The December holiday season is when most South Africans take time off to relax and reenergise themselves. It is hard to do this, however, if you are worried about being safe in your own home. Layers of security are the way to go if you can afford it. But if not, there are some simple ways of making sure your family and your possessions are protected from crime while you take it easy at home or away. Follow these three security tips for safer holidays.
1. Start with a Home Security Inspection
To avoid making costly mistakes buying equipment you don’t need, do a thorough check on the security you already have in place. Be systematic about it: close up your home as you would if you were going out, then walk around the property to find out how you would break in if you were a robber.
As you are deciding how you would rob your own home, remember that a thief or a team of criminals need less than five minutes to get inside and take what they want. They will ignore a burglar alarm and know that they have enough time to get in and out before armed response arrives if you have it.
On your walk around, take note of weak areas such as unprotected windows, doors without security gates, rusting or loose burglar bars. These will be the areas that need to be strengthened before you go on leave.
You can get expert help with this inspection process for free if you call your local Trellidor outlet. It is part of their service when you call them in for a quote. Their experience in the ways people can break into a home is useful for looking at your own home from a stranger’s viewpoint.
2. Create a Home Security Shield
After the security assessment, it’s time to put what you’ve learned into practise. So the next step in your home safety plan is to block off any easy access points for burglars into your home.
In general, South Africans know that the most effective way of making a home safer from robbers is to cover all openings using burglar proofing. Physical security is always on guard, protecting you and your family even during power outages. Good quality physical protection on doors and windows creates a shield around the home, making it hard for criminal invaders to break in.
If you have loads of weak points that need protection it can be an expensive exercise, so consider the following ways of getting around the cash flow problem:
- Use a range of burglar proofing. Price is often an indicator of quality, so install more expensive burglar bars and gates in highly vulnerable doors and windows. Balance the budget by fitting lower cost but still good quality designs in less accessible parts of your home. In this way, you can reduce costs without increasing risks.
- Use the Safe Zone concept. Create your home security shield around one particular part of your home to start with and do the rest later when you have the money. The secured area will be your safe haven, so the bedrooms are usually the best option for this. If you are going away, put all valuables, spare keys, remote control buttons and other items important to you in the safe zone to keep them out of criminal hands.
- Use a Finance Plan. Get financial help to make your home safe if you are worried about being vulnerable to crime. The 6-month interest free finance plan available to Trellidor customers is a great solution because you can secure your home immediately, then pay it off over six months without paying any interest.
3. Develop a Quick Check Routine
Once your physical security barriers are in place, get into the habit of actually using it all. One of the most common ways that robbers get into homes is by simply walking in through an open front or back door or climbing in through an unsecured window.
This specifically refers to security barriers that can open up. This could be retractable security gates on your front door, or sliding security screens, or perhaps bi-fold louvre shutters on windows and doors. If they are not closed and locked, its an open invitation to criminals, giving them easy access and a quick getaway.
To avoid this, develop a routine of checking your security barriers without being obsessive about it. Here are some ideas:
- When at home, keep security barriers closed and locked when you open up doors and windows for fresh air, light, and access to the outdoors. Most of us switch off the burglar alarm when we’re at home so we need the protection closed security barriers provide. If children or pets are constantly in and out, choose one door security gate to stay open and keep an eye on what is happening so that you’re not caught by surprise by home invaders.
- When going out for a short while, such as shopping or visiting, lock all security barriers. It may seem like an unnecessary nuisance, but your short trip may just be the gap that watching criminals are waiting for. Take the time to lock all your door and window security barriers properly before leaving home.
- When going away on holiday, do a full check of all security systems before you leave. Are all doors, windows, and security barriers closed and locked? Is the alarm in working order? Are important possessions, documents, spare house and car keys, extra remotes and valuables locked in the safe zone? Are all tools, garden equipment, and anything else that could be used to break a window locked away inside the house or garage?
In summary, yes, it is possible to have a safe holiday if you have taken proactive steps towards securing your home. The steps include taking the time to do a thorough assessment of the security you already have in place; creating a secure shield around your home; and then making sure you use the measures you have put in place. Your local Trellidor outlet has the expertise to help you with the first two steps, so get in touch with them in time to get any new barriers you need ordered and installed before the holidays.