As many of you will be vacating your homes for the summer holidays, it is time to spare a moment to consider your domestic security.
It is at this time of year and at Lebaran (the holiday period at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan), that you may become more vulnerable to incidents of theft.
However, there are a number of measures that you can take to significantly reduce your risk exposure:
- Always maintain harmonious relationships with your domestic staff and neighbors. This one of the best forms of risk mitigation for domestic security. Over the years it has been our observation that those expatriates who have had poor relationships with their domestic staff were more likely to become victims of theft. One of the many advantages of developing good relationships with your neighbors is that they are likely to alert you as to when you may be starting to have problems with your domestic staff.
- Continually remind domestic staff not to admit unauthorized visitors, even if they are expatriates. Well-intended staff will sometimes allow strangers into homes for the fear of causing insult. There have been cases where foreigners have stolen goods from houses. If you have not given instructions for specific individuals to be allowed into your home during your absence, then they are not to be admitted.
- Also remind your staff to be cautious about giving sensitive information, especially in relation to your whereabouts, to those telephoning your home. It is one of the best methods for organized thieves to identify windows of opportunity to steal. Staff need only reply to a curious caller “I am sorry, he/she is not here at the moment, please leave me your name and number so that he/she can return your call.”
- Remind your staff to, as much as possible, carry out their usual household routines. This would indicate to the casual observer that you are still at home. For example turning the lights on at night, mowing the lawns, cleaning the windows, etc.
- Ask colleagues from the office or friends to telephone or visit your house unannounced. This serves to both test the effectiveness of the instructions you left with your staff, along with lowering the temptation for your staff to steal or have their own vacation during your absence. You might consider occasionally calling home to check on the situation.
- If you have not already done so, it is recommended that you take photocopies of your domestic staffs’ identity cards (KTP) as well as having photographs of them on file. Be sure to obtain the details of their next of kin and home address. In your vetting process you should have had their references verified. It’s a good idea for you to have also visited them at their home to verify their place of domicile. It is also crucial that you store the KTP copies and other details in your home safe or better yet, at the office. These measures also serve to lower the temptation for any staff facing a monetary difficulty to steal from you.
Having done all this, you should enjoy your home leave with peace of mind.