Sharjah: Sharjah Police on Saturday launched a new security plan to ensure the safety of homes of people who go on vacation.
The campaign titled ‘Together towards protection of houses’ is aimed at securing villas and houses during the absence of owners or tenants who travel overseas this summer, a senior officer said.
The initiative features an awareness programme, including distribution of brochures among residents to educate them about the importance of informing the police about the presence of strangers or suspicious activities in their areas.
The initiative encourages people to cooperate with the police and contribute to ensuring security in their neighbourhoods. The police will also educate those who intend to travel abroad during the summer season about safety procedures they need to follow before leaving.
The officer said people wishing to safeguard their homes must register themselves in the programme titled ‘Maskani’ via the Ministry of Interior’s application.
“The main objective of the programme is to encourage residents to play an active role in protecting their neighbourhoods and reporting any negative activities and practices to the police. Neighbours of a travelling person should immediately report to the police any suspicious movements around their neighbour’s homes. We want to inculcate in people’s minds the importance of keeping good relations with neighbours and to spread the culture of respecting the neighbour’s rights and ensuring the safety and security of residential areas.”
Start with your doorstep: Nothing is more of a giveaway than old newspapers piled outside your door; so put your subscription on hold for the duration of your holiday. You could also ask a neighbour to remove anything else that gets dropped at your doorstep.
Keep the lights on: Consider putting your lights on a timer so it appears someone is at home. But if you’re going to do this, make sure you shut the blinds so you’re not obviously lighting up an empty house.
Limit how many people know you’re leaving. You’ll probably need to set up an out-of-office message on your work email, but avoid doing the same on personal emails or voicemail, or broadcasting it to your followers over the social networks.
Use a good quality safe to store any valuables and important documents that you’re not taking with you. You can buy one at most hardware stores. Close the safe tightly or deposit the valuable in the bank until your return.
Appliances left on standby use electricity all the time, which can add up to a significant amount if you’re going away for several weeks. Turning them off is not only better for the environment, but will also eliminate the chance of anything catching fire. Make sure you switch off anything you don’t need.
Do not leave your luxury car at home as much as possible.
You can keep a house key with one of your trusted neighbour to inspect the house during your absence. Never leave the house key with your domestic worker or driver.