That sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when you come home and realise that your home has been broken into or that paralysing fear when you wake up in the middle of the night and you realise someone is in your home and invading your private space. The two scenarios are amongst the most traumatising events that can happen in any person’s life. Living in Johannesburg is a remarkable experience but the reality means you have to be extra vigilant when it comes to crime. As the saying goes “I am because you are” we decided to share 11 tips to improve home security.
Erect Perimeter Barriers
Beverly Ritchie, Rental Agent at Etchells and Young Property Management, says the most determined criminal will find a way to enter the premises but erecting proper fencing (e.g. spikes and electric fences) will definitely make it harder for the criminal to enter the premises. Also, electric gates should no longer be considered a luxury but a necessity when considering securing your home.
Ensuring there is enough light in the yard is cost effective and makes the house less of a target for criminals as it makes it harder for them to find hiding places. It is best to invest in solar powered lighting when taking into account load shedding and high electricity prices. Installing motion-censored lights also help to ensure that the yard is adequately lit but also not yielding a hefty electric bill at the end of the month. These kinds of lights are now easily available at reasonable prices at most department stores.
Lay of the Land
Try to reduce bushes and shrubbery especially in the vicinity of the driveway as these could be used as hiding places for potential criminals. It is advised that a home-owner should walk about the yard and familiarise her/himself with any possible blind spots or shadows.
One Mans Rubbish is Another’s Treasure
Be careful to not draw unwanted attention to yourself by tossing out boxes that show a new TV or laptop has been bought on the curb. Instead put them at the corner of your street or cut them into pieces that will fit in a black bag.
Always ensure that all tools e.g. spades, axes and rakes are locked away as they can serve as weapons.
Man’s Best Friend
Having a dog is a great way to ensure that you will be alerted should there be an intrusion. Beverly suggests having big dogs that are trained to react only where there is an intruder will be a good way to sound an alarm.
Take extra precaution to secure your sliding door by taking a steel bar or strong dowel and slide it into the back groove. This ensures that even the sliding door is picked open, the criminal cannot slide the door back and open it.
Keep valuables outside of the bedroom. The first place criminals usually check is the main bedroom because that where all the valuables are commonly kept. We advise you to find somewhere else to store your valuables.
Ensure that you have records of your employees on hand, including photographs, in the event that you may need to identify them.
Spice up your routine
Change your routine. A predictable routine makes it easier for criminals to attack.
Know thy neighbour
We all love our space and cannot stand nosy neighbors but it is important to have good relations with your neighbors or join the neighborhood watch. No need to be best friends and share your deepest darkest secrets with your neighbors but looking out for each other ensures greater alertness and better security.