The South African Police Service and Business Against Crime offer some tips on how to keep your home safe while you are away on holiday this festive season:
- Check that your alarm system is working properly before you go on holiday.
- Close and lock all windows and doors and ensure all windows have burglar guards.
- Fit suitable locks and bolts to all sliding doors as a means to prevent burglars from lifting the glass off its tracks – the most common method for break-ins.
- Do not leave an out-of-town message on your answering machine..
- Ask someone to clear your post box every few days while you are away or alternatively get a house sitter.
- Cancel newspaper deliveries for the period you are away.
- Do not leave keys on the inside of doors or hidden under doormats, in flower pots, etc.
- Never leave tools in your garden or an unlocked garden shed that would help intruders break into your home.
If you are staying home this festive season:
- Make provision for good outside lighting, but switch the lights off during the day. Outside lights that are on during the day are signs that no one is home.
- Never open the door automatically when the bell rings or if someone knocks. Make completely sure the person wanting to enter is expected.
- At night, if your house alarm goes off, you hear strange noises, or the dogs bark – switch on the outside lights.
- When approaching your house entrance by foot or by car ensure that it is safe to enter and that you have not been followed. Be aware of persons loitering at the entrance.
- If you buy luxury goods, cut up the boxes and dispose of these in tied black bags – a branded box is a telltale sign of what thieves could find in your house.
The police have also urged holidaymakers not to drink and drive and adhere to the rules of the road.