5 soft spots criminals take advantage of when targeting your home

Securing your home is probably 70 per cent about having a decent home security system and 30 per cent about making sure your family lives a security-conscious lifestyle to reduce soft spots around your home.

Now that doesn’t mean you have to be paranoid or live in fear – just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean they are not watching you, right? But the reality is that opportunistic and organised criminals are watching us – they know what brand and model vehicle they want to steal and they seek the most opportune moment to strike. They probably know by the time they strike what time you arrive and leave for work and whether you have any habits that make their job easier.

READ ALSO: Advocate sheds light on rights to self-defense

Blue Security operations director, Brian Jackson offers the five following tips based on recent crime incidents to help you avoid soft spots simply by being a little more security savvy around the home.

1. Don’t disregard driveway gates

Anyone can all easily become blasé about basic security such as making sure driveway gates have closed properly before driving off and not waiting for gates to open before pulling into the driveway. Driveways are hotspots for hijackings, so be sure to pull up parallel to your property and wait for the gates to open completely before turning in. If you turn into the driveway to wait for the gates to open, this makes you a soft target and gives hijackers the perfect opportunity to pull up behind you, jam your vehicle in and hold you up at gunpoint.

Fact: Residents are hijacked outside their properties on a fairly regular basis in Durban.

2. Don’t be a walk-in

As tempting as it may be to leave doors unlocked around the house while you are at home, especially in summer, rather lock up, unless you have installed strong security gates to keep unwanted intruders out.

Fact: Far too many cases have been reported where armed robbers have simply walked through a door that has been left wide open.

3. Don’t dawdle

Everyone is probably guilty of lingering goodbyes at the driveway gate, especially when seeing off guests who have travelled from afar. Rather, say your goodbyes properly indoors. Then check that there are no suspicious individuals or vehicles parked outside and open the driveway gate to let your guests leave safely.

Fact: There have been cases where armed robbers and hijackers have seized this window of opportunity to strike.

4. Don’t arm robbers

Make sure pool and garden implements like pruning shears, spades, pangas and pool nets are locked away and not left lying around the house or garden. Having potential weapons like these lying around makes you a soft target against what otherwise might have been an unarmed intruder.

Fact: Criminals often make use of these implements to attack, injure and even murder their victims or to ‘fish’ valuables like cellphones and handbags out of windows.

5. Don’t get hung up

When hanging up washing on the line, especially if the line is slightly visible from a road, check that there is no-one outside in the garden. Carry a remote panic button or cellphone equipped with a security application on you so you can sound the alarm and call for help in an emergency.

Fact: Domestic workers and residents have recently been ambushed and robbed when hanging up washing in their gardens.

Now, here’s the positive reality – most of these types of incidents can easily be prevented with just a little bit of thought about security. Share these tips with your family, friends and domestic workers and make your home and community live smarter and safer.

READ ALSO: Residents encouraged to fight crime through social media platforms

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  AUTHOR
Earl Baillache
Journalist

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