You Don't Have to be Rich to be Secure

One can protect yourself in a house without spending a fortune, but the secret is good planning and doing a few things yourself.

First determine how safe your house really is. Check the list below and keep it so that you may in future address those areas where your house falls short now.

If you can answer negatively to five or less of these questions, you are an easy target. If you answered yes to ten questions you are still in the danger zone. Only if you answered yes to all the questions you are relatively safe, but only if you remember to keep all the electronic aids activated at the right time - and don't accidentally leave doors and windows open and unlocked.

Use this list when shopping for safety equipment for the house. Secure the house step by step, as and when you can afford to, but plan your total safety as a whole.

Doing it yourself need not be difficult, but find out how to go about things first.

The alarm system you installed must be tested properly.

When you buy a system, take a sketch of the floorplan of your house as well as a terrain plan with you. An experienced shopowner in the security business will then easily be able to give you advice on what you need and where to put it.

You'll need a control centre which receives the impulse and translates it into an audible signal to the police, the neighbours or a security firm. To activate the impulse you need electronic "eyes" which "see" intruders by registering motion or vibration, normally when a window, door or gate is opened illegally.

Very important is a panic button somewhere which you or a family member can activate yourselves. It is advisable to have a few of these scattered around the pass in places you frequent, like the kitchen, your bedroom and outside the garage.

A complete system like those covering at least seven windows and three doors and with two electronic sensors measuring motion could cost in the region of R1250 to R1450. But shop around first.

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