be­ing in­ter­fered with by branches or plants.

That elec­tric con­tact points on doors and win­dows are clean and func­tional – they can of­ten rust or come loose.

That the au­to­matic ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem in the gar­den has all its heads in­tact and that th­ese are un­clogged. It is al­ways dis­heart­en­ing to re­turn to find that a part of the gar­den has died through lack of wa­ter.

That a trusted friend will visit the home ev­ery three to four days.

Stew­ard warns: “In­sur­ance com­pa­nies will ei­ther not pay or re­duce their pay­ment if they find that the alarm was not ac­ti­vated at the time of the in­tru­sion.”

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