With the Easter break just a few weeks away, now is the time to make sure your home security is in tip top condition, says Theunis Kotze, General Manager ADT Inland Region. “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,” he says.
He urges residents not to leave their security checks until the week before Easter but to rather get things in order now. “The problem arises when residents leave their checks until the last minute and then need technical repairs done. Parts need to be sourced if they are not readily available and there are only a certain number of technicians available to do the repairs. I strongly urge residents to get their ducks in a row early to avoid last minute stress,” says Kotze.
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 security provider and a resident if no-one can get into the property to assist when a resident is away on holiday, for instance.”
Kotze 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.
“Let’s ensure this is a safe and enjoyable Easter period for us all,” he concludes.
Additional security tips for holiday makers:
- 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 neighbours 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 neighbour 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.