The Easter long weekend is just around the corner, with many families planning their trips and holidays for some much-needed relaxation.
“With people taking off on holiday over the Easter period, there will be more empty homes and quieter streets, which appeals to organised and opportunistic thieves. We encourage homeowners to prioritise their alarm system security before they leave to protect their homes from burglars,” says Charnel Hattingh, head of marketing and communications at Fidelity ADT.
It is important to remember that criminals do not take a break. In fact, says Hattingh, they love holidays as much as anyone else, but for all the wrong reasons. Holiday planning has got to, therefore, include home security.
A checklist for your holiday getaway should include making sure that your residence is safe while you are away.
“As there is a lot to think about, most of us plan a holiday with a checklist. I suggest checking your home security will not let you down take priority on this list. It doesn’t matter if you are away for a long weekend or an extended period; make sure you have peace of mind that everything will still be intact when you return,” she says.
“The best defence against burglars, trespassers or opportunistic thieves is to make your property as unattractive to criminals as possible. With nobody around to deter criminals, it pays to implement extra precautions to keep your belongings safe – inside and outside the home.”
The top items on your home security checklist should include:
- Make it look like you are still home. Ask your neighbours to pop in, switch lights on and open the curtains. They can put the sprinklers on and clear your post box so that your property looks occupied. Modern technology also makes it easy to control the lights and other electrical items by remote, from wherever you are in the world.
- Keep it quiet. It’s better not to broadcast to the whole world that you will be away from your property for an extended period.
- Lock, check, and double-check. Outward-facing windows, garage doors, and even tool sheds should be locked properly before leaving. If your carport of the garage leads into the main house, then your alarm system should be set up to monitor this as a potential access point.
Proper perimeter protection, garden beams and an alarm linked to armed response, solid security doors and burglar proofing, sensor lights and panic buttons for staff on the property are all ways to keep your property and belongings safe.
“Talk to your security provider about any concerns you have about your security system before you leave. It may even be a good idea to get one of their consultants out to cast an eye around your property – a trained eye may pick up weaknesses you have not noticed.
“Tightening up small vulnerabilities can amount to a huge relief when it comes to home security. Do not leave anything to chance this Easter,” says Hattingh.