There has been much speculation about what is going to happen to crime levels once the national COVID-19 Lockdown restrictions are lifted. The fear of being subjected to housebreaking and other crimes is growing. Many of us are having to manage on reduced income, so we need burglar-proofing hacks that will keep us safe at home while easing current financial burdens.
The need to burglar-proof your home
Most crime in South Africa dropped dramatically under the national lockdown, but it has by no means gone away.
On Sunday, April 5, 2020 Police Minister Bheki Cele said that “…trio crimes dropped from 8853 to 2098…Car/truck hijacking, business robberies, and house robberies, which are collectively grouped as trio crimes, are arguably the most violent crimes where the perpetrators are commonly armed with illegal firearms. These are the type of crimes that are known to instil fear amongst citizens.”
The point to note is that although these crimes have dropped, they have not stopped completely. These figures relate to Level 5 of the Lockdown, so as the lockdown eases these crimes may well increase again.
Self-isolation will remain a priority for many months to come and possibly even years. This means spending more time at home where we will be vulnerable to any increase in house robbery and hijacking, as desperate people resort to crime to feed their families and career criminals take advantage of the situation.
A crime trend noticed a few years ago is that house robbers frequently choose to attack when they know people are home. This is because we let our guard down, leaving doors and windows open and switching alarms off.
These are all compelling reasons to burglar-proof your home using the best security measures you can afford.
Burglar proofing ideas
So how do you burglar-proof your home on a limited budget?
Here are some ideas from Trellidor franchises, who have many years’ experience helping people improve their security with constrained finances.
- Make your home as unattractive as possible as a burglary target. This means putting obstacles in the robbers’ way that will take time, effort, noise and the risk of discovery to get through. So, burglar-proof all windows and exit doors.
- If you can’t afford the strongest burglar bars on the market, choose something cheaper that still has a good reputation for strength under attack. It may not keep the robbers out completely, but it will buy you a more time to escape during an attempted robbery.
- Fit the best security gates you can afford to your exit doors i.e. front door, back door and any other door that leads outside. Framed gates will be stronger under attack than unframed or semi-framed ones and custom-made locks are better than standard versions.
- It can’t be said often enough: make sure you always keep your gates closed and locked, especially if you leave your doors open for fresh air and light. This will stop robbers from simply walking into your home and threatening you and your family.
- If your budget does not stretch to protecting all windows and doors, then secure just the exit doors and create a safe zone in the bedroom area so that you are at least safe at night.
- To create a safe zone, fit burglar proofing to all bedroom windows and a security gate in the passage or stairway. One window burglar proofing unit in this area must be the type that can open to be used as an emergency escape if necessary.
- A safe zone is useful for protecting families cost effectively. Children can play there safely if you have to leave them at home with a minder. You can work in it without fear of being surprised by robbers while you’re not permitted to go back into the office under lockdown. And you’ll sleep more peacefully at night inside this secured area.
‘Affordable burglar-proofing’ often brings to mind DIY or off-the-shelf products. The problem with going this route is that this type of burglar proofing is merely a deterrent. It may make robbers think twice about trying to get into your home, but if they give it a go, they will get in easily through your burglar proofing.
If you opt for these products, just be sure that you know what you are purchasing so that you don’t expect it to do the same job of resisting attack as better quality, customized designs.
Custom-made burglar bars and security gates do not have to be out of reach for those on a tight budget. There are excellent products on the market that are strong enough to make it risky for robbers to try to break through and that will protect you for longer than DIY versions.
Here are some suggestions:
- Framed Polycarbonate bars are ideal for low crime risk locations like homes in gated communities or windows on a second floor. The frame provides added strength, making them harder to break through.
This type of window security is very affordable and is attractive because the bars are see-through. They keep out monkeys too, which is a bonus in coastal areas where they are a problem.
- Steel burglar bars for windows that are custom-made by a reputable manufacturer. These will be stronger than off-the-shelf burglar bars. Trellidor offers an affordable range in three different designs, giving you several options at a particularly good price.
Because these burglar bars require measuring each window and installation by an expert, you get a product that fits your window perfectly, making it stronger under attack than other types.
- Another idea for windows if you are cash-strapped is to ask your supplier for a lower-end model of their premium range of burglar bars. They may not be as strong as the high-end version, but you will get a good product at an acceptable price. If the crime risk in your neighbourhood is not high, then this may be the answer for your home.
- Sliding security gates for doors are also available in several different strengths, so ask your supplier to explain the choices to you. The lower end designs, although cheaper, are also not as strong under attack, but may be adequate for your needs.
Reputable suppliers such as Trellidor fit all their gates with patented locks, no matter what their strength level. This adds another layer of ‘strength under attack’ to your security gate.
- For a touch more luxury, consider installing security louvres to your windows and possibly also your doors. They look beautiful and if properly made, provide a high level of protection from robbers too. The cost savings are that you don’t need install blinds, curtains and burglar bars to your windows. The louvres do it all, saving you money.
For more ideas on affordable burglar-proofing that is easy on the wallet, find your nearest Trellidor franchise and ask them for expert advice.