February is the month of love, and what better way to celebrate it than to prioritise the safety of your loved ones.
Charnel Hattingh, National Marketing and Communications Manager at Fidelity ADT, says a good place to start is to make sure everyone in your household knows exactly what to do in case of an emergency.
“People understandably panic when there is an emergency making it difficult to think rationally and clearly. Sit down with your loved ones today, and talk to them about who they should contact. Make sure they have the correct contact numbers for the police, your neighbourhood watch, your security company, or your closest hospital saved on their phones.”
Assessing your property and doing a thorough check to rule out any vulnerable areas should also be on the to-do list.
“We suggest talking a walk around the property to look for anything that could help an intruder access and exit the property easily. Are there low-hanging tree branches that can be used to climb over a fence or wall? Inspect the locks on perimeter gates and garage doors – are they in good condition, or can they be broken with some force? Be on the lookout for anything that can be used to force entry. And if you have an electric fence, when last did you test it,” says Hattingh.
Inside the house, she suggests that window and door locks must be checked regularly. “It is important that outward-leading doors, and windows, are locked from the inside when no-one is home and overnight. Regardless of the time of day, keep curtains or blinds drawn in a way that makes it difficult to see in from the outside. And, never leave valuables – or keys – anywhere that they can be seen or reached from a window.”
If there is a home security system installed, she advises that it is regularly tested to ensure that it is in proper working condition when it’s needed most. “Test your alarms and beams at least once a month out of peak times. If you are unsure of how to do this, contact your security company.”
Lastly, if there is any reason to believe that there is an intruder on the property, Hattingh’s advice is to never go outside to investigate.
“Make sure that everyone in the household knows that they must immediately call the police or your security company. Try to remain on the line with them until officers arrive, and only venture outside once they indicate that it is safe to do so.”
“Let’s enjoy this time of showing our love by being security conscious and getting our homes in order,” she concludes.