Pay extra attention to security during holidays

School holidays and long weekends like those coming up in the next month are the worst times for home burglaries – and even homeowners in secured environments such as cluster developments or residential estates need to take special precautions at these times to avoid becoming victims.

Most importantly, says Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group, the homeowners’ association (HOA) of the estate must ensure that its security committee will remain fully functional during the holidays – which may mean appointing alternatives for members that will be away.

“This committee is usually responsible for ensuring that the perimeter security systems – the electric fence and gate, the intercom system and any alarms - are maintained and regularly tested, and it is important that this routine is not neglected.”

Writing in the Property Signposts newsletter, he sys the HOA also needs to decide what action will be taken – and who will take it – if there is a breach in security during the holidays. Its standard procedure for relaying information about crime or emergencies to the local police, emergency services and perhaps a security company will obviously not work if key people are away.

“HOA members may also decide that it is worth paying to increase security at this time, perhaps by hiring a security company to post guards at the gate or conduct patrols around the estate.

“And finally, homeowners that will be away should inform the HOA security committee, ask neighbours to keep an eye on their homes, and ensure that the gate guards will not allow any ‘visits’ until they return.”

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