Considering how many times we read about house break-ins, robberies, or hear about closer-to-home incidents around the braai, home safety remains a concern for many South Africans.
Some tips to ensure your home is as secure as possible:
Cover the basics
It is important to ensure you have the basic safety and security features installed – and in working order – at home. Things like burglar bars in front of windows and safety gates at the doors should go without saying. Not only are these the first steps to giving you peace of mind, but it also helps to increase the value of your property. Ensure, and regularly check, that the main locks are in order and be sure to keep a spare set of keys away from the property with somebody you trust.
Many homes today have alarm systems, which is another effective means of keeping your property safe. Test the alarm regularly and report any possible faults to your provider immediately.
There are a number of other security features that one might consider, such as, security cameras and electric fencing. A budget-friendly option in this regard is to ensure that the property is ‘open’ and not surrounded by foliage, shrubs and trees that hamper visibility and that could offer a would-be perpetrator an unseen way onto your property.
Outside lights tend to also be effective as a deterrent. Install them strategically around the outside of the property and leave them on throughout the night.
Have an exit strategy
It is useful to have an escape plan in the event of things going awry, particularly at night. Do you know how you would get out of your house if somebody came in through the front door? Probably one of the worst ‘safety’ things you can do is lock yourself in completely. It is something worth thinking about and discussing.
Strength in numbers
In the case of an emergency at home, it’s your neighbours that can reach you the fastest – certainly faster than your friends and family, and most likely faster than the emergency services too. Make a point of introducing yourself to the ones closest to you and carry on the effort by stopping for a quick hello if you see them outside. Your neighbour is the one likely to notice and notify you if you forgot your garage door open at night, or if there is a suspicious character lurking around your house during the day.