A robbery yesterday (22 August) at a home in Bryanston has highlighted the importance of remaining vigilant when contractors are working at your premises.
Steven Bronks, Community Development Manager for Fidelity ADT, says the robbery today was opportunistic. While the workmen were busy fixing the gate, four armed suspects took advantage of the open gate. They held the workmen hostage and were able to access the house through an open garage door and get away with electronic equipment and jewellery and cell phones.
“This is not an uncommon situation,” says Bronks. “This is the second incident we have had recently. Complex owners are particularly vulnerable and need to remain vigilant when there are contractors on site. Opening your house to contractors can definitely expose you to risk.
Ideally you should follow the following five tips:
- Vet your contractors thoroughly. Remember the risk is not only from opportunistic crime but potentially from the contractor themselves. A reputable contractor will usually have references and we recommend you contact these prior to any contracts being signed.
- Remain particularly security conscious while contractors are on your property or within the complex by keeping all access doors closed, particularly when your perimeter security is being worked on
- When work starts, lock away your valuables especially those that are small enough to fit into a pocket or backpack if contractors are in your home. Make sure all keys are put out of sight. Ensure that your contractor understands your concerns regarding the safety and the security of your property. You may even consider giving the contractor a panic button.
- Inform your security company when contractors are on site – They can do extra patrols and keep an eye on the property during the work when the perimeter may be compromised.
- Hiring a casual guard may be a good option if you are having extended renovations to keep an eye on the property while service providers move in and out. Often gates are left open as contractors load and offload items, leaving the premises vulnerable. Having a security presence at the property is a great deterrent for opportunistic criminals and sends a message to workers on the property that security is a priority.