Is my home secure enough?
What is the best security for homes/business?
I just bought a new home and need security, what should be my priority?
I want security but I don’t want to feel like I’m in a prison, what options do I have?
What will deter a criminal?
How do I stay one step ahead of the criminal?
There are many questions regarding this topic and being a cautious home owner as well as a CPF member, I would like to share what security works and what criminals look for.
I will first start with the criminal:
There are two types of criminals, opportunists, and then you get the criminal that does he’s or their homework before doing the crime.
Crime does not sleep, and constantly happening in our areas. Crime is definitely more active during work hours, but also depended on what type of crime. A lot more hijackings happen when we leave or come home from work. House robberies/break-ins are quite frequent during the work day. Wall jumpers love the evenings, but all of the above can take place anytime of the day and night.
Opportunists will act on that moment, using a surprise approach, but will most likely try be incognito. They seldom want to be seen, as they have limited knowledge of their surroundings and escapes.
- Keep tools, bicycles, hose pipes, and other valuables out of sight. What they cannot see, they won’t want to steal.
- When leaving or even entering your premises, make a note that gates and garages are closed. Be careful with your remotes when putting them down after use, many times the remotes accidentally activate. We’ve seen many thefts because of open gates and garages. I recently chased a wall jumper that had noticed my neighbor’s garage open. He did a quick observation by walking passed twice, then attempted to break in until I intervened.
- Listen to the dogs around your home, some bark for no reason and some bark when there is someone. My next door neighbor has two dogs and they only bark when there is someone, I will always get up to look when I hear those dogs barking. Countless of times I have caught wall jumpers in the early hours of the morning because of my neighbours dogs.
- If you wake up during the night don’t just go back to sleep, ask yourself, what woke me up? There was obviously a noise that broke you from your sleep and don’t remember now that you are awake. Make sure you investigate before going back to the pillow.
- Don’t throw away empty boxes (new appliances, T.V.’s), into your bins. Rather discard of the box at your local rubbish dumps. You are showing the criminal exactly what to target when entering. This is especially the case in South Africa, as we have guys digging in the bins for scrap or plastic.
- One thing we battle with as CPF, is the lack of wall security, like electric fence, spikes, palisades, etc. this would help tremendously on slowing down the criminals when we are in pursuit of them. Also, if they do hear our vehicle before we enter the road that they’re currently in, they will just jump a wall that doesn’t have any security and hide there until we pass.
- Outside lights. The more the better I say. Criminals love to operate in the dark, so don’t aid them.
- Share any unusual information with your local CPF. One of the community members was robbed one night, when talking to them we found out that three nights prior to the incident, their dogs were poisoned. They failed to share this info until it was too late.
- Find out when the CPF all sector meeting is on and go learn about your area and the crimes taking place. You will be surprised on when most crimes take place and how they do it. Very little of the community take part in this, and I’m afraid it’s a big reason why so many people become a statistic.
- Join community chat groups and make a chat group for your road. The more eyes out there, the more crime we stop. Don’t abuse the chats.
Organized and calculated criminals:
These criminals have studied the area, your movements and have even come into contact with your domestic workers. They can be on foot or in a vehicle. They can be wearing overalls or smart clothes. This is their profession so don’t underestimate them.
- Have your domestic workers profiled at your local police station. Always good to physically know where they stay as well.
- If possible, don’t give them remotes or keys, even when they are working at your home. There is a high percentage of inside jobs, police always look at the domestics or workers on the property.
- Make sure you have a procedure in place for your domestic to follow regarding announced visitors. My rule is, no one must come in while I’m not around regardless of who they are. I will fire my domestic on the spot if that rule is broken.
- Try get out of a consistent routine by leaving different times, changing your route home, etc. criminals look for that when you have a strong security system at home. They will rather catch you leaving or entering your home.
- Keep shrubs and trees to a minimum by your entrance, nothing criminals can hide behind.
- Keep trees trimmed by your walls or fence, don’t create a place where the would be criminal can climb.
- When opening up the main gate for someone, try doing it from inside your home where you are close to a panic button. The quicker you can react, the less likely it is for a criminal to carry on the crime
- Check your perimeter regularly for anything unusual like loose palisades, etc.
- I like to go outside and check my security systems. Try think like a criminal would, by finding the weak spots in your security or dark areas to hide. Also check that none of them have been tampered with.
- When arriving or exiting your property, park parallel to the road while waiting for your gate to open/close and be in gear in case you need to get away. Make sure you can reverse or go forward. The more options available to you, the better chance of avoiding an attack.
- Be careful of people trying to get your attention from the road, while they have a second person trying to gain access somewhere out of sight.
Security for my family comes first and I will rather spend money on new and better security systems, than spending on new T.V.’s. or furniture.
Not everyone has thousands to spend, but there are still ways of reducing your chances of intruders. A rule my family always told me was to always have better security than the neighbouring homes. The criminal will rather go next door.
Cheap and inexpensive ways of securing your home:
My understanding is to stop the criminal as far away from my building as possible. So that in mind, concentrate on boundary security. If you can’t afford electric fence, use razor fence/barbwire/spikes/broken glass. Try use at least two of these items.
Plant thorn trees/cactus/ aloes on the outside boundary to make it harder for the criminal to reach your wall. This will also deter them because it will slow down their escape if they are spotted.
Local hardware’s and security companies sell these cheap alarm beams that are remote activated, that warn you when something has broken its line of sight. It doesn’t connect to a reaction company but at least his element of surprise has been foiled.
Dogs are always good, but have them inside at night. Dog poisoning happens mostly at night. Don’t rule out the day though. Small dogs are very alert and big dogs are scary. Having the combination of big and small will make it very difficult for the criminal.
Security systems that cost a bit more, that are worth the buy:
Electric fences` make sure you get the square tubing poles rather than the round ones.
Gate open sensors Lets you know when your gate is open.
Paradox Outside beams are to me a great buy. They are available in wireless, so you can position them anywhere with ease and you can move them if you find a better spot. These also have a tamper feature. The reason why they on top of my list, is because you are extending the security barrier further outwards for criminals. If a criminal is breaking in, I want him to be as far away from my family as possible when that alarm has been sounded. His time frame for reaching the inside of my home from the time of my alarm going off, must be cut as short as possible. They not cheap, but worth the buy. You can add them as you can afford.
Cameras very good for seeing what’s happening around and in your house. Any noise, and just check the TV on what’s going on. Walk around your home and see how many you would need to cover all areas. Then go purchase the system. A very good tip, have some cameras facing your home windows and doors. So many people face them only outwards, facing the road. If someone is trying to get through your window, you’d never know. I believe its also better to have cameras close to and facing the road so you can pick up number plates. So many times, we are alerted to house robberies or break ins, and the victims can’t give us a good enough description of vehicle or registration numbers, so we can respond quickly and find the criminals while still in possession of the stolen property. Keep your camera’s hard drive locked up in a safe or steel cage, criminals will destroy evidence if found.
Sub Lethal Remote Gun is a South African product, which is legal to the public. No license required. The gun sits high up on a pole overseeing your home/work premises. It fires bullets similar to a police rubber bullet. You control the gun via a remote similar to a gaming control. While watching the screen on your control, you can pick up the target, aim, and fire. Check out their website www.sublethal.co.za for more information.
Sniper Cameras is a camera system that is positioned at all entrances to your area. This device is connected to the police data base and can inform police/security/CPF of stolen or flagged vehicles that are entering your area. I think this is definitely a big deterrent for criminals, as these cameras will catch the criminal before they catch us. They are not cheap, and the community and security need to come together to raise funds for such a product.
Clear burglar bars are definitely a better product regarding aesthetics, as they are clear and made from Polycarbonate that offers a 3000kg tensile breaking strength. You can have the standard bars, or you can have the bars with wire running through the edges to connect to your alarm system.
Security shutters A good looking security type product is the Shutters. Made of aluminium throughout its body and has a locking function for all panels. This product not only serves as a security feature but also as a very stylish blind, where you can manipulate the light to your desire. Checkout www.blindsbeyond.co.za for more information or a free of charge quotation.
Security gates which expand and contract, taking up little space in your opening. Great for sliding doors, doors and even windows. Look out for a new product coming soon called Tiger Tough Trellis (Triple T Gates) you can speak to Blinds Beyond in the meantime if interested.
Security company Make sure you have a good armed reaction company looking after your property. I do a lot of research on the local armed responses before making my choice. I look on who is strong in my area. I look at who mans the control room with regards to phoning you in an activated alarm situation. I will also check how much they patrol passed my home and how they react to different situations. Remember that they need to be well trained in case they run into a robbery in progress and your family are close by. Check your panics/alarms on a regular basis, to ensure perfect working condition in the event of a real-life threatening situation. Don’t be shy to push the panic to test your security, don’t do it often or the security company might mistake a real crime for a false alarm. On a panic being pushed, check how your security react to this type of incident, as this could be the difference between staying alive or having you and your family’s life in danger. If you can, be sure to give as much detail in an incident to your security company, so they and you stay safe. If you are able to message your security/CPF during a robbery, give as much description of how many perpetrators there are, clothing description, language they speak, vehicles used (registration numbers), and also phone numbers of stolen phones, so we can track them if they are on the run.
Well I hope that this information I have provided, will help strengthen your security and give you more insight on criminal activity. We are here to help, so feel free to contact us with any queries.