Don’t sweat your home security this summer: 10 easy tips you can follow
Summer is an exciting time for burglars. More daylight hours, the nights are warm and they know that many people are out and about or travelling for summer holidays, making it easy to target and break into homes while occupants are out or away. You might be having a well-deserved break with family and friends, but burglars are still hard at work.
The festive season also provides opportunity for burglars as people are out for Christmas functions, braai’s and catch ups with family and friends, and this along with the prospect of gifts under the tree as an easy target can make us all a little vulnerable at this time of the year.
While it’s tough to know if your home will be targeted by burglars this summer, there are many things you can do to keep your home safe during this season, even if you’re not planning to travel. Follow these tips to stay on top of home security all summer and keep your home and family safe.
By avoiding some common home security mistakes you can reduce your chances that a burglar will choose your home in favour of an easier target.
1. Lock your doors and windows – Seems obvious but many home break-ins occur because the homeowner has simply made it too easy for the burglar by forgetting to lock doors or windows. Often burglars are opportunistic and will go from house to house looking for quick and easy access. So investing in tried and tested home security measures like deadbolt locks is always a good decision.
2. Turn lights on and off – Sometimes thieves will watch homes on a street for a few days to work out the easy targets! If your house is in darkness for a number of days and nights, this is a neon sign to burglars saying “pick me”. Use a light switch timer or home automation to have lights turn on and off automatically on a schedule. Burglars watching your home will notice that lights are flipped on and off and likely assume that someone is home.
3. Don’t tell Social Media – Avoid announcing your upcoming holiday on “The Socials”, and don’t share travel photos while you are still away. It’s tempting but it broadcasts that you aren’t at home, and there is no way to be sure who has seen the posts. However, if you do have the desire to share your happy snaps while on holiday, keep your social accounts on private so only trusted family and friends can view. This ensures only your close network can see what you’re up to and keeps a close lock on who knows you are away (no pun intended).
4. Arm your Security system – If you have a working alarm, use it! Don’t get into the bad habit of forgetting (or not bothering) to arm it before you leave the house. Security systems are a major deterrent for home burglars, especially with an audible alarm to scare off intruders.
5. Don’t change anything for a major trip – If you normally keep your curtains and blinds open, don’t shut them just before you leave as it is a clear message to burglars that you’re not home. It is a good idea however to hide away any valuables that might be spotted from peeking through a window. It’s also a good idea to let some close friends or neighbours know you’re away and to keep an eye on your home while you are gone. A second pair of eyes on your home is always a good idea.
6. Use outdoor lighting – Good exterior lighting especially at your doors and windows can illuminate burglars and encourage them to move on. Or, good lighting will help neighbours spot them at your door. Consider motion sensors, timer lights or a lighting system that allows you to schedule your lights to turn on and off.
7. Keep your valuables hidden – Keep your valuables away from windows as this provides a quick and easy target for burglars. If they are able to gain access to your home, they will look for easy to pocket valuables. Hide jewellery, money and other valuables in inconspicuous spots. Keep in mind that burglars are likely to hit your master bedroom and living area first rather than secondary bedrooms, bathrooms or even the garage.
8. Think about hiding spots in your garden – Large plants and bushes, although they may look nice, offer a home burglar a place to hide on your property, buying them time and possibly giving them the privacy to break into a door or window. Don’t keep your garden unruly as this is the perfect opportunity for burglars to sneak up and hide. Maintaining your garden ensures clear lines of sight.
9. Invest in good quality locks and security features – As much as a fake alarm box or cameras might be effective at a first glance an experienced thief after closer inspection will very likely be able to tell the difference. Low quality locks and security screens on doors and windows can often be easily broken or forced open, providing little resistance to an experienced burglar.
10. Invest in Smart Home features – Even if you don’t have a home security system, a Smart Home can keep your house safer. You can control lights, TV’s, radios, detect motion and more, to make it look like you are home. You may even be able to view live videos (CCTV), get alerts and answer your doorbell with a video chat.
If you would like some more information about how MyPlace can help to keep your family and home safe and secure, contact our passionate team, they are here to help.