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How to Prevent a House Break-In in South Africa

Increase your home’s value and decrease your home insurance premiums by implementing better security measures. Find out how to prevent a house break-in in South Africa here.

Did you know that you could save money by improving your home security? Homes that are more secure are considered of higher value. Insurance companies often reward homeowners who put in extra security measures with lower premiums. That’s why it’s important to learn about how to prevent a house break-in before it occurs.

How Does Better Home Security Influence My Home Insurance?

With better security in your home, your monthly home insurance premiums should be lower than they would be without the security. This is because the added security changes your risk profile. The more you can do, the better. In order to upgrade the security in your home effectively, it’s important to understand how burglars and robbers think.

What Do South African Burglars & Robbers Look for in Potential Homes to Break in to?

According to Professor Rudolph Zinn who interviewed convicted South African robbers and burglars, robbers and burglars look for different things. Burglars want to avoid conflict and detection, while robbers are more willing to use lethal force and violence to get what they want. You can use the below list, derived from what Professor Zinn affirms are points robbers and burglars consider, to identify weak spots in your home’s defences.

How a Burglar Sees Your House:

  • Any noise, for example a dog, is a deterrent that burglars want to avoid.
  • Houses with low walls or fences increase visibility of activities in the home from the street. For this reason, burglars tend to avoid them. They prefer to work unobserved.
  • Sliding doors are a plus for burglars. They can easily be derailed to give the burglar quick access to your home.
  • Most burglaries happen while the home occupants are at work. Door bells and Intercom systems at the gate can be a negative point, alerting burglars that the home is unoccupied when the bell isn’t answered.
  • An easily accessible yard and gate motor are attractive to burglars, as are any permanent objects that can obscure their movements in your yard, including nooks, large bushes, and shadowy areas.

How a Robber Sees Your House:

  • Robbers want to know the layout of your house, including where valuables are kept and good entry and exit points. Knowing this can help them get in and out as fast as possible. 77% of robbers reported that they had help from someone in the house, for example a gardener, builder, or domestic worker.
  • Robbers tend to steal untraceable items such as cash and jewellery – things without serial numbers that can’t be linked back to the crime scene.
  • Often, robbers will scout a neighbourhood to assess its security. For this reason, a neighbourhood watch or patrol can deter robberies.
  • Homes with perimeter alarms are less likely to be hit. Robbers avoid them whenever possible because they give the homeowners time to arm themselves and call security or the SAPS.
  • Robberies most often occur between 4PM and 11PM because the owners are home but have not yet activated their alarm systems.
  • Robbers target individuals who are likely to have large amounts of money. They often target people advertising their home business or a car for sale.

Security Measures to Implement in Your Home Today

  • Put gardening equipment like spades, picks, and axes away securely after use so that robbers cannot use them to attack you or your family.
  • Secure all windows and doors that can open to the outdoors with burglar bars and an alarm system where possible.
  • Keep all security gates locked at all times.
  • Keep communication lines open with your community police forum, your neighbours, and your community, including a neighbourhood watch.
  • Instead of installing an analogue intercom, use newer technology that allows any intercom buzzes to go straight to your cell phone and ensure there is always an answer.
  • Use CCTV cameras that are connected to your alarm system to record what happens in attempted break-ins accurately. The outdoor cameras are deterrents to break-ins, and their footage can often lead to arrests.
  • Turn your perimeter alarm on as soon as possible, as most robberies occur when the alarm isn’t on yet.
  • Report any suspicious activity to neighbourhood security watch members or your security provider.
  • Remove any plants and vegetation on your verge that robbers or burglars can use to hide or conceal their activities.
  • Use a buzzer system or bell that can alert you when your gates are opened.
  • Habitually close your curtains early in the evening so that robbers and burglars cannot observe your movements.
  • Avoid having bushes and obstructive foliage near the entrance and exit to your home, including the fencing, doors, and other entrances.
  • Keep dogs that remain indoors as a pre-warning system. Dogs that are left in the yard can be poisoned or silenced.
  • Always keep emergency numbers close and remain aware.
  • Get electric fencing, barbed wire, or spikes along your perimeter wall or fence to act as a further deterrent.

Other than the above, you can also speak to all members of your household, including domestic workers, to ensure they keep doors closed and locked. Teach them to spot self-defence tools in whichever environment they find themselves, for example, a sharp ornament, a book, a knife, spray, and more. Look out for your neighbours and always remain alert. Early detection of attempts to break in can often save lives. Remember to inform your insurance provider about any updates to your home security in order to benefit from possible lower premiums.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this article is meant for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, medical, or financial advice. Facts stated in this article are correct at the time it was published.

Sources:News24.com; ooba.co.za;

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