It is a common problem: you go on holiday and return to find your home has been burgled. In South Africa there are 18,000 burglaries a year. If you want to avoid joining those statistics then below are some home security measures you should consider.

Home burglary is a big problem in South Africa, as evidenced by this home crime report. There are several preventive measures for burglaries including perimeter fencing, alarms, and window grills. Burglars look for homes that appear empty so if you’re planning a trip, it is a good policy to enlist the help of neighbours or relatives to make your home appear active. Have them open and close curtains, empty your rubbish bins and collect the post.

That is just one step you can take but here are other ways to improve your home’s security.

–       Never leave your keys under your doormat.

–       Make sure all your ground and basement windows and lock-fitted.

–       Leave curtains slightly parted so your home does not appear empty, while leaving electronics and valuables from view.

–       Never leave a message on your answering machine that indicates you are not at home.

–       Be sure your home security system is working before leaving on holiday

–       Have time switches installed, giving the impression your home is occupied.

–       Cancel deliveries of milk/newspapers so they do not build up outside your home.

–       If you are part of neighbourhood watch program, inform them of your travel plans.

–       Remember, uncollected mail is a good indicator that the house is unoccupied.

–       If you have a safe then be sure to place your valuables inside them before leaving.

Try to follow as many of the above as you can reduce the risk of burglary. If you are unfortunate to encounter theft at your home, then contact a locksmithing company to prevent it happening again.

Johan Gerhard