Smart technology offers peace of mind

Private Property South Africa
Anna-Marie Smith

Home security is only as good as the technology behind instant notifications and responses. And statistics show that poor notification and control measures override the best technological interventions.

The latest technology, which provides residents with optimum safety, both while at home or away, is facilitated via wireless connectivity through access to mobile broadband services and offers optimum peace of mind.

Costly installations of modern security equipment may not be optional for all residents across different income groups. However, by obtaining the knowledge of whether mobile broadband connectivity is or may become available in a chosen area before buying or renting, the long-term safety and security of residents may be enhanced.

The stats say …

Trends show that foreign buyers and tenants have long prioritised constant connectivity. However, their reasons for doing so differ vastly from South African citizens, whose personal security while at home is the main driver behind demand for access.

Official statistics released by the Minister of Police in September last year stated a 69.8% increase of robberies at residential properties, over the past nine years. High crime is seeing the majority of local residents, throughout affordable housing suburbs to top end security estates, paying toward increased security measures such as armed response and 24-hour surveillance.

However, the results of a radio (on stations 702 and 567) security survey that was conducted in December last year, drew attention to poor responses and negligence on the part of operators. The survey, which measured the armed response times of five houses in various Gauteng suburbs during the peak holiday period, indicated response times varying from one, up to 44 minutes, with only one of the five home occupants being asked for a pass code.

Security sells homes

The advice of experience and well-connected property professionals, as well as local community organisations, facilitates access to historical data of best geographical locations and crime patterns in a specific area. “Improved home security and personal safety is one of the main motivations for a home purchase, and property sellers can definitely expect resistance, especially among repeat buyers, to a home that doesn't seem secure." says Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International Property Group.

It makes sense then that South African residents, whose connectivity is constantly undermined by ongoing copper theft along landlines, or high cost of purchased data, need to obtain reliable information on broadband availability in residential areas. When mobile broadband services are accessible, residents can connect to the Internet from any location, as long as they have access to data via smart phones or computers.

Real estate agents say that while all residential areas are vulnerable to becoming targets for crime syndicates, upmarket areas including private security estate homes, are at greater risk.

Broadband solutions

Dean Joffe of Simpletech, a specialist in security and automation technology, says that the expansion of broadband facilities in upmarket neighbourhoods facilitates improved monitoring of quality technological solutions, which in turn allows remote access control through wireless technology on mobile smart devices. Advanced sensor technology for motion detection, in conjunction with camera surveillance, allows for comprehensive monitoring of large areas.

New technology that enables long distance remote control and access from across oceans and borders may well not be foolproof, but is fast increasing in popularity among locals.

High crime levels in affluent suburbs are leading the need for instant notification and above-average access control (keyless entering and exiting) of both in- and outdoor surveillance systems at freestanding properties and security estates, says Joffe. User-friendly operating methods that allow all family members and domestic staff across different age groups to act swiftly are essential.

Long-term planning plays a major role when it comes to the security of families and their homes. Prospective buyers or tenants are advised to seek professional security and property industry advice before signing on any dotted lines for their dream homes.

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