- #1 – Don’t make yourself a target
- #2 – Protect yourself from unwanted visitors
- #3 – Protect yourself by thinking like a burglar
- #4 – Keep your doors and windows locked
- #5 – Ask your neighbours to check-in
It is no secret that homeowners need to protect their homes from burglars.
We live in South Africa and it doesn’t have an amazing track record when it comes to crime. Even with alarm systems, panic buttons, and electric fencing, burglars and yard hoppers still find a way inside.
Homeowners cannot afford to be unprepared. Unfortunately, our society dictates that we have to expect the worst and often the unexpected.
There are small things that you should be doing to avoid becoming the victim of a break-in. Here are a few tips:
#1 – Don’t make yourself a target
Gone are the days where break-ins happened at random. Burglars now watch homes to see what activity goes on there and to spot the items they can steal.
The most important thing is that you don’t make yourself a target. Keep the front of your house as low-key as possible whilst still maintaining a sense of neatness.
If you drive a nice car, don’t park it outside. Rather lock it up in the garage or behind the gate and keep it locked.
Encourage visitors to park inside the yard as well if you have enough space.
#2 – Protect yourself from unwanted visitors
Be careful who you let into your house. It should be the number one rule in your house especially if you have children.
If you don’t know the person, don’t let them inside the yard.
If it is someone claiming to be from the municipality, ask to see their identification. You have the right to show them away if they refuse to show you their ID.
You can report any suspicious activity in your neighbourhood to your security company. They will come out and patrol the streets.
#3 – Protect yourself by thinking like a burglar
The best way to protect yourself is to think like a criminal. Burglars look for homes where they can easily jump the wall and where they can hide once they are inside.
If you have a lot of bushes and shrubbery in your yard, this could be a potential hiding spot for a burglar.
Burglars also watch your movements if your house is a target.
You should always try to make it seem like someone is at home. When going out at night, leave the TV and the lights on to create the illusion of activity.
#4 – Keep your doors and windows locked
This is not always possible when you are at home but when you leave, ensure that everything is locked up.
The windows should be secured and no one should be able to open them from the outside. Doors should be locked and if the locks are damaged, they should be replaced.
If you have both a door and a security gate, ensure that both of these are locked.
It might not keep the intruders out but it might just discourage them from quickly breaking in and stealing the first few things they find.
#5 – Ask your neighbours to check-in
If you are going away on holiday or if you are heading out for the evening, ask your neighbours to keep an eye on your house.
Even if you aren’t good friends with the neighbours, most of them won’t mind. You can also repay the favour when they go out or go on holiday.
If you can, try starting a community watch or a community group chat. This way everyone is in constant contact with each other and they can report any suspicious activity.
The best way to stop a burglary is to anticipate it. With these few tips, you can be assured that you’ll sleep safer at night.