The crime statistics in South Africa are a worry to anyone living in the country.
However, there are plenty of ways to help make your family safer. We take a closer look at the key ingredients for ensuring that your home is secure.
Install the right alarm system for your lifestyle
One of the least intrusive ways to protect your home is to install a decent alarm system. The good news is that there are plenty of different options to get your home secured.
Sensors or beams in your home will trigger the alarm if anyone moves inside while the system is armed. You can opt to have these placed just in certain areas that you want to protect the most or all over the house. Additionally, you can set up your system in such a way that you can choose which sensors to activate and when. This means that you can have sensors on in your bedroom while you’re out, but not while you’re sleeping.
If you have pets that wander through your home while your alarm is on, you can get pet-friendly beams. These are designed to either register the movement as being from something smaller than a human, or are positioned so that they scan above the average height of a dog.
Beams outside will go a long way towards stopping people from even getting inside. By placing these in front of your doors and windows, you and your alarm company will be alerted to potential intruders before you’re in danger. The key to exterior beams is to place them where branches blowing in the wind and cats jumping onto window sills won’t set them off.
Entry point sensors are vital to any alarm system. These are usually magnets or sensors placed on your windows and doors that will set off the alarm if they’re pulled apart. There is a small amount of leeway in these sensors, which allows you to open a window a crack to get some fresh air in but still stay protected.
Burglar bars are essential physical barriers
Windows are often seen as a vulnerable point in home security, so people tend to cover them with imposing bars. This can detract from the overall style of your home and from the way you live. Today, there are many great and attractive ways to secure your windows with burglar bars.
Fixed exterior bars, or Spanish burglar bars, can become a feature on your walls and actually look really attractive. You can get curved lines or decorative features that don’t compromise your safety.
When it comes to interior burglar bars, there are many ways to disguise them or get them to blend in with the décor in the room. Paint the bars to match either your window frame or the walls around them. This will give you security without making the room feel like a prison.
Retractable burglar bars are great for big bay windows as you’ll be able to open them right up when you’re sitting in the room and want an uninterrupted view. It’s also a good idea to have at least one retractable set in a bedroom, or on the side of the home where everyone sleeps. This will give your family an escape route in case of emergencies.
Extra safety tips to keep your home secure
- Keep your garden neat so there are fewer places for intruders to hide
- Don’t let your plants grow too big around your home’s entrance areas
- Keep your paths, driveway and entrance areas well lit
- Keep access remotes and keys in a safe place
- Don’t move around outside your home with keys and remotes
- Install panic buttons around the house and keep a few remote panic buttons for when you’re outside
- Test your alarm system and panic buttons regularly
- Be aware of suspicious activity and report it to SAPS or your security company
- If your dogs don’t come to the gate or front door when you arrive home, do not enter and alert your security company
- Draw your curtains at night so that intruders can’t see in from outside
- Identify keys with codes or colour rings, and never hide them under pot plants or door mats
- Always keep safe keys on your person
- Keep emergency numbers within reach at all times
Supplied by MD Doors
Cover your doors with security gates
All security experts agree that an extra line of defence on your doors saves lives. A security gate is another physical barrier that an intruder needs to break through and often works as a deterrent to thieves looking for an easy target.
When choosing the right gates for your home, always consider the two lock system – a gate with both a deadbolt and a spring-loaded lock. A deadbolt lock is a lot stronger than a spring-loaded lock and will be a lot more work to pick or break through. However, the spring-loaded lock allows you to slam the gate behind you and have it lock automatically in an emergency situation.
Physical security is your last line of defence
House robbers take about three minutes to over-power occupants. Multiple security layers help keep them out but physical barriers are your last line of defence. They’re there 24/7 and don’t depend on you to switch them on.
Trellidor franchises will do a security risk assessment of your property to find its weak points and advise on barriers to suit your budget. Secure the most vulnerable windows and doors if you can’t afford to do them all. Or choose a selection of barriers in different price ranges. Price generally indicates strength so protect easily accessible openings with the strongest barriers, the rest with less highly engineered versions.
Create a safe haven in bedroom areas with barriers on all windows and doors as a buffer between you and home invaders, giving you time to escape or call for help.
Finally, make sure that you keep your security barriers locked at all times so that criminals can’t simply walk inside and create havoc.
Find your local Trellidor franchise at www.trellidor.co.za
- MD Doors
- Zela Tech
- Active Security Solutions
- Clear View Security