12 April 2019

Our top 5 safety tips for a worry-free Easter long weekend

Holidays are a prime time when suspects target homes they perceive to be vacant, so it’s important to make sure this Easter long weekend that your property is adequately secured and that house-sitters have been briefed on how to use your smart home alarm system.

If you are getting a house-sitter, make sure you meet with them a few days before you leave to run them through your alarm system and security measures. We often get reports of house-sitters being held up by armed robbers during holiday times, so ensuring they are familiar with and activate your security systems is as much for their sake as your own.

If you have not already connected your smart system to your cellphone via our Mobile App, don’t forget to do so before you go away. You will be able to access your home security system from your holiday destination anywhere in the country, or even abroad, for that additional peace of mind.

1. Get the best out of your smart home alarm system

Whether you are hiring a house-sitter or not, activating the mobile app will allow you to easily keep tabs on your home via your own smartphone. From switching lights on and off, creating the illusion that someone is around, to opening gates for domestic workers, deactivating a false alarm and viewing video footage of what’s happening on your property while you are away. If an intruder breaches your home security system, your smart alarm can also send real time photographic and video footage directly to your mobile phone for real time confirmation of activity on your property.

A house-sitter can also download the mobile app on their own phone, to temporarily activate a mobile panic button for their increased safety.

2. Be prepared for load shedding

Eskom’s rolling blackouts have presently eased, but we all know that the state owned entity’s troubles are far from over. Load shedding could be reimplemented at any time in the near future so it’s best to make sure that your home alarm system is able to cope during the planned power outages.

Batteries are one of the most important aspects of your home security system that should be checked regularly to ensure that they still have plenty of life to keep your house alarm working during load-shedding, which can drain battery power. Alarm system batteries usually last for around three to five years, so be sure to replace your battery before you go away if you know it’s nearing the end of its life.

3. Clear away the clutter

Garden tools and implements such as ladders, spades and pangas, which could potentially be used as weapons by opportunistic criminals if they are left lying around the property, should be stored away out of sight in a locked garage or storeroom.

4. Access denied

Be sure not to schedule any contract or maintenance work at your home while you are away. Advise your house-sitter and domestic staff not to allow anyone claiming to be a meter reader, bank staff or a contractor onto the property while you are away. Meter readings can be given to the municipality by calling the relevant department or by sending an email or a text message with the reading. In a recent case, a gang of suspects that had claimed to be bank staff gained entry and stole a laptop from a property after a domestic worker allowed them into the house.

5. Trim back the hedges

Before going away, trim back any shrubs and trees that have become overgrown around your home and the perimeter of your property during the summer. Overgrown shrubs provide hiding places in the shadows where intruders can lie in wait to ambush you outside your property or even on your property if they manage to jump over a perimeter wall.

If you are still using an old model alarm system rather than a smart home alarm system, contact us on 031 717 5000 to find out how easy it is to make the switch to a smarter, safer home.

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