KUALA LUMPUR, May 31 — Hari Raya Aidilfitri is just around the corner, which means millions of Malaysians will soon be heading back to their hometowns to reconnect with their families and loved ones.
That also comes with a common worrying thought — the fear of break-ins when one is away from home.
According to the statistics by Royal Malaysia Police, 44 house break-in cases were recorded on the first day of Op Selamat 15, which was launched on May 29 ahead of Raya.
To help you have a worry-free holiday, here are useful safety measures for you as a guide to secure your home and belongings.
Lock the doors and windows
This may sound like an obvious tip, but many people neglect to do this at times, especially the doors or windows that are accessible from the backyard.
Also make sure your windows and doors, including those on the first floor (if you live in a double-storey house), are secured with safety grills to prevent burglars from entering into the house.
Inform your neighbours
A simple way to have a peace of mind while travelling is to ask a friend or neighbour to keep an eye on your house, checking in from time to time.
Make sure they have your phone number so that they can contact you in case of an emergency.
You could also give the person your house key to empty the mailbox every day.
Bear in mind that most burglars check the mailbox to see if there’s a pile of letters, bills or even newspapers lying around, which is a tell-tale sign that nobody’s at home.
Give your home a lived-in look
Keep curtains and drapes slightly open and fix an electric timer in the house to switch several lights on and off automatically while you’re away.
You may also consider installing motion-sensor lights outside to give the impression that someone is home.
It is also advisable to keep a car in the driveway or have a neighbour park their car in your driveway when you’re gone.
Install a surveillance camera
Installing a surveillance camera that can be monitored via your smartphone would be a good security option when you are away.
However, if you can’t afford to have the real one, you may also consider a dummy CCTV camera as a deterrent for those intending to break into your house.
Hide your valuables
Make sure valuable items such as bicycles, bikes and car rims that attract burglars are hidden from passersby.
Also keep your cash, jewellery, watches and other valuable items in a safe, secure and hidden compartment.
Or use privacy curtains that block the view to prevent people from seeing inside parts of your house you want to be kept away from prying eyes.