It is never too late to take precautions to raise the safety level in and around your home and with winter around the corner, now is the time to get organised.
Home Burglaries – Home burglaries are proved to spike upwards during the winter months. Under cover of added darkness, burglars use the opportunity to break in before homeowners return from work or when residents are on vacation to warmer climates.
Ghost Security recommends the following tips:
Locks doors and windows – It is amazing how many homeowners are careless with this basic security measure. Always lock doors and all windows, including above ground windows. Many homeowners take extra security measure with windows and sliding glass doors, including adding security bars to discourage entry.
Use a Safe – For your valuables, a safe is a terrific idea. Keeping jewellery that is rarely worn but which has value in a safe deposit box is another security measure.
Time-switch lights – If you travel or get home late, why not purchase a few timer switches to turn lights on when dark sets? At the same time, security companies see it as sound policy to draw curtains and drapes. This will prevent prospective burglars from studying the interior of the home.
Refrain from hiding keys – If we assume burglars are watching the house, we realise we should not hide keys to the home outside the door. It is better to leave a spare key with a neighbour and to make sure all residents have their own key and never lend it out.
Add a security alarm system – Today’s security alarms address all the features that burglars hate; light, noise and video devices. Adding flood lights activated by motion around the home’s perimeter increases the effect. Alarms draw attention to the burglary in progress and recording camera make identification a real rick for the perpetrator. Today, you can have recording cameras programmed to transmit images to your mobile phone, laptop, or tablet. Additionally, the alarm system can send a notice to the security company who will respond quickly. An added benefit of today’s security systems is that they can recognise and alert residents of fires or even high carbon levels or gas in the air.
Light entryways – Make sure all doors, are well lit. Use flood lights to discourage burglars.
Keep garden organised – Keep shrubs trimmed so burglars cannot hide in the shadows and make sure all furniture and equipment is put always and secured for the winter. If you have a combination to your doors or garage, change the entry password regularly.
Every season, run a security and safety check of your home. Take the time to inspect the condition and security protocol. Making a few minor improvements can save a lot of heartache down the road.
Call Ghost to discuss security options for you, your home and your family, our free advice maybe just what you need.
Just outside Caledon, a short drive from Greyton stands one of the newest wind farms in South Africa. Located in a rural rather than a sea base location these enormous turbines are helping South Africa meet its needs for sustainable electricity now and in the future. This site has its security managed and provided by Ghost Security Services.
The site is operated and managed by BioTherm Operations and Maintenance (Pty) Ltd (“BioTherm O&M”), a South African registered company that is a subsidiary of BioTherm Energy (Pty) Ltd (“BioTherm”).
BioTherm Energy is Africa’s leading Independent Power Producer (IPP) with three operational wind and solar projects allocated under the First Round of the South African Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Programme (REIPPP). To date the Company has been successful in securing over 250MW of PPA’s on the African continent in seven different countries. This African born utility is actively expanding its activities throughout the rest of the continent, focusing on wind and solar project development, financing, construction and operations. Founded in 2003, BioTherm Energy’s objectives were initially focused on the development of gas and waste heat co-generation projects. The company has since transformed itself into an African renewable energy development platform and independent power producer.
Ghost Security is a locally owned, run and managed BEEE company with its headquarters in Greyton. The founder and Director Geoff Cloete has many years history in the security industry and has built a thriving business in the local community offering reliable and effective security protection to residential, commercial and municipal properties.
Successfully pitching and presenting the tender bid is the culmination of many years hard work and he and all the team at Ghost are proud to be linked to this remarkable engineering project.
BioTherm Energy’s economic development mission is to drive sustainable change within those communities that reside within a 50km radius of the project sites through the achievement of the following objectives:
the creation of meaningful and permanent employment;
the development of a robust renewable energy industry that supports local products and services, focusing specifically on women and locally owned businesses;
ensuring that management teams are representative of the demographics of the country in which we are developing such assets;
community based ownership in our projects.
socio-economic development initiatives; and
enterprise development initiatives
Ghost continue to expand their services locally and invites residents, farmers and commercial property owners to make contact to discuss if they feel their services match your needs.
How Easy Would it be for the Emergency Service People to Find Your Home in the Dark or Day Time?
Many Greyton residents do not have adequate identification on their houses. In any type of emergency, be it of a security, fire or medical nature, the emergency personnel may have great difficulty finding their way to the correct residence.
Prominent and reflective numbering or clear house names will alleviate this problem. Emergency personnel can find that their services are delayed when members need to search for residences due to the fact that many houses have no numbers on them, or numbers are placed where they cannot be seen.
Think about your home, do people find it easily when visiting for the first time, could you clearly see the house name and number, if not then help your local support service by investing in suitable identification, speak to the skilled craftsmen in town for something with style or visit a hardware store, or encourage a local business to stock suitable numbers.
To help you, we outline questions to ask your security provider, installation day details and preparation tips below.
Select a Provider You Trust
You should trust and be comfortable with anyone that you allow into your home. To protect you, most security companies perform background checks on their installation professionals. However, don’t assume this is the case. Ask the following questions of your provider before signing the contract:
Do installation professionals undergo background checks?
How thorough are the checks and how regularly are they performed?
What additional pre-employment screening is performed?
Do technicians undergo technical training? What type?
How many installation professionals are needed to install the system?
The above questions should help ease your mind as you prepare for someone to enter your home, and give you insight into the validity of the security company as a whole.
Start with an Assessment
The best vendors will provide a security system that is tailored to your specific needs. This starts with an assessment, in which you walk through your needs and wants, and the provider develops a cost-effective system to meet your goals.
During this process, evaluate the thoroughness, patience and professionalism of the sales representative. This first touch point is often a good indicator of how the rest of the installation process will go. If uncomfortable during this initial stage, now is a good time to seek an alternate provider.
Prepare for Installation Day
Once you have decided on the security provider and package, you will then be prompted to set up an appointment for a technician to install the system.
Upon arrival at your home, the technician will review your tailored plan with you and confirm where equipment will be installed.
Once a review has been completed, you are no longer needed for the installation process, though vacating your home is not necessary. The length of the installation visit is dependent on your security package and vendor. For example, video surveillance installation takes more time than the simple set up of entryway sensors and keypad monitors. Additionally, a wired system requires about 6-8 hours to install while a wireless system can be installed in approximately 3-4 hours. And if your alarm system has added features, the technician will need extra time to show you how to work those features as well.
Upon completion, your installation professional should take the time to discuss how the system works and answer any questions you have. The security system being installed is for you; do not hesitate to ask questions throughout the installation process.
If you have selected a system to be connected to a central response centre, as this is the most effective way of using a security system, them a test run should be performed.
Keep in mind the size of the property and the complexity of the system used will also affect installation times, so be prepared to work with your provider ahead of installation to be sure you have thought through all of the different ways you are planning to make the system work for your needs.
Ghost Security Systems uses the latest technology and also manages a 24 hour Alarm Receiving Centre to ensure we are able to respond 24/7 to any signals. We can call you, your keyholders or summon the Police or Fire Brigade if required
To discuss in further detail what you can expect from our installation team, feel free to contact us anytime.
From February 1st 2014, we will be located in our new building at 41 Main Road Greyton. Our contact numbers are just the same but our new premises gives us the opportunity to expand our resources and create a working environment for our security personnel and to also have a place to meet with our existing and new customers.
As always we are pleased to visit you on site to discuss any of your security needs, but if you prefer we can meet at our new premises.
We look forward to continuing to serve Greyton and the surrounding communities in 2014 and will continue to support the SAPS in their ongoing determination to keep crime as low as possible.
As we start the new year (2014) we thought a few common sense suggestions may be welcome in case you are considering reviewing the safety and security of your home.
1. Start by reviewing the exterior of your property to make sure there are no broken windows or access to your property through garages or conservatories. Lock any tools and items such as ladders away
2. Ask a vetted, inspected and qualified locksmith to review your doors and windows (including internal doors to conservatories and garages) to make sure all of your windows and doors have the most appropriate locks, they are in good condition, properly fitted and meet your insurance requirements
3. Opportunist thieves can often approach houses that look like nobody is at home so consider installing a number of light timers around the house so it appears someone is home
4. Dusk to dawn or sensor lighting to the front and back door of your home will deter potential thieves and help you gain entry into your home in the dark
5. Alarms can be very effective but you need to change the code regularly to gain maximum benefit from them
6. Side windows in a house can be smashed to reach keys and gain entry so consider adding reinforced glass or maybe even block up the window. Decorative grilles and bars can also vastly improve the security of a home without being detrimental to the aesthetics
7. Home safes are becoming increasingly popular too, so you may want to consider asking a specialist locksmith to specify and install one
8. You may also want to install top and bottom bolts on French doors or add sash jammers to UPVC doors
9. While you are reviewing your security it is also worth considering when your keys were last replaced, whether past owners or tenants may still have access to your home and whether anyone may have made copies of your keys without your knowledge. If you are worried ask a professional locksmith to change your locks and fit a patented system, whereby keys can only be copied with proof of ownership
10. Consider your own influence on the level of security for your home and make sure you don’t indulge bad habits such as leaving keys in locks or in view that you and your family may have. Simple tips such as always setting alarms, changing codes on a frequent basis and locking any side or back gates can make a substantial difference and deter attack
11. Make sure you source a good quality lock to protect your garden shed and its contents, if you have one.
12. Statistics show that thieves are increasingly breaking into homes to steal car keys so don’t make it easy for them by leaving keys in view
What happens if a burglar disables your land-line phone, your home experiences a power blackout/cut, or you lose your Internet connectivity?
Will your current home security system still offer you protection?
It all depends on how your system is configured and whether backups are in place to ensure uninterrupted monitoring. We recommend our clients include cellular backup for all systems installed, as a preventative measure.
This way, even if your power, telephone or Internet connection is interrupted, your monitoring service won’t be.
Without backups in place, there are numerous ways you could lose connectivity to your home security monitoring station—bad weather, fire, vandalism, etc. All it takes is for something to become unplugged or damaged.
If this happens, then your system is unable to send the notifications necessary to alert Ghost Security Systems in the event of an emergency. Your alarm system is basically rendered a dud until the phone line or Internet comes back on; this is not a risk we recommend as being worth taking.
Instead of limiting the level of cover, ensure 24/7, continuous monitoring with a backup security plan, just in case.
Ghost recommends you are prepared with cellular security
A cellular security system removes physical, onsite wires, eliminating the chance that wires could be cut or damaged. It also does not require a phone or Internet connection. Rather, it operates wire-free through a dedicated cellular network (not your current cell phone). It is the safest and most reliable form of security monitoring.
For this reason, cellular is an excellent choice as your primary connection or as a backup for land-line and Internet-based systems. Should your primary connectivity go down for any reason, your cellular backup will kick in, communicating with the our monitoring centre for complete, uninterrupted coverage.
Avoid an unhappy ending, and put backup contingencies in place to protect yourself now, instead of questioning why you didn’t later.
If a thief makes it past your lighting without being deterred, you pretty much have one last shot to stop the break-in — at the point of entry.
That’s typically a door or window. For windows, locks are crucial, and burglar-proof glass is a possible upgrade and can assist in preventing easy access, as can suitable window bars. Most people dislike bars on windows, and for good reason they detract from the look of the property, however numerous styles are available and offer differing levels of protection and aesthetics. Ghosts security team can offer suggestions to help you achieve the best of both.
Doors and door locks can get a little more complex. A burglar can gain entry either by kicking in the door or disabling the lock, so you want to address both of those possibilities with the equipment you choose.
The door should be either solid wood or metal, so it holds, obviously external door protection or internal bars can add complications for all involved, but simply remembering to keep them closed and locked when you do not have line of sight makes a big difference.
The strike plate should be the heavy-duty kind, secured with four, long (3-inch) screws.
The lock should be a deadbolt or a upgraded lock set set with a dead latch.
Doors and locks aren’t a place to be a money pincher. Even if the thief learns on Facebook that you’re in Italy, ignores the alarm sign in your yard walks through the lights and makes it to your door without being seen, a sturdy lock and a sturdy door can still keep him or her on the outside.
Remember simply thinking you have carefully hidden the key to the lock outside under the mat is not going to make the lock much of an issue!
Here at Ghost we are happy to advise on suitable door locks and can connect you with experienced locksmiths to ensure you achieve a reliable and strong lock suitable for your security needs.
Before you leave town.
Do a last minute check to ensure that all of your doors and windows are locked and dead bolted. 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. 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.
Most housebreaking/burglary incidents occurred at night (27.5%), followed by afternoon hours (19.8%) and morning hours (15.7%). Eastern Cape (38.3%) had the highest percentage of housebreaking/burglary incidents that occurred at night, followed by KwaZulu-Natal (36.4%) and Mpumalanga (31.3%). Only 16.4% of housebreaking/burglary took place at night in Western Cape. Almost 20% of housebreaking/burglary took place in the afternoon, the highest percentage occurring in Gauteng (26%), followed by Mpumalanga (24.6%) and Western Cape (21.8%).
The provinces where housebreaking/burglary was least likely to occur in the afternoon were Limpopo (10.9%) and North West (14%).
Households were also asked about their views on the motives of perpetrators for committing property crimes in 2011; they were asked whether the motive for crime was real need (such as hunger), greed or non-financial motives (such as witchcraft, jealousy or hatred), drug related need or other reasons. About six in every ten (66.5%) of the households believed that people committed property crime because of drug related need, while 56% believed it was because of real need (see graph below). More than 30% of the households believed that these crimes were committed because of greed, while 25.3% households thought that perpetrators were motivated by non-financial motives.