Security tips for homeowners

May 2007 Residential Estate (Industry)

* Be aware that wearing expensive jewellery and sunglasses and having attractive items visible on the car seats and the dashboard may prompt criminals to follow you home.

* If you feel you are being followed home, do not go home but drive to the nearest police station.

* Never drive with your handbag visible in the car - this is an invite for loiterers at traffic lights to smash and grab your belongings.

* Do not drive while talking on your cellphone - not only is this illegal but it is also an invite for criminals to smash your window and grab your phone.

* Install outside lights that can be remotely controlled from inside the house and via the burglar alarm system. Consider installing demand lighting that is activated by a motion detector.

* Cut down bushes in and around your driveway - these act as good hiding places for would-be criminals.

* Increase your view - try not to have high walls and tall hedges that obscure your view of the property.

* It is preferable to have automatic gates installed so that you do not have to leave the safety of your vehicle in order to access your premises.

* It is preferable that your animals are not let loose when you come into the driveway. Often they will run out into the road. Not only is this dangerous for them, but in the commotion, this is an opportunity for would be criminals to slip onto your premises unnoticed. Rather keep your animals in a safe area.

General security tips

* Create a 'safe area' in your home.

* Fit a wrought iron gate or an expanding grille gate to separate the bedroom wing into which the family can retreat at night or in an emergency.

* Bolt your doors.

* Fit a lock or barrel bolt to your bedroom door to ensure you are not surprised when you are asleep.

* Keep weapons and valuables safe. Install a safe for weapons and valuables. Duplicate house keys could be kept in this safe. Note that wall safes are usually not fireproof and are not suitable for face-value documents and money.

* Install adequate lighting.

* Lock your garage and tool shed. This will prevent would-be intruders' access to any items that can be used as weapons.

* Programme your telephone with an emergency number before going to bed. Dial the emergency number and hang-up before the call is answered. This will give you a time advantage, as all you then need to do is press the redial button.

* False alarms are the bane of our industry. In most cases the cause of the false alarm will be misunderstood or blamed on faulty equipment. Faulty equipment in fact plays a minor part in the false alarm syndrome. The probable cause of a false alarm will be due to one or more of the following factors: environmental, corrosion, damage to wiring, power problems, and/or failure of owners/operators to understand the system.

* Do not assume that it happens to someone else. Always be prepared!

For more information contact Chubb Security South Africa, +27 (0)861 202 911,,

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