Thursday, July 21, 2011

Security in the home

As any mother knows, the most important aspect of parenthood is keeping your family safe. Especially in South Africa. You teach your children all of the basic tips that can keep them safe at a young age: things like never getting in a car with a stranger, never opening the door if home alone, and when it is necessary to call the police.

Beyond these basic ideas, you also keep an eye on your children at all times to make sure that they are not putting themselves in situations that could bring about danger or injury. However, one other important aspect of keeping your family safe is making sure that you have as secure a home environment as possible. These days, home security companies offer a wide range of advanced security features that can go a long way toward protecting you and your children from accidents or crimes.

Unfortunately, household accidents such as fires or dangerous gas leaks can be life threatening. This is why most home security systems offer smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, both of which are meant to alert you in plenty of time if one of these potentially disastrous accidents is occurring. Particularly in the case of gas leaks, some people do not realize until too late that they and their loved ones are in danger; with these protective devices, you should never have to worry about falling victim to a household accident.

For protection against break-ins, vandalism, and other crimes, security companies offer a wide array of different features. Of course, you can install extra locks and house alarms, which many homes have to begin with anyway. However, you may also want to add additional layers of security, such as motion detectors, laser trip wires, or even recording video equipment. All of these devices can go a long way toward preventing break-ins, and as a result can help to keep your family out of harm’s way.

Some people think that to invest in a full-fledged home security system is a bit over the top or excessive. However, those responsible for children and families understand that there is nothing more important than keeping your loved ones safe. The home is meant to be a secure, comfortable environment, and these modern, advanced security systems can go a long way toward making that ideal a reality. Do yourself and your family a favor, and at least inquire about what sort of system would be best for you.

At our previous house we had 5 gates/ doors before entering the home. At this house we have 3 but it still feels like Fort Knox.

How many gates/ doors do you have?

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  1. Yikes! Definitely reminds me of our South African days. Your question how many doors / gates we have -

    We have a low wire fence and a farm gate type of gate in our front garden which is always open. Then we have a front door and a back glass sliding door. No security gates, no burglar bars, no alarm. I have to say since we moved here I have felt so much more relaxed than when we still lived there.

  2. I love this question and how it reveals differences in the way we all live. In the US, people can be very fearful of break-ins, especially the unlikely serial killer variety (thank you Law and Order) but we have very little security, structure-wise, when compared to other countries where crime is a much bigger issue.

    In my husband's country - and I guess SA is this way too? - they have huge concrete walls built around your property with barbed wire running along the tops. I hate this about El Salvador because I love looking at houses and you can't see them!

    Here, most homes are such that you can walk right up to the front door, no problem. And where I live (Massachusetts, near Boston), we do not have any of these gated communities where you need to be let in by a guard.

    We had a security system installed and I hardly ever use it. I always set off the alarm in the morning because I forget that its on. I do lock my doors, though. But that is something I grew up never doing. My parents felt that our German shepherd was security enough, I guess. :)

  3. I am always reminded how security conscious we are when we travel!!! In central Athens we had a hotel room on the ground floor so we shut the window and locked the door when we went out... the hotelier went insane because how were they supposed to clean our room - We even shut the window, how were they supposed to get in!!!
    Another time we stayed on a farm in Wales with friends..., they had redone their barn for us. They didn't even have a lock on the door - the postman would come in and put the mail on the table if they weren't in!!! One night we returned home from dinner at the house to find the door of the barn had swung open and I had a totally insane blind panic that our children were gone or worse... phoned the police before we went inside and everything... needless to say - five sleeping kids were within!!! And the police had to ask us if we were from South Africa!!!
    Since then I have read "Protecting the Gift by Gavin De Bekker" and my paranoia has calmed done a might... in fact you might think I was a little too relaxed with my kids... but they are trained really well and always go on errands/outings in a group... what can I say - I pray a lot!!! You can not protect yourself from insane, unpredictable and opportunist crime, really... it is the carefully plotted and planned that leaves me a little stone cold.
    I should stop already - should I be writing a post on crime - do you think!!! Actually I have lost too many nearest and dearests to crime in this country to write a post on it... Just too close to the heart.

  4. Anonymous3:07 pm

    We have 4 doors each with their own gate. I actually dont feel like I am jailed in or anything like that.

    Maybe its just because its always been that way!

  5. This is so interesting. I live in a relatively high crime city, Baltimore, although I'm not sure how it compares. Here there are few steps to prevent personal crimes. I have a car alarm, but I park on the street. We have three doors, no alarms, half my windows do not lock, no front fence, and certainly no permitter alarms. My back fence is only 3 feet high!

    I don't think break-ins are much of an issue here. People would much rather mug you in the streets. Although I think I have covered home security with the use of two big dogs. Luckily no one knows their bark is worse than their bite!

  6. Well we cannot really put much more security up than what we have now, because we are renting in a complex, but, we've changed the locks to the sturdiest you can get, we have double locks on our sliding doors, our windows are always closed when we're out or sleeping, as they don't have burglar bars, the complex is surrounded by security electric fencing and high walls, there is a one entry gate with a 24 hour security guard.

    The previous place was not as secure but still better than the place before that, where we were forced to spend almost R10 000 on our own security...

    Oh, and we have 2 sliding doors and one thick wooden door where we are now...

  7. Like some of the others said, it is sooo interesting to see the differences in things like this. We have no security system...well, actually, there is one wired into our house but we don't have the service hooked up. No fences--even our backyard is not fenced right now.

    J. is super-conscious on locking the doors, but I don't always remember to do it. I almost never lock my car in the driveway, and it drives him crazy. What can I say? I grew up in the country. : )

    (I did do a lot better about locking the doors/car when we lived in the bigger city. We have a much lower crime rate here, especially for "random"-type crimes.)

  8. I've heard about the south african security 'system' from my husband's family and our african friends. They are all so shocked here that you can leave, clothes on the washing line, shoes, toys and tools outside overnight and they are there in the morning! We have a tall wooden fence and wrought iron gate, just as much to keep children and dog in than anything. We live in town and lock all windows and doors, and I never feel safe just because I grew up on a farm and we left everything unlocked always. Even when on holiday farmers don't always lock up.

  9. Gate on each door leading out of the house. Gates outside. Burglar bars on each window. We had a security company but had to stop using them when my DH was unemployed and we were trying to cut down on expenses. We haven't really been able to start up again but it is on our list. Hopefully in a couple of months.x

  10. I live in Southern USA, out in a rural "boon docks" type area. ... Almost no security out here - and I don't really have much faith in our trailer house doors.

    But my dad is talking about putting up cameras ... to find out who is helping themselves to his engine parts.


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