Make your home more safe and secure in 2017

Home Security: Tips to help keep your family safe

Don't leave anything to chance! Make sure your home is safe and secure.

Home burglary
Wikimedia Commons

Your home is supposed to be your safe haven, but high incidents of crime have many homeowners fearful for their family’s safety.

The latest SA Police Service crime statistics revealed that in late 2016 a total of 543,524 property-related crimes were reported in South Africa.

Apart from installing an alarm system and hiring a private security company to patrol your area, there are a few basic tips that could help ensure you do not become easy prey for criminals.

Take a look at our tips below and please try an implement as many as possible.

Windows and doors

It seems quite silly to think that anyone would forget to lock their doors or check that their windows are properly closed, but some people actually do. You may have had a dinner party at home that ended after 11pm and were too tired to check or you were rushing out the door because you were late for work, forgetting that you opened your kitchen window in the morning. Checking all doors and windows is the most basic safety rule, if not the most important. Even if you are tired, make it a daily routine to check them before you leave the house or when you’re going to bed, especially your downstairs windows.

Alarm code

It is highly unlikely that anyone would give their alarm code to any Tom, Dick or Harry, but make sure that only the people who live in your home know the code. Don’t let close friends or even family members know your code. Treat your pin like your ATM card code – you wouldn’t give that to your cousin Mike would you? When punching in your code, make sure no one is close enough to see it. Tell your children to do the same and not to give their code to their friends. If you don’t live in the house, you do not need to know the code. The same applies to house keys. Spare keys should also not be hidden under the front door mat or in a pot plant near the door.

Perimeter check

Make it a habit to check your perimeter fence or wall at least once a month or even a week. Check that your fence does not have any holes and your wall is not broken. Some criminals may even dig a hole under your fence and come back when they know the coast is clear. If you have hedges make sure you trim them regularly.

Get things fixed quickly

If the handle on your downstairs window is broken or a lock is not working, try to get them fixed as soon as possible. Also, when having repairs or other work done at your house, do not leave things like ladders outside, rather lock them away in your garage. You never know who is watching your house. Most burglars case a house for days and weeks, taking note of all vulnerabilities.

Love thy neighbour

Speaking of watching your house, it is always a good idea to be friendly with your neighbours. They can keep an eye on your house when you are away, particularly on a week-long holiday. They can also report suspicious activity or anything unusual.

Man’s best friend 

Dogs are not only man’s best friend but they can also help keep your home safe. Burglars are less likely to try to break into homes that have dogs in the yard. Dogs bark when they see strangers, which alerts owners to any activity in their yard. Some burglars may give dogs meat laced with drugs to make them pass out, but make sure your dogs do not get used to strangers or even friends visiting your house. If you’re having a visitor over, keep your dog in the backyard so that they do not learn to get friendly with strangers. 

Have you got any tips to add? Let us know in the comments section below.

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