‘There are measures that can be taken to discourage intruders from choosing your home. Should you fall victim to such a crime, there are things you can do to survive an attack,’ – Ivan Govender (Fidelity ADT Kwa-Zulu Natal district manager)
One of the most common rules to avoid a home invasion is to live a security conscious lifestyle. Keep your doors locked when you are away or at home during the day and night. Common sense, right? However, you would be surprised to know how many times home intruders just walk into a property where doors or gates are left unlocked or wide open.
One major point all law enforcement officers make, is that if your house looks harder to gain access to, than your neighbours, they would most likely choose your neighbours house instead.
To make your home less appealing, try implementing one or all of these tips:
- Ensure that there are fewer places for intruders to hide and surprise you by cutting down all shrubs and bushes.
- Ensure that your yard and driveway is well lit.
- Ensure that all burglar bars are firmly in place and safety checked regularly.
- Never underestimate the determination of criminals. Ensure that even the smallest or highest access point is covered with burglar bars.
- Use visible security measure, like CCTV cameras, beams, electric fencing. Everything the burglar can see that will make their attempt much more difficult.
- Ensure that everyone in the family (kids, elderly, domestic worker, gardener, etc.) know how to contact emergency service in case of an attack.
- Ensure that everyone in the family knows how to operate the security system, and when it is necessary to do so.
- Test your security system regularly to ensure that emergency signals are received by your service provider.
- Ensure that all tools are locked away when not in use as it can aid the intruders to access your home.
- If your service provider offers a meet at home service, have them meet you at your gate when arriving after dark to ensure you safely enter your property.
- Keep your cellphone nearby at all times in case of an emergency to ensure that you will be able to call for help if needed
In the case that the invaders do pick your home, implement these tips:
- Do not make the main bedroom your first choice for a safety room. Intruders tend to head to the main bedroom first.
- For the reason above, do not hide valuables in your main bedroom. Intruders are less likely to search a kid’s room for valuable.
- Place a decoy safe with less valuable items in the main bedroom and the proper safe with the greater valuable somewhere undetectable.
- A great safe room is a bathroom. Robbers tend to leave a bathroom alone as there may not be any valuable hidden in there.
- Ensure that your safe room has a panic button hidden away. In the case that you pick your bathroom, ensure that you place your panic button in a zip lock bag to keep moisture out.
- Ensure that the intruders know you will co-operate. This will lessen the chance of violence breaking out
- Hand over what they request. If you resist, you enhance their chance of being caught in the act and aggravate them, which could lead to someone getting hurt.
- Stay calm and do not make any swift movement.
- Be observant. We know it isn’t always easy to keep calm in a hostage situation, but try to notice things about the intruders: voice, clothing, scars, and tattoos. Anything that could be useful in narrowing the search down to find them.
- Only fight back, or attempt an escape if your life or any of the other hostages’ lives are in clear and direct danger.
- Don’t follow the intruders out when they are about to leave.
- Close and lock all doors immediately and contact your emergency service if you haven’t done so already.
Unfortunately, we are living in a world where every invasion is different, with a different modus operandi. And there will never be a set of rules that can be implemented in every situation. Keep calm, and evaluate the situation. Doing everything in your power to keep you and your family safe should be your number one priority.