Admit it. You have taken one look at everyone in the UK flapping about regarding their latest heatwave and you’ve rolled your eyes a bit, because while 38 degrees may be hot… is it really THAT hot? And look, we’ll reserve judgement because admittedly their water is too cold to swim in too, so it sucks to be them right now, but still. Of course, conversely, here we sit in our… winter? (Question mark intentional).
FWIW while our ‘sort-of’ winter may be mild compared to other places and even other years, and while we may not have to worry too much about frosty roads and waddling like a penguin to get through snow without slipping – unless we head up a hill to try find some, we do still need to pay attention to other wintery things. Like earlier sunsets that lead into longer nights.
It shouldn’t surprise you that this is a season for increased criminal activity. Bad guys of the house/business break-in and fence hopping variety like to work under the cover of darkness, and there is always a bit more of it to go around during this time of year. Increased working hours, means increased productivity after all.
So, bearing the above in mind (including the cool factor), we have devised the following handy guide to keep you safe over the next couple months.
Freeze. Here’s your Winter Safety and Security Checklist:
- Loadshedding. Durban and some of its surrounds has had a bit of a loadshedding time-out, however things are leveling up in the powering down department again. Since it’s still winter, this means even more time in the dark. Make sure that your devices are charged, your data is on, your torches are ready and your battery back-ups (including the ones for your alarm) are functioning.
Loadshedding plays havoc with alarm systems as everything shifts from one power source to another, so be cognizant of this and let’s make sure your alarm doesn’t go off, or off.
- Be pragmatic. With cooler, shorter days and longer, colder nights you’ve changed your wardrobe (flip-flops and socks we see you), why stop there… change your habits too.
- Alter/adjust travel habits. Try and mix up the approach direction and time you arrive at your property, to keep bad guys guessing.
- If you feel nervous for any reason on your way home, call us, and we will come running (fine, driving) and escourt you in.
- Test your security system. Best done by your security team. Ask them to evaluate the property and make sure that everything is working correctly, that timers are timing, beams are connecting, and fences are being an appropriate deterrent (aka if they are electric that they are switched on and mean business).
- Make sure that your electric gates are working and that you have a functional back up battery for it, in case of loadshedding.
- Stay in your car until your gate has completely shut behind you.
- Set your house lights to a timer to ensure that you return to a lit property.
- Set external beams while out AND while home (after everyone is accounted for).
- Cut back your shrubbery and bushes and trees. Let’s not give bad guys even more cover than the winter nights already provide.
- Draw your curtains and drop your blinds. You’re nice and warm inside with the lights on, but while you’re distractedly cooking dinner and singing into a spatula, you’ve giving bad guys the opportunity to check out the stuff inside your home (and a free show).
- Make sure you’ve locked doors, windows, security gates and the likes while you’re inside.
- If you have CCTV linked to your alarm, you can monitor your camera feeds remotely before returning to your premises, this is an excellent safety check to have in place and utilise.
- We generally wind up responding to quite a few fire related emergencies in winter, because while we may be on the milder side of things here, it can still get pretty freezing (by our standards) at night. Please consider the following:
- Never leave your indoor space heater, whether gas or oil or electric, unattended and don’t sleep with them on either (in fact, unplug them).
- Don’t utilise these heaters near hanging curtains or fabrics or anything wooden.
- Don’t run your plug cables under carpets.
- Switch electric blankets off at the wall once you are up and out of bed.
- Install smoke detectors and link them to your alarm system (we can help with this).
- We know that you are tucked up tight in bed and your feet are finally warm, but if Frank the Pug suddenly starts barking unusually at 3am, we’d like to suggest you get up and check on that (and him), without going outside of course. Chose vigilance over warmth, and Frank’s ‘must-protect-my-human’ mode over your immediate comfort.
Remember, if you wind up with a sudden chill, but not from the cold, and you are within our footprint, please call us. We’re always available to bring the heat (bad pun mode activated) In Case of Anything.