A home is where we expect to relax whether during the day or night. We also have a lot of variables in our homes, including children, movable assets, cash, vital documents like land titles, and academic papers. Therefore, by any standard, a home is supposed to be the most safe and secure facility for all of us.
But most often, notable cases of theft, fire, trespass, burglary, poisoning, kidnap, vandalism, death, accidents, and fights, happen. Some of these incidents are a result of security and safety ignorance.
When you talk of security, what comes to an ordinary person’s mind is police, army and other security agencies. This is a wrong perception. Individually or collectively, we can create a safe and secure environment or at least contribute through the following: Sufficient lighting is critical, especially at night.
Security lights should be available in all the corners. No potential criminal wants to be identified. So where there is light, its a no-go zone to them. Know basic details of your home aids. Always obtain critical but basic details of house maids, shamba boys, friends that are housed at home.
Recently, my neighbour was robbed by her maid who had stayed with her for 9 months. To my dismay, my neighbour knew only one name. When she reported to police on my advise and asked the names of the maid on the run, she knew only one name. This was shocking. Therefore, always obtain what would literally be called a bio data. This information should be got when the maid/shamba boy is new at work.
Know your neigbours and local leadership. Neighbours keep watch of our homes when we are away. They can be called for help, especially when attacked. Local leaders also aid in reaching higher authorities like police. Keep police or emergency contacts both in your phones, notebook and possibly memorise them. Police, ambulance, Fire Brigade, and physicians numbers should be easily accessible. Where possible memorize them. Also install tracking devices in your car.
As per police report of 2017, between six to eight cars are stolen everyday in Uganda. Car trackers help to locate the whereabouts of the car. In fact, the new technology aids the owner to switch off car engine remotely. I know a number of cases where thieves have failed to rob cars or abandoned cars because they have been disabled by remote.
Car tracking even helps families to track their children’s movement, especially those that are chauffeured to school or other destinations by third parties. Car tracking also helps to monitor driving speeds, fuel usage, and distance covered among other uses.
Deploy fire prevention or fighting equipment at home. A standalone fire detector costs about Shs300,000.Every kitchen should have a portable fire extinguisher and a fire bracket. All home people should have elementary training on how to use these gadgets.
Install CCTV equipment at home. Currently at less than Shs2m, one is able to instal a CCTV system at home. Also use durable padlocks to secure your house. Don’t keep keys on ventilators or behind windows. Potential criminals already know all these tricks.
Have a phone whether a mobile handset or land line with enough airtime on it all time. Teach home people, especially the maids and children, not allow people to access homes easily.
All power sockets should be off at all times unless its in use.