According to Home Office Statistics, home owners are twice as likely to be burgled within 12 months of moving homes. “Safety will always be a priority in South Africa,” says says Mary-Jane Lefevre; call centre manager at ooba (formerly MortgageSA). “Securing your home should be one of the first things you do when you move into a new home.” Here are some suggestions on how to act like a skelm to secure your new home.

Carefully case out your home as a potential target:
- Try all the access points such as gates, windows, doors and even the roof to see if there are any potential entries.

Tidy up your garden:
- Having a tidy, trim garden will make it more difficult for anyone to hide effectively.Consider using solar lights to light up garden dark spots.They are cheap, and don’t run off electricity. Bright sensor lights can also light up large areas if they detect movement.

Anything that makes a noise is advantageous:
- Install a good sensor alarm and test it regularly and have it linked to a reputable security company.

Install Outside beams and electric fences:
- They are effective security measures. However check with your security company what will happen in the event of load shedding. Burglars can take advantage of load shedding times as these are published in advance in the press.

Go and meet the new neighbours:
- Offer to watch their place in return for them keeping an eye on yours and report any suspicious activity. It may also be an idea to motivate a security guard for your street; if everyone participates it need not be a costly exercise.

Communicate with former tenants/owners:

- Ensure that you check with the previous owners if there are keys which may be with other parties. Better still, change the locks, this way you can be sure that no one else has the keys and always keep your car and house keys with you in your bedroom at night.

Prevention is vital in the fight against crime. Securing your home is crucial for your own peace of mind and the future safety of you and your family.