LOOKING for a new home can be exciting, but security is very important to keep in mind — from the safety of the neighbourhood to how well-protected the property you are interested in is. There are some rules to follow when it comes to considering the security of a neighbourhood and home, says Fidelity ADT district manager Ivan Govender. GET TO KNOW THE NEIGHBOURHOODDo some research about your prospective new suburb — local estate agents should be able to offer some insights into crime trends and its overall safety. The SAPS website is also a good source of information about crime statistics. “Is there a neighbourhood watch or community security scheme, and are there regular security patrols?” said Govender.A LAYERED APPROACH TO ASSESS SECURITYGovender recommends taking a layered approach — working from the outside, in — to evaluate what measures are in place. From the boundary, make sure that there is nothing that could help a burglar get into the property easily. Also trim back any low-hanging tree branches that could be used to gain entry. Keep an eye out for anything that could be used as a weapon, or to gain entry to the home. Then head indoors and do a similar check. Look at the state of hinges and locks on windows, gates and doors. Also pay attention to the burglar bars.CHECK OUT THE SECURITY SYSTEMIf the property you are interested in already has an alarm system installed, find out if it is still linked to a security company and, if so, which services the property does or does not subscribe to. MEET THE NEIGHBOURSOnce you’re settled in, head next door to meet the neighbours. They are often the first to notice when something is wrong or out of place. “When residents, police and private security companies work together to curb crime, we see positive results,” Govender said. — Supplied.