Although the rampant insecurity in parts of the country is cause for worry, people still need to go on with their lives in a normal manner. At the same time as individuals we also need to do our part by being vigilant and staying away from hotspots. While we give the security organs a chance to deal with and arrest the problem, there is no reason to fear while at work, or to put on hold your holiday plans or short journeys. Here are some thing s you can do to secure your home while away.
- If you can afford it have a security system installed to detect intruders. While this is a good thing, remember that the alarm in most times goes off after the act. To put off criminals always display a notice at the gate that the premises is protected. Burglars like places with easy access and this makes your house a less likely target. If you have dogs, put a sign “mbwa Kali” (beware of dogs) on the gate.
- Do not keep spare keys on the premises; instead leave them with a trusted friend or neighbour.
- During the day, have your house help always verify strangers’ identification before letting them into the premises. This applies also to utility services workers.
- Before you go reinforce all places with weaknesses; broken latches, window panes or weak locks.
- Have a heavy and solid door at the main entrance and back. It could be wood or metal. It should also have at least one dead bolt lock. This makes it less attractive for thieves.
- If you have trees near or around the house make sure they are trimmed to deny easy access to upper windows or the roof.
- Go through the house before you leave and make sure all windows and doors inside are locked and well secured.
- Keep all valuables in a safe and hidden place. Do not leave them displayed openly.
- You can also give the impression that there are people in by installing lights with sensors or timers. These go on and off at certain times within the house and also control the outside security lights which only come on during the night. Having security lights on during the day is a sure telltale sign that the house is unoccupied.
- Know your neighbours and join the nyumba kumi initiative. Let the chairperson of your local security group know that you will be away.
- Have a trusted friend or family member pass by the house occasionally to check that everything is in order.
Whatever you do, always remember the aim is to put in place measures that will enable the three D’s; DETER, DETECT and DELAY burglars from gaining access to your home and stealing your valuables.