As crime nationally tends to escalate during the Christmas season, residents should take extra care with their personal safety during the next three months.
“We believe it is important that everyone, including the residents of Muldersdrift, stay alert towards the end of the year when criminals might take advantage of the silly season. While the police and security services will also be beefing up their efforts, it’s crucial that residents do their bit in ensuring they’re not a soft target,” says Mike Francisco, security spokesperson for the Muldersdrift Community Action Group (MCAG).
Francisco says this is the perfect time to assess your property security and consider improving your security solution. “If you don’t have one already, install a home security system with alarm monitoring and armed reaction. We also recommend that all exterior doors are secured with security gates, and that burglar bars are fitted over all windows, especially those that can open.”
He further points out that outward opening doors usually have hinges on the outside, making it easier for criminals to remove the hinge pins. He suggests installing hinge bolts or security gates to cover these areas as well. “An additional weak point is sliding doors that need to be secured so criminals can’t lift them off their rails.” Another consideration is having glass break detectors installed onto an existing alarm system, which can be set up to trigger when glass is broken even if the alarm system is not armed.
SMS Security, one of the private security providers active in the area, offer these security tips worth bearing in mind as the silly season approaches:
- Never listen to music, watch a TV or entertain guests with open or unbarred windows or doors.
- Report strange vehicles or suspicious activity in your neighborhood to your security company and the police
- Never leave a key inside of an exterior door which has glass panels or glass near it
- Don’t leave messages on your door stating what time you will be home.
- Try not to keep large amounts of cash at home.
- Keep your garden well lit and cut back your trees and shrubs to eliminate any possible hiding places.
- Please ensure that your house number or address is clearly marked on the outside of your premises. This makes it easier for emergency personnel to find you if necessary.
- Store emergency contact numbers on your cell phone or make a note of them next to the telephone or on the fridge
- Windows should be secured or closed at night, even if you live above the ground floor.
- Fit a peep-hole and chain to your front door.
- Do not leave garden tools or items out when not in use – these can be used to gain entry to your premises.
- It is your right to see identification cards of callers claiming to be government officials or company representatives.Insist on it, and if they cannot be provided or you are still unsure, call your security company and the police.
- If you come home to an open door or any other sign of forced entry, don’t go in.
- Contact your security company and local police and wait for them to arrive.
- Remember to test your security system before the holiday period and preferably out of peak hours.
“Strengthening your defences against possible intruders is the best investment you can make. Start today and have greater peace of mind when on holiday or spending time with family and friends,” concludes SMS Security Managing Director, Anthony Paton.