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.
The Last Line of Defence…
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.
According to the Victims of Crime Survey 2012 – organised by: ‘Statistics of South Africa.’
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.