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Home invasions – what’s your action plan?

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There has been a spike in home invasions in recent months. Fortunately, in most cases residents have escaped unharmed or sustained only minor injuries. There are some preventative measures that everyone should have in place, but it is just as important to think ahead of time, how you would handle a scenario where you, and potentially your loved ones, are faced with a gang of armed robbers in your home.

Considering and implementing these eight security tips from Stallion Security could make the difference between an already dangerous encounter turning violent, resulting in injury, and a family escaping physically, if not psychologically unharmed.

Rather safe than sorryKnee protection

#1: Probably one of the best defences against crime is to live by the simple rules of a “security conscious” lifestyle. Take basic precautions like keeping doors locked during the day and at night. You would be surprised at how many times armed robbers simply walk into a home or an apartment where doors have been left open or unlocked.

#2: Prevention and detection are key. Your perimeter security is your first line of defence. Ensure that intruders cannot get into your home or onto your property and that if they do, you have an early warning system. Make use of an electric fence (which is linked to your alarm), beams and motion detectors. Ensure that burglar bars and security gates are secure and point to point window beams and contacts are all in top shape.

#3: Alarm systems don’t test themselves. Test your alarm and panic buttons at least once a month and after stormy weather to be certain that everything is in working order.

Surviving the breach

Property rights, including residential, are being threatened in South Africa.

Criminals are brazen, and will try to work their way through these layers of security. Having preventative measures in place allows for time, however, enabling a family to take the steps required to protect themselves as much as possible.

#4: In an emergency a family should run and lock themselves in the predetermined ‘safe room’, such as  a bathroom in the home. This room should be equipped with a spare panic remote and a charged cell phone with airtime (sealed in a plastic bag to protect it from steam damage.) These devices should be tested regularly.

#5: The main bedroom is not a wise choice for the ‘safe room’ to escape to because criminals tend to believe, mistakenly, that every home has a safe and they often attempt to bash down the bedroom door to gain entry. This could result in a potentially dangerous encounter.

#6: If you do come face-to-face with an armed intruder in your home, try to stay calm. Speak slowly and avoid any swift movement. Keep your hands in sight so that the intruders do not become nervous or think you are attempting to wield a hidden weapon.

#7: Avoid eye contact and do not resist their demands to hand over valuables. Fighting back raises the risk of injury or tragedy, but if you co-operate with their requests it’s far less likely that you or your family will be harmed.

#8: Criminals are acutely conscious that your security company’s armed response officers are just minutes away if the alarm has gone off and they will race against the clock to grab your valuables. Any attempts to slow them down or to fight back could make them nervous or frustrate them and lead to violence. Research by criminologists has shown that where intruders spend a longer period of time on the property with victims the chance of violent injury escalates.

Unfortunately we live in a society where crime is rife and criminals are constantly upping their modus operandi to thwart home security measures. But local security companies and residents are also heightening their home security awareness and working together more than ever before.Get involved with your neighbourhood watch and network with neighbours. Share crime intelligence about suspicious vehicles and individuals.


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