1. Whatever home security system you have, use it diligently. Set the alarm even if you are just popping out to the shops. Lock the doors, especially unattended access doors, lock the security gates, close the garage door, even when you are at home. It really is worth it.
2. It can be a drag, but use the pool net every time the swimming pool is unattended. ChildSafe says drowning is the second largest cause of accidental death among children in South Africa. Pool parties are great fun, but they almost always mean adults are distracted. Take turns to watch the kids, and make sure those who can’t swim use swimming aids. Also, remember, adults can drown too, so watch out for each other.
3. Criminals most often watch a house for a few hours or even days before they hit their chosen target. Christmas Day will probably mean lots of wrapping paper and the boxes from many of the cool new gadgets and toys your family will likely get. Don’t leave these out on the curb as an advertisement of what loot is available.
4. It sounds crazy, but be careful of posting photos of the kids on their new bikes, or you with your new X-Box on social media. Like the curbside thing above, this can be like a shop window to a criminal. Be careful also of giving away too much about where you are on social media – it could give criminals insight about when to break in, or stage a home invasion.
5. Wherever you are, stay alert. Watch out for people who seem to be loitering, or out of place. Keep looking about you at intersections, park close to shopping mall entrances where people are coming in and out all the time. Yes, it’s time to relax and have fun, just don’t let anyone take that away from you.