SAFETY TIPS IN YOUR HOME -
ADVICE FROM SAPS
Keep all your doors and security gates locked all the time, even when there is more than one person at home. All main doors should be fitted with strong locks.
* Keep your garden well lit and trees and plants trimmed to eliminate any possible hiding places.
* Ensure that your house’s street number is clearly marked on your wall/fence/gate so that it can be easily seen by emergency service personnel/the police who may need to get to you.
* Very often, the South African Police Service has a police helicopter in the air to dispatch to emergencies in progress. To enable the helicopter to easily identify your home, consider painting your house’s street number on the roof of your house. The number should be at least 400 mm by 400 mm in size and should be painted in a colour that is easily distinguishable from the colour of the roof.
* If you are able to install additional security devices, do so as every deterrent helps! Consider installing a burglar alarm and panic buttons, burglar bars and security gates as well as remote control gates and garage doors to prevent you from having to step out of your car when leaving and returning home.
* When you go away on holiday, cancel all newspaper and magazine deliveries. Try to install timers that will automatically switch lights on and off in your house to make it appear as if there is someone at home in the evenings. Call upon a reliable friend to house-sit for you if possible. Ask neighbours to keep an eye on your home and do the same for them in return.
* It is your right to see the identification cards of callers who claim to be government or municipal officials or even police officers. Even if they are in uniform, insist on it! If they refuse, order them to leave your property immediately and report the matter to the police.
* Never open the door to strangers and alert your family members or friends if you are sending someone unknown to their house.
* Keep cash, valuables and firearms in safe boxes that are securely bolted down.
* Make it difficult for criminals to function in your neighbourhood! Report any suspicious persons, noises or sounds to the police immediately. Remember to listen for neighbours’ dogs barking unusually late in the evening or early in the morning.