Safeguarding Your House Takes Discipline

Private Property South Africa
Anna-Marie Smith

The latest security buzz words are ringing around pre-emptive and disciplined measures. To prevent your house from being the chosen one falling prey to criminals over the festive season, or any time for that matter, listen to the experts. Their advice to residents is to practise disciplined security routines, with the keyword being checking, and more checking.

In their year-end messages to customers, large service providers Chubb Security and ADT and other smaller operators give security advice, irrespective of the financial status of house occupants, content or location. In their view, the combination of vigilant observation and maintaining to security routines both inside and around properties, at varying times is the best pre-emptive measure. In addition is ensuring optimum working order of all equipment and systems, as well as effective communication channels with all parties concerned. They say that of course different degrees of affordability in households will reflect varying pre-emptive measures and services. And this is where their guidance as experts serves to help residents cut their security blankets to fit their budgets.

Whether you can afford CCTV cameras, an electric fence, electronically controlled gates and doors, or no fences but simple locks and keys instead, ensure that everything provides optimum functionality. And when not able to afford a full house of comprehensive services, less onerous yet highly function options are also available, such as Cape Town based Mountain Security Services, initially known as Mountain Men, now also offering armed response in addition to other services. By relying on a collective of local residents contributing to its mountain watch services, in areas such as Lakeside and Muizenberg, house occupants benefit hugely from this pre-emptive service. Action is taken as a direct result of round the clock watches, where both vehicle and foot traffic in and out of suburban areas is monitored from mountain peaks.

Also, say police working closely with residents associations, is take note of information published by community security forums. It provides statistics on modus operandi of perpetrators including frequency patterns on different days of the week, times, and specific weather conditions.

When permanent residents vacate homes to receive visitors, temporary tenants and domestic workers, none who are familiar with domestic security drills, what remains essential is the continuity of awareness around security. Ensure that house occupants do not take for granted the sense of security experienced from living amid high- tech security installations, and swift armed response services. Also, the working order of electronic devices, from infrared detectors, CCTV cameras, visual control and communicator panels, to wireless devices, is only as good as the electricity provided from pre-paid or paid up electricity bills, and very importantly back-up of sufficient standby battery life.

Installers of security fittings Maxidoor and Trellidor both advise occupants to think like criminals when securing their homes. By attempting access to your own secure house, followed by personally testing the responses from security companies and neighbours, unexpected surprises of faulty locks, doors and windows can be avoided.

Says a business man and owner of properties in Hout Bay, it takes a single incident away from daily security routines to create vulnerability in the safety of properties. As a result, post visit vigilant action is essential after contracted service providers, including cleaning and gardening services, or maintenance and repair teams, vacate premises.

Lastly, think like an insurance company that may or may not honour claims, following damage and losses occurring as a result of negligence.

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