Security starts with a layered approach

Issue 1 2023 Security Services & Risk Management

Wahl Bartmann.

It is very easy to become completely overwhelmed when thinking about security options for your home or place of work. What do you choose? Which one is best for my family residence or for my office?

“My advice? I suggest people think about their security plans in a layered approach. If you think of it in this way, it becomes a lot easier and more effective to put the right kind of system in place,” says Wahl Bartmann, Group CEO of the Fidelity Services Group.

How to keep them out

The first layer is the outer perimeter of your property. Bartmann says this involves putting an adequate fence in place that prevents any unwanted guests or visitors from accessing your home or office. Walls, palisade fencing and even electric fencing are all effective deterrents, but it is important that you use an accredited professional to do the installation.

“Beams are also part of this outer perimeter security layer, but we advise against free-standing beams which are vulnerable to intentional or even accidental damage or interference. Instead, we recommend that the beams be connected to the main building.”

The next layer involves access control to the main building itself, and this is where burglar bars and locks are involved. “Instead of choosing the cheapest brands or options that are available, we recommend choosing something that offers durable and reliable protection. This also includes sliding doors and slam-lock doors.”

Bartmann adds that it is important that all your family members or your workplace colleagues understand the systems that are in place, so that they know how to use it in an emergency. “For example, show them how to arm the alarm system or press the panic button if they need help. Show them also how to make use of the slam-lock gates in case they feel at risk.”

What to do in a home or business invasion

It is understandably very traumatic when an unwanted visitor manages to gain access to your place of work or to your residence. In these cases, Bartmann urges calm and cooperation. “The assailants are often also very nervous and could potentially respond in unpredictable manners to any perceived provocation. That is why it is very important that you give your full cooperation and not to offer any kind of resistance.”

An important part of preventing any kind of unwanted access is to thoroughly check the identity of anyone who knocks on the door. “There are regular examples across all of the country where people pretend to be telephone technicians, alarm installers, delivery people or any kind of service delivery person. Unless you are 100% sure about the identity of the person who wants access to your property, you should never allow them in the door,” says Bartmann.

Trends and tactics

Bartmann says it is very important that people report all crimes and incidents to police. “It doesn’t matter what the extent of the damage or loss was, or whether or not you plan to claim from insurance. The SAPS can only build accurate crime trend information if they know exactly what is happening in a suburb or neighbourhood. This also allows all of us in the security and law enforcement sector to better deploy our resources in an effective manner, to better protect homeowners and businesses from crime.”

In this regard, Bartmann says it is also valuable to talk to neighbours about their experiences. “It can be helpful for example if your shop talks to other business owners down the road about what they have experienced, so that you could possibly learn from them and better protect your own premises.”

For more information, contact Fidelity Services Group,, /

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