With Summer well on its way residents are heading outdoors to entertain in their gardens or on patios and heading to parks to take in the great weather.
Charnel Hattingh, National Marketing and Communications Manager Fidelity ADT, says while now is the perfect time to be outdoors, residents shouldn’t become complacent about security.
“We see an increase in doors and windows being left open at this time of year which sadly creates the perfect opportunity for criminals to easily gain access to homes,” she says.
The lead up to the festive season is typically a time when there is an increase in the number of house and armed robberies.
“Criminals often take advantage of times when the family is home preparing for lunch, dinner, or hosting a party or a braai. The fact that someone is home does not scare off criminals because they know during these times residents are the most relaxed and least security conscious. The noise of cooking, TVs and kids playing can help conceal criminal activity. More importantly, criminals also know that at these times the alarm is generally not activated.”
She offers the following security tips:
- If you keep doors and windows open, make sure they are protected by burglar bars or safety gates. Make sure the safety gate is kept locked at all times.
- Activate your alarm and bypass areas of your home that are being used, while keeping your outdoor detection beams armed to warn you of anyone entering your property.
- Be mindful of warning signs that something may be amiss, like uneasy pets or noises not consistent with the situation.
If you plan on heading out to the local park for a gathering be sure to firstly, lock up your house properly, and secondly, be vigilant and mindful while at the park.
“Have your security provider’s number on speed dial and if you become aware of suspicious individuals don’t hesitate to call for help. Also make sure you don’t take high-value items such as flashy jewellery, laptops and so on with you. If you intend to, then keep them out of sight. Make sure you have eyes on your children at all times,” she adds.
When entertaining at home, consider a casual guard to keep an eye on the property. “Although no one wants to have to think about security when they are having fun, the reality exists that criminals are aware that social gatherings generally mean easy pickings and easy targets.”
“Sometimes the mere presence of a security guard is enough to deter would-be criminals. We do see a lot of opportunistic crimes when guests are entering driveways and a proactive guard presence can do much to minimise this threat. The guard can watch over your premises and vehicles while your guests enjoy the party,” she says.
Guards are highly trained and equipped with a panic button which is linked to the monitoring centre. “This gives the guard, and therefore you, access to immediate armed response whenever necessary.”
“Let’s ensure that we enjoy the outdoors while remaining mindful of our security,” Hattingh concludes.