Top 5 tips to prevent a home invasion

JOHANNESBURG – Tips on how to prevent yourself from home invasion.

Everyone wants to protect his or her home against home invasions but how many know how to deal with the situation when it occurs? 

National marketing and communications manager of Fidelity ADT, Charnel Hattingh, advised people to remain calm when criminals force their way into your house.

“Unless you feel you are facing an imminent life-and-death situation, don’t fight back. As hard as it may be, accept your situation and give your assailants time to take any material possessions they want,” Hattingh said.

“Speak only if spoken to and then try to keep your answers short and to the point. Be conscious not to stare at the assailants but try, nevertheless, to get a good look at them and memorise their physical details and clothing. Listen for any names or other details that might help identify them later.”

She added that the first few minutes of a home invasion are the most dangerous. “Try to remain calm and quiet. If you are not threatening, the assailants can concentrate on their goals and leave.”

Hattingh offers the following tips to prevent a home invasion:

  • Trim trees and shrubs so they cannot be used as a hiding place and ensure that the yard, pathways and dark corners are well-lit. Check your burglar bars and security gates for rust or weak spots as these weak spots can be easily broken or forced open.
  • Be sure that the household – including domestic staff – know when and how to use the alarm system and panic buttons if these are installed. They should also know who to call in an emergency – make a list of contact numbers and post them on or near a phone. If you have not been informed of the arrival of delivery people or service providers, do not open the door, even if they insist they have an appointment.
  • Make sure the alarm system is armed overnight or when anyone is home alone. If possible, lock inter-leading doors to rooms that are not used overnight and keep a cell phone at the bedside in case of an emergency. Keep your panic button with you at all times.
  • Check your security often. This includes testing your alarm and panic buttons at least once a month. It also includes walls, gates, and any entry points on your property and house.
  • Get to know your neighbours as they are often the ones who notice something is amiss in your neighbourhood and on your property.
  • Join your local neighbourhood watch. There is a significant reduction of incidents of break-ins and home invasions where community groups are active.

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