Authorised access only

2008-02-29 00:00

Meter readers, telephone repairmen, SABC inspectors, they are all bona fide visitors to your property and the criminals know this.

Authorised access often means that the person allowing access doesn't even pay attention to the visitor, just pointing him or her in the right direction and letting him or her get on with it. There have been umpteen stories of 'contractors' walking in with empty tool boxes and walking out weighed down with loot.

Be vigilant. If you have a domestic worker at home during the day, ensure that he or she never allows access to anyone, irrespective of the reason, without your prior consent.

Once a furniture contractor waited over an hour for me to get home because the factory had forgotten to tell me they were coming, and my maid wouldn't let them in as I didn't know who they were. Stress the fact that your maid is kept safe by her own vigilance; she may be the victim if she is careless.

All requests for access must be pre-arranged or authorised by you. The electricity meter reader waits outside my gate and I write down the reading and give it to him. SABC inspectors can inspect your TV licence through the gate, too.

Only allow access to those people who absolutely have to be on the premises to perform their duties and only after you have run a check via their office to ensure they are who they say they are and that they are supposed to be at your address.

* For more information on home security, contact Toni Quaradeghini at 082 440 1224.

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