We all know what it takes to keep ourselves and our possessions safe. From insurance to alarm systems, it's never easy to protect what's yours. Many people however don't realise that there are bad guys trying get to your hard earned possessions! Here follow some obvious and widely used methods of protecting your home. And it's quite a list ...
Alarm Systems & Security Companies
The obvious route most of us take. Often a home is purchased with an alarm system pre-installed with the involved security company's sign outside to ward off potential bad guys. This, while effective is not a solution on its own, many houses still get broken into and robbed even with their expensive alarm systems securely in place. In some cases you might even forget to activate your alarm system when you leave your home, what good is it then? Not much!
Most security companies patrol the areas where their clients live and are quick to respond to an alarm going off, they carry firearms and are trained for the absolute worst case scenario. But what if the alarm fails to go off ... or you forget to put on the alarm and wake up to find a masked robber next to your bed? Keep reading to find our essential safety tips later in this article.
Another semi effective deterrent against the lurking house robbers but as with Alarm Systems this is not effective on its own. Burglar Proofing provides an obstacle for intruders at best and usually it doesn't take an experienced burglar long to bypass the burglar proofing, either by removing it completely or by exploiting a vulnerable part of it. An experienced burglar can remove standard burglar bars from a window in less than 10 minutes without making much noise or attracting attention to himself, often in broad daylight.
Fences & Walls
If you can stop a burglar from getting onto your property in the first place, why bother with the rest? That's the mistake some people make believe it or not. Walls in most cases are only good for hiding what the bad guys are doing at your house!
Fences are however moderately effective on their own especially when combined with electricity, a good jolt to a baddy trying to climb over will make him and his friends think twice about what else might be waiting for them inside your property, combine this with a ruthless looking dog and you're on your way to scaring off any potential evil doer.
Combining a fence with a dog is often a winning recipe since your secure fence often doesn't circle your entire property, a baddy can still get in by coming from a neighbour's property!
Most people have a dog. Dogs can be effective in protecting your property and possessions but only if it's not the sort of dog that barks at everything that moves or sometimes at nothing at all. Some dogs love to bark at nothing, this isn't too effective for alerting you to trespassers!
Statistics have shown that homes with dogs are less frequently broken into because dogs barking attract too much attention to the trespasser. Often a good dog can replace any alarm system or security company.
Okay so now you know the obvious ones. Now here are some less thought off tips and tricks to help you make your home that much safer!
Know your staff
Some people employ domestic workers and often they don't even know them that well! Maids and Gardeners are most frequently used through recommendation from a friend, you take the friends word that this person can be trusted, fair enough but what happens if the person you're taking into your employ and home so trustingly can in fact not be trusted at all? Suddenly you and your friends houses are robbed and the domestic worker vanishes! Then what good did all your expensive security do you?
This happens more often than you think. To make this threat less likely make sure to always use a Domestics Agency when possible, they can be easily found in most local newspapers and offer trained, secure staff with experience for slightly more expense than hiring a domestic not affiliated with an agency. This provides you with piece of mind that you know where this person can be found if something does go wrong!
The same goes for gardeners, try use a gardening company whenever possible. If however you simply must use someone recommended by a friend make sure to obtain a copy of their ID Book and if possible a Proof Of Residency such as a utility bill, a copy of their passport too if they are an immigrant. Gather as much information about the person as possible! All this in your possession won't only help you find the person if something goes wrong but will make them think twice about swindling you!
Train your dog
Dogs, while effective to protect you and your home aren't fool proof. An experienced baddy can easily entice your dog with a poisoned treat if he isn't trained properly. Teach your dog not to take food from strangers, if you need help with this contact a dog trainer, they can be easily found in any local newspaper in your area and can be expensive but entirely worth it. Think of it as an investment in your furry companion and your own safety.
This is easier said than done and the bad guys bargain on you being too busy to notice them. Before a home is robbed it's typically cased for a few days or even a few weeks by the robbers themselves. This means they linger in your street watching your house to figure out your schedules, when your there, when you're not there and when you go to sleep. Scary thought isn't it?
Once a house has been thoroughly cased and observed the baddies will typically mark the location by placing something on your property to indicate it's clear and ready for the hit. This can be as obscure as a chocolate wrapper, a soft drink can or a rock placed against your fence in a certain way. House burglaries are often done a few houses at a time by a large group of criminals. Be observant!
I'm not saying freak out at every chocolate wrapper you find near your house but keep an eye out never the less. Is there someone hanging around outside your house every day that you never saw before? Did one of your kids try to tell you about the strange man outside their window at night but you didn't listen?
It's 4am and you hear a noise down stairs, it can't be your wife because she's next to you in bed and your kids are sound asleep. Better go check what that noise was.. uh oh, I think it's a burglar! It's useful to have something you can protect yourself with near you at all times, especially when you're at your most vulnerable like when your sound asleep sure you can be extravagant and carry a sword with you and hide a cricket bat next to your bed but if you're looking for the more obscure alternative I suggest a stun-gun, especially the type that fires out at a target. Stun Guns pack a huge punch and can render most people incapacitated if not unconscious.
Another alternative is Pepper Spray. That's for girls right? Wrong! Pepper Spray is in fact more effective than a rubber bullet, the right kind of Pepper Spray can blind your intruder and incapacitate him for several hours. Pepper Spray is standard issue for all Riot Police Officers and if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for you! A Stun Gun and Pepper Spray are small enough to carry with you or hide under your pillow if needed, personal protection is never missed until the day you need it.
Combine Alarm Systems with Electric Fencing, have a dog and pay attention, even if you do all these things combined it's not a 100% guarantee and all you can do at the end of the day is hope your burglar gets scared off and that if the worst does happen your insurance pays out. South Africa just happens to be one of those places where your home security and personal safety is entirely up to you and those around you. The police can catch the bad guy but if you can keep the baddies out in the first place that makes everyone's life that much easier.