Safeguard your home

2015-08-11 06:00

FOLLOWING an increase in robberies in the Upper Highway area, homeowners are urged to keep safety and security at the top of their mind.

A home invasion occurs when criminals access a house while the occupants are inside.

“Intruders see these kinds of crime as a quick and easy way to gain access,” says Ivan Govender, ADT Security KwaZulu-Natal district manager.

He says that there are measures that can be implemented to reduce the risk of being targeted.

“Start on the outside - trim trees and shrubs so they cannot be used as a hiding place. Ensure that the yard, pathways and dark corners are well lit. Regularly check burglar bars and security gates for rust or weak spots that would allow them to be easily broken or forced open.”

If the premises are surrounded by high walls, Govender suggests that a videophone be installed at the gate so that you can view all visitors.

“This gives the home owner control over who is allowed onto the property. Ensure that pedestrian and driveways gates are always closed and locked. If visitors can walk right up to the door, consider a peephole to be able to see who is on the other side before the door is opened.”

Govender says the first step to the implementation of safety measures from the inside is to make sure that everyone in the house knows what the rules are and makes them a part of their daily routine.

“Be sure that the household - including domestic staff - know when and how to use the alarm system and panic buttons if these are installed. They must also know who to call in an emergency - make a list of contact numbers and post them on or near the telephone. If they have not been informed, the door must not be opened to any delivery people or service providers even if they insist that they have an appointment.”

Govender says it is of utmost importance that the alarm system is armed overnight or when anyone is home alone.

“If possible, lock inter-leading doors to rooms that are not used overnight and keep a cellphone at the bedside in case of an emergency.”

If, in the unfortunate event a criminal is able to force their way into the home, Govender advises to stay as calm as possible and to try to evaluate the situation. He says it is important to co-operate and hand over any valuables the intruders demand, especially if there is no way to escape or raise the alarm.

“Try to observe as much about what the intruder is wearing and the manner in which they speak or behave. When they leave, do not follow them but close and lock the doors behind them and contact the South African Police Service or your security company immediately.” Membership to the local neighbourhood watch adds another layer of security.

“The safety of the community is everyone’s business and it is vital that residents get to know their neighbours to present a united front against crime.”

- Supplied

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