Selection of a suitable residence
SECURITY should be of primary consideration when selecting a suitable residence. Some structures are inherently more secure than others. Some locations or areas are more secure than others. When examining possible residences, consider the following:
- Isolation, though appealing, during times of crises it is advantageous to have reasonably close, known neighboring premises.
- Choose a property that allows easy access to and from the workplace, emergency services, shops and main roads.
- Be alert to the potential risks posed by properties bordered by forests or dense bush. Such locations attract the criminal element.
- Walk the boundary of the property and assess the strength of the perimeter fencing. You do not want breaks, gaps or low points that present easy access to intruders. Neither do you want a perimeter fence that allows those on the outside to view and assess your routines, view your/family/staff movements or possessions.
Minimum Residential Security Maintenance
- High quality bolts, locks and padlocks should be fitted to all doors and gates.
- Any intruder alarm should combine infra-red motion detecting sensors and vibration sensors, also to be connected to the main security alarm.
- Ensure that at least one Fire Extinguisher (FX) is always easily accessible in the residence. The FX should be of the foam or powder type but not water type.
- Know where to locate the fuse box and the emergency power cut-off switch.
- Ensure that a First Aid kit is readily accessible and up to the required standard.
Minimum Residential Security Procedures
- Ensure that entry/exit doors are shut and locked, not only at night but also during the day.
- When moving into a new residence replace all padlocks.
- Whenever a padlock key is lost or missing, replace the padlock.
- Should your residence be vacated for more than 48 hours, inform the neighbors, friends, or your work.
- Ensure that a staff member is on the property at all times during your absence.
- Leave a list of written instructions for your staff, this will include all essential telephone contacts.
- With respect to valuables such as cash, jewelry, cd’s or electronics, it is an unfair temptation to leave such items lying around.
- An inventory of possessions is recommended.
- Ensure that you test the mobile panic buttons and fixed panic buttons at least twice monthly.
- Visitors (including staff visitors) ought not be allowed to enter the compound without prior permission from the resident.
- When expecting guests, inform the gate askari (guard) of the expected arrival time, vehicle type and occupants.
- When officials such as the police or electricity meter-readers or council reps present themselves requesting entry to your property, you are well within your rights to ask for proof of identification and to disregard their request of entry should no proof of identification be forthcoming.
The Safe Haven
Bars, doors and gates should lock into the walls by way of dead bolts.
Ensure the following items are located in the Safe Haven:
- At least one telephone point.
- Several panic buttons.
- First Aid Kit.
- Several flashlights.
- Bottled water.
- Fire Extinguishers.
- A list of emergency contact telephone numbers.
It is inadvisable to store items such as a safe, computers, tv or other valuable items in the Safe Haven. Such items may provide intruders with the incentive to attempt entry. You do not want a physical confrontation with the intruders.