– Install a burglar alarm. Make sure it’s fitted by an approved company and includes an annual maintenance contract. Also, don’t forget to put it on every time you leave the house. NB: This security feature could reduce your insurance premium.

– Fit quality security gates. Stops burglars moving freely throughout your home. NB: This security feature could reduce your household insurance premium.

– Check your door locks. Fortify your home with quality door locks – especially those bearing kite mark BS3621 which meet rigorous security standards.

– Fit window locks. Several ready-made devices make prying open a window or removing a sliding glass door from its track more difficult.

– Invest in a safe. Thieves know all the best hiding spots – under the bed, in a coffee tin, behind a bookcase… Rather stash passports, jewellery and other valuables in a heavy-duty combination safe bolted to the floor or wall.

– Keep a dummy jewellery box. Keep cheap costume jewellery in a box visible on your dresser and lock the good stuff away in the safe. Thieves are often fooled by the dummy box and will stop looking for your expensive jewellery

– Put an electric fence around your house – Nothing says “Stay out!” quite like a 220V electrified fence.NB: This security feature could reduce your home insurance premium.

– Install automatic gates. You are extremely vulnerable when you get out of your car at night to open or close your gates. Plus, thieves can just use a bolt-cutter to get through the lock securing your manual gates. Go automatic.

– Make sure there’s nowhere to hide. Chop back shrubs and illuminate your garden with motion detecting lights that startle intruders.

– Censor your rubbish. If you’ve just bought a new flat screen TV, the box it came in paints a giant “Rob me!” sign on your house. Cut the cardboard up, tie the pieces together and only put it in the bin the day your rubbish is collected.

– Clean up your garden. Tools and ladders lying in your garden just make it easier for burglars to get into your house.

– Plant cacti or thorny shrubs around your perimeter.

– Join or set up a neighborhood watch. A great way to meet new people – and make a visible impact on crime.

Follow safety tips to keep your home safe – and make sure that crime doesn’t pay.

Make sure you have proper home contents insurance. It won’t wind back the clock if you do suffer a break in, but it will at least allow you to replace your lost property.

*Courtesy SAPS Crime Report”