Getting things in order ahead of the festive season is the best way to avoid the last-minute rush and resulting mishaps.
“Every year there is an increase in incidents of house and vehicle break-ins just before the festive season and we are already seeing this trend. Not only that but we also see incidents throughout the season so it’s important to get your security in order, to take certain precautions and get organised,” says Stuart Clarkson, managing executive for Fidelity ADT.
He offers these top 10 security tips to get you started:
- Ensure that your alarm is in working order. December is traditionally a busy period for security companies so homeowners should test their alarms at least three weeks before going on holiday and should the system require servicing this should be arranged as early as possible.
- Ensure there are no gaps in your fence or unintentional points of access to your home which may need additional security.
- Connecting outdoor lights to timers and motion sensors act as an additional deterrent.
- Two weeks before you leave for your holiday, advise your security company of your holiday plans. Should an incident happen while you are away, it is essential that they have the following updated information:
- all keyholder information
- details of domestic workers, gardeners or housesitters who may be staying on the property while you are away
- Inform your neighbours and Neighbourhood Watch of your holiday plans so that they can keep an eye on your property while you are away.
- Stop all newspaper and other deliveries (if applicable) and arrange that someone collects your post while you are away – a bulging post box is a clear indication that you are not home.
- If you have hired a housesitter, teach them how to use your alarm system correctly.
- Make sure that all bushes or trees close to your doors and garage are trimmed, to avoid the possibility of intruders hiding behind them
- Be discreet when packing your car – do so behind closed doors, if possible in your garage.
- Do a quick once-over before you set off. Double check that you have locked and secured all windows and doors – sliding doors can be secured simply by placing a piece of timber cut to size in the sliding rail. Don’t leave ladders, spades or tools outside as these can be excellent break-in tools. Ensure that cell phones, valuables and remote controls for automatic gates and garage doors are not left lying around.
“The festive season should be a time of relaxation and giving, so don’t let security be a concern. If you get organised early, you can head off with peace of mind,” concludes Clarkson.