The Importance of Early Detection

2016-05-31 06:00

ARMED robbers are running rampant throughout KwaZulu-Natal suburbs with home invasion numbers escalating at an alarming rate and victims being assaulted, stabbed, and even killed.

Last week three home invasions took place in just two days in the Berea and north Durban areas while, in the past few months, armed robbers hit homes in Waterfall, Kloof, Gillitts, Summerveld, Crestholme, Westville, Pietermaritzburg, Umhlanga, Durban North, and Musgrave. Housebreakings have also spiked.

Enforce Security is therefore appealing to residents to beef up their home security measures by focusing on early warning systems as opposed to mere intrusion detection via basic home alarm systems.

Enforce director Derek Lategan explained that this was because such systems would only warn residents of entry – or attempted entry, to their homes.

“Residents need to ask themselves: ‘What do I really want my security systems to do? To tell me when armed intruders are inside my home? Or to alert me of their presence before they have even set foot into my yard, so that I can press my panic button, call the police, and/or get myself and my family to safety’.”

Assuming the latter, Lategan briefly explained the optimum combination of early detection and layering measures – starting from the outside, in.

Outside your property:

* Lighting: Well-lit areas make it harder for criminal activity to go unnoticed at night

* Motion sensor lighting: Lights that switch on when movement is detected attract attention

* CCTV cameras: Security cameras focused on this area enable residents to identify activity, and are particularly useful if used in conjunction with motion sensor lights to attract their attention

* Electric Fencing: On its own electric fencing is not a means of detection.

In this day and age, it is not a deterrent either.

However, if the fencing is connected to the house alarm it makes for the ideal detection mechanism as the alarm will sound when contact is made

* Remote Video Verification (RVV): These cameras are also connected to an alarm system and, once triggered, enable residents and their security companies’ control rooms to immediately view live footage.

If connected to an alarm-triggered electric fence, detection is immediate – and early

* Gate alarms: Alarm sensors fitted to driveway gates, or even other property gates and fences are excellent for early intrusion detection, particularly in cases of gate derailing. - Supplied

Inside your yard:

* External alarm beams: Outside beams are excellent detection mechanism as, once contact triggers the alarm, residents still have time to act

* Dogs: Although an excellent source of early warning, it is not advised to rely solely on their barks as criminals can easily subdue them

* Motion-sensor lighting, CCTV Cameras, and RVV: This combination can also be used within the perimeter fence

The exterior of your house:

* Alarm system: A basic alarm system to alert of intrusion via magnetic door and window contacts is essential. Although on its own it is not the best method of early detection, an intruder’s presence still needs to be detected, even if late

* Beams on house exterior: Beams to exterior walls will trigger the alarm when contact is made

Inside your home:

* Passive sensors: These are not advised as an early warning measure but are still useful in cases of house burglaries

* CCTV Cameras and RVV: These technologies are also not recommended for early warning, but are beneficial, particularly for investigation purposes.

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