Durban — Homeowners have been urged to vet anyone working on their property.
Fidelity ADT said that with the start of a new year, many homeowners may want to start it with renovations or just change employed contract workers.
The security systems company encouraged homeowners 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.
Fidelity ADT marketing and communications head Charnel Hattingh said: “The people you have employed to work in your house or on your property form a vital line of defence in the fight against crime. You need to know that you can trust them with your property while you are away.
“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.”
Hattingh recommended that homeowners should start with a criminal record check which can be obtained through the SAPS, with the potential employee or contractor’s consent.
She also suggested 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,” Hattingh said.
She said that if homeowners have a security system installed and they will be leaving the property, she suggests that they ensure that the people working for them 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,” Hattingh said.
Hattingh also suggested that employees should not be 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 – a company ID card, ID book or driver’s licence; 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,” Hattingh said.
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