Home Break-Ins See a Rise During Loadshedding

Loadshedding, stage 2,3 or 4, has become a part of the South African reality. It inconveniences peoples’ lives and gives rise to criminal activities, the most notable being home break-ins as criminals take advantage of darkness.

A burglary or home break-in occurs when one forcibly enters a property for the sole purpose of stealing. The forced entry can be through windows or doors or jumping over the gates. When there is no power, burglars use this as an opportunity to gain entrance without much hassle and deterrents.


Tips to Stay Safe During Loadshedding

Insurer Dialdirect compared the number of burglary incidents when there was no loadshedding to when there were from July 2019 to May 2022. They found that during the week, loadshedding resulted in a 3.2% increase in burglaries. The increase is aggravated by the fact that when there is loadshedding, the alarm systems, gate motors and electric fencing will go off, making it easy for criminals to access homes. There is a need to remain vigilant, alert, and on the lookout for any suspicious activities. To stay safe during loadshedding, you can take the following measures.

1. Know your loadshedding schedule

Always make it a point you know the loadshedding schedule for your area. This information should be accessible so that you and your family have ample time to prepare well before the power goes out.

2. Have backup batteries

It is vital to have a home security system that has a backup power supply. All items that rely on electricity, such as alarm systems, garage doors and electric gates, need to have backup batteries. An alarm battery can run between six to twelve hours, however, this also depends on its make. Ensure your alarm is tested regularly, as loadshedding can cause power surges when the power supply is restored. The power surges can damage an alarm system and any other home appliances. If you stay in an area that usually experiences black-outs for extended periods, it would be wise to have a spare battery. Batteries are affordable and relatively easy to change once you get used to them.

Since load shedding also decreases the lifespan of batteries, it is essential always to have them tested regularly and ensure they are well maintained. This ensures they work correctly, and if they are not, you should replace them. Take the time to check that the batteries are fully charged before the power goes out.

3. Use alternative lighting

Most break-ins usually occur at night as criminals take advantage of no lighting or poorly lit places. When power outages happen in the evening, alternative temporary lighting sources such as torches are helpful. A torch is easy to carry, especially when you want to go around to check if everything is in order outside. Torches are also portable, making them a necessity. Instead of being thrown into complete darkness, you can opt for candles, but you should be careful when using candles as there is a risk of a fire starting. When using candles, ensure they are extinguished before going to bed.

Rechargeable lights are another option, as you can use them during a power outage as an alternative for providing light. These lights must be charged in advance, so there is no need to worry about buying batteries. Once they are charged, you should place them where it is easy to access them until you are ready to use them again.

You can also choose to have solar-powered lights. You should use these lights indoors and outdoors. For outdoors use, they can serve as a deterrent to burglars intending to break in.

Battery-operated motion sensor lights are another option, as they turn on automatically when they detect motion. The lights offer great convenience as they do not require wiring and have a long battery life while also being suitable for various applications.

4. Burglars Bars

Security systems that do not use electricity are perfect, especially during power outages. If you have already installed burglar bars, there is absolutely nothing you need to change. Burglar bars are already an effective deterrent to burglaries, and they do not depend on power, providing the extra security that your home requires.

5. Be Proactive

It is advisable always to keep your phone charged so that you can call for help in emergencies. A power bank is of great use when your phone has a low battery and loadshedding.

You should ensure that all doors are locked and the windows closed, as this reduces the risks of any break-ins occurring when there is loadshedding.



With loadshedding happening throughout the day, it has become a priority to ensure your home is still protected, especially when you are left in the dark. Fortunately, you do not have to stress about how you can achieve that, as the security tips offered above will help ensure the safety and security of your home.



See How to Prepare Your Home Security System for Loadshedding.

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