People are getting out and about more as the weather warms up. It is also the time of year when many of us move into that all-too-familiar spring cleaning mode.
Charnel Hattingh, Head of Marketing and Communications for Fidelity ADT, says it is important to adapt our security habits seasonally to fit our routines.
In winter, for example, there is less daylight, so it could be dark when you leave for work, and people also tend to spend more time indoors – and keep their dogs indoors. In summer, we entertain more outdoors, have more doors open and make use of parks and other open spaces more often.
Hattingh says, however, the quality of your security systems and protocols should stay constant throughout the year.
“The best way of being sure your security systems are working optimally all year round is to regularly test and check them. We recommend monthly or more if required, and at least twice a year to do a full re-evaluation of your security systems.
“Regular testing is of the utmost importance. If the system is not functioning properly the alarm activation signal may not reach your security company to alert them to an emergency and that help is needed,” she says.
People should be aware that adverse weather affects security systems, like alarm panels, electric fences and outdoor beams.
Storms with high winds and lightning can cause power outages that may affect the alarm system itself and electric fences could be damaged by broken tree branches and other foliage during a storm.
Anything from insects in the passives to overgrown vegetation, birds and poor battery maintenance can cause false activations in outdoor beams.
“It is vital to check the battery back-up power for as part of your security spring clean. Switch the electricity off to see if the alarm battery is working and make sure you have back-up batteries for fences and gates. Panic buttons and passives must also be tested after bad weather,” Hattingh says.
Seven spring cleaning tips for better home security:
- Walk your perimeter to check for weaknesses. Take note of overgrown foliage which may be interfering with your electric fence or creating a hiding place for criminals.
- Make sure that your gate and gate motor are secure and cannot be tampered with. Ask a consultant from your security company for expert advice.
- Check all window latches tighten properly and replace those which are worn. Windows should have burglar proofing.
- Check door locks and handles for weaknesses and ensure your doors are protected with a strong security door.
- Test all outdoor lighting and consider what other areas of your property could benefit from lighting as a deterrent and early warning system.
- Put your security system on test with your security company to ensure everything is working as it should and schedule a technical service call if there are any problems.
- Consider enhancements to your current security systems, like smoke detectors, sensor lighting, CCTV or additional remote panic buttons.Hattingh concludes that security is part and parcel of home maintenance.“Just as you wouldn’t ignore a leaking roof or faulty electrics, don’t neglect your home security systems.
They need regular testing and maintenance to keep providing your family with peace of mind that help is on the way when you need it most.”