How to make your house super-secure in South Africa

Research by Professor Rudolph Zinn and Brigadier Piet Byleveld has revealed how criminals plan and execute a house robbery in South Africa.

They also detail what you can do to prevent this.

Their research found that the best way to prevent a house robbery includes keeping small dogs inside your home, electric fences, alarms and security sensors, and employing an armed response service.

The National Home Security Month (NHSM) is an initiative which punt the steps listed above, and has partnered with safety authorities like ER24, ADT, Yale Security, Union, and Mul-T-Lock.

MyBroadband asked the NHSM what a super-secure home looks like in South Africa – its answer is detailed below.

CCTV on the perimeter of your home

The perimeter of your home is the first element you must secure.

Smart security creates convenience, but traditional solid, mechanical security is still important.

CCTV cameras should monitor your driveway and perimeter.


Using an electric fence to deter intruders

The next step is an electric fence. The electric fence should follow industry guidelines to ensure it is not easily penetrated.

  • The fence bracket must be at least an eight-strand square tubing. 5, 6, 7, and 8-string flat and round bar fences are easily breached.
  • The electrification wire should be highly-conductive. These offer little resistance and deliver the right amount of energy.
  • Check your fence is always on and working.
  • Make sure the fence is correctly installed, without loose wires. Criminals lift the bottom strands of fences to slip through.
  • Use a strong wall to keep criminals out. Don’t install an electric fence on a precast wall.
  • Install batteries to protect against load shedding or electricity outages.
  • Do not switch the fence off when the alarm goes off repeatedly. Criminals can create a short in the fence, hoping it will malfunction or that the owner will switch it off.

Electric fence

Have a good-quality driveway gate

Your gate should have an anti-lift device to ensure it cannot be taken off its rails, while the gate motor should be secured with an anti-theft bracket.

Pedestrian access gates and doors should be locked with a cylinder lock or four-lever mortice lock. If you use a hasp and staple, the padlock should be the right size.

A security gate as well as a door are ideal here.

Electric gate

Have another layer of perimeter security

Apart from an electric fence, have another security layer in place – like exterior beams.

Exterior beams can pick up movement and activate an alarm system, warning you of an intrusion.


Burglar-proof windows

Windows must be burglar-proof. Burglar bars on all windows are essential.

Make sure they’re made of solid or strong steel and built into the wall, not the wooden window frame.


Strong doors with good locks

Doors must be solid, not hollow, with a four-lever mortice or cylinder lock.

A multi-point lock, which locks at the top, middle, and bottom, is an excellent idea for main doors.

A deadbolt or nightlatch will also offer a point of resistance. A long metal strip should also be welded over any gap that a crowbar can fit through.

Door lock

An intercom system

An intercom lets you buzz people in while you’re inside the house, and view them from a monitor.

A mobile viewing app lets see guests or tradesmen and control their access from the safety of your home.


A CCTV system in the home

A CCTV system recording permanently or one which records when movement is detected keeps track of all that happens in a home.

Check the size of linked hard drives to make sure you know how many days of recording it allows. Identifying criminals will also require decent-quality equipment.

CCTV camera

Use smart elements

The smartest way of securing your home right now is online and app driven.

A home-automation system incorporating smart security lets you unlock your door with a smart door lock and an app.

Unlocking the door alerts the system that you are home, which deactivates the smart alarm system and simultaneously switches on the CCTV system.


A smart alarm system

A smart alarm system, with door and window contacts, activates an alarm if any entry is detected.

Vibration sensors can be included to activate the alarm in the case of a window breakage.

All entrance points should be covered by the alarm system.


Smoke and gas detectors

Smoke detectors, gas detectors, and fire extinguishers or blankets should be installed in homes to ensure safety in the event of fire or gas leaks.

All detectors need to be checked regularly to ensure they are operational. Certain detectors can be connected to an alarm system.

Smoke detector

Using a reputable security company

A reputable security company can work with homeowners to protect their home and react to intrusions.


Alerting companies about emergencies

If the house is home to a senior citizen or someone with a medical condition, an app like ER24’s IDMe can alert ER24 in the event of an emergency.

A mobile panic button is also available through ADT’s FindU service.

A vigorous shake of the mobile phone sends out an alert to the nearest response officer and simultaneously films the event.


More on crime

How to make sure criminals do not get through your electric fence

Cape Town crime hotspots may be declared disaster zones

Beware the electric fence you install

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How to make your house super-secure in South Africa