With the release of the latest crime statistics in South Africa, it has never been more important to take ownership and secure your home as it is simply not enough to expect SAPS or your local security company to keep you safe.

General:

  • Make sure that your chosen security provider is a registered member of the South African Intruder Detection Service Associations (SAIDSA) as this is a guarantee that any work carried out by them and equipment installed meets the appropriate industry standards.
  • Test your alarm at least once a month and request the services of a technician immediately if your alarm is faulty. It is important to remember to inform your security provider that you are putting your system into a test mode.
  • Where possible, install exterior lighting that can be controlled remotely from inside the house. It is also worth considering demand lighting which is activated by a motion detector.
  • Try to reduce foliage and bushes in the vicinity of your driveway as these act as good hiding places for would-be criminals.
  • Increase visibility – Do you have any high walls or tall hedges obscuring your view of the property? Try to remove these if possible.
  • Automatic gates are preferable as you don’t have to leave the safety of your vehicle in order to access your premises.
  • Create a “safe area” in your home by fitting a wrought iron gate or an expanding grille gate into which the family can retreat in an emergency.
  • Install a safe to store valuable items and copies of keys. Wall safes are usually not fireproof and therefore not suitable for cash or documents.
  • Add an emergency number to the speed-dial function on your phone.
  • Maintain a good relationship with your neighbours. You may require their support one day and vice versa.

When at home:

  • Always lock perimeter doors and close windows that are far away from where the family activity is centered.
  • At night always lock perimeter doors and securely fasten windows. When retiring to bed, lock inter-leading doors of those rooms that are not occupied.
  • Ensure that you are not visible to anyone outside your house when darkness falls and the lights are on. This will only serve to highlight your movements throughout your home.
  • Do not leave curtains open at night as this allows observation into the house.
  • Do not go outside alone to investigate at night. Rather switch off all lights and open curtains to allow you to see what is occurring outside, once eyes have become accustomed to the dark.
  • Never admit to a stranger that you are alone.
  • If a repair-person is expected, do not allow entry unless identity has been checked through a vision panel or door viewer and with the company concerned.
  • Do not allow strangers into your home to make telephone calls. Rather offer to make the telephone calls for them while they wait outside.
  • If you note suspicious vehicles, individuals or groups in your neighbourhood, contact the police or your security company immediately.

When away from home:

  • Do not leave notes on the door, underneath the carpet or in the post box to indicate that you are away.
  • Do not leave hidden keys.
  • Leave your house key with a trusted neighbour so that access can be gained in an emergency.
  • Do not leave only the outside lights on as this is usually an indication to would-be intruders that the house is not occupied.
  • Leave lights on and the radio playing as this gives the impression that the house is occupied.
  • Leave curtains slightly parted so your house doesn’t have an empty look, but don’t leave valuables or electronic equipment where burglars can see them through windows.

 

 

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