Safeguard your house from break-ins
House break-ins are devastating for homeowners. The idea that anyone can just gain access to your hard-earned valuables is upsetting. There are, however, steps that you can take to safeguard your home against intruders.
Know your neighbourhood
From the outset, know the status of crime in your neighbourhood. This information can be accessed through your Neighbourhood Watch or your area’s Community Policing Forum.
- Join your Neighbourhood Watch
- Get to know your neighbours and discuss being on the lookout, especially when you are away on holiday or are working late. Tell them or a family member your destination and when you will be returning home.
- Know where the criminals hang out and their modus operandi
- Know where the drug dealers or gang leaders live, especially if you are thinking of moving into an area. If the statistics are bad, rather not move there, if you can help it.
Protecting your boundaries
The first line of defence that you should install is perimeter fencing.
According to the South African Police Services (SAPS), instead install a see-through high fence with razor wire on top and a lockable or automated gate, instead of a high solid wall where you can’t see in or out.
Ensure no blind or hiding spots in your grounds by cutting away shrubbery on pathways or near windows and doors. Do not leave gardening tools or other tools like hammers and axes lying around that intruders can use to gain access.
It pays to install motion sensor lights directed away from home in the front, back and sides of your home so that you can observe from a vantage point inside of your home without being seen from the outside.
Also, place objects at strategic blind spots that make a noise when someone brushes against it, such as climes near windows or in plants. Lay down hard gravel pathways that crunch instead of brick paving.
Install electric fencing on your perimeters if you live in an isolated place. Or install dome or thermal imagining cameras on your property perimeters and a CCTV system as a deterrent.
Practice access control and don’t allow strangers onto your property at night.
If you’re going to get a dog, rather get two, a large dog to freely roam around the grounds and another one that is trained to sleep inside. For instance, if they aren’t there at the gate or making noise inside when you arrive home, then you can be sure that something is amiss.
SAPS says don’t go inside. Rather call 10111.
Protecting your house
According to PMGT.org, criminals hate homes with alarm systems, a car in the driveway and neighbours who talk to each other and who are always aware of goings-on, such as reporting suspicious behaviour or covering for their neighbours who are away by putting their bins out on trash collection day.
SAPS says that for home protection, you can’t go wrong with:
- Installing an alarm system with a siren on the roof, panic buttons spread throughout the home, linked to a security company with armed response patrols.
- Creating a refuge like a storeroom or a bathroom with a small window where you can hide emergency communication gear, a first aid kit, a panic button to your security company in case of a home invasion
- When you leave home. lock your doors, close your windows and always switch on your alarm and other security systems
- At night lock all windows and doors and switch on the alarm system
- Burglar bars on all your windows, security gates that are always kept locked with the keys far out of reach
- Strengthening outer doors with safety bars, additional locks, peepholes and safety chains
- An intercom system between the house, gate, garage and front door
- Installing a safe for valuables and to keep a gun, if you have one. Keep the keys in a safe place.
SAPS and PMGT suggest that you practice key control because keys can be copied. Don’t label keys but colour-code them for only your family’s benefit. And never hand over your house and your car keys in a bunch to tradespeople working on your home or your car. Separate keys from the bunch if you’re taking your vehicle to be repaired, for instance.
The bottom line is to make access difficult for an intruder. Don’t give yourself, your routines or what you have away by being careless.
In an emergency, iER will notify your emergency contacts.
iER offers members three different plan options.
It is Standard that everyone gets full and free access to the service providers on the network. Or, upgrade to a package that allows you access to utilise iER’s full cover. There is a Premium Plan and a Premium Plan Plus that offer loads of extras for post-emergency protocol for a nominal fee.