Protect yourself

July 2009

Simple precautions and a little time can make the difference between being a victim and being secure.
After many years operating in the security industry in South Africa, Bob Power has put pen to paper and written a book covering all the aspects of security small businesses and home users need to consider when protecting themselves.
Home Security has been given permission to print a summarised extract from the book. Below is part of the chapter on home security. For more information, please contact Bob Power on +27 (0)83 393 2854 or e-mail
Lock it up or lose it
It is imperative to note that no system is invincible, but the more deterrents you have, the more difficult it is for the criminal, who will probably move to easier pastures. Further, the systems must be maintained and up to date. The longer you can delay the criminal, the better.
When securing your home, the following must be considered:
* Alarm systems
- Check specifically the credentials of installers.
- The systems must be cost effective.
- It is imperative that you check the system at least once a week to ensure that it is working effectively – especially panic buttons.
- Make sure employees are aware of the panic buttons’ locations.
* Electric fencing
- Installed on existing perimeter fences and walls – such fencing is a good deterrent.
- It is necessary to check, monitor and maintain such fencing.
- Backup systems are now becoming a reality – for electricity shortages.
* Lighting
- Bright interior and exterior lighting is necessary.
- However, by itself lighting is not a deterrent, other deterrents must also be in place.
* Gates, bars and barriers
- Again, reputable suppliers must be approached. Burglar bars may be ugly, but are a good deterrent.
- The installation of barriers over doors and windows provides a good defence against criminals.
- Advice is necessary on how to choose a system and where to place the cameras, especially in retail premises.
Armed response
- This is a very good backup for protecting your premises (armed security supplied on alarm) – and the response time is getting better.
Get proper advice and shop around. Most importantly, do not buy a system you do not understand. It is also extremely important to have continuous monitoring and backup systems.
Put yourself in the shoes of the criminal. Find out what the weak spots in your premises are. It can be a cruel financial blow, soul destroying and traumatic to be a victim of crime, so do all you can to prevent it.

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