5 ways to keep safe this festive season

As we enter the festive season and prepare to unwind and spend time with family and friends, it is important to remember to take care of yourself and your family. Criminal activity increases during the holidays, making it important to take precautions.

Here are 5 tips for protecting your home and family during this time.

1. Test your alarm system and panic button

Test all the zones of your alarm system to ensure that they are working correctly. Should there be a problem, contact your service provider. It may be worth considering upgrading your system; newer systems are easy to install and can be managed straight from your mobile phone.

2. Do not leave your home unattended

Leaving your home unattended for long periods may attract criminals. Arrange a house sitter to stay in your home while you are away, but do not forget to do a background check. Alternatively, keep the appearance of always being home by ensuring your property is well lit and by putting outside lights on a timer. Also, notify your security company of your absence so that they can intensify their patrols.

3. Do not leave expensive goods on display

Discard the packaging of any expensive items with care. A TV box, computer box and boxes of other expensive items placed outside for garbage removal places a spotlight on what is in your home. Even leaving a wallet or iPod close to a window can make you a target.

4. Know your neighbours

Knowing the people in your neighbourhood can be of great help in an emergency. Also, join your residence association WhatsApp group to keep abreast with the latest news in your neighbourhood.

5. Have a plan

Be ready and know what to do if the worst happens. It is important to have a backup plan. Know what to do and whom to call in an emergency. Have emergency services on speed dial and think about possible escape routes that might get you out of a dangerous situation.