The majority of people, it seems, are obeying the lockdown instructions, remaining within their suburbs, if not their actual homes. The increased presence of the police services and the army is also reassuring.
As the weeks under lockdown due to the Corona-19 virus go by, we are getting used to the ‘new normal’ of social distancing, hand washing and face mask-wearing. We’re establishing new routines under lockdown, so now is a good time to think about how you approach home security.
New York reportedly saw a 17% drop in crime during the first week of their Covid-19 lockdown in March this year.
But protective forces can’t be everywhere all the time. The same New York Post article reported that vehicle theft rocketed upwards by 52% during the same week.
Crime trends during lockdown
So where does that leave us in South Africa, several weeks behind Asia, Europe and North America in the development of this pandemic?
Nobody can really tell what effect the lockdown will have on crime. What we do know is that it’s up to each of us to make sure we’re as safe as possible at home.
Unless we’re on the frontline helping the sick fight the virus or policing the public, we are no longer commuting to work. With a few more hours in the day, we now have the time to contemplate how we live our lives.
We can start by getting by establishing new routines that we can continue after the lockdown is lifted, when there may be a surge in certain types of crime.
5 new habits to get into during lockdown
We’re all stuck at home so now is a good time to get into new safety habits. Here are five ways to do this:
- Keep security gates closed and locked
It is so easy to open all safety gates during the day, especially if you have pets and children. Rather get into the habit of keeping gate closed and locked. Your dogs will let you know when they want to come back inside if you’ve let them out. You can then open the gates to let them in, rather than leaving these open and allowing just about anyone to walk inside. If children are playing outside, limit how many doors and security gates are open so that you can keep a watchful eye on the ones you’ve left open.
- Assess your security regularly
If you don’t have easy to use security gates on all doors, replace them once lockdown is over. Gates that are difficult to use become expensive decorations. There are lots of user-friendly alternatives like Trellidor Retractable gates with just one lock and key; Trellidor Rollerstyle shutters that operate with a remote control; Trellidor Clear Guard shutters with a simple locking system; and Trellidor Security Shutter louvres. Many of these products are perfect for homes where security must be invisible or at least look more like a lifestyle product than a security barrier.
- Get into the habit of keeping a panic alarm on you
Hang it around your neck or carry it in your hand so it’s easy to press for help. Or keep a whistle around your neck and blow hard if under threat. It will certainly attract attention and may scare criminals off.
- Keep safe in your ‘play zone’
If your veranda is the centre of your home life, install security barriers on the outer edge. This will allow you to use it freely without worrying about a surprise visit from home invaders. Children can play safely on the veranda without feeling they are locked inside. There are plenty of see-through security barrier options that won’t obstruct your view. These lifestyle-appropriate products are very cost effective as they do other jobs for you too. Trellidor Clear Guard, for example, blocks out insects like mosquitoes, making your outdoor life more comfortable.
- Vigilance is key to home safety
Make sure you know what’s going on around your home. If you notice strangers hanging about, alert your security service or make sure they know you’ve seen them. Don’t let anyone onto your property without checking their credentials. Teach your children and anyone else living with you to do the same.
How to establish a new security routine during lockdown
What’s the first thing you do when you get up in the morning? Like most of us you probably deactivate your alarm and open a door and security gate for the dogs or children to get out.
The alarm stays off, with doors and security gates open because you’re home all day at the moment due to the lockdown. Pets, children and adults can come and go as they please without the hassle of turning the alarm on and off or locking and unlocking doors or security gates.
Under normal circumstances, this is when home invaders walk in because it is so easy when people are not using their security systems. They could also be opportunistic thieves that live in the neighbourhood and let themselves in to pinch whatever is left lying around.
Whoever it is, once inside they can take what they want and make a quick and easy getaway through the open doors. By the time the stunned family can alert the police or armed response, the criminals are long gone.
Get into good habits while in lockdown and hopefully you’ll be able to carry these through to when we eventually all get back to a ‘new normal’.
In the daytime, keep as much of your burglar proofing closed as you can. If your family is constantly in and out of the house, try to limit it to one door, keeping the rest of your security gates locked.
At night, do your rounds of the house, checking that all security doors and burglar proofing is closed and locked. If you have a safe zone, make sure that you lock up properly here too. A locked security gate in the passage gives great peace of mind.
What to do about security during lockdown
The lockdown period is a good time to do some research on what type of security product you’d like to install once the suppliers reopen. Take a look at all options and contact your local Trellidor outlet for a quote.