Over the past few weeks, the quiet towns of Secunda and Evander have seen a soaring number of housebreakings, with a number of dog poisoning incidents to boot. While it may not be possible to pack up and move to safer surroundings, there are things you can do to improve the security of your home. The Bulletin has put together a handy list of tips and tricks to make your house a more difficult target for criminal activity.
1. Eliminate hiding spots – Trim your hedges and trees, the last thing you want is for your yard to be a wonderland for a criminal in search of places to hide.
2. Stow expensive items out of sight – Put braai stands, cars, bicycles and garden tools in the garage and/or shed. Leaving these valuable outside, especially overnight, is attractive to thieves.
3. Install motion sensor lighting – Consider putting motion detectors around entrances and dark corners in particular to shine a spotlight on potential intruders.
4. Get to know your neighbours – Sounds strange, but building relationships with your neighbours means that you are all likely to look out for each other, and members of your neighbourhood can easily spot strangers. Neighbours can alert each other to suspicious activity and offer extra eyes when you’re not around.
5. Install large reflective numbers on your house – This ensures that police can easily identify your home in the case of an emergency. Burglars prefer dark houses that are difficult to identify because it buys them time.
6. Don’t hide keys outside – Rather than leaving keys outside for your family members when you’re away, make spare keys for everyone to keep on them, or leave keys with a trusted neighbour.
7. Talk to a trusted neighbour about creating a “lived-in” look – When you’re away for a few days, ask them to help make your home look occupied. They can use your outdoor trash cans and collect your mail and newspapers. Stacked up mail and empty trash cans can be an indicator that you’re away and be gone a while.
8. Put timers on lights – This is also helpful for when you’re on holiday. You can time lights to switch on and off at certain times, to give the illusion that someone is home
9. Don’t advertise your trip – We love social media and often post so much about our personal lives. Avoid the urge to post about upcoming vacations; the more people who know your house will be empty, the more you open yourself up to a break-in.
10. Add door and window alarms – Burglars hate noises. So after keeping doors and windows locked, your next line of defence is adding wireless alarms that are triggered when the doors/windows are opened.