Home Robberies – Research Findings

Home Robberies – Research Findings

UNISA’s School of Criminal Justice conducted research during 2019 into understanding and preventing house robbery in South Africa. Based on in-depth interviews with convicted robbers, this is what he found:

  • 8 out of 10 residential robberies are committed with the help of information from housekeepers, gardeners and former employees.
  • Robbers will monitor the home for as long as two weeks.
  • Most attacks occur between 19h00 and midnight as eople are relaxed, sleeping, cooking or watching TV and the security systems and beams are not activated. Robberies can continue until 04h00.
  • 97% of robbers are armed.
  • On average, an armed robbery gang has four members.
  • The average age of a house robber is 19 to 26 years of age.
  • An average of 30% of all house robbers have either committed murder, or won’t hesitate to commit murder.
  • Only 17% of house robbers are foreigners.
  • Of all arrested robbers, 90% had no matric qualification or were unemployed. The 10% who had been employed gave up their jobs when confirming how much they could ‘earn’ from a robbery.
  • Most victims or targets are affluent persons who openly display their wealth, for example wearing expensive jewellery.
  • The average robber commits 103 robberies over 7 years before getting caught.
  • Most attackers’ homes or ‘bases’ are a 10 to 30 minute drive from the target address.
  • The conviction rate for house robberies in South Africa is only 7.67%. In the USA it is 53%.
  • Robbers are not deterred by alarms and armed reaction services.

These security measures are a major deterrent to crime:

  • Electric fences
  • Detection beams
  • Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)
  • Small dogs that sleep inside the house (robbers consider this to be the biggest deterrent of all).
  • In the words of Dr Rudolph Zinn from his book Home Invasion – “They scout a neighbourhood to see how tight the security is. A patrol or neighbourhood watch factors in 68% on whether they go in or not, so having a good neighbourhood watch in the area can be a major deterrent.”

Your home:

  • Make sure all shrubs and trees are trimmed back so that they do not allow a burglar to conceal himself while attempting to open a window or door. If possible, plant bushes with prickly thorns around these locations.
  • Don’t stop your security awareness at the outside walls of your house. Your yard areas (if any) also deserve attention. In general, don’t leave anything around the yard that might help a burglar get into your house. Ladders, stackable boxes or any garden tools should be put away, preferably in a locked cabinet. Many burglars have used the property owner’s own tools to break into a home.
  • Don’t place outdoor furniture tables nearby the house, as these could become an easy stepladder to the roof. Rather move them inside in the evening.
  • Second-story windows are often left unsecured, making it easy for the criminal to get into the house. To discourage potential climbers, spread grease on any metal drainpipes if they are close to windows. Use Vaseline or clear automotive grease, depending on the colour of the pipe (or replace with plastic pipe).
  • A barking dog, changing your daily routine and the presence of CCTV cameras could make your home a less attractive target to criminals.
  • Make sure your post office box is always empty. A full post box makes it seem like you are never home.
  • Since robbers can watch your movements for as long as two weeks, try to deviate from your usual routine regularly. Leave and return home at different times, use different routes and visit
    different shops to what you typically do.
  • Taking extreme care when hiring domestic workers and other service providers cannot be underestimated. Be careful who you let into your home.

Source: www.crimestatssa.co.za

24/7 Security Services – info@24-7security.co.za / 011 444 2237

Winter Fire Safety Tips

Winter Fire Safety Tips

With winter here, the Emergency Services Department would like to proactively share important safety hints when using heating appliances (such as gas and electric heaters) to keep warm during the looming cold season.

The Emergency Services has observed through experience that many fires in businesses, houses, outbuildings and shacks in winter are caused by negligence from people occupying the property. An ignorant or careless mistake can start a fire that can get out of control quickly. It is thus important to know the correct number to call for urgent professional help.

The following safety measures must be adhered to:

Liquefied petroleum gas (LP gas) is a flexible, fast, clean, portable and powerful energy in a cylinder and can be used for cooking, heating, refrigeration and lighting.
Gas cylinders used in the everyday environment range from 3 kg to 48 kg. The law dictates that a maximum of 19 kg is allowed to be kept inside a house and a maximum of 9 kg in a flat.

SANS 10087 part 1 of 2013 describes the requirements for the handling, storage, distribution and maintenance of LP gas in domestic, commercial and industrial installations. Section, b) of this standard, describes the indoor location required for LP gas containers.
Cylinders larger than 19 kg must be stored outside. For safety purposes, a lockable steel cage is recommended. The cage should have signage indicating that gas is flammable and that no open flames may be near the cage.

Any fixed installation may only be undertaken by a properly trained and registered LP gas installer. The installer must advise the user on the safe use of the appliance and issue a Certificate of Conformity (CoC) on completion of the installation. (See www.saqccgas.co.za for a list of registered installers.)

Portable gas heaters are popular for household use and extreme caution must be exercised once it is securely connected to a gas bottle and ready for use. All extra gas cylinders must be stored outside the house and inside a ventilated cage. Emergency personnel attending to any fire incident must be informed of any cylinders on your premises.

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines carefully.
  • Always turn your heater off at the cylinder valve before going to bed or leaving the room or your property.
  • Ensure all the components of your unit are well maintained, e.g. the heater, regulator, hose and hose connection.
  • When changing the cylinder, first close the valve and then remove the regulator. Always check that the rubber “O-ring” (washer) on the end of the regulator is not worn, brittle or damaged in any way. Replace it at any sign of damage.
  • Ensure the “O-ring” is still located on the end of the regulator, as it sometimes gets stuck in the cylinder valve.
  • Test any gas appliance or heater for possible leaks by spraying a soap-water solution on all connections. Leaks will show in the form of a bubble and must be repaired immediately.
  • Do not use aerosols or flammable, cleaning liquids or sprays close to the heater.
  • Avoid sitting or standing too close to your heater – a safe distance would be 1 metre away.
  • Always ensure that the room in use is well ventilated so that there is a continuous supply of fresh air (oxygen). If it becomes stuffy, open the windows and doors to allow fresh air in immediately.
  • Ensure that your heater is positioned away from any flammable materials and is not blocking any escape route.
  • Never place clothes or other items on your heater.
  • Do not move your unit while it is in use.
  • Educate children on the safe use of gas appliances and never leave them without supervision in a room where an appliance is located.
  • If you suspect a gas leak, turn off the gas cylinder immediately and, if possible, take the heater outside.
  • Do not re-use the heater until it has been checked by a reputable LP gas dealer.
  • Only use LP gas appliances that are permitted to be sold in South Africa. A complete list is available on lpgas.co.za. Click on the Safety button and then on find a Safe Appliance.
  • For more information on the safe use of LP gas, visit the website of the LPGas Safety Association (lpgas.co.za) or contact the association on 011 886 9702.

Safety at home

  • Use appliances that carry the SABS mark of approval.
  • Unplug electrical appliances if they are not going to be used for a long time.
  • Use electric heaters with great caution and unplug them before you go to sleep or leave the area where they are used.
  • Place heaters away from materials such as curtains, bedding, clothing and wooden furniture and ensure adult supervision if children are around.
  • Switch electric blankets off at the wall plug once you leave the bed.
  • Have electric cables installed by a professional electrician to minimise the risk of fire.
  • Never run electric cables under carpets, as this might cause a short and start a fire.
  • Turn off all electrical appliances if a power failure occurs in your area.
  • Use paraffin appliances in a well-ventilated area and switch them off after using them.
  • Store flammable liquids in a cool, ventilated area to avoid explosions.
  • Ensure that the chimney in your house is cleaned regularly and covered with a safety shield.
  • Install smoke alarms in the house and have a fire extinguisher at hand for use in an emergency.
  • Avoid having unnecessary waste or compost heaps if your home will be left unattended for a long time.
  • Extinguish an open fire before you leave it.
  • Do escape drills so that everyone is well prepared in an emergency.
  • Make sure that emergency numbers are easily accessible.
  • Take special care when you use open fires for braaiing or heating and extinguish all fires once you leave the area.

Source: https://showme.co.za

24/7 Security Services – info@24-7security.co.za / 011 444 2237

5 Minute Rule

5 Minute Rule

Follow-me-home types of robberies are an ongoing concern. Please keep the following top of mind when approaching your destination:
Five minutes from home:

  • Transform into an alert state and become aware of your surroundings
  • Get off your cell phone
  • Turn down car radio/music
  • Open the front drivers and passenger window to about 3cm from the top
  • Start listening to all external sounds and be alert to any abnormal noises
  • Use all three mirrors – left-hand side mirror, right-hand side mirror and rear-view mirror
  • Become alert to what vehicles or people are around your vehicle
  • Ask any kids to quieten and calm down
  • Request any adult passengers to assist with observation
  • Slow down
  • Keep the vehicle in the direction of the road, parallel to the point of entry

Be alert to the following:

  • Suspicious people
  • Suspicious vehicles
  • Suspicious activity
  • Suspicious objects

Indicators not to enter your place of entry:

  • Unknown people loitering around
  • Unknown vehicle/s parked in the road
  • Security officer does not give the all clear signal
  • Unusual activity – emergency vehicles, responders etc.

24/7 Security Services – info@24-7security.co.za / 011 444 2237

Emergency Numbers  

JHB011 444 2237
KZN031 140 1061
PTA012 451 8600

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