December is here. Time to relax, recharge, and rewind. Sadly, for some people, leaving their homes for a peaceful December and January getaway can end negatively, when they return to find their house cleaned out, or they fall victim to criminals at their holiday destination.
The mere fact people go to guesthouses and farms, lodges, and chalets to “switch off” is what criminals take advantage of. You need to remain vigilant, no matter where you are.
We recommend that people follow two sets of tips, focusing first on their home safety before they leave on their holiday, and then on the tips to follow at the holiday destination itself.
In the rush to get to your destination, it is imperative that you do not neglect a thorough security check of your home before leaving. Do not leave anything to chance. Ensure your gate is properly closed and secured and that all doors are locked, and windows closed.
The most important is to arm your alarm systems and outdoor deterrents, like electric fencing and beams. If these are linked to us, you will be alerted on your cell phone if anything happens at home. Please don’t leave any tests or maintenance of your system till the very last minute.
See our additional tips for staying safe at your get away destination:
- Take care of your valuables by locking them away in a safe or taking them with you when you leave your unit. Always lock up and close the windows securely.
- Ask the manager about panic buttons and emergency contact numbers. Remember, an emergency is not necessarily only a criminal attack – there could be a fire in your unit or a medical emergency.
- Just as you should have at home, have a plan of action in place in case your family is held up on holiday. While it is difficult to stick to a script in such a traumatic event, it will help if everyone in the family, including young children, knows what to do and what not to do. The main thing is to ensure everyone remains calm.
- Ask for the contact details of the closest police station, the local neighbourhood watch, and the armed response company that looks after the property you stay at. This means you can quickly get in contact with the correct people in an emergency and not waste valuable time. If you see anything suspicious, please let one of these organisations know.