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Ensuring security is easy

Valentine’s Month – a perfect time to think about the safety of your loved ones

February is the month of love, a great time to think again about how you can look after the safety of your loved ones.

“There are many things you can do to improve the safety of loved ones and belongings,” says Charnel Hattingh, National Marketing and Communications Manager at Fidelity ADT. “It is easy, and some of it won’t even cost a cent.”

Firstly, she says, one must ensure everyone in the household knows whom to call in an emergency.

“People understandably panic when something has gone wrong, which makes it difficult to think rationally and clearly,” Hattingh said. “Sit down with your loved ones today, and talk to them about whom they should contact. Do they have the correct contact numbers for the police, your neighbourhood watch, your security company, or your closest hospital saved on their phones?”

Another great idea is to look at one’s property, and see what one can do to make it less attractive to would-be criminals. “We suggest taking a walk around the garden or yard to look for anything that could help an intruder access and exit the property easily,” Hattingh says.

“Are there low-hanging tree branches that can be used to climb over a fence or wall? Inspect the locks on perimeter gates and garage doors – are they in good condition, or can they be broken with some force? Be on the lookout for anything that can be used to force entry. If you have an electric fence, when last did you test it?”

Inside, she suggests window and door locks be checked regularly.

“It’s important that outward-leading doors, and windows, are locked from the inside when no-one is home and overnight,” says Hattingh. “Regardless of the time, keep curtains or blinds drawn in a way that makes it difficult to see in from the outside. And, never leave valuables – or keys – anywhere that they can be seen or reached from a window.”

If there is a home security system installed, she advises that it be regularly tested to ensure it is in proper working condition when needed most.

“Contact your security company to find out how to test the system,” Hattingh suggests. “If you have other security products in place – such as outdoor beams – ask how these can be tested too.”

Lastly, if there is any reason to believe there is an intruder on the property, Hattingh’s advice is never to go outside to investigate. One must call the police or one’s security company immediately, she says.

“Try to remain on the line with them until officers arrive, and only venture outside once they indicate it is safe to do so.”

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