It’s no secret that we live in an unsafe world. Walls have gotten progressively higher and security equipment increasingly more sophisticated over the last decade or so, and yet one often finds oneself asking: Am I truly safe? It’s a valid question, and hopefully the four guidelines below will help you get the most out of home and personal security.
1. Report any suspicious activity IMMEDIATELY
This entry is first on the list for a reason. There is a saying within the world of sports that states “The best defence is a good offence”. While this maxim might ring true in the milieu of basketball and heavyweight boxing, when it comes to crime prevention the very best offence is quite often a good defence.
If you’re at home and you spot shady-looking characters loitering in front of your property, it is well within your rights to contact the police or your security company and report this. At worst, the police arrive and shoo the loiterers away, and at best you have spared you and your loved ones the trauma of being robbed, or worse.
If you’re driving home and you suspect you’re being followed, don’t stop at home but rather keep driving until you reach a safe location from where you can contact the local authorities.
2. Keep your driveway well-lit
Crime statistics show that the driveway is the place that one is most likely to be targeted for a robbery, and as such it is paramount that there is a source of illumination at your entrance gate. Some modern gate motors make provision for the connection of pillar or courtesy lights, which will automatically illuminate whenever the gate is activated to open or close; thus bathing the driveway in light and putting you at a considerable advantage.
3. Gate automation
With your entrance gate being the barrier between your home and the (somewhat intimidating) outside world, the ultimate goal is to ensure that the gate is open for the minimum of time. Automating your gate can have tremendous benefits from a security point of view, with some gate motors operating at speeds of up to 50 metres per minute. It’s easy to see how a gate moving at such an expeditious velocity will allow criminals precious little time to get at you or your vehicle as the gate will most probably already be closed before the evildoer has had a chance to make his ill-conceived move.
There are also gate motors that make use of advanced functions such as beam automatic closing, whereby the gate closes the moment that your infrared safety beams have been cleared, reducing the time that the gate remains open by an even greater margin.
4. Remote control security
It seems that nowadays not even the airwaves are safe from criminal interference. We use remote controls for a plethora of applications, from opening our gates or garage doors to locking our cars and arming alarms.
As many of you are no doubt aware, lawbreakers have devised ways of using this technology to their advantage. One of the reprehensible means they employ to use the airwaves for evil is by “code grabbing”, whereby they use advanced code scanning devices to “grab” the codes our remote controls send out when we open our gates at home, etc. They then use these devices to gain access to your property.
The most efficient deterrent in this case is to make use of remotes employing rolling code technology. These ultra-secure remotes never transmit the same code twice, rendering the use of code scanning devices moot.
Yet another wicked practice favoured by tech-savvy thieves is to “jam” signals. When we use remotes to lock our vehicles or arm car alarms, the transmitted signal falls in a certain designated bandwidth. This bandwidth is shared by most RF devices and thus, the modus operandi of some criminals is to depress a button on one RF device while a vehicle owner is trying to use another (e.g. to activate a car’s central locking), thereby preventing the car from being locked and having easy access to the interior.
As with the first entry on this list, it is best to adopt a tech-savvy approach. Always wait for confirmation signals such as headlights flashing or a tell-tale beep before leaving vehicles unattended.