01 April 2020

South Africans are incredibly security-conscious people. That’s why most of us choose to live in security complexes so we can sleep more soundly at night. If you’re in a freestanding property, there are a few things you could do to upgrade your home security so you can sleep as peacefully as your neighbours behind their patrolled walls.  

Think like an intruder

Most intruders are opportunists looking for an easy target, so be sure that description doesn’t suit your home. To test that your home is secure, lock up as if you were leaving and then try to gain access as if you were an intruder. Don’t be afraid to apply force and try every possible point of entry. This will allow you to evaluate the security of your home and give you an idea of what needs to be improved.

Secure the perimeter

The outside of your home is the first line of defence against intruders. Don’t leave anything out that could help them gain access, such as garden tools or ladders. Trim any trees that may help intruders enter your home, and bushes that can be used for hiding. There’s simply no match for physical barriers such as palisade-style fencing or good quality electric fencing.

Access points

Should your first line of defence fail, ensure that all access points into the home are secure. Your doors should be strong, sturdy, and have deadlock bolts with throw locks (a mental extension that goes about an inch into the door frame). Avoid doors with windows and hollow wooden doors as these provide easy access for intruders. Instead, install solid wooden doors or steel doors. All the windows should have burglar bars on the inside and be able to lock. If you can’t afford an armed response service, you can install window and door sensors which will sound off if the window or door is jimmied, broken or forced open. The sound might scare off the intruder or alert the suspicion of the neighbours who can call the police on your behalf.  

Install an alarm system

Installing an alarm system is an excellent back-up to the physical barrier and is beneficial as most security services install panic buttons, pet-friendly motion sensors, and do daily patrols. Motion sensors can also be connected to the alarm system and act as an early detection device. For extra security, you can have cameras installed which can monitor the perimeter and access points of your home.

Be involved in the community

Get to know your neighbours and assist in keeping the community safer by joining the neighbourhood watch. Many communities now have neighbourhood security groups on WhatsApp or Facebook, for the sole purpose of exchanging important information around neighbourhood safety. So, in the instance where a neighbour has noticed a suspicious person roaming around your house, they will be able to give you a heads up and vice versa.

Final Advice

It’s not possible to completely ensure that your home will never be broken into, however, taking the necessary precautions is a positive step towards ensuring your home and your family are safe. If you’re searching for a new home, be sure to mention to your real estate professional  that you’re looking for a property with top-end security features.

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