Home invasions in South Africa are unfortunately on the rise, leaving a lot of us feeling vulnerable and afraid for our family’s well-being. However, there are some things we can do to help prevent and deter this type of violent crime so that we can feel more secure and in control thus having more peace of mind.
Put together a home security checklist and get the family to participate.
1. Keep gates and doors locked
Ensure that your gates are locked at all times and that the keys cannot be reached easily and are not lying around uncontrolled. Security gates with sturdy locks in front of each outer door as well as burglar proofing covering all windows are recommended.
2. Large dogs serve as a deterrent
At least one dog should be trained to sleep inside the house.
3. Make sure you don’t leave potential weapons lying around
Ensure that tools such as axes, spades, picks, ladders, etc that can be used in an attack, are locked away when you do not use them.
4. Keep trees & shrubs trimmed
Trim overgrown trees and shrubs around your house that may shield an intruder from view Thorny shrubs under ground-floor windows are not only pretty, but but also improves home security by make it trickier for burglars to get in and out of your home quickly which acts as a deterrent.
5. Keep curtains closed at night
You should not be visible in the bedroom from the outside when you are asleep.
6. Switch on your outdoor lights at night
Criminals are less likely to consider close quarter surveillance of well lit properties and it’s more difficult to see inside the house if the outside lights are on. During the day, consider closing your curtains to hide valuable items from sight where possible.
7. Try to use automated gates
Automatic gates are preferable as you don’t have to leave the safety of your vehicle in order to access your premises.
8. Create a “safe area”
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.
9. Install a safe
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.
10. Join your neighbourhood watch & local WhatsApp groups
Neighbourhood Watches have been a great source of information for SAPS and Security Service Providers. And when used properly, WhatsApp Groups allow for the quick communication of any criminal or suspicious behavior to help prevent burglary.
11. Report and suspicious behaviour or vehicles
Report any suspicious behavior or vehicles to your Security Provider, Neighbourhood Watch, or WhatsApp group. If criminals know you are aware they tend to move on.
12. Remove markers
Remove any ‘out-of-place’ objects outside your home i.e. bottles, match boxes, scratches on the ground etc. Criminals will often use scouts to screen your area prior to an intrusion. Also, if you find any out-of-place objects be extra alert.
13. Street people
It’s a good idea not to put out food, recycling materials and so on. Rather support your local shelter and visit your recycle center. The fewer people you have on your street the easier it will be to identify criminals.
14. Don’t advertise
Don’t advertise by throwing the empty box from your new TV set or other expensive electronics and so on.
Protect your property and family by arming your alarm system, even at night. Use multiple layers of home security products rather than one or two methods only. Also outdoor devices and burglar deterrents are a particularly good means of early warning.
16. Build relationships with your neighbours
Ensure that you have a good relationship with your neighbours so that you will be in a good position to support and help each other.
17. Emergency number on speed dial
Add an emergency number to the speed-dial function on your phone