Recent statistics from Africacheck.org reveal some shocking figures on robberies and burglaries in South Africa.
An average of 686 houses are burgled every day and an average of 57 are robbed. This amounts to a staggering quarter-of-a-million burglaries – where victims aren’t confronted – and nearly 21 000 robberies – where victims are confronted – each year.
Budget Insurance spokesperson Graham Craggs said: “The [South African Police Service] SAPS recorded a decrease of 1.2% in house burglaries in the 2015/2016 financial year. However, we are urging people to be on guard and step up security at their homes.”
In light of these figures, Budget Insurance recommended the following tips to safeguard homes.
- Fit all access doors with security gates and install burglar bars on windows.
- Install electric perimeter fencing if it’s feasible – be sure to check for vulnerable points where objects such as telephone posts or trees make it easy to jump the fence.
- Use access gates that don’t require you getting out of your car to open them, as this makes you an easy target for criminals. Also be sure to look out for any suspicious vehicles or individuals when entering your property.
- When possible, mix up your daily routine to make it less predictable for criminals to know when you’ll be home.
- Don’t tempt criminals by leaving things like lawnmowers and vehicles outside for extended periods of time.
- Cut away tree branches and remove objects like garden tools that could be used as leverage for getting into the house.
- Cut away all trees and shrubbery that could provide a space for robbers to hide.
- Install an alarm system to provide an early warning of a security breach. This should be linked up to a reputable armed response service and include a panic button system.
- Notify your security company when you won’t be at home for extended periods of time.
- Store irreplaceable, sentimental items in a safe that is firmly bolted to the wall or floor.
- Consider installing a good quality, HD CCTV system that covers all access points to your home – this not only serves as a deterrent, but could also help to put criminals behind bars.
- Be sure to verify the identity of, and do a basic reference check on any domestic workers, garden workers or contractors that you employ.
Craggs stressed the importance of having adequate home contents insurance. “Bear in mind that the replacement value will often exceed the value that you purchased an item for, so it’s best to check that your home contents insurance is up-to-date and that the amount for which you are insured is adequate,” he said.
“It is a good idea to send an updated inventory list to your insurance provider to ensure that all the goods you want insured are included.”
– Caxton News Service