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What makes your home attractive to a home invader and how to keep it more secure

One of the best ways to secure your property is to unpack the mind-set of a burglar and set up precautionary measures against these threats. 

This is especially necessary for those planning to be away this festive season, says Adrian Goslett, regional director and chief executive of Re/Max of Southern Africa.

“It is important to consider how a criminal might view the property. Home owners should look at their homes through the eyes of a burglar to try to identify some of the potential threats to their home security.”

The first consideration is what opportunities a burglar might have to gain entry to your property. In some cases, burglars have already been inside the home once before – perhaps as a delivery guy claiming to need the bathroom or as somebody posing as a salesman who wants to pitch their product in the dining room.

As a good rule of thumb, homeowners should always be extra cautious when allowing a stranger to enter their home, being sure to check that all entry points are secure after the person has left.

The second thing to keep in mind is how appealing their property might be to criminals.

“Kerb appeal is an important factor when trying to appeal to sellers and an attractive exterior makes buyers curious to see what awaits them inside. Similarly, criminals often scout neighbourhoods to pick out properties that they think will contain the most valuable items.

“To avoid making your home the target, keep the front of your home as low-key as possible. You don’t want to leave anything that a burglar might find tempting in plain sight. For example, if you drive an expensive car, keep it parked inside the garage instead of in the driveway.

“If your children have expensive outdoor toys, such as hover boards or bicycles, ensure they’re packed away at night.”

As a final precautionary measure, he recommends that homeowners consider what is visible within their homes from the street.

“Burglars are not shy to look into your windows.

“Take a moment to look through the windows in the front rooms of your home to see what criminals can see if they peep inside and be sure to keep anything tempting out of sight. As a deterrent, plant thorn bushes in the flower beds in front of your windows.”

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