By: Sharil Tarmize email@example.com
During Raya month, most Malaysians are expected to leave the city and go back to their hometowns to celebrate with their loved ones. Other than worrying about the traffic caused by the annual exodus of homecoming Malaysians to their hometowns, the safety of your house in the city is also something to worry about since you’re leaving your home for two to three days and sometimes even a week.
For Malaysians who are going back to their villages, you sure don’t want to stress your mind with the unhealthy thoughts about the safety of your house during Raya festive. Do you know you can celebrate Raya and leave your home without having to feel that way? Well, there are many tips that you can use to prevent robbers or burglars from entering your house when you aren’t home.
The friendly neighbourhood watch
Your neighbours should be the first ones you tell when you’re leaving for a few days. Your neighbours should be your first line of defence and should be able to rely on them as much as they can depend on you while they are gone. However, it’s not necessary to ask them to clean your house or do the chores, but you can ask for their help to turn on your lights at night, so people will think that someone is in the house at the moment.
If you’re not comfortable with asking for your neighbours’ help, you can ask your friends or your family who live in the nearby location to keep an eye on your property. You can also call your local police department to inform them that you’re going away for a vacation. Give the officer your details, such as contact number and the dates of your departure and return. If you are leaving any vehicle, give them your registration number too. The police will send out a patrol or two to guard your neighbourhood to establish a presence.
Beware of social media
Nowadays, people post almost anything to social media just for social media points. Some crave for those attentions they are getting until they share almost everything there without knowing the potential danger they are exposed to by posting those things. Not many realise this, but once you instantly shared the photos of you and your family on vacation, it doesn’t only tell your followers that you’re celebrating Raya at your hometown, but it also broadcasts to all your followers that you aren’t home at the moment.
It’s ok to post your vacation photos, but don’t instantly share them on the internet while no one’s home. But instead, wait until you reach home from your vacation before you post it all. Skip updating status like “going back to my hometown for raya!” or “bye KL see you in another week.” It’s like you’re asking those would-be burglars among your followers to come and rob your house. That’s why it’s essential to set all of your social media accounts to private so strangers won’t be able to see your posts unless they are already following you in the first place.
Lock everything and double check
I know this sounds ridiculous if you don’t lock everything before leaving your house, but humans make mistakes sometimes. It’s always a great idea to make sure that you have locked your doors, windows, and the balcony’s sliding door. Go through the house for the last time before you step out of your house to double check if all doors and windows are closed and locked.
If you have a habit of keeping your spare keys under the doormat or any of their secret hideouts, take it all away and keep it inside your house or bring it together with you instead. Don’t ever leave any spare keys outside. Pass them to your family or friends instead so they can at least do something about it if anything happens.
Leaving the right impression
Leaving an overflowing mailbox and a pile of packages in front of your house send a clear indication to people passing around that you haven’t been home for a while. Those people could be the one who’s going to rob your house. It is also a good idea to leave a car in the driveway as a sign that someone is home.
Next, you should set timers on your electronics such as lights, tv or radio to give the impression that someone is home. A dark home at night for a week straight is a sign of an empty house. Keep the continuity by leaving your house blinds open if you usually left them opened before during the day. If you break that routine, you’re sending a signal that something isn’t right about your house and you don’t want anyone to peep into your home while you are gone.
Install a home security system
For the extra security for your house, install window and door sensors. Sign up to any professional home security system in Malaysia, such as ADT. ADT provides multiple digital panels, motion detector, a wireless keychain remote, backup battery that can last up to 12 hours even when the power goes out, high decibel alarm and entryway contacts that sound an alarm if someone forces the doors or windows open.
It’s no use to have all that futuristic security system without your potential robbers knowing. You need to advertise your security by putting stickers at your front door, gate or windows to indicate that your house is CCTV-monitored. That is supposed to be a warning sign to anyone who has ever thought of robbing your house.
Unplug all the non-essential electronics and main water supply
Before you leave the house, unplug all the non-essential electronics such as coffee maker, TV, Radio, fans, and more. By doing so, you can save more energy because even if you leave your electronics on standby power, it would still cost you on the bill. If you can afford to pay excessive electric bill per month, you’ll still need to unplug all of that before leaving your house for a few days to reduce the risk of fire caused by faulty electrical outlets.
Other than that, make sure you close your main water pipe in your house to avoid any bursts or leaking pipes. Even though the possibility of that to happen is thin, it doesn’t hurt to prepare for the worst because you have nothing to lose.
Hide your valuables in a household safe
Burglars will take everything that seems valuable to them once they enter your house. Keep all of your most valuable things such as gold, money or gun in a safe box to make sure they don’t steal it. The safety box that you’re using must be high-quality, or else there’s no use of keeping your valuables in a breakable safe box.
Other than money and gold, hide all essential documents such as social security card, financial information and personal identification that you’re not bringing together with you in a safe. Most thieves don’t only focus on stealing physical goods; they even steal your identity.
Do a house check-up after returning from vacation
The house check-up is not only done when you’re leaving the house but instead, inspect your home entirely upon your return. The reason for this check-up is to look for signs of forced entry or missing items. To make it simpler for you, take photos before and after you leave the house to see any changes while you were gone. Call the police if you notice something is wrong such as signs of forced entry or burglary. If you ever faced this situation in the future, wait outside until the police arrived to collect the fingerprints and evidence. Do not touch anything because you might interrupt the investigation.
Those are the tips to improve the safety of your house during Hari Raya. These tips are not 100% working because we’ll never know how dedicated some of these burglars are. However, those steps above can minimize the percentage of your house from getting robbed. You can celebrate Raya without worrying about the safety of your house anymore. All you should do is try your best not to make it easier for these criminals to break into your home.