December holidays: a last-minute checklist to make sure your house will be safe while you are away

The final stretch before going on that long-awaited holiday has arrived.

Most companies will be closing their doors in the coming days, while excited holidaymakers are packing their bags and making final arrangements before hitting the road.

This is the time of year that we all want to remember for the right reason: sun, seas, families, laughter, and joy. An easy checklist can help ensure that your holiday memories are not spoilt by someone robbing your home while it is empty.

Here are some general tips that security companies give their clients about house safety during the holidays:

• Tell someone. Most suburbs have an active neighbourhood watch with volunteers who will be on duty. Let them know to keep an eye on your home. It is also a good idea to alert your neighbours, and definitely tell your armed response company.

• Test the locks and gates. Look at your property from the outside in and ask yourself if all the possible access points are properly secured. Make sure there are no broken locks or gates that could easily be forced open.

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• Fence it in. Perimeter fences and walls are valuable security elements, but their effectiveness means that anyone can use an overgrown tree to quickly climb over. Holes in hedges can similarly prove to be a problem. If something gives criminals easy access to your property, it demands urgent attention before you drive off.

• Test your alarms, and use them. Any home security system needs regular testing and maintenance. Test your system as often as you can and don’t wait till the last minute to discover any technical problems. And please use the system so that it can keep an eye on your property while you are away.

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• Pack privately. It is preferable to pack your bags and load the car behind closed doors or gates, so that you don’t unnecessarily broadcast your holiday absence to any unwanted visitors.

If you have any uncertainty about your home’s readiness for your absence, speak to your security company today. It will give you the peace of mind you need to properly enjoy your holiday.

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