The Easter long weekend and school holiday is just around the corner. It should be a time of fun and spending quality time with the family, not worrying about your home and possessions.
Whether you are staying at home or going away over the Easter long weekend, ensuring your home is secure should be a priority on your to-do list before the weekend approaches.
“We often see a spate of opportunistic crime over the Easter holiday period. These crimes are not always traditional house break-ins while residents are away but also include driveway hijackings and robberies, and break-ins while residents are entertaining or sleeping in their homes,” says Peter Kruger, district manager (Coastal Outlying) for Fidelity ADT.
“The first and most important step is to ensure that your alarm is in working order. Like all household appliances, your alarm needs to be tested regularly.”
Getting your security in order also includes making sure your security provider has access to your property in the event of an emergency.
“If you don’t have an access solution in place, such as a lock box for example, speak to your security provider about what your options are. There is nothing more frustrating for a resident if no-one can get into the property to assist when a resident is away on holiday, for instance.”
He adds that parents who need to leave children at home during the holidays should educate them on security and what to do in an emergency.
“Make sure your kids are aware that they need to keep all entry and exit doors locked and that no-one is to enter the home without your permission. If you have a home security system installed teach them how to activate and de-activate it and how and when to use other security devices like panic buttons. Make a list of important telephone numbers – including the 10111 number – and show them that it has been placed near the telephone for use in emergencies.”
He encourages parents of teens to lay down some basic rules to ensure their safety while at home alone.
“Make sure your teens understand that if they are having friends over they need to talk to you about it first. Teens should also be conscious of security when hanging around outside the gate or in the street. Criminals won’t hesitate to take advantage of a gate standing open. If they are heading to a mall or public place, they need to make sure that they have proper plans and are in a group,” he advises.
Here are a few additional tips to help alleviate any security risks to your family and property.
- Cut back any bushes or trees that may offer easy access over walls or gates to your property or provide places for criminals to hide.
- Inform your neighbors and Neighbourhood Watch of your holiday plans so that they can keep an eye on your property.
- If hiring a house-sitter, ensure that you teach them how to use your alarm correctly.
- If you don’t have a house-sitter, ask a neighbor or a friend to turn on lights occasionally so that there is a sense that someone is around. If this is not possible, consider putting your outside lights on a timer.
- Double check that you have locked and secured all windows and doors before leaving home.
- Turn off your geyser and any unnecessary electrical appliances so you can save on electricity and be environmentally friendly.
“You can then feel assured that your security provider will do the best job possible to keep your home safe while you are away. Let’s all work together to make sure the Easter bunny is the only visitor in your garden this Easter,” says Kruger.