There are fewer people around during the festive season, resulting in less foot traffic, luring thieves to quiet and unoccupied residence.

Source: How to protect your ho ho home this Christmas

JOHANNESBURG – The festive season is an ideal time for criminals to strike on unsuspecting homeowners who have either migrated for a holiday or have let their guard down.

There are fewer people around, resulting in less foot traffic, luring thieves to quiet and unoccupied residences.

According to Axis Communications, criminal activity such as break-ins and theft tend to increase over this period.

“Homeowners and estate managers have to take the appropriate security and safety precautions over this time, in order to keep their homes and estates in which they live in safe and secure,” says Roy Alves, Sales Director at Axis Communications.

“The most important aspect is controlling the access individuals have to your property.

“By ensuring the right people have access to the appropriate areas of your estate or home, it will result in a sharp decrease in the amount of unnecessary or ‘wrong’ foot traffic, decreasing the chance of vulnerability and ultimately an act of crime.”

Tips for controlling access to your home or estate:

• Inspect your CCTV cameras before the downtime starts, ensuring these are functioning optimally without any blind spots. If you live on an estate, on-site security guards should monitor the premises regularly

• For estate homeowners, the key to effective security lies in being able to detect a potential intruder before they gain access. This can be done through an analytics application which allows for proactive surveillance, assisting security staff at estates to detect and deter crime proactively. The application can, for example, detect trespassers or loiters and automatically notify a guard or play a message over a loudspeaker

• Rather than static cameras, look into network cameras that are connected to an IT network at your home or estate. These are digital and linked to the IP infrastructure which uses remote access to video, meaning you can connect to the internet or 3G, from any desired location or device, including tablets or smartphones, and access your live network

• The benefit of this system is that cameras can be controlled remotely and can double as two way communication devices, when they are equipped with audio features. This smart camera system allows for an incredibly robust crime prevention strategy

Other safety tips that home and estate owners should consider include:

• Badly lit homes and estates are likely to draw criminals; while well-lit areas will help deter thieves and make it easier for the CCTV cameras to record any intrusion or break-ins. Where possible, evaluate your lighting system before you pack up and leave for the holidays and ensure that remote controlled lighting is installed in order to programme lights to come on at night or remotely activate them via an online connection

• Whilst technology is constantly evolving, it hasn’t yet replaced the role of humans. So ask a family or neighbour to ‘keep an eye’ on your property, be on the lookout for anything suspicious from fresh tyre marks through to a moved dustbin or a gate left ajar

“By adopting these security tips, homeowners will hopefully enjoy a more relaxed holiday knowing they have good measures in place to deter and prevent break-ins and theft” says Alves.