Getting the right security editorial

2016-02-02 06:00

THE capabilities of criminals are ever-evolving and even the most technologically-advanced home security measures are not 100% fool-proof.

These systems are, however, essential to prevention of crime and to mitigate losses, and having the right home security measures can also save lives.

Enforce Security Director Derek Lategan is therefore urging homeowners to not only re-evaluate their private security companies this new year – in terms of costs and service efficiencies – but also to relook at their current security system and barriers. The systems installed years ago may no longer be effective against crime and the latest criminal operandi, or perhaps additional measures are needed.

In order to reduce their chances of being robbed or burgled, Lategan advises home owners to assess and strengthen each layer of their security, starting from the outside in.

1. Get to know your local SAPS station:

* Know where your local police station is based, and who the station commander is

* Ensure you are registered on the news dissemination database of your local SAPS communications officer and follow them on social media. This will ensure you receive local crime alerts and calls for help to find suspects

2. Be a part of the community:

* Get involved with your local neighbourhood watch and community policing organisations. They regularly meet and share information with the local SAPS and are up to date with crime trends

3. Join your local street watch:

* Join or establish a street watch team to collectively keep your street crime-free

* Look out for your neighbours’ safety and get to know their routines. This allows you to notice suspicious people and behaviour

* Share contact details with your neighbours in the event that you, or any of them, need help. This also allows you to alert each other to potential dangers or criminal activity

4. Strengthen your perimeter:

* Ensure your perimeter wall is secure

* Install lighting outside your property, even if on a day/night timer or movement sensor

* Make use of electric fencing or spikes above walls

* Install early warning sensors and anti- derailing devices, such as anti-lift brackets and industrial magnetic devices to alert you – and prevent, tampering or derailing

5. Safeguard your yard

* Install sufficient lighting to illuminate all areas of your property

* Fit early detection measures such as beams

* CCTV cameras are useful to monitor possible criminal activity in your yard as well as record footage and identify suspects for investigation purposes

* Allow dogs access to all areas of your yard and, if possible, keep them indoors at night. Be alert to their barks.

6. Secure your house

* A basic alarm system, at the very least, is advised. Always keep it armed, even if just leaving home for a few minutes

* Beams on the house exterior serve as an additional early warning measure

7. Protect your home

* Strategically fit passive sensors so all areas of the home are covered

* Keep windows and doors closed and locked, and gates secured

8. Personal protection

* Know where all the panic buttons are fitted

* Keep remote panic buttons within easy access

* Subscribe to Enforce’s Genie ICE service, South Africa’s first GPS cell phone panic button to be linked to the armed response capabilities of a security company. For more information visit www.enforce.co.za

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