What you need to know:
- Prior to Valentine’s Day, a majority of people share on social media what they have planned for the big day of love.
- Before you leave your home for a date, leave some strategic lights on. These could be your living area and kitchen lights.
- If this is your first date with someone new, who you met online, take extra precaution by suggesting a place where you are well known.
The day of love can easily turn into a day of regret and heavy losses. The show of love that dominates February 14 also creates the perfect camouflage for criminals and burglars. This Valentine’s Day you can stay safe by following these tips:
Prior to Valentine’s Day, a majority of people share on social media what they have planned for the big day of love. This may include the restaurants they will visit, the time they will go out for dinner, and how elaborate the romance shall be. “Avoid sharing these details. As innocent as they might be, they can tip criminals that you will not be home, and for approximately how long. This makes your home an easy target for burglars,” says Mberia Gitonga, a security expert and the founder of Universal Safety Centre and Consultancy, a training, and consultancy company. When you go out, do not immediately post the pictures you take during your dinner or romantic getaway. According to Gitonga, this can also tip potential burglars who may have been stalking you on social media.
Keep the lights on
Before you leave your home for a date, leave some strategic lights on. These could be your living area and kitchen lights. These work to signal that you are at home. When leaving, don’t make the habit of telling persons such as the car wash guys in your estate that you have left, unless they have proven trustworthy. “Plan to have someone come and stay over at your home if you will be out of town or country for a couple of days,” says Gitonga. This person should carry on all the duties you usually do so that your absence is not noticed or announced in your neighbourhood.
Keep your doors and windows closed
Majority of criminals attack homes by breaking through the doors or windows. According to Front Point Security firm, the highest number of burglars, 34 percent, break in through the front door. 22 percent break in through the back door while 23 percent get in through the windows. There are also multiple modern safety sensor gadgets you can incorporate in your locks to fend off burglars. These include motion sensors, flashing red alarm sirens, and door and window magnetic sensor detectors. These items are available on eCommerce platforms such as Jumia.
Tell someone you’ll be out on a date
Tell someone close to you that you will be going out on a date, and the restaurant you will be going to. If this is your first date with someone new, who you met online, take extra precaution by suggesting a place where you are well known. Don’t take this person to your home on the first day or allow them to drop you off the very first time you meet.
Tame your money
There is a lot of pressure to spend on Valentine’s Day. It is easy to go on a spending spree based on impulse instead of a budget. Before the big day, have a budget and a plan of how you will spend your money. This includes knowing the gift you will purchase or any other surprises you may pull that involve spending money.
If you have any expensive accessories such as a pulse or mobile phone, ensure that you keep it in front of you at all times. For example, if you carry a purse, the Front Point Security firm recommends that you zip it and put it in front of you. This will make it harder to be grabbed or forgotten amidst all the emotions that could be going on around you.
While on your date, the last thing you want is a call from your neighbor telling you that your house or room is on fire. To prevent this, ensure anything that could cause fire is tightly sealed when leaving home. For example, says Gitonga, when leaving the house, don’t leave your power running to your electronics. Should you come back home for candlelit moments or cuddling by the fireplace, ensure you put out the fire and the candles and keep all flammable objects away when you retire to bed later on.