There is nothing more terrifying than the thought of having your home broken into.
Security fence | Source: Passagejournal
This is a fear that is shared globally. Some people deal with this by building fortresses and having personal protection all day everyday, but not everyone can afford that luxury and there are measures that one can take to secure their home that won’t cost an arm or a leg; but it is better to spend a great amount financially rather than literally lose an arm or a leg.
According to Age Patana - the Monitoring Center Manager of Shoreline Technologies, “The majority of break ins in PNG happen when occupants are not home.” The same sentiments are shared by individual security guards spoken to from 4 different security firms in PNG.
This is both good and worrying news, this means that burglars will observe your family’s routines for a while to see when a good opportunity presents itself, the good news is that you can take these 10 measures to ensure that you deter opportunists and increase your home security.
In Papua New Guinea - ‘luksave’ is more powerful and efficient than the most advanced security system in the world. Literally translated the phrase is luk = see save = know. When faced with any difficulty, someone that has shown ‘luksave’ to those in their locality will always be given assistance. Luksave is gained by acknowledging and greeting those you meet on a regular basis; it is shown when one acknowledges that they know and share an allegiance with you. The security guards that take care of your office or residential premises, the street seller, the market mama, the boys that always hang out at the car park and those that live on your street - these individuals that form your daily scenery are your strongest form of security. These individuals and will either come to your aid or simply look on depending on how much luksave you have shown, so it does pay to be cordial or pleasant to everybody that forms your daily backdrop. Papua New Guineans are extremely loyal and showing luksave is one sure way to gain our loyalty and greatly improve your security situation.
Faces at Gerehu, NCD | Source: Commonswikimedia
2. Ensure your yard is adequately lit
One way to increase your security without breaking the bank is by installing clear lighting. Contrary to popular belief research conducted in the UK and America show that flood lights installed in yards increase the number of burglaries instead of deterring because most times they allow the robber to have clearer visibility of their target while occupants are either sleeping or are away. Instead of constant, glaring lights all over a yard - it is better to install clear lights in strategic places, positioned in such a way that will increase your visibility. Think about dark zones, think about places where your fence is easier to climb, think about poorly lit exterior doors - map these risks and install strategically. Motion sensors that will switch lights on when movement is detected are the most effective form of lighting according to research conducted, it is worth your money to have those sensors installed. There are security firms that also provide the option of having an audible or inaudible alarm triggered when motion is detected.
3. Out of sight does not mean out of mind
Fences and methods of increasing privacy can make the wrong kind of people more curious about what is in your yard, try not completely conceal your yard and give burglars less to be curious about. Try to keep those hibiscus and ixora hedges low, especially around doors and ground level windows.
4. Try to keep your valuables concealed
While making your yard easy to view, the opposite should be happening for inside your house. Try to position flat screens and laptops in a way that they cannot be seen from outside your windows. If this unavoidable ensure that your curtains are shut at all times. After you buy expensive appliances (eg. a flat screen) do not leave the box lying in places where everyone can see it, either burn the box or put it out of sight. If you have a brand new car, ALWAYS be vigilant when you are driving no matter where you are or who you are with. There are many instances where people have had their vehicles stolen after being followed for more than an hour.
Dogs at the RSPCA PNG | Source: RSPCA PNG
5. Get a dog
Most people seem to think that only Rottweilers and German Shepherds make really good guard dogs - news flash! The average mix-breed PNG dogs bite just as hard and bark just as loud. Get two or more dogs, but remember that they need care. To avoid dogs getting sick and bringing sickness to your family have them dewormed, treated for fleas and to avoid an overpopulation have them desexed - all these services are provided by the RSPCA for a small fee.
6. Put up a fence and plant a thorny plant
A security fence is always good as a deterrent. Just inside your fence you can nurture a Bougainvillea, thorny rose or any other thorny plant that will make jumping your fence a painful thought. It is relatively simple to grow Bougainvillea, you get a cutting and put it about 30cm deep into soil and water it regularly. You can also line the top bar of your fences with a grouting or thin cement and embed jagged pieces of broken glass or weld sharp metal pins onto your fence.
7. Engage a security firm to guard your premises
You will notice that almost all residential compounds in PNG provide guards that patrol grounds and man gates. This is a cost effective way to secure your home, as there are hundreds of security firms. It is vital that you screen the security firm and the guards provided, by insisting that all guards have police clearance and a current medical report. If you come across any issues, do not hesitate to engage another firm.
8. Install a home security system
At the end of the day you want to just relax when you are at home, you don’t want to be worrying about why the dogs are barking or looking out your windows every now and then. PNG is at a stage where there are many highly advanced security systems that can be monitored and controlled by an app on your mobile phone or laptop. These security systems have a vast choice of triggers that will alert a security company (with 24/7 rapid response) of your choice, the police and whoever else you want to be alerted. For your peace of mind you can talk to a professional firm who can give you advice and cater a security system to your requirements.
9. Get your home, its contents and your car insured
If you know that you will be able to repair or replace your belongings, your house and your car then you will have a greater peace of mind when going about your daily business. There are different insurance products available that can be catered for your needs. You can get more information on what measures you need to take to be fully insured by Clicking Here and contacting Trans Pacific Assurance Limited.
10. Use common sense
If you feel uncomfortable upon noticing a car following you do not drive home - instead contact your security service provider and drive to a bank or the closest police station as these locations have many security personnel. Pay attention to who and what is happening around you. If you are going to be leaving your home empty overnight, make sure that all the external doors and windows are locked or shut and leave the lights on in the living room, kitchen if possible leave the tv or radio on to make it seem as if someone is home. If you are going to be gone for more than a night get someone you trust to house sit. Click on the link Here that will give you the landline to all police stations in PNG. It is wise to get a reliable mobile number from your local police station in case of any emergency.
At the end of the day your best security is your neighbours, make sure you maintain good neighbourly relationships and they will be the ones that will help you monitor who and what is going on on your street, they will be able to help you identify suspicious people or vehicles on your street and if there is anything out of the ordinary happening on your premises, your neighbours will feel obliged to let you know.