Security and Burglary Prevention Tips
- Ensure that all valuables and important documents are photocopied, authenticated by a Commissioner of Oaths and securely locked away. If you do not have a fire proof home safe, lodge these copies with your bank for safekeeping.
- Ensure that perimeter doors are fitted with adequate locks. The front door should have a safety chain or safety latch and, if the door has no vision panel, a door viewer. If keys to perimeter doors are mislaid, those locks should be replaced.
- Fit suitable “spacers”, locks or bolts to all sliding doors to prevent them from being lifted off their tracks (the most common method used by burglars on sliding doors and windows).
- Ensure all windows are fitted with adequate locks or burglar bars that cover all glass.
- Ensure that all duplicate keys are locked away if not in use. Do not leave in doors or make unnecessary copies.
- Install a safe for weapons and valuables. Duplicate house keys could be kept in this safe. Wall safes are usually not fire proof and therefore not suitable for face-value documents and money.
- Keep the garage and tool shed locked when not in use. Would–be intruders should not have access to any item that can be used as a weapon or burglary tool.
- Install outside lights that can be remotely controlled from inside the house. Consider installing lighting outside which is activated by a motion detector.
- Try not to have high walls and tall hedges that obscure your view of the property. If walls and ledges are low, or have openings, neighbours and passers-by will more easily be able to spot suspicious or unusual activity.
- Reduce all heavy foliage near the garage entrance and front door to reduce the possibility of those spots being used as a hiding place.
When at Home
- Always lock perimeter doors and close windows that are far away from where the family activity is centered.
- At night always lock perimeter doors and securely fasten windows. When retiring to bed, lock inter-leading doors of those rooms that are not occupied.
- Do not leave curtains open at night as this allows observation into the house.
- Do not go outside alone to investigate at night. Rather switch off all lights and open curtains to allow you to see what is occurring outside, once eyes have become accustomed to the dark.
- Do not open any perimeter door without satisfactory identification from the visitor. If in any doubt, do not open the door and consider summoning the police or your SSP.
- Never admit to a stranger that you are alone.
- If a repair-person is expected, do not allow entry unless identity has been checked through a vision panel or door viewer and with the company concerned.
- Do not allow strangers into your home to make telephone calls. Rather offer to make the telephone calls forthem while they wait outside.
- If you note suspicious vehicles, individuals or groups in your neighbourhood, contact the police, F-ADT or the whatsapp watch group.
When Away from Home
- Do not leave notes on the door, underneath the carpet or in the post box to indicate that you are away.
- Do not leave hidden keys.
- Leave your house key with a trusted neighbour or the key holder (as registered with your Security Service Provider) so that access can be gained in an emergency.
- Do not leave only the outside lights on as this is usually an indication to would-be intruders that the house is not occupied.
- Leave lights on and the radio playing as this gives the impression that the house is occupied.
If Confronted by an Intruder
- Try to escape, if possible.
- If you cannot escape, try to lock yourself in a secure room and lock the door.
- Remain calm
- Co-operate with the intruder.
- Be observant and take particular notice of any voice, dress or behavioural traits.
- Only shout for help or scream to avoid serious assault.
- If the intruder tries to leave, do not hinder or apprehend him.
- Do not follow the intruder outside. Close and lock the doors immediately and call for help by activating the home alarm system.
Other Home Security Measures
- Ensure that anyone leaving your property can get into their car, start it, lock the doors and be fully prepared to drive off before the gates are opened.
- If possible, ensure that anyone leaving your premises can do so without having to reverse into the road. Reversing forces one to concentrate on the driving and not what lies outside the gate. It also greatly reduces visibility.
- If your visitors have to park in the street, escort them to their car when leaving and check that the road is clear for them. If you have dogs, take them with you, especially after dark.
- Ensure that your gate and driveway are well lit after dark. Replace fused light bulbs immediately.
- Ensure that the number of your house is clearly visible at all times.
- Install electric gates – consider this a necessity rather than a luxury.
- If you have electric gates and an intercom system, ensure that visitors can reach the intercom without having to get out of their cars. Do not leave them waiting outside for longer than is absolutely necessary.
- If you spot anything suspicious in your immediate vicinity, do not leave you property or hesitate to drive away from it.
- Be particularly alert if you live in a cul-de-sac, given their single point of entry and exit.
- When driving, avoid wearing flashy jewellery that can be easily seen from a distance by a casual passer-by.
- Never leave any important documents in your car that may provide your personal details.
- The only solution for vehicle-related crime is to have a tracking system installed in your vehicle