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Residential Estate Security Handbook 2018

Is estate living really safer?
September 2017, Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection, Residential Estate (Industry)

Is estate living really safer? This is a perception that is mostly true, but several large and seemingly highly secure estates experience burglary sprees and violent robberies. Although less regular in occurrence compared to other popular or more traditional forms of living, it is still not totally immune to crime.

Terry van Zyl.
Terry van Zyl.

How does security differ between estates and complexes?

Estates are, in most cases, much larger than traditional housing complexes and therefore have larger budgets for increased security measures. They normally feature a larger variety of protection systems including physical barriers, electronic equipment and security staff.

We often hear of criminal activities in estates despite having guards at the gate, cameras and access control systems. Why?

Most people living on estates buy into this lifestyle believing that it is totally secure and crime-free. They generally relax their awareness to identify threats like new and suspect neighbours, worker patterns, etc. Criminals operating in estates vary from professionals who blend in with the residents by renting properties, to petty theft by workers and even young residents with drug habits which they support by selling stolen goods.

How can residents protect themselves to a higher level on estates?

Homeowners can improve their security by installing a monitored alarm system, even while believing that it is not necessary on their estate. It is a well-known fact that very few alarms are installed and monitored on estates because of the security that already exists. A working alarm will deter burglars from entering a home when they know it will attract immediate attention from neighbours, estate security or armed response. Neighbours living on estates are more likely to know their neighbours and their movement patterns than in the suburbs. A monitored alarm system also offers fixed and wireless panic buttons to be used.

How can estate security improve their reaction to incidents inside an estate?

A monitored alarm system can be linked directly to an armed response company (preferably SAIDSA-approved), but also directly to the estate control room for immediate reaction by the estate patrols. The RDC VHF alarm radios have the capability to report to both the armed response company and the estate control room at the same time. The RDC base-station in the control room can receive the alarm signals and immediately display the unit number or address where the alarm was triggered.

Panic packs are also available if residents don’t feel that a full alarm system is required. These panic packs can also be monitored by the base station in the guard house without external armed response.

How does FTTH affect my alarm communication to the control room?

Fibre-to-the-home is a type of digital data communication that can link your home to the Internet. It differs from traditional communication from the alarm panel to the control room using a telephone line. Most FTTH lines are not capable of linking to your alarm panel telephone line interface. The RDC VHF and cellular radios are both capable of replacing the telephone line connection when FTTH is installed. Most new alarm systems also feature an optional IP interface that can be connected directly to the FTTH router or network switch. This can act as a secondary (backup) communication path to the control room.

For more information contact RDC, +27 (0)11 452 1471,,

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