Security - a safe retreat

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Your home is a place where you should feel safe and secure. Unfortunately criminal elements do find ways of gaining access to properties. Yet taking basic safety measures can go a long way towards improving your family's sense of security and enhance your quality of life. Outdoor lighting and security gates on the doors are a very good start.

Don't let anxiety about crime ruin your life – go out and have fun but leave a few lights on in your home. Going away on holiday? Ask a reliable neighbour or friend to switch your lights on in the evenings. The motion detectors in the security lights range are very effective.

Cashbuild suggests you install outside sensor lights such as these separately and link them to the lights of one of the rooms inside the house to create the impression that someone is at home. A timer which sets the lights to switch on and off at particular times is another great idea.

Most motion detectors are pre-wired and assembled for easy installation. The simplest way to install these is to replace an existing light with a motion detector light allowing the fixture to work automatically. With any movement the detector switches the light on and after a pre-set period it's turned off again. The light stays on as long as movement is detected, which makes them energy-friendly.

Before installing a motion detector light you have to test the voltage with a voltage tester on a live wire. An electrician will advise if the motion detector light and distribution board have the appropriate power capacity.

If there's no existing power point where you wish to fit the detector your electrician will have to run power from the nearest source. If you're a DIY person and intend doing it yourself make sure the power has been shut off and cover the distribution board with tape to ensure no one accidentally switches it on while you're installing the light.

Locks are as important. A round padlock is ideal for securing gates and a 60mm brass padlock is usually used to keep personal and valuable items secure. For maximum security, particularly in business and industry, Cashbuild stocks the insurance padlock – a rectangular solid-brass, high-security pad-lock with a closed shackle.

The Roll-Up-Door is another good security measure and suitable for garages. For minimal extra outlay you can convert your drive-way security gate or garage door into an automated one so you don't have to open and close it manually.

General safety tips

  • Identify keys with codes instead of written labels and don't leave keys in doors.
  • Build a relationship of trust with your neighbours.
  • Keep your doors and gates locked, even when at home.
  • Tell your domestic worker and children not to open the door for anyone or disclose any information.
  • Keep cash, valuables and firearms in securely bolted safe boxes.
  • Ensure the catches on your windows are in working order.
  • Ensure the gate closes behind you and no one follows you when you enter your driveway.
  • Make it difficult for criminals to operate in your neighbourhood – promptly reporting suspicious people and noise to Armed response.
  • If you've had a burglary – first let the police take fingerprints before allowing anybody to touch anything.
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