The CAP guide on how to stay safe
Unfortunately, many South Africans have either been a victim of a crime or know someone who has. The common conclusion to these horrific incidents is that the victims are often left saying: “I never thought this would happen to me.” Being prepared for the worst can stop the
worst from happening.
Remember, criminals rely on opportunity to commit a crime, so if we remove this opportunity, criminals will have a tougher time finding victims.
We believe that if you THINK LIKE A CRIMINAL, you can outsmart a criminal:
Is your perimeter secure?
The perimeter of your home is the most important boundary. Create a safe perimeter with a
solid wall, secure your gates and pedestrian entrances. Remember to make sure that trees and other footholds are kept away from walls, and consider locking your gates with
an extra lock at night.
Can you break into your own property?
If you can break in, so can a criminal. Check and test if your doors and windows are secure. Lock your gates or doors to help create safer zones within your home (eg, a security gate between your sleeping and living areas) and lock internal doors when you leave the home.
Well-fitted alarm systems alert you and your security company to any threats. External motion detectors linked to a loud siren and an armed response company increase your chances of stopping criminals in the act. Electric fences also help to provide early warnings of any trespassers, but must be well maintained.
Sweat your assets!
Use your security systems. Get into the habit of arming your alarm systems and try to ensure you can arm a portion of your alarm system even when you are at home. Any system is only as good as its user.
Create an alert
Get to know your neighbours, not only for the proverbial cup of sugar, but to create safe spaces and people within your community you can count on. Connect to an efficient armed response company and get to know what it offers. Have an audible siren connected to your security system, and place panic buttons strategically around your home, which also trigger this siren.
Create security-conscious habits
The biggest security-conscious habit is to avoid making yourself a target. Be security smart, don’t give criminals opportunities. Put your phone away when sitting in traffic, walk together instead of alone, arm your alarm when home or away, know who is behind you when driving or walking, learn what cars your neighbours drive and be vigilant at all times.
Trust your instincts
Reporting suspicious activity is a vital tool to make sure criminals are removed from your space, ultimately stopping them from committing any crimes. Alert CAP whenever you see something suspicious – you could be saving your neighbours or even your own family members from becoming victims.
A common security belief is that there is an increase in crime during the holiday season, when residents leave their homes unoccupied. While this is something to consider and may happen, security needs to be a focus all year round.
It’s advisable to notify your security company if you are going away. Let them know who they can expect to find in your home and who won’t be there. Before going away, ensure that your security systems are in good working order and that your home is secure
from the outside in.