Home owners are encouraged to do research into anyone they allow onto their property or into their homes to do any work. They should be sure that any contract worker, cleaner, construction worker or builder is trustworthy before they are granted access, says a private security company.
“The people you have employed to work in your house or on your property form a vital line of defense in the fight against crime. You need to know that you can trust them with your property while you are away,” says Theunis Kotze General Manager for ADT Security.
“Doing the necessary background checks before hiring them may seem like a time consuming exercise but could make all the difference to your home security. Often in cases of break-ins and house robberies, inside information has been shared with criminals,” he says.
Kotze recommends starting with a criminal record check which can be obtained through the SAPS, with the potential employee or contractor’s consent.
He also suggests doing a reference check with previous employers. “Ask questions about dismissals, responsibilities, any security issues, punctuality, and so on. Their answers will give you a good idea of the person’s track record,” Kotze says.
If you have a security system installed and you will be leaving the property, he suggests that you ensure that the people working for you know how to activate the alarm to call for help in case of an emergency.
“Explain to them how they need to deal with an alarm activation, what to do when the security company calls and when an officer responds.”
Kotze also suggests that employees are not allowed to give access to the property to anyone they do not know. Only if you have granted permission for them to come onto your property should they be given any access. Also explain how they should respond if someone rings the doorbell or calls on the intercom:
- Ask the person to identify him/herself by full name;
- Ask them to state their business;
- Ask them to show identification – company ID card, ID book or driver’s license; and
- Verify – by calling the homeowner to find out if they are expecting the person or call the company the person works for to check if this is indeed a legitimate visit.
“Lastly, consider enrolling any employees who may be working for you for an extended period of time in local crime-prevention forums which take place in most neighbourhoods every month. These are often arranged by the SAPS or community members and teach valuable crime-prevention and safety tips,” concludes Kotze.