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In preparation for the crime prevention meeting to be held at the Moravian Church Hall on 12th December at 16.00 we have prepared some practical suggestions for you.

Some Practical Suggestions to Limit Risk of Burglary in Your Home

Whether you are away for a few hours, days or weeks, there are some basic steps you can take to safeguard your home. Burglars often watch homes to see when people are or aren’t there and plan to make their moves accordingly. It doesn’t take much, or long, for someone to enter your home and grab your most prized possessions.

Daily Procedures

If you have an alarm system installed – use it, even if just popping out to the local stores, plus keep windows and doors shut and locked when not in the house.

Practical Suggestions

It has been estimated by various web based security organisations that 30 % of burglaries happen through an open or unlocked window or door. Nearly 66 % of all burglaries are residential break-ins. Renters are just as likely to be the victims of property crime as homeowners. It is important to note that the highest percentage of burglaries occur during the summer months. Homes without security systems are up to 300% more likely to be broken into.

In addition

85 % of these burglaries are performed by “non-professionals” who are usually males under the age of 25 seeking to feed a drug habit and these perpetrators are the most dangerous.  These thieves look for easy access, through unlocked doors or windows and the type of tools used to break in are usually simple; a screwdriver, pliers, pries bars, and small hammers. These thieves are looking for small and expensive items that can quickly be sold for cash. Their favourite items to steal include, but are not limited to:  cash, jewellery, laptops, guns, digital cameras, and small electronics such as iPods and iPhones.

Thieves will select a home based on a very simple selection process. They want unoccupied homes with easy access; this can be a window or an unlocked door or a door that is easily broken into. Thieves also want the greatest amount of cover and the simplest best escape routes.  Homeowners often make this selection process easy for thieves by failing to take simplest precautions.  If you have an alarm system, use it. If not, you might want to consider purchasing one. Keep hedges well-trimmed and install external lighting, these can be sensor lights or simply on a timer, engage with the local neighbourhood watch and do all you can to make your home as secure as you feel you need, but do not ignore simple suggestions.

When away, make the home look used and lived in.

It is crucial not to let others think your house is sitting vacant for any significant amount of time. If you don’t already have timers for your lights, purchase a few. You do not want to leave the house and leave all your lights on. First, this is a terrible waste of natural energy but thieves will notice if the lights do not go on and off. Place various lamps on timers set for different times so that the lights will go on and off at various intervals.  You may want to have a radio or television on a timer as well. Noise coming from a home is a good thing. On the same note, turn down your telephone’s ringer so that no one will hear the phone go unanswered. And while we are on the subject of telephones never leave a message on your machine indicating that you are on vacation. You may want to have your calls forwarded to a cell number that you can access.

Keep local foliage and gardens well maintained.

If you use a local landscaping service do not stop them from coming to take care of your property. Trimmed hedges keep windows in plain view and are less tempting to a potential thief. Manicured lawns make it seem as though you are home maintaining your own property. If you are away and do not have a landscaping service, you may want to employ a local trusted neighbour or their offspring to come and mow your lawn for you. Install outside lighting with motion sensors that will automatically turn on when someone approaches the property and keep the outside of your home lit as much as you possibly can.

Before you leave Greyton.

Always do a last minute check to ensure that all of your doors and windows are locked and dead bolted if possible. Do not forget about screened-in porches and garage points of entry. Check the batteries on your smoke detectors and unplug all non-essential items including electrical items such as the TV and radio, unless you have timers attached. Walk around your home and unplug everything you will not use including clocks, toaster ovens, printers, stereo systems, video and gaming units, and most especially any and all computers, laptops, televisions and cable boxes. Loss of power and electrical surges can irreparably damage these expensive items.

If it is wintertime, do turn the heat down, but do not turn it off as doing so may result in burst pipes which are both a major inconvenience as well as a major expense.

A good habit to get in to.

If you have a garage, you should really try to get in the habit of always keeping your car in your garage. Many of us use our garages for extra storage space and many of these garages are quite full leaving no room for your car. It would be worth it to clear out your garage space for your car. A potential thief may notice that a car that is almost always in the driveway is suddenly gone for a few days. It is also imperative that you lock your garage door. You garage door should have a locking mechanism at the bottom. There are universal remotes that a thief could use to open yours.

If you have pets you may want to hire a house sitter instead of putting them in a kennel. And even homeowners that do not have pets may feel safer with a house sitter.

If you do not have or want a house sitter, notify a trusting neighbour and friend that you will be away and ask them kindly to check in on your home from time to time. You may also want to notify the police and or your security/alarm company who may also drive by your home from time to time during your absence.

Keep off social media.

As tempting as it may be to tell others that you are luxuriating in the lap of paradise, stay away from of social media. Keep your travel plans quiet and away from any public arena. While it is fun to post pictures of crystal blue waters, pink sandy beaches save these photos to be uploaded after your return. This applies to all avenues of social media including but not limited to blogs, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Finally, keep your valuables tucked away and hidden from view. You don’t want a potential thief to glance in a window and see televisions, gaming devices and laptops that can quickly be taken from your home. You may want to invest in a home safe and keep items locked in there.


Criminals in South Africa are getting away with murder. Literally. Enter DNA profiling: the 21st Century Detective. The DNA Project, a Non-profit organisation is raising awareness of the need to expand and develop our National DNA Database, as a major crime fighting tool to ensure accountability and deterrence amongst its criminal population.

Extracted from the Daily Maverick article on the DNA Project by Rebecca Davis

Last July, the DNA Project set up a large sandbox in the centre of Cape Town’s busy Metrorail station. In the box, tiny stones of differing colours were laid out to form the distinct image of a mug shot of a convict holding up an ID board. Then commuters were allowed to walk all over the box. It didn’t take long for the passing foot traffic to almost entirely obliterate all traces of the image of the convict’s face. The commuters were filmed walking over the box, and a video was made of the event.

“Every year in South Africa more and more criminals escape conviction due to people disturbing crime scene evidence,” the video begins. “The DNA Project set out to educate the public never to interfere with a crime scene.” The image in the sandbox, originally pristine, is quickly wiped out by time-lapse images of people walking over it.

“It didn’t take long before the criminal’s identity had disappeared,” the video continues. “The message was clear. Never disturb a crime scene.”

Any Publicity is Bad Publicity.

The very first lesson on the very first day of burglary school is: Don’t get caught. The first step to avoiding capture is avoiding detection in the first place (if they can’t see you, they can’t call the police or the security company).

While lots of burglaries take place during the day, darkness is still a great cover. When looking to make your house less of a target, one of the best fixes is lighting, both outdoor and indoor. It’s partly about minimising the appearance of home owner absence inside the house (which burglars look for), and partly about shedding light on would-be intruders outside the house.

Inside, what you need is to establish a routine and stick with it. Lots of burglars will watch a target property to pinpoint vulnerabilities, such as the occupants going out of town or returning to their main home. Purchase a timer and set the lights to go on at a certain time in the morning and off at a certain time at night. That way, it’ll be harder to tell when you’re gone, whether you’re on a trip or just working late.

Outdoors, it’s all about visibility. The area immediately outside your home is the first line of defence. Garden lights (both front and back) are great, but the solar kinds are probably too dim to do much in the way of security.  The 120-volt type is better, and should be placed at strategic points such as entries and pathways. Any hiding spots, like clusters of trees or freestanding structures, should also be well-lit. If you’re concerned about light pollution and energy usage, most of these lights can be hooked up to motion detectors so they only go on when they’re needed and set to switch off after a short period of exposure. Many of these lights can be overridden in the house to come on permanently if you want to have a good look around the property.

Here at Ghost security we can offer practical suggestions to assist with your home security and can assist with lighting recommendations as well as other general security measures. Our aim is to help you achieve the best balance between security and freedom of living we all enjoy in our community.


Security and safety are key drivers of human need. Ghost Security Services and Risk Management recognise and appreciate that everyone has different perspectives on this and have structured their approach to offer a genuinely personalised approach to these requirements.

Part of this underlying objective is to provide information to help people make better decisions for themselves, to provide simple security tips and advice and to engage with our community as we work together to enhance safety and security, whilst at the same time avoiding the ‘overkill’ of fear driven decisions.

Our many years of experience in the security industry, local knowledge and respect for your own opinions and needs means we will try our very best to meet and exceed your expectations.

We have had our web site designed to reflect our modern and focussed approach to security delivery, we hope you find it interesting and informative, feedback is always welcome and should you like us to come and discuss any security issues with you, at no cost to you, please call us on 028 254 9906 to arrange a mutually suitable time.

Security Tip Of The Blog

Visual Deterrent

Farm signAlarm companies portray their product as a cure-all — an impenetrable force field that takes the uncertainty out of home security. In fact, it doesn’t really stop anyone from breaking in. It does, however, make your home a less favourable target if you use it the right way.

Alarms seem pretty fool proof. Install. Activate. Remember to turn on. Trusted people get the passcode, others trigger the blaring. The thing about alarms, though, is that the noise happens after the fact. Somebody has already broken in, has probably already taken whatever small valuables were closest to the door and has gotten away by the time the alarm company alerts the police. Ghost Security Personnel are trained to act quickly and decisively to check your property and respond accordingly, making the combination of alarm and local support a powerful deterrent.

In this way a Ghost managed alarm, is not just about peace of mind; if something does happen, help will be on the way quickly. And that’s no small thing. But if you want an alarm to really protect, the criminals have to know it’s there before they target you. That means displaying a visible notice with Ghost’s company’s name on it, and displaying it prominently, outside your property. When people keep it hidden so as not to disturb landscape aesthetics, would-be thieves don’t know the home is any less desirable than the house next door, and the alarm is only an after-the-fact security measure.

The lesson? Alarms are most effective when they’re most obvious. The benefit of using Ghost is their superb new signs, that are aesthetically and visually effective at letting people know your home, business and Farm are protected by professionals.