There’s nothing worse than having things you’ve worked so hard for stolen from your home. But besides losing your personal belongings, when someone breaks into your home, your life and your family’s lives are at risk, so you have to make sure your home is protected. During holiday season, which spans from early November right till the end of January, there is a huge spike in crime in South Africa.
According to South Africa’s 2015/16 crime states (source: Africa Check), 98.4 robberies were recorded per 100, 000 people in the country and about 148.2 common robberies were recorded every day in the country. 132, 527 robberies with aggravating circumstances (which occurs when a person uses a weapon to forcefully remove property belonging to another person) were recorded.
These scary figures are unnerving for people living in South Africa. The best way to prevent becoming a victim of a home robbery is to ensure you deter criminals as much as possible. Here’s how you can make your home safer in South Africa:
#1. Get an inside watchdog
Often, dogs are more effective than alarm systems. This is because, some thieves have mastered getting around effective alarm systems, but dogs are unpredictable. So, thieves would rather attempt breaking into a house that is dog-free. However, don’t get any dogs if you’re unable to care for them properly.
#2. Set effective boundaries around your yard
Physical boundaries, such as electric fencing or high fencing is not as effective as you may think. And, electric fencing around your yard makes your gate a security weak spot, so your gate needs to be effectively secured too.
For added effectiveness, make sure you add motion detectors to your yard to ensure early detection of someone coming into your property.
#3. Lock up your house properly
Don’t become nonchalant about locking your gates, doors and windows properly. For added protection, you can add wireless alarm kits to your first-floor windows, as many break-ins occur through first-floor windows.
#4. Don’t advertise leaving your home
It is easier for a robber to break into your home when you’re not around, so advertising the fact that you won’t be home can make your property more vulnerable to burglary.
To seem present at home, you can leave on a light, perhaps install timers for lights if you don’t want to waste electricity, and always hide away your cars, so robbers don’t know whether or not you’re home.
#5. Hide all keys
Leaving your keys in typical places can help robbers clean out your house easily as well as take your vehicle in addition to your household items. Rather put your all your keys in a safe place that won’t be found by robbers.
#6. Keep your house private
Make sure people cannot see into your home at all times of the day. Besides installing high walls around your home, you can make sure your windows have effective coverings. You can install modern motorised blinds, which can be put on a timer setting, which ensures that your window coverings will close in your absence.
#7. Install CCTV
If you can afford to install closed-circuit television (CCTV), do so. CCTV helps deter robbers because they would rather not have their crimes recorded on camera. It also ensures that you can view what’s happening around your house.
#8. Keep your garden neat and tidy
Long grass, bushy shrubs and hedges give robbers more places to hide; therefore, you should always trim your grass and other plants. Keep all tools and items, like ladders, crowbars and anything else that can assist robbers with breaking into your home locked away.
You can, however, use your outside landscape to your advantage. For example, plant prickly thorn plants near your windows to deter robbers from climbing entering your home and add gravel to your walkways so that you and/or your dog can hear any unwanted visitors approaching your home.
#9. Get to know your neighbours
Building relationships with your neighbours is good for two things:
- Having extra lookouts to alert you if there are any strange activities happening on your property, and
- Having closeby assistance in the case of an emergency.