Dealing with South African reality

August 2015 Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection

“I wanted to show that out of something bad, comes something good,” says radio personality David O’ Sullivan, commenting on the media hype around the CCTV footage of his wife’s ordeal at the hands of armed robbers, and his decision to donate his gate motor to a children’s home in order to upgrade to a faster model.

The footage in question shows a gang of thugs – their faces obscured by bandannas and peak caps – in a white BMW pinning the O’ Sullivans’ entrance gate with their vehicle before it has had a chance to close completely, and proceeding to rob David’s wife, Jacqui, of jewellery in excess of R20 000.

So-called contact crimes (which is any criminal act in which there is an interaction between the criminal and the intended victim) like the one that befell the O’Sullivans, has cast a pall of dread and anxiety over homeowners, who fear falling victim to a similar fate. Violent criminals’ draconian reign has left scores of South Africans fleeing the country, and even more citizens trapped and feeling helpless.

Gate advice

However, we are not completely powerless when it comes to keeping criminals at bay, as Centurion marketing and sales director, Richard Rohman, points out. One’s entrance gate can be a single point of success or failure, and in this article he provides readers with some handy tips for securing the entrance to one’s property.

“In the case of the O’Sullivan incident,” Rohman explains, “where a motor vehicle was used to jam the gate before it was fully closed, a fast-moving gate motor like the Centurion D10 Turbo [which is the model David has now upgraded to] will in most cases be effective in closing the gate before the intruder can get their vehicle in position to block the gate.”

Additionally, a pair of infrared gate safety beams can be fitted and used to activate an alarm or loud sound bomb – activated when the infrared beam is interrupted – which will hopefully deter the criminals. Combine this with an alarm output on the controller so that, should the gate go into multiple collision mode, the same sound bomb blasts straight into the driveway.

He adds that it’s of equal importance that measures are taken to prevent thugs from forcing the gate open when it’s in the closed position, and lists the following guidelines as critical to ensuring the integrity and security of one’s gate:

• Adequate anti-lift brackets must be provided to prevent the gate from being lifted so that the rack is disengaged from the pinion.

• Strengthen the mounting of the rack adjacent the pinion, so that the rack can’t be bent up and away from the pinion and lose locking engagement.

• The front catch bracket must be sturdy enough to prevent the intruder from pushing the gate over.

• Finally, he recommends fitting a Centurion GateLox electric gate lock to positively lock the gate in the closed position.

For more information contact Centurion Systems, +27 (0)11 699 2400,,


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