With the country now in lockdown level one, many offices have reopened and their employees are back in their normal working routines.
Charnel Hattingh, Head of Marketing and Communications at Fidelity ADT, says it’s important not to ease off on your security protocols at home, whether you are returning to work or continuing to work from a home office.
She points out that because there are people at home all day doesn’t make you less vulnerable to criminals. An occupied property comes with risk just as an unoccupied property does, and it is helpful to identify some of these risks.
Hattingh lists the four risks when everyone is home:
- Many people coming and going which could lead to doors, security doors or gates being left open.
- More cars on the premises during the day than usual.
- The dogs being inside with the owners rather than outside on patrol.
- The greater probability of “beggars” and “service providers” at the gate.
She also lists four risks when everyone is back at work:
- The dogs are outside and could be poisoned or stolen.
- Your domestic helper could be alone and targeted.
- Criminals know many people do not arm their alarms when they leave home.
- Suburbs are quieter which means more opportunity for criminals.
“Good personal and home security has a lot to do with our daily routines and must be factored into the things we do every day – if your routine has changed so must the way you keep your family and property safe,” Hattingh says.
“Basic security measures and routines must be implemented whether you are at home or not.”
- Have proper perimeter security with a sturdy gate and lock.
- Arm your alarm whenever you leave home.
- Ensure windows are properly closed and doors locked.
- If someone is at home they must know what to do and who to contact in an emergency.
- Ensure security doors are locked at all times and the keys removed.
- Arm parts of the home you are not using.
- Arm garden beams while you are indoors.
- Keep a panic button with you at all times.
- Test your alarm and panic buttons regularly.
- Have a good relationship with neighbors as they can be your eyes and ears when you are not home.
- Join a suburb Whatsapp group to learn about crime trends in your area.
- Support your local CPF and neighborhood watch.
- Be on the lookout for suspicious persons and vehicles you know don’t belong in your suburb and report these to your private security provider or the police.
“The economy can breathe again with the announcement of level one lockdown, which we are all grateful for. Remember though criminals have never really been in lockdown and easing off of restrictions only means more opportunity for them,” Hattingh warns.
“Crime trends indicate that criminals thrive on household routines as it helps them identify when someone is most vulnerable.
So, if you have gone back to work and the kids are back at school full time you need to adjust your security routine from what it was when everyone was home in previous lockdown levels.”