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By Fatima Kazee, mum to a professor, a super hero and ‎a little princess.  Part-time wife to a fanatical fisherman. She’s addicted to sneakers, anything chocolatey &  is an invaluable member of the Jozikids and Kznkids team.

Thankfully, we’ve never had the experience of being robbed while away on holiday (touch wood!)   But unfortunately this is a reality in our country and the best you can do is ensure that your property is secure.  The festive season is notorious for break-ins, hold-ups and all sorts of attempts at ruining a perfectly good end to the year.  Here are a few tips to bear in mind before you hit the road… or the malls.

Out shopping:

  • Please do not forget your kids or babies or pets in the car!
  • Keep your handbag close and your children closer. Don’t turn your back on your child even for a minute.
  • Escort your kids to the public toilets. Even though my sons are older, I prefer to take them to the ladies so that I am with them.
  • If you’re eating out at a place with a play area, make sure you can see the area from where you’re sitting.  Not only from a safety point of view but from a bullying/fighting/avoiding-an-aggro-mean-parent point of view.
  • Be aware of your surroundings as you approach your car to leave.

At home:

  • Keep your alarm on at all times, even if you’re at home. Because many neighbours may be away the suburb will seem quiet so opportunists will try their luck even if you’re at home.
  • Many security companies that patrol the area offer an escort service so if you’re arriving home late or expecting guests late at night, have your security company escort you / them.
  • If you’re hosting party’s maybe call your security provider to send a car or guard to check on cars outside and as the gate is opened and closed often.
  • Leave a set of keys with someone reliable (keyword) that can randomly check on your home while you’re away. This was helpful to us when our alarm wouldn’t stop ringing for no good reason.  I can just imagine how irritated our neighbours were!
  • If you need to have a pet sitter or dog walker go by your house every day, make sure you choose a reputable company. Nothing worse than handing over the keys to someone to rob you at leisure.
  • Don’t leave your rubbish bins outside your property – I’m guessing it’s easy to stand on it to scale the wall if you don’t have an activated electric fence.
  • Also try and clear your postbox before you go. With the current state of affairs of our postal service I doubt anyone will be receiving any Christmas cards but rather be safe.
  • Let your security company know of your travel dates so that they can keep an extra eye out. Give them an alternative contact number as well for someone close by.
  • We usually pack our car the night before or really early in the morning so that it isn’t too obvious that we aren’t home.
  • Turn off all unnecessary electrical plug points and possibly the main switch as well. (Not the fridge and freezer please!) You can also turn your geyser off but remember to leave automatic lights switched on.
  • If you have gas (no, not like that), then turn those cylinders off too. Same goes for sprinklers.

Then lock up, say a prayer and enjoy the trip!  Also remember safety around the pool and at the beach.

As I’m neither an expert security specialist nor a professional thief I’m sure there are many other tips people have incorporated into their safety routines.  Please share them with us.

Click here to find safety products/services in Gauteng and here in KZN

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