It’s no secret that crime increases over the holiday periods – so make sure you’ve got yourself covered this year.
Crime patterns change quite substantially from one month to the next. The bad news is that violent and property crimes tend to increase substantially during the festive season when compared with the rest of the year.
Research reveals that in fact, house robberies increase in the months leading up to the festive season, starting as early as October and peaking in December. Whilst our main fear is returning home to an empty house, the study revealed that murder and serious assault increase by as much as 50% during December each year.
1. PREPARE FOR THE WORST. Contact your insurer now to update your policy. Check the replaceable value of your household contents and make any necessary changes. If you are renting your home to holiday-makers, your insurer needs to know. Take pics of specified items and keep them on file.
2. PROTECT YOURSELF. Contact your security company to service your sensors and reset your settings to ensure that beams are activated whilst the property is vacated.
3. TAKE PREVENTATIVE MEASURES. Install day-night switches so that the property is well lit at night. Consider using a house-sitting service so that criminals are less likely to target your home.
4. MAKE DUPLICATES. Make a list of your bank cards and keep a certified copy of your ID in the car or in your luggage so that in the event of theft, you are able to cancel your cards and get things done. There is nothing quite as frustrating as losing all the items in your wallet, including your ID.
And since assault is the real danger, take precautions while you unwind.
5. BE VIGILANT. Don’t endanger yourself by walking in deserted areas alone at night no matter what your destination. Park close to the entrance of malls and restaurants. Use safe beaches where there are lifeguards present.
6. PREPARE YOUR CHILDREN. Speak to your teens. Advise them to limit their alcohol intake (yes, they do drink even if we like to think otherwise!) and to leave a party if it gets out of hand. Discuss secret signals so that they need not be embarrassed but can quietly let you know that they are uncomfortable or need your help.
7. PLAN. Set up emergency numbers on your cell phones.
8. TAKE CAUTION. This may be a sensitive topic but emotions can run high at family gatherings so limit alcohol intake and leave if things get tense.
And finally, don’t drink and drive. There should always be a designated driver who abstains from the festivities.