Security is perhaps the first thing most people think about when looking for a house to rent or buy. But it cannot be completely guaranteed because burglaries do occur even in high-end residential areas.
Sometimes burglaries are facilitated by negligence on the part of the occupants of a house.
To prevent break-ins, it is important to know, not just ways of protecting your home, but also how to deal with (for instance, don’t touch stuff around the scene of crime), and report, a burglary to the police should you fall victim.
Mr Bob Okeyo, a security analyst, says a good way to ensure your personal safety as well as that of your property, you should control access to your home and maintain it properly. “Unfortunately, burglaries are not the only things that pose danger to a home. It’s important to consider time, sound, and visibility, which are the three main factors that need to be considered when trying to prevent a burglary,” argues Mr Okeyo.
For a start, he suggests keeping dogs as they often bark and, therefore, alert you when strangers approach your home. Their barking can also deter potential criminals.
But if getting a dog is not an option, you can install an alarm system. And if you can afford it, install security cameras to monitor those in and outside the house.
Mr Elisha Ateng’, a burglary victim who lives in a high-end estate in Nairobi, says a good way to keep unwanted visitors and potential burglars out is to get to know your neighbours well, so that you can watch each other’s back.
“Knowing your neighbours is particularly important if you frequently go on long vacations with your family, because you will need someone to keep an eye on your house,” says Mr Ateng’.
Burglars are a lot less likely to break into your house if they think someone might be watching them.
Mr Ateng’ says thieves are mostly con artists who masquerade as a handyman, plumber painter or gardener. “They often come in twos. One might distract you with talk about the services they provide while the other nicks your stuff,” he says.
Having bright lights around your home at night can also deter criminals. You can complement this by trimming bushes around your home, which thieves might use as cover when approaching your house.
And today technology offers a variety of security gadgets. For instance, cameras that you can monitor remotely via your phone allow you to see what’s going on at home while you are away.
Mr Job Owino, a technology expert, notes: “Many security systems nowadays also allow you to activate and deactive them remotely. This means that even if you forget to activate the system tbefore you left, you can still do so using your phone,” explains Mr Owino.
He says that in addition to remote monitoring, you can install smart locks that can deny allow or deny acess remotely via a mobile app.
“Home sensors are great for detecting motion. When activated, motion triggers will be sent to your mobile device. That way, you will be immediately notified if someone is trying to break into your house,” he explains.
It’s also a good idea to know officers at the local police station and having their contacts. They can be of great help if you have a security problem and also offer insights into past and present break-in trends in an area.