Home Security Tips 

May, 2018
 

When there is relative calm and security in the society, harmony, tranquillity and eventually productivity is assured. Growth and development is registered as high in stable areas. Quality of lives improve as the population engages in gainful activities, without hindrance. Investment will increase as potential investors feel secure and assured of returns, and hence create employment. Insecurity does the exact opposite and the moment it starts, it becomes a vicious circle that is hard to break. The more unemployment becomes, the higher the potentiality for unengaged youth to resort to crime to make ends meet.

Tanzanian cities are rapidly expanding, with population growing so fast, faster than the expansion of social amenities to support it. The growth is boosted by migration from rural areas and the rate of growth is higher than the rate of employment, and hence pressures of survival drives many to crime.

The middle class is investing in private homes, mostly in the periphery of the cities where land is still available and affordable. To be able to stay in these locations, besides social amenities, security is of paramount importance. It is now becoming common to here of incidence of break-ins and night raids in such locations.

From our experience in security industry, most of the crime incidents are organised by internal perpetrators. The initiators are from within. It takes much time and effort for a stranger to design and execute a robbery, and in most cases, highly risky for them. But with internal informers, they strike with precision. Here are the tips that will help you to remain safe at home.

  • Ensure that you know all the domestic staff you employ. Get any form of identification and know where they come from. Get to know at least three relatives and where they go where they are off duty. Keep copies of their photographs as well and alternative telephone contacts, with links to the rural homes. You may engage professional firm to help in background checks.
     
  • Carry out basic background checks. You may check with police fingerprints bureaus as well. Have medical examination, if possible. It is for understanding their capacity and potential risky ailments that can be contagious. In any case, your home is their place of work and it is an OSHA requirement.
     
  • Attend estate/neighbourhood meetings. There is a lot you can learn about your staff and what is going on around. Be in the neighbourhood social media groups. You may get information about your staff or relatives’ activities when you are away busy with your duties.
     
  • Check background information about drivers and watch their behaviour. Be extra cautious when they are taking your daughters.
     
  • Restrict entry to your bedroom by servants. They ransack and study each and every detail and when they strike, it is lethal. All your valuable are likely kept there.
     
  • Ensure that outsourced staff are from reputable companies, e.g. security guards. Assure yourself that they do proper vetting and keep proper records. Take a picture of each staff and keep it.
     
  • Do not talk about money transactions in the presence of domestic staff. Do not talk of the cost of jewellery as well or other valued possessions.
     
  • Do not be predictable. Do not inform them the exact times you will be back, unless necessary. Go home once in a while when they least expect you.
     
  • Give you staff tips on how to deal with strangers. Robbers are known to knock on doors when they suspect that only the maid is at home, they force themselves in as soon as the gate is opened. Invest in a door bell with camera, for anyone inside the query the visitor before opening. A small window at the gate can also help. if the visitor claims to be from utility company, get identification and advise them to verify with you before allowing them in. meters should be installed outside the gate for security reasons.
     
  • Do not install electronics in areas that are visible from outside. It attracts intruders.
     
  • Invest in CCTV cameras. They can be viewed remotely on your phone.
     
  • Install an alarm system, responded to by a reputable security company. Install fire alarm systems as well as fire extinguishers. Train the servants on how to use them in case of emergency.

 

Eric Sambu

Managing Director, Tanzania