A wake-up call for South Africans to safeguard their homes rings loud and clear; 29 burglaries and two robberies take place every hour. Recent statistics from Africacheck.org reveal some truly shocking figures concerning crime of this nature in the country: an average of 686 houses are burgled every day and an average of 57 are robbed. This amounts to a staggering quarter of a million burglaries (where victims are not confronted), and nearly 21 000 robberies (where victims are confronted) each year.
Budget Insurance recommends the following:
• Fit all access doors with security gates and install burglar bars on windows
• Install electric perimeter fencing if feasible – be sure to check for areas where objects like telephone posts or trees make it easy to jump the fence
• Use access gates that do not require you to get out of your vehicle to open, as this makes you an easy target for criminals -also be sure to look out for any suspicious vehicles or individuals when entering your property
• When possible, mix up your daily routine to make it less predictable for criminals to know when you’ll be home
• Do not tempt criminals by leaving things like lawnmowers and vehicles outside for extended periods of time
• Cut away tree branches and remove objects like garden tools that could be used to gain access into your house
• Cut away trees and shrubbery that could provide robbers a place to hide
• Instal an alarm system to provide an early warning of a security breach – this should be linked up to a reputable armed response service and include a panic button
• Notify your security company when you will not be at home for extended periods of time
• Store irreplaceable, sentimental items in a safe that is firmly bolted to the wall or floor
• Consider installing a good quality, HD CCTV system that covers all access points to your home – this not only serves as a deterrent, but could also help to put criminals behind bars
• Be sure to verify the identity of, and do a basic reference check on any domestic workers, garden workers or contractors that you employ.