Safety awareness at home

2017-07-19 06:05

IMPLEMENT PROPER KEY CONTROL MEASURES

IDENTIFY keys by means of codes instead of indicating in writing on labels to which gate or door access can be gained.

Keys to the safe must be kept on the person.

Never hide any keys in traditional places, such as in pot plants or under doormats.

Keys in the keyhole on the inside of the front or back door should be turned to avoid easy removal. Never allow strangers to handle keys or look at key numbers. Change locks when any keys are lost. Insert barring devices in door locks. Always remove keys from doors when leaving.

FENCES AND GATES

A HIGH fence around the property with lockable gates is much safer than a high wall due to the advantage of the improved visibility it provides. The primary aim of the fence is to make intrusion difficult and to allow dogs to move freely around the property. Ensure that your gates are locked at all times and that the keys cannot be reached easily and are not left carelessly lying around. Security gates with sturdy locks in front of each outer door, as well as burglar proofing covering all windows, are recommended. The following devices prevent easy access:

• window bars;

• security doors;

• security gates; and

• razor wire.

SECURITY LIGHTS

SECURITY lights on the outside of the house improve the physical protection of a house, farm or smallholding.

The lights must be directed away from the house and must allow the occupants to use the windows without being observed from outside.

Be aware of possible shadows and blind spots.

ALARM SYSTEMS

AN alarm system, preferably connected to an armed-response company, can act as an effective deterrent. In the rural environment an alarm on the roof that can be heard over a long distance and that can be activated by means of a switch or panic button in the house, is recommended. A few switches or panic buttons in different rooms of the house should preferably be installed.

An alarm must also have the capability to warn the occupants of any intrusion into the house.

TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS OF ALL EMPLOYEES (with permission)

IT could be to your advantage to identify them, if required. Remunerate your employees when useful information is provided that contributes to the prevention of crime.

Do not employ casual workers without a reference. Keep copies of all your employees’ identity documents. Ensure that you have a good relationship with your neighbours so that you will be in a good position to support and help each other.

COMMUNICATION

THERE should be two systems available for back-up — a telephone and a cellphone.

Have the telephone installed where it is easily accessible from anywhere in the house.

Inform your children not to give an indication that adult supervision is not available when they answer the phone.

SAPS Crime Stop: 08600 10111

SAPS Emergency Line: 10111

— www.saps.gov.za

SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

ENSURE that all doors are locked at all times, and that windows are closed when you are not at home.

Large dogs serve as a deterrent. At least one dog should be trained to sleep inside the house.

If you leave your residence, inform your family or neighbours of your intended destination, the time you expect to return and the route you will be driving, especially if you reside in a rural area.

Ensure that tools such as axes, spades, picks, ladders, etc that can be used in an attack, are locked away when not in use.

VARY YOUR DAILY ROUTINE

GET into the habit of not falling asleep immediately after switching off the lights. Remain awake for a while.

You should not be visible in the bedroom from the outside when you are asleep. Always keep a torch nearby at night and when you use it, ensure that you do not give away your position.

If you are unsure about the security status of your home after returning from work or a visit, and if your dogs do not come to the gate, do not enter your home.

Contact your neighbour to assist you in first securing your home.

Identify relatively safe places of refuge, ie: bathroom, toilet or storeroom.

The fewer windows and doors these rooms have, the better.

Involve employees as they are part of the family.

Employees must be involved in maintaining security on an equal footing.

Report suspicious behaviour and information to the South African Police Service.

Clear the areas around the gates of bushes and other hiding places.

ACCESS AND KEY CONTROL

DO not allow strangers on your premises or in your house without having properly identified the person, especially at night.

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