When looking at the facts, one of the sad things about living in South Africa is that you are not safe in your own home. And what’s even more worrying is that you are more likely to be robbed or hijacked in your own driveway than at robots or stop streets in the busy ciity.
Taking a moment to think about your driveway and what might be a great hiding place for criminals, might just be a worrying eye opener. At Gate Keeper, we are not a team of scaremongers, we are a team of planners and we’re going to share some helpful tips that you can use when arriving home.
- Get rid of the darkness
Most of us have long, dark, lonesome driveways, and this is one of the first things to “fix”. A well-lit driveway is guaranteed to put criminals off of taking a chance. But one of the biggest reasons people don’t have proper lighting is because of the electricity costs. Since most people will arrive home after dark, the idea of leaving the light on all day simply doesn’t make sound financial sense.
To save costs without compromising your safety, motion detecting lights are a good idea, but an even better idea is to invest in a solar motion detecting light. They can be a little pricey, but quite affordable in the long run.
- Put up that warning sign
So you might not have that super aggressive pet Alsatian waiting just around the corner, ready to defend you, but opportunistic criminals don’t know that. Some people place a warning sign on their gates to keep potential robbers away, even though they have no pet, and it seems to work at keeping criminals away.
- Use a mirror
If your driveway is in fact a garage door leading straight from your short driveway into the home, it is easy for robbers to slip in behind you unseen. One way to keep your guard up is to place a big enough mirror on the wall in front of you so that you can see exactly who might be entering when you do. This is a SAPS recommended tip.
- Use common sense
Just as you should be alert and undistracted when you are driving home, the same common sense should apply when you reach your driveway. Have a good look around you, take note of the surroundings and keep your distractions to the minimum. When you approach your house, check for cars possibly following you and make your music softer. And if your gut tells you that something is off, trust it.
- Keep your panic button close
If you employ the services of a security company, you likely have a panic button that when pressed will alert the company to the fact that you are in danger. They should then send out an armed response vehicle to help you. When you get close to your home, put the button on your lap or if you have key ring attached to it, you can place it between your teeth for easier access.