Lighting is extremely important – robbers and burglars would prefer to do their work in the shadows where there is little to no chance of them being spotted. Dark corners and areas are simply dangerous and must be sorted out as a matter of urgency. An LED floodlight that is installed in the front and back of your property will not use a lot of electricity and will even alert you to any suspicious activity on our property. At a minimum you should install a light by your front entrance so that you, your family and security company can see it and spot any criminals trying to break into your house.
Guard dogs are a fantastic way to protect your family and property and, most large houses should have at least two large dogs. Apart from deterring criminals from trying to break into your home, dogs can alert occupants to any suspicious activity outside – even before your perimeter has been breached. The only problem with large dogs that are left to roam the property is that they can easily be poisoned and very few owners take the time to train their dogs. If you are concerned about safety, investing the time and money into training your dogs will prove to serve you well for many years to come.
Point to point security beams can be installed in your garden and give alert your to an intrusion and perimeter breach early enough to take defensive action and protect your family and property. These beams should preferably be “double-stacked” where one beam is placed closer to the ground and another high enough so that it can’t be jumped over. They should be installed in a place where it is difficult to spot and out of view from the street. For those that have dogs or pets, pet friendly beams are available.
Motion Detectors for the Outdoors
Lapas, courtyards, and entertainment areas are usually weak-points where there is very little or no security. It is in these areas as well as areas such as back doors and bedroom windows where motion detectors work best and really make a difference. These should be armed at night time, when no one is home or, when the family is inside of the house. Pet friendly outdoor motion detectors are available, however, installing them in areas where your dogs are not allowed to roam is preferable. You can also install light timers which will make it appear that there is always someone home while also keeping your dark spots light up from dawn to dusk.
Garden Furniture and Ladders
Garden furniture and ladders left out in the garden are very commonly use to climb onto upstairs balconies and windows or to peer through widows. If you do not have motion sensors and beams in your garden then you need to secure your garden furniture either by locking them away when not in use or by bolting them to the ground. If these measure are a little too much for you – ensure all windows, balconies and doors have burglar bars and top-strength dead-bolt locks in place.
Keep it tidy
If you live in a house, the number one safety measure that you need to take is to keep the garden tidy and properly maintained. This means that you need to trim bushes, cut long grass and have your trees trimmed. This is very critical for the front of your home where robbers and attackers can use dense bushes to hide and lie in wait. If you have any tools or machinery left outside in your garden where they can be seen this may tempt and attract burglars and may even help them break into your home. All tools should be kept locked away.
Most South African homes are designed with a garage where at least 2 vehicles can be parked. If you have a garage then you should use it – having your vehicles parked in your driveway or somewhere on the property where they can be seen from the street can attract criminals and make you a target for a hijacking. If you do not have a garage or have more than 2 vehicles you should try to park the car in an area that is difficult to see from the street or, ensure you park it in a well-lit area. Also see our article on avoiding a smash and grab to help you and you family stay safe and secure on the roads.
Many people think that their perimeter security is enough to keep burglars and home invaders at bay and leave their garages unlocked and improperly secured. Your garages should also be locked securely to prevent people from entering through this “weak spot”. If your garage leads to your house – this door must be secured with the strongest frame and locks and be kept locked at all times – even when you’re home. You should make it just as hard for criminals to get break into your garage as it is to break into your house via your front door.
It’s a fact that installing visible CCTV around your property will reduce the likelihood of your home be targeted for a home invasion, burglary or robbery. Even if you opt to install dummy cameras, these will make a big difference to your home security. Criminals are always weary of CCTV systems and will very often get spooked out and move onto another property if they see any cameras. You can easily purchase a DIY CCTV system online and install this yourself by consulting our DIY CCTV installation guide.