After reports of burglaries and alleged armed robberies in Mokopane this week, Northern News went in search of some advise on how to prevent burglaries and how to keep your home - and your family - safe.
Remember that burglars often attack when you least expect it and are vulnerable. When we return home from work, our guard tends to be down and we often forget to be vigilant.
Always make your home look occupied - leave lights on when you go out and make sure that your gated areas are closed and well lit at all times.
- Lock all outside doors and windows before you leave the house or go to bed. Always, even if you're gone for only a few minutes.Keep your garage door closed and locked. Check your locks on doors and windows and replace them with secure devices as necessary.
- Connect some lamps to automatic timers to turn them on in the evening.
- Arrange for your lawn to be mowed if you are going away for an extended time.
- Install deadbolt locks on all your outside doors.
- Sliding glass doors are vulnerable. Special locks are available for better security.
- Lawn mowers, braais and bicycles are best stored out of sight.
- Lock your garden sheds and garages.
- Use curtains on garage and basement windows.
- Change locks immediately if your keys are lost or stolen.
- Have adequate exterior lighting. A motion-sensitive light is recommended for backyards.
- Trim trees and shrubs so that they cannot be used as hiding places for intruders.
- An alarm system is excellent for home security. It provides peace of mind to homeowners, especially while on vacation. There is a wide variety of alarm systems on the market. Make several inquiries to different companies for the best security system available to you.
- If you have a home alarm system, use it! Alarm systems are only useful when you remember to activate them.
- Many individuals have alarm systems but do not arm them because it is inconvenient. Many burglars know this and will not be deterred by a window sticker or sign indicating that the home has an alarm system.
- If you come home to find an unexplained open/broken window or door:
- Do not enter - the perpetrator may still be inside.
- Use a neighbor's phone to call police.
- Do not touch anything or clean up until the police have inspected for evidence.
- Write down the license plate numbers of any suspicious vehicles.
- Note the descriptions of any suspicious persons.
- Keep a detailed inventory of your valuable possessions, including a description of the items, date of purchase and original value, and serial numbers, and keep a copy in a safe place away from home — this is a good precaution in case of fires or other disasters. Make a photographic or video record of valuable objects, heirlooms and antiques. Your insurance company can provide assistance in making and keeping your inventory.
- Be a good neighbor. If you notice anything suspicious in your neighborhood, call the neighbourhood watch or police immediately.
- If you are a victim of an armed robbery - stay calm and do not try to fight the robbers.
There has also been several incidents of theft out of cars or suspects attempting to open car doors at robots and stop streets.
Tips on how to avoid car break-ins:
- Do not leave valuables in plain view: (GPS devices, lap tops, PDA’s, cell phones, MP3’s, wallets, purses)
- Do not leave windows or sunroof open.
- Do not leave doors unlocked.
- Do not leave keys in the vehicle.
- Do not leave the garage door opener in plain view.
- Do not leave out items with personal information.
- Do not move valuable items to the trunk while in public view.
- Slow Down and use common sense before you leave your car.
- See more at: http://www.sjpd.org/BFO/Community/Crimeprev/PreventionTips/Prevent_Burglary.html#sthash.OqqGTI01.dpuf
Source: San Jose Police Department