Se­cur­ing one’s home

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

The in­creas­ing rise in crime tak­ing place is a wor­ry­ing devel­op­ment for Cyprus. Most of those thefts are tak­ing place from drug users in their ef­fort to se­cure their dose or even trade in them. It is a wor­ry­ing sit­u­a­tion be­cause those thieves are get­ting more dar­ing with thefts tak­ing place in broadf day­light and even worse when the res­i­dents are in their home. Most of those thefts are based on in­for­ma­tion given as an in­side job, ei­ther from in­house for­eign (mainly) help, as well as from oc­ca­sional work­ers that are un­der­tak­ing jobs within the house. Be­cause of this, I have pre­pared a ba­sic “to do” list in or­der to pro­tect your prop­erty, es­pe­cially for those house own­ers who are away for long pe­ri­ods, be it for hol­i­days, etc. since these thieves in­spect the house prior to the “visit” to as­cer­tain who lives in them and if va­cant.

Place safety locks (known lo­cally as the Amer­i­can Locks) which are dif­fi­cult to break. Do not leave the key on the door once locked.

In­stall a se­cu­rity door rather than a wooden/alu­minium one.

If you have alu­minium win­dows/doors,

place the new locks which are dif­fi­cult to undo. The old locks get un­locked very eas­ily.

If you are away, close the cur­tains and leave a light on, so that the “vis­i­tors” can­not take it for granted that the house is empty.

Fence your prop­erty to the ex­tent that you can and lock the gate to the plot.

Place light sen­sors around the house, so that when there is move­ment dur­ing the night the lights come on (it might cost you higher elec­tric­ity bills, but it is well worth it). If you have a safe, in­stall it in the con­crete floor. Adopt an alarm sys­tem (nowa­days a must) and if your house is on two floors and you sleep up­stairs, place the alarm on the ground floor dur­ing the evening. The alarm must be on when you are away. The new gad­gets with re­mote con­trol are most use­ful.

Let the po­lice know that you will be away, say over 3-4 days, so that they have it in mind.

Should you choose to place cam­eras, it is ad­vis­able that they will not put off the thieves nec­es­sar­ily, but can be use­ful af­ter the event.

Avoid leav­ing lad­ders and other ma­te­ri­als fa­cil­i­tate the thieves’ climb­ing a higher level.

Use an in­ter­phone to con­nect with the en­trance gate, prefer­ably with a cam­era and place at least an “eye” on the out­side doors.

If you are away and you neigh­bours tell them about it.

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Adopt a large dog that must be out­side the house. Do not adopt vi­cious ones since the ef­fort is to pro­tect your prop­erty and not nec­es­sar­ily cause bod­ily harm to un­in­vited vis­i­tors. If you are away, ar­range for some­one to feed the dog. Ideal guard dogs are Al­sa­tians.

Let your neigh­bour­hood po­lice­man know if you are away (alas, doubt­ful of their ef­fec­tive­ness since they do not work af­ter 11.00 p.m.!)

If you have an alarm sys­tem make sure that the se­cu­rity com­pany has a name and tele­phone num­ber to con­tact if you are away.

Do not give the house key to peo­ple who work in the house, e.g. clean­ers, work­ers, etc. and do not place a key un­der the en­trance mat.

Do not leave your home key in the car when tak­ing your car for re­pair or car wash.

If you are away, con­nect your home phone to your mo­bile and do not use an an­swer­ing ma­chine say­ing that you are away.

These “things to do” should pro­vide home own­ers some com­fort and se­cu­rity and this ar­ti­cle is not in­tended to scare the read­ers. As we say in Greek “look af­ter your clothes so at least at the end you are left with half of them”. Most likely you will not ex­pe­ri­ence this, but as said be­fore, cir­cum­stances are chang­ing.

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