It’s no surprise that the festive season brings with it an increase in crime. Homes are left unattended as the country migrates to the beach, holiday house doors and windows are left open to enjoy the pleasant December weather; it’s easy to get careless with security as we relax into the holiday season.
But after the festive break, where we’ve probably overspent and overindulged, the last thing you want have to deal with is the emotional and financial stress of a break-in. So we’ve put together a few tips to help you and your family keep safe at this time of year.
What are the crime facts?
First, it’s useful to know a few key facts about crime in South Africa. These insights come from Dr Rudolph Zinn from UNISA's School of Criminal Justice, who interviewed convicted robbers for his research, and crimestatssa.co.za, an online application for reported crimes in the country.
These statistics paint a scary picture. What’s worse, the average robber commits 103 robberies over seven years before getting caught; the conviction rate for house robberies in South Africa is only 7.7% versus 53% in the US).
Is there anything that puts burglars off?
Most of us are comforted by our alarms and armed reaction services but robbers report that they are not deterred by such protection. What really thwarts them are electric fences, detection beams, CCTV and the biggest obstacle of all: small dogs that sleep inside the house. An effective and visible neighbourhood watch can also prove off-putting.
What additional precautions can you take?
But you can’t rely on these security measures alone. There’s plenty you could be doing to make your home as safe as possible.
Finally, we highly recommend you insure your valuable belongings. You can take all the precautions in the world and still become a victim of crime, so it’s worth ensuring your assets are appropriately covered. All too often insurance is relegated to the bottom of the priority list because it’s considered an expensive, frustrating and time-consuming process. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Choose an insurer that can offer you a personalised and expert insurance solution that meets your needs in a cost-effective and hassle-free way, and you can cross one more thing off your holiday to-do list. Contact us to find out more about how our short-term insurance offering can help put your mind at rest over the holidays and remember to stay vigilant this silly season.
Acknowledgement – Leané du Plessis and www.crimestatssa.co.za (Sourced from Safire Insurance Company's monthly newsletter – February 2019)