Get your house ready for the Easter holidays

With a few weeks to go before schools are on holiday again, here are some security tips to get your home holiday ready.

First check on how easy your home is to get into by intruders

As a starting point, see how many of the SAPS Safety Awareness guidelines apply to your home:

· A high fence with lockable gates is preferable to a high wall as it provides better visibility. Your patrolling security officer, for example, can see into your property more easily and this is a deterrent to thieves.

· The areas around the perimeter of your property should be clear of bushes, overhanging branches and other hiding places.

· All outer doors should have security gates with sturdy locks.

· Gates should be kept locked at all times and keys should not be left lying around where theyre easily accessible.

· An intercom system between the home and gate, front door or garage is recommended.

· All windows should have burglar proofing covering them.

· An alarm system connected to an armed response service provider.

· A few panic buttons in different rooms of the house.

·Lights outside directed away from the house to light up potential intruders. These lights must allow the occupants to use the windows without being observed from outside.

· Tools like axes, spades and ladders that could be used in an attack should be locked away when youre not using them.

Then fix any weak points

You may not be in a financial position to install all of these safety measures, so get the basics right before the holidays and do the rest when you can. Here are some ideas:

· The absolute basics should include security gates on all outer doors and burglar proofing on all windows. The objective is to stop intruders getting inside your home if they manage to get onto your property and close to your home.

· Install burglar bars that open on at least one window in your safe zone. It can be used as an emergency exit if there is a fire or intruders get inside.

· Do the tidying up of your property as per the SAPS suggestions above. It doesnt cost anything except time.

· Sort out your keys. Hang a key rack in your bedroom area and store all keys there.Dont label them as this makes it easy for thieves to use. Use coloured tags to identify keys for different rooms. Dont leave keys under doormats or pots. If you leave keys in doors or gates, turn them so that theyre not easy to remove from the outside.