With the long festive holidays around the corner, it is wise to ensure that your home is well secured in case you plan to take a long trip back to your hometown or if your neighbourhood is going to be relatively quiet with most of the neighbours away. Holiday periods are practically heaven for burglars who wait for neighbourhoods to become ghost towns in order to help themselves to people’s valuables or when people are careless and leave their valuables at the mercy of burglars.
Here are a few tips on how to deter robber from picking your home when you are away:
• Burglars look for easy entry points and good escape routes. Don’t leave your curtains open or put sheer curtains over windows giving burglar easy visibility into your home. This also gives them an avenue to plan entry and escape routes.
• Burglars look for porch lights that seem to be on throughout the day and for newspapers piling up on the porch or uncollected mail stuffed into your mailbox. Get porch lights with daylight sensors that switch off in the day and turn on at night. Tell the newspaper man that you won’t be needing deliveries for that particular week. Get a neighbour to collect your mail and keep it for you until you return.
• Never ever hide a spare key under the rug, under a flower pot or on the door post. These are all very common places that burglars look out for. If you have to, leave the key with a trusted neighbour or friend.
• As much as we like to avoid putting grills on our homes and making them look like the local jail house, do secure your doors, entrances and windows well. Install burglar alarms or security systems that will alert the police or security guard house in your residential area in the event of a break-in.
• If you can, make your home look occupied by having timers for your radio or television set so that they switch on for 1 or 2 hours making it look like there is someone at home.
• Make sure your neighbours know how long you will be away so that if there are any unusual activities in your house during that period, an alarm will be raised by the neighbour.
• Consider inviting a family member, relative or trusted friend to house sit for you during your absence.
• Don’t leave keys dangling on key holders near windows or in full view from a window or doors. You will be amazed how burglars can fish the key out to gain entry into your home.
It is better to be safe than sorry, so plan your home security before you go on a vacation.
By Christina Thomas
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