CBAR-Newsflash May/June/July 2016
Dear valued clients,
Having been involved in the security industry for more than 2 decades, written numerous articles on various, if not all aspects of security ranging from armed response, electronic alarm systems etc, you would think I would have a good idea on how to handle security related situations.
If I might add, I spent 8 years as a police reservist, having completed the swat course some years back, 2 years military service and I believe I have an alert and vigilant mind-set. So here is the point to the pre-amble………..
On Monday evening, I had just retired for the evening, switched off my bedside light at about 10.15pm and had begun to fall asleep. I suddenly heard the sound of a downstairs door handle being pulled on. At first, being in a sleep like state, I thought I had imagined it, but as I sat up in my bed to listen more intently, I could hear some movement at the door.
I grabbed my firearm, which is always at hand as well as a powerful torch and walked to the top of the stairwell where I crouched down looking in the direction of the door that I believed had been tampered with. I organised myself into a position where I could defend myself from, should the intruder forcibly enter the French doors. I kept dead still with my torch switched off.
Here I was in my own home, my heart was beating really loudly, my mouth became instantly dry and I felt the trepidation of what could become a dangerous situation. I remained in the crouched position for about 10 minutes listening for any other sounds around the house. All was quiet and when I believed it was safe again; I went back to my bedroom and switched on all my external spot lights, before calling my armed response company to do an all-round perimeter check.
This, after being in the SAPS and in countless homes with armed suspects, even being shot at on occasion. With all the training and dealing with this type of scenario through client experiences, are we ever truly prepared?
In the “good old days”, most house break-ins occurred during the day when criminals assume the occupants are out or at work. Most break-ins primarily occur during the day but currently there are more break-ins occurring at night, than previously. Statistics reflect these are most often between 3am and 6am. There are always emails from the Neighbourhood Watches, SAPS and security service providers issuing warnings of these incidents where panes of glass are removed without being detected or in some rare instances without the alarm activating.
So what do we do to protect ourselves as far as possible in the event that such intrusions may occur? From experience, I advise the following, and it is merely a guideline as each situation will no doubt be different, but the threat and result of having person/s breaking in is truly quite a frightening and daunting experience.
Ensure your alarm system is armed before going to bed. Every property differs, so the setup of an alarm system will differ too. Living in a double storey where bedrooms are upstairs is a major advantage. Ensure that the outside perimeter has adequate outdoor detection. I knew that at the patio door there was a wide angel outdoor sensor, and if someone walked up to the door, it would activate. I have seen “YouTube” footage on how criminals slowly crawl on their stomachs and somehow avoid certain sensors, which is what I believe had occurred in this instance. This particular door had a magnetic contact on which would also have activated if the door had been opened. With perimeter security, one almost wants to create a cocoon within the residence.
I was 100% confident in my alarm system and relied on it activating if there was an intrusion. Secondly I did not go downstairs to investigate as I felt safer upstairs and believed I was in a more advantageous position to defend myself. Do not go and investigate! I was tempted to, but rather secure yourself in your bedroom, grab kids quietly if you have to and lock yourself in the main bedroom. Make sure you have a panic button in the main bedroom!!!
I could have pushed the panic button but chose not to. I would however recommend that it is activated in the event of an intrusion, but whilst upstairs, realised that my gate release on the A-phone as well as my remote, to open the gate, were downstairs. Always keep a remote with you, so that the armed response can be given access if you push the panic button or phone for help if they are unable to gain access due to electric fences, high walls etc. Test your panic buttons regularly, and remember to kindly inform our monitoring centre if you intend to do so.
Considering it could be multiple persons trying to break in, I strongly recommend that you rather alert criminals to the fact that you are aware of their presence, as this will in most cases result in the criminals fleeing. Once the alarm siren triggers, from a safe position, you should illuminate the outside of your property with good quality and well placed outside lighting with switches close to the main bedroom.
Obviously having dogs is a major advantage and one of the best early warning systems.
Remember, at night you will be most likely to be asleep when the criminals try to break in. If you look at the situation, they are wide awake, running on adrenalin and possible on intoxicating substances such as drugs or alcohol. You need an alarm that will wake you up if triggered; must offer adequate coverage and MUST be armed.
It is imperative that you be aware that intrusions can and do take place all the time and you should have a formulated plan of action in the event of such an occurrence. Pre-plan your reaction to such an intrusion. Don’t freeze up, as you do go into a form of static shock. Rather take the time one evening with the family and actually have the uncomfortable conversation on what your actions should be if someone is trying to break into your house. Being prepared can save lives.
Please note……….. The number of car break-ins is currently very high. As previously mentioned, do not leave anything visible in your car, even if it is an item of clothing. If you are going to secure a laptop or any other items in your boot, look around before doing so, as a criminal will see that the item has value, if it is being taken from the inside of the vehicle and locked in the boot. They then simply break-in and use the boot release to open the boot and remove the items. There have been many reported cases to CBAR in the past few months and each time electronic goods, items of clothing and bags or cell phones are stolen. Avoid the temptation, leave nothing visible.
Should you wish for a consultant to assess your alarm and it effectiveness, please do not hesitate to contact our offices for a no obligation, free quotation on 0860 151515 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CBAR, 24 hours a day, only minutes away!
Kind regards and best wishes
Alan Kusevitsky and the CBAR team