South Africa’s 2019 crime statistics showed that more than 21.2 million crimes were reported since 2010 and 2 million of these were between April 2018 and March 2019.

Marius Neethling, the underwriting manager at Santam said that there was a decrease in property-related crimes. However, according to Neethling, South Africans are urged to remain vigilant and to put simple methods in place to proactively protect themselves and their homes.

Here is how you can protect your home against theft:

  • Burglar bars and safety gates protect the entrance points of your home and act as a deterrent due to the effort of breaking through them.
  • A home security system is important. A home automation system can be considered, especially if you travel often. This allows you to control your security system easily using your mobile device.

It is not uncommon to forget to lock your doors and windows when you’re excited about going on holiday. This makes it easy for criminals to commit burglaries. Here are a few tips you can use to protect your home when you go away:

  • Consider asking a friend or neighbour to pop by your house periodically, check the doors, get the mail, open the curtains and switch the lights on for a while – this will make it seem like someone is home. They can even take the trash out on collection day.
  • Have your geyser inspected by a registered plumber. A burst or leaking geyser can cause intensive damage and can potentially damage a room. Also, consider switching off your geyser when you travel as hot water won’t be needed in this period.

Protection against arson is also very important.

  •  Keep fire extinguishers in good working order near locations where fires can be expected to break out – the kitchen, near fireplaces and braai areas.

*Remember that using water on fires caused by flammable liquids could make the fire worse.

  • It is very important that gas installations and connections are regularly serviced and cleaned – since the use of gas for cooking and heating has become more common.
  • Make sure that your home contents are properly insured to reflect their current replacement values.
  • If your insurance policy has a requirement that specifies that you need burglar bars, this will be compulsory.

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– Independent Online