Having a safe home is on the priority list of most South Africans, thanks to high levels of crime in the country.
While hiring the services of security guards or armed response companies is the route some people walk, others prefer to take safety matters into their own hands.
Below is a selection of tech and gadgets, some of which can be ordered from overseas, that you can use to make your home safer.
Samsung 4 Channel CCTV Security System
Having an eye on all corners of your house is a good start to making sure your home is safe.
The Samsung 4 Channel system includes four CCTV cameras which record at 600TVL, have auto-activated infrared lights for night vision, and are IP66 dust and water resistant.
The unit also includes a 500GB hard drive to record the video feeds – which you watch can anywhere, anytime, thanks to the system’s compatibility with Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac OS.
Samsung’s system sells for R6,999 in South Africa.
Bosch motion and glassbreak detectors
Knowing if criminals are approaching your house, or are in the process or trying to enter it, can help you react in time to thwart an intrusion.
The Bosch DS1109i Glassbreak Detector uses sound analysis technology to listen for breaking glass, and alerts home owners to forced entry through a window or sliding door. Installation of the device must be near the window – on a frame, wall, or ceiling.
Another security product from Bosch is the DS778 Long Range motion detector, which can spot movement up to 60 metres away, and alert the user accordingly.
Canary Wireless Security system
The Canary all-in-one security system acts as a 1080p camera; microphone; motion detector; and temperature, air-quality, and humidity monitor – which feeds information directly to your smartphone via an app.
The unit also includes night vision and a siren alarm, in case intruders venture in front of it after dark.
By placing the Canary, which connects to a network via Wi-Fi, in your home, you can receive notifications of movement inside your house and check in via a video feed if needed.
The Canary sells for $249 in the US, and is available on Amazon.
A video detailing the Canary system is embedded below.
Lockitron smart lock
The Lockitron fits over the deadbolt on the back of your door and can be unlocked via a smartphone app.
The app presents a lock/unlock button, which can be used instead of a conventional key, and you can add or remove guest users to the app – essentially giving them a key to your house.
Besides the Internet-based app, you can also access the Lockitron using Bluetooth.
The Lockitron is available for pre-order for $99 from its site.
Top-end electric fences
Installing a good electric fence not only serves as a deterrent to criminals, it also alerts you to perimeter breaches on your property.
A good electric fence should be at least an eight-strand with square tubing, setup in conjunction with razor wire and a sturdy, high wall.
The electric fence must also have an alarm, which is monitored by an armed-response company, and use braided aluminium wire in its strands.
Pricing varies depending on the length of the fence, and which components are used.
Trellidor Clear Guard
The Trellidor Clear Guard system looks like a pane of glass, but is made up of a tightly-woven steel mesh which is difficult to break through.
The transparent screen is described as an “industrial-grade stainless steel mesh screen that you can see through, with an elegant aluminium frame”, which is impervious to crowbar and sledgehammer attacks.
The mesh system replaces conventional glass in high-risk screen doors and windows. Pricing depends on the size and number of units installed.
The video below demonstrates the strength of the clear guard system.
Sensor beams work by detecting movement or an obstruction in their path, which then triggers an alarm and alerts the owner to an intrusion.
The beams typically use infrared light, and have ranges of up to 60m outdoors and over 100m indoors. They are usually installed on external walls to detect movements in a property’s garden.
Price ranges from a few hundred rand per unit, to over R1,000 each for more advanced systems.
Maxidor and Trellidor security gates
A security gate can act as a physical barrier which prevents intruders from immediately gaining access to a home or room.
Local companies Maxidor and Trellidor are well-known security barrier brands in South Africa, and their tough, expandable, slam-lock designs are punted as an advantage in emergencies.
The expandable security gates can be used as an alternative to burglar bars over a window, or to protect glass sliding doors from forced entry.
Pricing varies based on the type of barrier and the areas which need to be covered.
Empire BT 4 Combat Slice G36 Paintball Marker
When all else fails, coming face to face with a criminal may require you to fight back.
A high-powered paintball marker with the right rounds can be used to fight off intruders (if a conventional gun is not your cup of tea).
While a handgun marker, or a pepper gun, is better for close-quarters inside of a house, a high-powered rifle with a large hopper could fend of multiple intruders on your property.
The Empire BT 4 is styled after the H&K G36, can shoot 13 bullets per second, and holds 200 rounds. Firing modes include: semi-auto, 3-round burst, and full-auto, and the marker’s manual warns users not to exceed setting the bullet velocity to more than 300 feet per second.
Those who already own suitable markers can also purchase rubber, pepper, and glass breaker rounds – which can be used to incapacitate assailants.
Local pricing for the marker ranges around the R4,000 mark. Rubber balls sell for around R2 each, glass breakers R3.50 each, and pepper balls R20 each.
The video below shows the G36 in action.
Mat-On-Guard Pressure Doormat
The Mat-On-Guard Pressure Doormat sends a wireless signal to its owner whenever someone stands on it.
Position it outside of a door and know when someone is at an entrance, thanks to the multiple chime units which go off when activated via the wireless signal.
The pressure mat sells from £42.50 in the UK on Amazon.