Sadly, South Africa’s latest crime statistics once again make for unnerving reading. The spike in violent crime is particularly concerning. And with both inflation and unemployment on the rise, people are getting more desperate and may feel they have no option but to resort to crime.
There are, however, a number of things you can do to help keep your family and belongings safe. Here are some home security tips to help get you started!
Install a good quality alarm system and make sure it is serviced regularly.
An alarm system isn’t just a valuable deterrent against burglars, it offers you a little extra peace of mind too. Criminals are less likely to target you if there is clear evidence you have an alarm system, so make sure it’s obvious from outside the house.
Usually, the armed response company that installs the system will also place signage on your property that shows the house is defended. Make sure the system is easy to set at night or when you leave the house, and that all members of the family know how to enable the alarm and contact your security company in an emergency.
Seeing this is South Africa, after all, make sure the system you choose comes with a generous battery backup which will see you through load shedding! And, finally, test it regularly to ensure it’s in good working order. Setting up a regular reminder on your phone or computer is a good way to be sure you won’t forget.
Get to know your neighbours and look out for each other. Join or form a neighbourhood watch group.
If you live in a neighbourhood watch area, get involved. If not, introduce yourself to your immediate neighbours and exchange contact details so you can look out for each other.
Getting everyone on the street into the same WhatsApp group is a great idea, as you can share info about suspicious activity and be alerted to strange goings-on in your area. It’s also a good way to share general community-related info and news, or let your neighbours know when you’re going away on holiday so they can keep an eye on your property for you.
Keep your property well-lit, both inside and out. Consider installing motion sensor lights around the perimeter of your property.
Burglars don’t like being seen, so good lighting is a great way to deter them. If you can see someone approaching your property, there’s a good chance they can see you too, and that will usually make them think twice about proceeding.
Consider installing motion sensor lights around the perimeter of your property as an extra security measure. These are relatively inexpensive and can make a big difference to your sense of security, especially if you live in a dark or remote area. Should someone enter your property, finding themselves suddenly ‘in the spotlight’ is likely to send them packing before they even attempt to break in.
Be vigilant about securing all doors and windows, even when you’re at home.
It’s easy to become complacent about security when you’re at home, but it’s important to remember that burglars will often take advantage of an unlocked door or window.
Make sure all doors and windows are locked, even when you’re at home, and consider investing in security gates and grilles for extra peace of mind. Children should also be educated about safety from an early age so that good security behaviours become a habit that will serve them well for years to come.
Don’t offer any easy entry points or escape routes.
Imagine you’d lost your keys or your gate remote wasn’t working, and you wanted to get onto your own property – how would you do it? If you can think of an easy way, chances are a burglar can too.
Also bear in mind that criminals are also looking for an easy escape – a fence that can be clipped through quickly with access to a road, or a low wall that can be hopped over in a hurry. If you make these kinds of routes harder to access, you’re much less likely to be targeted in the first place.
Make sure any ladders, bins or other objects that could be used to gain entry to your property are kept out of sight and out of reach. The same goes for trees and bushes that might provide cover for someone trying to break in – keep them trimmed back so they can’t be used as cover. If you’ve got the budget and don’t have pets around, an electric fence can be a good investment too.
Secure all doors and windows with good quality locks, and fit burglar bars or grilles where necessary.
Home security 101 – Secure all doors and windows with good quality locks
All these measures make it harder for thieves to break in quickly without making a noise that will alert you to their presence. If you do have a break-in, these measures will also make it harder for the thieves to escape with your belongings.
Make sure valuables are kept out of sight and away from easy access points.
Even if your property is well-secured, it’s important to remember that burglars will often target easy-to-grab valuables that are left in plain sight. Make sure any items of value like laptops, wallets, and smartphones are kept away from windows and doors, and out of easy reach. If you have a safe, use it to store valuables such as jewellery, important documents, and cash.
Take extra care to secure bedrooms
If someone does break in, especially at night, the most important thing is that your family members are safe. If you’re not comfortable allowing children to lock their bedroom doors, make sure they know what to do if they suspect an intruder.
Depending on the layout of your house, it’s often possible to secure the bedrooms behind an additional security gate in the hall or passageway. Should someone try to break in, gather everyone behind a lockable door and then immediately call for help. If possible, install panic buttons in strategic locations.
Article Credit: https://emergivac.co.za/home-security-101-tips-to-keep-your-family-and-property-safe/