People lament consistently about the crime in Cape Town. Being in the security industry, we are particularly sensitive to this aspect of living in this beautiful town. We are certain however, that taking particular measures of precaution and being aware (as opposed to overly anxious or entirely in denial) will ensure that you experience the best, most thrilling and most comfortable lifestyles this magnificent place has to offer.
And this may apply to most other places too. Our needs may not be entirely the same, but the philosophy remains: take care, be responsible, and get to live it up!
First things first: Secure your home.
Have a look at our security questionnaire on our website: http://www.thornesa.co.za/thorne-security-questionnaire.html.
Now, don’t let all the questions scare you. It may seem overwhelming but, taken one by one, each of these items may be attended to in your own home. Many of you may be restricted by serious budget constraints or you may detest all your neighbours, rendering them useless as ‘spare key holders’. Do not despair!
All of us, no matter how old, busy, poor, scatterbrained, can and must find ways to adjust our lifestyles to incorporate sound Home Security systems or actions. Whether you are unable to afford the latest hi-tech alarm system or electric fencing, you should find ways of protecting your perimeter in order to give you peace of mind and protect your precious home.
These are the core areas of focus for tackling home security needs.
by burglars. We know that burglars in South Africa can be brazen, but it will do wonders for your safety if you (or your neighbours) are able to observe the goings-on at your home perimeter. Lighting systems vary in price, and we know that electricity is expensive, so finding eco-friendly solutions will pay off in the end. Have motion-sensor lights fitted outside your perimeter, and do the same for in your garden. Department stores (e.g. Makro, Pick ‘n Pay Hyper, etc.) sell solar garden lights (though we cannot be sure of the quality) for less than R80 or motion-sensored lights for under R200. That’s less than a day’s petrol for some, or a trip to a restaurant. Prioritise it.
There are a multitude of different types of perimeter protection out there. Some are more attractive than others, and all will cost you something. Many claim that burglars find their way in no matter what – that the most determined criminal will certainly find a way over those spikes, electric fencing or barbed wire. And they’re right. But why make it easy for them? There are ample relatively discreet and convenient ways of adding an additional barrier (in the form of fencing, etc.) to your home. The opportunistic intruder will think twice about scaling that wall, and those determined ones will have to work extra hard to overcome the obstacles put in place. These types of barriers do not prevent you from getting out and can be incorporated into the style and unique design of your home too. something about. There are endless solutions for burglar-proofing out there. And they serve a variety of purposes. From
Burglar Bars and Alarms
Now burglar bars we know. The variety of bars include visual deterrents (as with the more traditional and showy bars installed on the outside of your windows), to highly secure and visually attractive bars, such as the transparent burglar bars (InvisiBars) provided by us. You choose the bars to suit your needs. But do get burglar bars. Yes, you should make contingency plans for fire exits and other emergencies (like having certain fixed window panes not fitted with smash-proof film) but here in Cape Town, you will need additional barriers to stop intruders from getting into your home. If you’ve done your homework, you’ve already made it difficult by surprising the would-be intruder with a motion-sensored light, by sticking it to him with a few well-placed wall-spikes, by mortifying him with your stand-alone garden alarm systems & sensor beams. If he makes it through all this, you do want to have one final obstacle to accessing your home. And burglar bars are it. The burglar will have to cut, or attempt to burn, bend or squeeze through your burglar bars, and this always takes time. One essential consideration here is that you do not compromise on quality with these burglar bars. We don’t mean that you all have to choose the most aesthetically pleasing bars, but rather that their material is of excellent quality and their installation is 100% safe.
- If the wood of your window frames is so soft that you can just nudge or kick the bars out of them, this is clearly an inadequate way of securing your home.
- Screw your burglar bars into wood with one-way screws, and do so at an angle, making it harder to push them out. Use stainless-steel screws to prevent rusting and deterioration.
- Install aluminium profiles or steel brackets for extra support if you need to
|InvisiBars – transparent burglar bars|
Alarm systems also vary in price, quality and attributes. Some are supported by an alarm central which monitors alarm activity in your home, while others are noisemakers used to deter intruders. Some, as mentioned earlier, are stand-alone sensor beams which detect intruders on your property before they reach your house, while others require a little more management with secret codes and camera monitors. But the variety is available to suit all budget types, and so it is definitely worth looking into, particularly if you live in a high-target neighbourhood.
Keeping yourself (and your whole family) in the loop
- Is there a clear board/notice near a telephone with all emergency numbers on them?
Keep family informed
- Do our family members know emergency numbers by heart?
- Do you have guidelines set in place in emergency situations?
Spending a little time running through these with your household members – no matter how foolish or exaggerated it may seem – will do wonders in stressful situations. Make it a fun lesson if you have small children. If you live in a shared house or student lodgings, you may feel particularly ridiculous going through emergency procedures with your housemates, but with the rate at which things are nabbed and emergency scenarios crop up in such dwellings, a few scare tactics may not hurt you here. Rather be a little unpopular than vulnerable.
Considerate neighbours, neighbourhood watch schemes, and easy street views are great ways of reducing chances of home intrusion. Pay attention to your surroundings, and (if you can), try to be friendly to your neighbours. This will encourage them to look out for you and your home, and you should do the same. You all know that you should ask them (or anyone) to collect your mail while you are away, but also let them know that you are keeping are all working together to maintain a safe and comfortable neighbourhood. Get over your aversion to social interaction and pop over to say hello if you’ve never met before. You don’t have to join each other for braais every Sunday, but you can smile and wave and keep an eye on their homes.
This is not a dog
If you are a dog-lover, and have the space, then having a dog living with you and your family can be a great way to ensure that there is an alert being around at all times to warn you of intrusion. Most sensor beams will not pick up the animal’s movement, so they should have free run of the gardens and, if possible company in the form of another dog (so doubling up the protection too) to ward off burglars. Do not keep your dogs hungry to encourage aggression in them, and ensure that they are trained to differentiate between unwanted intruders and legitimate visitors.
There are plenty more tips and solutions available to help you secure your home. But this blog post must end sometime! Just keep in mind that opportunity and temptation are at the root of many home break-ins. Keep your space as uncluttered as possible (to prevent easy hiding places), keep your whole household aware at all times, and don’t invite intruders by leaving expensive items lying around outside overnight. And give us a call or drop us a line with any questions! As you know, our range has increased to include all manner of security solutions and barrier systems, so do let us give you a free no-obligations quote for your home security needs.