Safety awareness at home

2015-10-14 06:00

THE Greytown Station Commander, Major N.J. Mchunu is concerned about the volume of house break-ins and theft cases that are reported to Greytown SAPS.

Major Mchunu assures everyone that he and the Greytown team are doing all they can to catch the criminals and keep them in jail.

The following tips are issued by the Greytown SAPS for safety awareness at home:

Fences and walls

A high fence around the house 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 access and/or intrusion difficult and to allow dogs to move freely around the house.

Ensure that your gates are locked at all times and that the keys cannot be reached easily and are not 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 and gates, razor wire, additional locking devices on doors, strengthening of doors and peepholes and safety chains on doors and an intercom system between the home and gate, front door or garage

Alarm systems

An alarm system, preferably connected to an armed response company, can act as an effective deterrent.

In the rural environment a siren and/or alarm on the roof that can be heard over a long distance, which can be activated by means of a switch or panic button in the house, is recommended.

A few switches and/or panic buttons in different rooms of the house should be installed.

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

Examples of improvised alarm systems:

Threaded tins, threaded pieces of iron, gravel on window panes, pathways or around the home, obstacles that can make a noise when moved, dogs, geese and ostriches

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.

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.

If you leave your residence, inform your family/ neighbours of your intended destination, 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.

You should not be visible in the bedroom from the outside when sleeping.

Always keep a torch nearby at night and when you use it, ensure that you do not reveal your position.

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

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

Involve employees in safety awareness as they are part of the family and/or team.

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

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

Take photographs of all employees. Remunerate your employees when useful information is provided that contribute to the prevention of crime.

Keep a copy of your employee’s ID.

Do not employ casual workers without a reference.

Ensure you have a good relationship with your neighbours so that you will be in a good position to support and help each other.

Access and key control

Do not allow strangers onto your premises or in your house without properly identifying the person, especially at night.

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 keys 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.

Insert barring devices in door locks.


There should be two systems for alternative back-up:



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

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