Security at all costs

Private Property South Africa
Private Property Reporter

Whether you’re a student or a CEO, chances are you’re concerned about security. We all want to live safely, without our families being harmed, retaining all our possessions as we acquire them.

The official stats from 2012-2013 indicate, according to Africa Check, that “Residential burglary [in South Africa] increased by 6.8% (an additional 16 582 cases) to a total of 262". This stat does not take into account the more violent break-ins where homeowners are threatened.

Security is of such concern that private security has become a massive industry in South Africa, making it a perfect place for those looking for security jobs. There are currently more than 9 000 private security companies in operation and around 400 000 working security personnel.

The question is, what we can do to secure our homes while also keeping affordability in mind.

Perception is everything

The easier your house looks like a place that someone can break into, the more likely someone is to break in. But then, there are all sorts of odd factors that make you more likely you’ll be targeted. For example, driving a “weird-coloured car” makes it more likely you’ll be targeted by criminals. Strange but true!

Putting a fence up could also not only create a sense of security, but legitimately make it more difficult for criminals to get in as well. A fence can also be electrified – or fake-electrified, to at least emit a hum and aid the perception that security measures are in place.

Control over your means of entry matters too. For example, installing a buzzer allows you to inspect who is at your front door before letting them in. This makes it less likely you’ll have to interact with those you would rather not have contact with or who make you feel insecure.

Indicating that you are protected by a security company also helps. While we all should be protected by the police, they are not going to arrive instantly – if at all – due to poor management, staff shortages and insufficient resources. However, private security companies tend to do a better job of protecting you and your surroundings.

House alarms also help but are maybe less valuable than external deterrents, as they will only alert you when danger is imminent rather than keeping criminal elements at bay.

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