• Get to know your immediate neighbours and ask for their contact details, both home and work. This will help if you see something which you are concerned about.
  • Keep a written list of all emergency numbers and keep your cell phone next to your bed at night; add control room number to your ‘favourites’.
  • If you see items out of place when you enter your home, exit immediately, leave the property and call for help from a safe distance.
  • Be aware of vehicles and people who do not belong in your area.
  • Do not turn into your driveway if you think someone is following you or if you see something out of place on returning home.
  • Keep driveway and approach free of shrubs and overgrown plants.
  • Do not leave your garage door open with its contents on display.
  • Display your house number clearly – emergency services waste time looking for house numbers to locate your house.
  • If you are going away for a period of time, ask someone to empty your post box.
  • PLEASE do NOT give food or money to people knocking at your door. This is a known way to scout the area and put markers down to target premises.

Household Waste

  • Do NOT put your refuse bin out before collection day and then not before 6am. This will reduce the opportunity for ‘Bin Scratchers’ to go through the waste. They are contravening a bye-law by their actions and can be arrested and fined
  • A person going through your refuse and recyclable waste will know what to expect in your house. Do not advertise the contents of your home by throwing out the packaging of valuable items, it is as good as a “For Sale” sign to thieves
  • Remember, bins will help a thief to climb over your wall or fence so the less time it is outside your property the better. Bring your bin inside as soon as possible after the refuse has been collected
  • Use a shredder to destroy any paperwork that contains any of your personal details before disposing in the recycling bag. Some ‘Bin Scratchers’ are known criminals who can use or sell personal information to perpetrate Identity Fraud. Also see SARS advice.

Windows / Doors / Locks

  • Draw your curtains when the sun sets. Criminals who are planning to commit a crime can see and study the layout of your house when the lights are on and curtains open. They will see your large flat screen TV!
  • Any windows that you intend to leave open at night should be fitted with security devices.
  • Locks for outside doors should be of a minimum of the 3 Lever variety and preferably a 5 Lever lock set.
  • Locks on outside doors should be changed when you move into a new home.
  • Do not leave keys in a place where they are visible from the street or easily accessible through an open window or broken window pane.
  • Do not leave car keys, house keys, safe keys or remotes in the house when you go away for extended periods of time.


  • Keep accurate records of your valuables – use your digital camera to photograph each item and its serial number and keep a hard copy somewhere.
  • Install a safe for your smaller valuables such as jewellery and spare cash.
  • If possible, mark / etch an identifying feature on items without serial numbers such as lawn mowers.


  • Listen to your dogs, they can hear far better than we can. Don’t hesitate to call SAPS, your neighbours and/or security companies if your dog is unusually ’restless’. Better to be over-cautious than let the criminals have their way.
  • Keep your dogs inside your home rather than outside at night.
  • Be very careful with cat and dog flaps / doors. It is not unusual for criminals to use children to gain access through a small opening or animal flap.

Domestics or Gardeners / Contractors

  • Do a thorough background check before employing anyone. Experience suggests that there is a strong chance of a connection between domestic / garden workers and a burglary at premises where they work.
  • Ensure that contractors have up to date records of all employees with copies of their ID and place of residence.
  • Never leave contractors unattended in your home. If you have a contractor on site let your neighbours know. Ask friends and family about reputable companies and advertise good companies in social media.

Alarms / Lighting

  • Examine your house for weak spots or get an alarm company to give you a free assessment.
  • Make sure your alarm system is tested every month and serviced every year.
  • Always set the alarm when you go out and consider setting some zones in the daytime when you are in the premises.
  • Install sensor lights that activate at night to illuminate key or vulnerable areas.
  • When away on holiday, consider using lights on timer switches inside your home, so that it appears as if the house is occupied.
  • If you go away, tell your Alarm Company and give them contact details.

Gardens / shed

  • Overgrown gardens provide good hiding places for criminals, particularly near your front door or vulnerable windows.
  • Garden sheds should be securely locked as the tools they contain will help potential thieves to gain entry to your premises.
  • Secure all ladders as they will provide easy access to the upstairs rooms where security is often minimal.