Stay Safe!

How to avoid hijackings:

• Be vigilant when pulling out of your driveway or coming home – most hijackings occur close to home.
• If you suspect you are being followed, slow down at least two to three houses prior to your home to force the vehicle behind you to pass.
• If you have an electric gate, do not pull into your driveway before opening the gate. Rather open your gate while your car is still on the road to allow a quick getaway if necessary.
• If you do not have an electric gate and your child is in the car, take the ignition key with you as you stop to open the gate. The key is a valuable negotiating tool – the criminals want your car and you want your child.
• Don’t fall for the “tap tap” trap where the driver of another vehicle gently drives into the back of your car in traffic.
Never get out of your car to assess the damage but rather drive to a busy location. Signal to the other driver to follow you. If it is not legitimate they will seldom follow you.

Safety tips to share with your children:

• Make sure your children memorise their full names, address and phone number.
• Using a play phone, teach children when and how to dial 10111.
• Put other emergency numbers on speed dial on your home phone and mobile. Teach your children how to operate the speed dial, explaining when it should be used.
• Always leave a phone number where you can be reached along with numbers for neighbours and emergency services right next to the phone.
• Make sure they realise the importance of speaking clearly and telling the emergency services exactly what is happening.
• Let your children practise operating door and window locks.
• Set a good example by locking doors and windows and checking to see who it is before opening a gate or door.
• Teach them to not reveal on the phone or at the door that no adults are home but to rather say their parents are too busy to come to the phone or door.
• Rehearse the home fire escape plan with your children.
• Teach your children basic first aid such as putting pressure on a bleeding wound and what to do with minor burns.
• Show them how to press the panic button and explain when they should do so.

Hide your keys

In many home thefts, criminals are known for taking vehicles along with the household contents. To prevent this, always ensure your vehicle keys or spare keys are hidden in an unusual place, especially if you’re away on holiday. Although it is convenient, it is best to not have keys on key hooks or counters where they are easily seen, – rather put them out of sight and in a safe place.

Thorns: Consider planting these in areas you don’t want strangers to access. For example, you could plant a thorny shrub underneath your windows so no one can climb through them without getting torn up.

Get to know your neighbours:

Crime tends to be lower in tight-knit communities because neighbours are more likely to look out for each other and can easily spot a stranger. Your neighbours can be one of your best assets in home crime prevention because they offer extra eyes and an outside perspective. Plus if they have a different work or school schedule from yours, they might be around during the day when you’re away and can alert you to any suspicious activity that may occur in your absence.

Install large, reflective numbers on your house and post box. This makes it easier for police to identify your home in the event of an emergency. Burglars prefer dark houses difficult to identify by address as it can buy them crucial spare moments in the event they’re caught in the act.

Minimise risks during a burglary

Crime tends to be lower in tight-knit communities because neighbours are more likely to look out for each other and can easily spot a stranger. Your neighbours can be one of your best assets in home crime prevention because they offer extra eyes and an outside perspective. Plus if they have a different work or school schedule from yours, they might be around during the day when you’re away and can alert you to any suspicious activity that may occur in your absence.

Use dowel rods in sliding glass door tracks

The best way to secure a sliding glass door is to put a dowel rod or something similar on the tracks, and lodge it between the door and the wall.

Move your alarm keypad

Installing a home security system is a fantastic way to deter potential burglars, but it’s not fool-proof. Most alarm pads are placed near common entrances, such as the front or back door. Because these places are so common, burglars know exactly where to look. An observant thief will scope out the place and watch the numbers you enter into the keypad. A would-be burglar can also glance through the window to see if you engaged the alarm system before leaving the house.
Be mindful of who might be able to view your keypad when you arm or disarm it, and move it somewhere out of sight, or at least block the keypad when using it. Another option is to have multiple keypads, one by an entrance and one in the master bedroom in case of a suspected break-in when you need to act fast.

Always secure your gate motor:

• Combine mechanical anti-theft systems, such as traditional theft-resistant cages, with electronic notification devices, for example sound bombs and GSM units which are able to send notifications to users when the device’s inputs are triggered.
• Position infrared safety beams so that the beam runs across the motor. Combine this with the intruder-detection alarms native to many Centurion gate motors to sound an alarm when the beam is broken.
• Place a siren inside the motor enclosure, wire the siren back to the house and place it on the 24-hour zone. Many new alarm systems even offer wireless modules.
• Make use of a good quality lock to secure the motor’s theft-resistant cage. Discus padlocks are not recommended – rather opt for an insurance-rated padlock.

Don’t let people know you are away

For the most part, intruders prefer to avoid confrontation and as a result are more likely to break into a property when no one is home.
If you are going away for a holiday, avoid leaving any tell-tale signs that no one is home, such as uncollected post or newspapers. An unoccupied home will be more vulnerable to possible intrusion. Timers on the lighting inside and outside the home will give the appearance that people are there. Provided it is safe to do so, a car can be parked in the property where it is visible, which will also give the impression that someone is home.

Ensure your panic buttons are installed in accessible areas and that your children can also reach them. Show them where the panic buttons are located and explain how they work, so they are familiar with the process in case of an emergency.

Try these awesome safety apps before it's too late!

Try these apps!
Project Namola App — Project Namola is a local app that provides an Uber-like service for security in Gauteng. The app works by using the geolocation of subscribers who need emergency help. By simply pressing a button, a notification is sent to the Metro Police of your nearest city, and they will respond. Namola provides data analytics that allow police to identify crime hot spots and deploy resources accordingly.
MySOS SA — MySOS is a locally developed app that offers users access to contact details and addresses for doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, dentists, vets and police stations in South Africa. It also has a special feature called mySOS Track Me that can track your journey anywhere in SA. If you are running late, it checks your GPS location and notifies your emergency SOS contacts. This app will definitely come in handy since we have numerous emergency service providers in the private and public sector.
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