The old adage “home is where the heart is” means different things to different people.
For some, it’s the individuals who fill their home.
For others, it can be a specific item that holds sentimental value.
The common thread – ensuring that they’re kept safe and sound, around the clock.
“There are a number of precautions that can be taken to improve the safety of loved ones and belongings at no, or minimal, cost,” said Stuart Clarkson, managing executive of Fidelity ADT.
“A good place to start is to see what can be done around the property to make it less attractive to criminals.”
Clarkson suggested taking a walk around the garden or yard 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?
“Also, be on the lookout for anything that can be used to force entry.”
Clarkson said that, inside the house, window and door locks must also be checked regularly.
“It’s 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, he advised that it be regularly tested to ensure that it is in proper working condition when it’s needed most.
“Contact your security company to find out how to test the system.
“If you have other security products in place – such as outdoor beams or electric fencing – ask how these can be tested too,” he said.
Clarkson added that it’s a good idea to encourage members of the household to save the contact numbers for the different emergency services on their cellphones.
“Sit down with the household to talk about who needs to be contacted in the event of an emergency. “Contact numbers that should be saved as a matter of course include the local SAPS, your private security company, if you subscribe to one, and emergency medical response (the ambulance service).
“If there is reason to believe that there is an intruder on the property, never go outside to investigate. “Immediately call the police or your security company instead.
“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,” he said.
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