I recently read an article in the People’s Post (a Cape Town community newspaper) about two teenagers (J.Venter and G. Warrin, Grade 7 pupils at Bay Primary School) who had developed a visual warning system for shark alerts on local beaches.
The girls, being members of the Fish Hoek Lifesaving Club, had noticed that with the noise of trains & traffic, the auditory shark alarms were rendered useless. In addition, the deaf & hearing impaired were not able to get fair warning of shark sightings at all!
The device they created was a flashing light signal that was easily-identifiable as belonging to the shark alarm & could not be confused with local law enforcement siren lights. The idea was simple, cost-effective & smart. As a bonus, they received silver medals at the Cape Town Expo for Young Scientists for their project.
Projects like these are happening all over South Africa, conceptualised by members of the public & brought to fruition by collaboration with local organisations, government agencies & corporations.
Essentially, what we’d like to communicate with this blog post is this:
As residents of South Africa, we’re all interested in living in safe communities without having to pay a fortune every month for private security services. It may seem odd coming from a representative of a security company, but I want to encourage you to find your own, effective means of collaborating with others to improve the safety of your communities. Relying on private companies & law enforcement ALONE is, unfortunately, not sufficient for keeping South African homes secure, and it’s time we all jumped in & starting thinking of ‘out of the box’ for solutions to improving the security of our living environments.
Please note that I am NOT advising that individuals & communities engage in DANGEROUS activities or take any actions that could be harmful to others. I strictly advise that you collaborate WITH law enforcement & private agencies, and come up with smart & effective methods of making positive changes in the safety of your community.
I love what these high-schoolers have done, and I’m aware that there are many people trying to come up with amazing ways of helping to improve & secure their neighbourhoods. A big part of the problem is that it can be so expensive to improve security!
Why not consider collaborative efforts? This is essentially what neighbourhood watch programmes do (we’ll post an article soon about the ups & downs of neighbourhood watch groups). And we do not mean just getting together as a neighbourhood to get armed response to give you a group discount. What about pooling the expertise of those in your community to work on one, collaborative project? Welders, sign-makers, IT professionals, community leaders, school-teachers, domestic workers, lawyers, accountants – the list is endless – could all provide some form of valuable service to your collaborative efforts.
I can’t advise here on any specific methods, as each community has different needs, but some groups have got together to get perimeter alarms put up in ‘weak spots’ in their neighbourhood; some patrol regularly; some assist local schools; some engage with community centres such as retirement homes to create more outdoor social activities & thus reduce ‘quiet periods’ in which burglars can strike! Inventive but effective. The list is endless, but it requires new ways of thinking about safety that is beyond ‘barriers’.
Consider also, getting together with local security providers to see if they could advise on the best ways to secure your home, offer group discounts on their products, and liaise with law-enforcement. No business owner would pass up the opportunity to talk to their target market about their products, and only foolish providers would miss an opportunity to get some first-hand information on crime trends happening in their target market location. Get them to fork out valuable information for nothing, and use the opportunity to find out as much as possible about the services you’re paying for (if you are currently using their services).
There are always new ways of improving your security, and it’s very possibly not what you expect it to look like. One thing is for sure, it has to have you steering it, because you’re the only one who will be making use of it & experiencing its effects first-hand.
To ask Thorne directly about our security products, visit our website at http://www.thornesa.co.za, or our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Thorne-Trusted-Barrier-Systems/163481107067860?ref=hl.