When it comes to the safety of your family and property the best course of action is prevention rather than dealing with the aftermath of a break-in or robbery.
Charnel Hattingh, Head of Marketing and Communications at Fidelity ADT, says the last thing you want is for your home to have curb appeal to criminals.
“Homes become easy targets when someone can see exactly what’s on offer and that the family is lax about security or not home often. If there is no dog, security systems or lights on, it makes it even easier for burglars. Make it a goal to keep your home from being targeted,” she says.
Hattingh offers these 10 tips to make your home less appealing to burglars:
- Walk the perimeter and check for weaknesses in your palisade, fence, wall or gate. The perimeter of your property is your first line of defence and needs to be properly secured with systems like electric fencing and cameras.
- Ensure windows have burglar bars and doors have proper locks. Flimsy and unsecured entry points are bound to draw unwanted attention.
- Install bright lighting. A well-lit property is visible to neighbours or people driving past and makes it easy to spot someone lurking around. If you go out at night, leave some lights on inside to give the impression someone is home. Smart home security systems can be linked to your phone or laptop, allowing you to activate your alarm, turn lights on, close blinds and much more from anywhere.
- Close blinds or curtains when it gets dark or even if you are out for the day. The less criminals can see into your home the better.
- Get a house sitter if you are going away, even just for the night. If you aren’t able to, leave the TV and lights on.
- An obvious sign you are on holiday is mail piling up in the postbox and on the driveway. Ensure a neighbour or family member is collecting this so it is not obvious nobody is home.
- Keep the garage closed to prevent someone from seeing what you have inside. Cars should be parked in a locked garage.
- Garden tools and equipment, bicycles, gas bottles and garden furniture should be stored in a locked shed or in the garage when not in use.
- Sign up to a reputable security company. Their signboards on your perimeter are a good deterrent and they can offer advice on security improvements around your home and property.
- It is very important to keep your house visible from the road and your neighbour’s yard, so trim bushes and other areas that can provide hiding places to ensure you are not blindsided when you get home.
“The safety of your loved ones and belongings are paramount, so make a point of checking whether your home could have curb appeal to criminals,” says Hattingh.
“If so, put some common-sense improvements in place and don’t hesitate to get a good home security system linked to an armed response service.”