How to protect your home – surprising dos and don’ts

safety feature

Keeping your house safe and secure is something all South Africans care about and we all take various measures to protect our home and our families. However, you may be surprised at which tactics are actually effective and which hardly make a difference in stopping a potential break-in or burglary.

A recent episode of Carte Blanche shares interesting insight into this topic, sharing the views of a now reformed burglar who now tests security systems in people’s homes, a professor of criminology from the Department of Police Practice at UNISA, and an independent security expert who is also a former intelligence officer. Thanks to their vast experience and extensive research these crime experts can provide valuable tips and information on which deterrents actually work to keep criminals out and which don’t.

Here are some of their recommendations on how to deter home invaders:

1. Neighbourhood Watch groups, especially those with a strong visible presence can help and will often cause criminals to rather focus on a different area.

2. It is safer to choose a home on a street corner, rather than in the middle of a block or a dead end. It is more difficult for potential burglars to see if someone is approaching from a house on a corner.

3. Fences work better than walls, as walls can actually provide cover for burglars once they are on the property and allow them to remain unseen for longer.

4. Most fences, including even electric fences, are relatively easy to scale. At worst electric fences will give the intruder a non-lethal shock, but they can still be breached. In fact, high electric fences can even attract burglars as they often indicate that there valuable items to be burgled inside the property, as opposed to a home with little or no fencing. Something like a wide thorny hedge can provide a much more effective alternative in the form of a green barrier and be more difficult and time consuming to get through.

5. Home owners should ensure that gates have a stopper to prevent them from being lifted off the tracks.

6. CCTV cameras are not that useful as deterrents, but are helpful for evidence after an incident has occurred. However there are more advanced CCTV systems already, where home owners can even “yell” at criminals through the camera, as they are about to breach a fence.

7. Beams, lights and alarms are all useful in making a big noise, lighting up areas and attracting attention, which criminals try to avoid.

8. When it comes to watch dogs, small “yappy” dogs inside the home are more useful than dogs outside, as these can easily be overpowered or poisoned. Dogs inside the house quickly alert people in the home about intruders.

9. Burglars often look for doors and windows for easy access and many can be opened with something as simple as a screwdriver. Also leaving garden furniture or other objects outside or leaning against a wall, can provide also intruders with “step ladders” to reach windows higher up.

View the Carte Blanche video below:

Being aware of the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of the various security measures and tactics can allow home owners to come up with a much more effective plan for keeping burglars out. A “layered and unexpected system” is what these experts recommend as the best defence for preventing home invasions.

Based on our own experience in the security industry, we find these suggestions really useful and helpful for anyone wishing to protect their home. We all want our homes to be enjoyable places of relaxation and comfort, without the nagging anxiety about crime detracting from this.

Our The Claw security products play a role specifically when it comes to safeguarding windows and doors, adding an essential layer of protection to your home.

Read more about our products here or contact us to discuss the best options for your home.