A house with the gates standing wide open tells the criminal two things — firstly, you do not have a dog, and secondly, he has easy access and a quick getaway route from your home.
Whether you are just popping out to the corner shop, or leaving for the day to go to work, be sure to close your gates behind you. Even better, fit a lock, or a lock and chain, to secure them. It does take extra time, yet it delays a burglar getting in or out. He will consider the delays and reconsider burgling your house!
The best possible solution would be automatic gates. They reduce the risk of being hijacked in your driveway and are so much more convenient! (Don’t you just hate battling with the gate in the rain?) Did you know the home-installation type gates are available for around R2 500? It’s a bargain, so rush out and get one.
As your driveway is the most vulnerable point in your home, with 71% of hijackings taking place here, make life as difficult as possible for hijackers. Clear any shrubbery to at least 15 metres away from the driveway, on both sides of the gate. Anything higher than ankle height has to go. At knee height, burglers can hide by lying down in the brush and coming up unseen in your blind spot, especially at night. If you do want height, go for something intruder-unfriendly, like a thorn bush.
Burglars sometimes wait inside your yard for you to get in and lock yourself securely inside, with them.
Keep your driveway area clear as well, so that you can see them coming and give yourself room to get away.
The best security solution is not to get into a situation like this in the first place. “Stay alert, stay alive” is a good slogan for home security, as well as road driving.
• For more information on home security, contact Toni Quaradeghini on 082 440 1224.