- It’s essential to know how to make your house safe from burglars in South Africa to ensure your personal safety as well as to safeguard your belongings.
- This will add value to your property and most likely have a positive effect on your household insurance premiums.
- Make sure all opening windows and doors are protected by burglar guards and preferably an alarm system.
- Don’t become complacent. Use the alarm system if you have one.
Personal safety will always be a priority in South Africa. Securing your new home should be one of the first things you do – preferably before you move in – so that you leave nothing to chance or, in this case, an opportunistic burglar who might see you as an easy target.
What are the most effective ways to secure your home?
Smart home security will not only protect you and your family but will also add value to your home. South Africans are security conscious and a property that appears to be vulnerable will immediately be perceived as less valuable. Prevention is vital in the fight against crime, so knowing how to secure your home in South Africa is crucial for your own peace of mind and the future safety of you and your family.
Here are the areas you should focus on when looking to improve your home security:
Securing your perimeter should be the first thing you do, and you can do so effectively with a mix of technological and traditional security measures.
- An electric fence or wall can be a solid deterrence. If it’s a wall, it helps to reinforce it with barb wire or spikes on top; otherwise, burglars will be able to easily climb over.
- Having visibility on the perimeter of your home is essential, so install CCTV cameras as soon as you can.
- Certain smart technologies that enable you to monitor your perimeter from remote locations will also boost your security and significantly improve the value of the home.
According to the experts on mrgate.co.za, potential weaknesses of a gate include:
- Lifting. Burglars can lift the gate to gain access to the property. You can prevent this by securing the gate with anti-lift brackets.
- The gate rack. On sliding gates, this can be forced away from the gate (usually with a crowbar), allowing it to be opened. You can prevent this by welding a flat bar onto the rack to prevent it from being moved.
- The intercom. Burglars can press this to see if the home is occupied. Certain smart technologies enable you to connect your intercom system to your smartphone so that you’ll know if someone has pressed the intercom button.
- The gate remote. Ensure you’re using a modern remote with up-to-date technology, as older remotes can be copied, or the settings replicated.
Burglar bars are essential, and should be robust. Agnieszka Gryn, regional executive at Fidelity ADT, suggests installing burglar bars on the outside of the windows, even though they may not be as aesthetically pleasing.
Main doors must be made of strong material, and reinforced, preferably with multi-point locks that can lock the door at several points.
Investigator Brigadier Piet Byleveld says that dogs are one of the most effective security measures. As well as deterring criminals, they provide an early warning system.
Research by professor Rudolph Zinn from UNISA’s School of Criminal Justice and Police Practice shows alarms and security sensors to be among the most effective burglar repellents. The alarm should be installed by an armed response company, and it’s important to test it regularly and keep it maintained.
Rudolph Zinn interviewed 30 perpetrators who were convicted and incarcerated for aggravated robbery, and the majority said that they relied on inside information when deciding which homes to target. That’s why Piet Byleveld advises screening your workers, including domestic workers and gardeners, for criminal records, and finding out why they left previous employment.
Know the enemy
Do your best to inform yourself about how burglars operate. Seek advice from the local police station if possible. Low-level thieves will usually only target homes with no security, but more “professional” burglars tend to operate in groups; are keenly aware of security response times; and will usually spend time surveying properties before commencing with their burglary attempt.
Rudolph Zinn’s research shows that burglars targeted homes according to the following factors:
- Wealth. Victims were targeted because the burglars knew there would be valuables in the house.
- Inside information. As mentioned above, burglars prefer to target homes where information has been provided to them.
- Proximity. Burglars prefer to target homes within 10 to 30 minutes driving distance.
- Low security. Homes with substandard security were naturally a target.
Finding a good security provider
Whatever your plan is, ensure that your security provider is a registered member of the South African Intruder Detection Service Associations (SAIDSA), so you can be confident that their equipment and training meets the necessary standards.
If you’re still on the hunt for a property, make sure you take the time to examine all of the security features it offers. Then, bear in mind that ooba home loans provides a range of tools that make the home buying process easier. Start with their home loan calculators, then use their free, online prequalification tool, the Bond Indicator, to determine what you can afford. Finally, when you’re ready, you can apply for a home loan.
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