You are 90% less likely to be a victim of burglary if you have security measures in place at home.
• Always buy the best level of security you can afford. External doors should be fitted with a mortice lock with a minimum of 3-levers or greater. This level of security is strongly recommended by the SABS and insurance companies.
• Secure windows and doors when you go out and lock up when you go to bed or even if you are just upstairs.
• Burglar alarms are a great deterrent, if you have one, ensure you use it and that the siren box is visible.
• Apartment doors: On flats without an alternative means of escape, it is advised to use a rollerbolt deadlock so that the door cannot slam shut, locking the home owner out.
• Put any valuables, cheque books into a safe and take the key with you. Remember to note your code for the safe for when you return.
• Fences and/or thorny hedges can act as a visible and practical deterrent, although it is often a good idea to make sure the house is still visible to passers-by (by using trellis for example), so as not to allow a thief to work unseen.
• Never leave a spare key under the mat or in another convenient hiding place – burglars will know where to look and let themselves in without any effort.
• Exterior lights are available, which come on when movement is detected. This means that it is harder for burglars to break in undetected.
• Sheds should always be fitted with an adequate padlock and hasp.
• Always lock the garage or garden shed, especially if it has an integral door leading to the house. Garages and sheds are often full of expensive tools that are worth stealing themselves, but which can be used to force entry into the house.
• Ladders should always be locked away to prevent a thief using them to reach otherwise inaccessible windows.
Mark expensive items with your postcode, ideally with an ultra-violet pen. This makes it easier for the Police to identify your property and prove that it is yours in court.
Try and get a trusted friend or neighbour to look after your home when you are away. In particular, ask them to draw curtains, and collect your post.
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