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Top 10 security tips for your home

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Disguise the fact your house is empty while you’re on holiday by taking sensible precautions

The lead-up to the festive season is a busy time. Here Charnel Hattingh, national marketing and communications manager at Fidelity ADT, gives us her top 10 tips for keeping your home safe:

1 Ensure your alarm is working. December is an active period for security companies, so homeowners should test their alarms at least three weeks before going on holiday, giving time for the system to be serviced if necessary.

2 Ensure there are no gaps in your fence or points of access to your home that might need additional security.

3 Connect outdoor lights to timers and motion sensors to act as an additional deterrent.

4 Two weeks before you leave for your holiday, advise your security company of your plans. Should an incident occur while you are away, it is essential that they have the following updated information:

* All key holder information.

* Details of staff/housesitters who might be staying on the property while you are away.

5 Inform your neighbours and neighbourhood watch of your holiday plans, so they can keep an eye on your property.

6 Stop all newspaper and other deliveries, if applicable, and arrange for someone to collect your post while you are away. A bulging post box is a clear indication that you are not home.

7 If you have hired a housesitter, teach them how to use your alarm system correctly.

8 Make sure all bushes or trees close to your doors and garage are trimmed so as not to provide a hiding place for potential intruders.

9 Be discreet when packing your car. Do so behind closed doors. If possible, pack the car in the garage with the door closed.

10 Do a quick recce before you leave for your holiday.

  • Double check that you have locked and secured all windows and doors. Sliding doors can be secured simply by placing a piece of timber cut to size in the sliding rail.
  • Don’t leave ladders, spades or other tools outside as these can be excellent break-in tools.
  • Ensure that valuables and remote controls for automatic gates and garage doors are not left lying around.

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