Saturday, 5 November 2011

Is having a guard dog enough?

The economy is changing everyday and the crime rates are going up,  your afraid at home - for yourself and your loved ones but is your guard dog really the way to protect you and your family?

Your home is your castle...or is it? Is your home really safe once you leave for work or school? Your home is considered a sanctuary where you should feel safe. Your home is the only environment where you have control over who can get close to you or your family. Protecting your home and family from criminal intrusion should be high on your list of priorities but expecting your dog to defend your home when you aren't there is a great way to set yourself up for  disappointment and even tragic heartbreak. To a great degree, the type of dog you have will determine its value in protecting your property when you're away, but even the biggest, baddest guard dog isn't the insurance you might believe.

Yes, dogs of any size do offer some value as part of a good home security package, the benefit being that they make a noise and as we all know criminals don't like any attention being drawn to their activity, but simply owning a pooch for your protection and for your home isn't any guarantee. From a security perspective, owning a pet dog is no more valuable than owning a security system that you never turn on.

Criminals know that a small, yappy dog is likely a chronic barker whether somebody is trying to break into your home or not, so a burglar isn't going to be particularly worried that your dog's barking will make any difference. They'll more than likely just come in and take what they want. As for your dog, they'll chase him/her into a room and close the door or, however sad this may be, kill it outright with a kick. The point here is that dogs are best considered a small part of a complete security package rather than all the home security you'll ever need. They are worth something when you're home, but to be honest they will not be any insurance when your not at home.

The take away from this blog should be that any dog, large or small do improve your protection to some degree but does not represent complete protection. your best bet for home protection is to include other measures and only consider your dog a part of the complete home security system. Therefore you will need a home security system with all the benefits to secure your home and loved one's.

A place like Free Alarms will be a great help to you with their great deal: offering a Free Alarm consisting of a 8 zone control panel, keypad, battery, siren, 2 infrared passives, 2 magnetic contacts, 2 fixed panic buttons and transformer.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Why have a Home Security System?


 In today’s life you can never be too safe, having the right home security alarm makes a world of difference, especially during our tough economic times as thieves are more than likely to be brazen about breaking into homes for valuables. With a home security system you may possibly never be one of the unfortunate victims of this country.

When thieves break into a house, they are not likely to be concerned with the personal safety of anyone in the house, beyond theft there are people who are interested in breaking into houses just to hurt those inside. Home security systems deter and help prevent these types of attacks.

The benefits of a good Home security system:

  • 24 hour, 7 days a week service for a very minimal cost
  • A security system adds actual financial value, so when selling your home it becomes an additional selling point
  • Having a home security system may lower your home insurance
  • Investing in a security system is guaranteed to bring a better nights sleep and peace of mind, knowing the family is secure and safe.

Don't keep saying: “nah it won't happen to me or my family” rather be save than regretting it later, you don't have to spend an arm and leg to make your home a safer place to live, your safety is only a click away.

Contact Free Alarms Today for your FREE no obligation home assessment - Cape Town and Johannesburg

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Computer Theft and Security

Computers and laptops are very attractive items for criminals. There are a number of precautions that you can follow to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of computer theft or fraud. 
  • Crimestoppers crime prevention advice - computers 
  • Keep your computer in a locked cabinet, or lock the door to the room you keep it in to make it harder to steal. Try to keep it out of sight from windows

    • Use security screws and bolts to make it harder for people without the correct tool to open the casing to steal parts (but check with the manufacturer that this does not affect any guarantee) 
    • Use passwords, make back-up copies on disk and ‘watermark' documents. This will help protect your copyright and will mean you have a copy of your work if the computer is stolen
    • Take care with your financial information. Don't send your bank details in an email. If you are ordering goods over the internet, make sure the company has a secure server
    • If you need to carry a laptop with you, try to be discrete about it. Many laptops have distinctive bags, so try to put it in something else. Carry disks in a different place 
    • Install a security system with sensors

    Wednesday, 28 September 2011

    Is your Home Secure?

    It's no secret that crime is still a major issue in South Africa and is invading what once were considered "safe communities."  Crime against property occurs on the average of 20 times a minute with an estimated R10,000 loss for each occurrence. Burglary is a crime of opportunity where entry is gained due to the carelessness of homeowners.

    Single family homes are twice as likely to be burglarized than apartments. While receiving a lot of publicity when it happens, hotels and motels account for less than 3% of all burglaries. The most likely things to be stolen in a burglary are cash, small electronic equipment, home computers, cameras, jewelry, furs, tools and hand guns.

    Few people really bother about security until something happens to them or a neighbor. The public's complacent attitude is the burglar's best friend and your worst enemy. There are many things the average person can do to make their home less of a target. This report will get you started on the right road. Remember, the two things a burglar fears most are being seen and having to take too much time to complete the crime.

    While burglars typically "target" a home when no one is home, if you surprise one in the act, your chances of being injured are too high to attempt to intervene. A sobering statistic shows many homeowners attempting to defend (themselves, family members, or their property) with a weapon end up having it turned on themselves.

    One thing every homeowner should do at least twice a year is take a walk around and through your property with a close friend or neighbor who is not too familiar with your house. Start outside and ask yourself "how would I best break in? The purpose of not doing it alone is your pal may spot things you'll overlook. Return the favor and complete a survey for your friend.
    Besides the obvious "lived-in" look, don't get into a habit of only doing certain things only when you're not home. Chances are good you can tell when your neighbor isn't home. Remember it's a burglar's job to know the same things. Most professional criminals can tell nobody's home at least four or five houses away.
    Several dead giveaways are always closing the drapes ONLY when you're not home. Having no garbage cans out collection day, or an empty can sitting at the curb, are tip-offs you're not home. So are closing up the house as tight as a drum in the hot summer months without the air-conditioner running. Turning on a certain light or two and every other room is in total darkness. Ditto for picking up all the kid's toys, taking in the dog, shutting the garage door if you frequently leave it open, and turning off the lawn sprinkler.
    Many people before leaving turn on the "burglar light, " the light over the kitchen sink. You might as well hang a sign on the front door you're not home! If you use an answering machine never leave a message that you're not home. Instead say you can't come to the phone right now. If you don't have a machine, turn down the volume on phones before leaving so it can't be heard from outside - another dead giveaway nobody's home.

    You've probably heard it several times and it's true! A dog is one of the best deterrents. Not because it's vicious, it need not even be seen, but it has to be heard. A dog with a menacing bark will scare away a lot of would-be burglars, not only because they don't know what kind of dog you have and what risk it would be to them if try tried to break in, but more likely because a noisy dog will create a disturbance and get attention - the last thing a burglar wants!
    If you don't have a dog there's nothing stopping you from pretending. A Beware of Dog sign on your fence, a dog house in the back yard, even a loose dog chain or bowl can drive away a potential burglar.

    Electronic devices that are effective besides the typical whole house alarm systems for windows and doors are infrared or motion detectors that sense movement or the heat given off by one's body. Anyone approaching too close will trigger any number of attached devices. The most effective are powerful lights or burglar horns that either flood the area with light or fill the air with a deafening sound without notice.

    Just like a barking dog, the would-be burglar will usually hightail it out of there for fear of being discovered.
    To be effective, the sensitivity of such devices much not be set too high or stray animals will set them off too frequently which will get you on the wrong side of your neighbors.

    Monday, 29 August 2011

    How to avoid driveway hijacking


    How to avoid driveway hijacking




    Modus Operandi used by the hijackers:

    • Most hijackings take place in the driveways of residential areas. These hijackers prefer areas with accessible escape routes.
    If we understand and keep this modus operandi in mind, we can also change our driving behaviour to avoid becoming an easy target. We would like to discuss three of the situations where vehicle owners can act with increased caution.

    How to avoid a hijacking situation:

    Approaching and entering your driveway:
    • 2km from your house strategy. Be extra alert. Switch off the car radio and concentrate on your surroundings. If you have noticed any vehicle behind you, use the techniques you have learned during the hijack prevention & survival course to determine whether you are being followed.
    • Remember to stop your vehicle just on the inside of the gate and select reverse whilst waiting for the gate to close. This creates confusion and may buy you a few seconds for the gate to close completely behind you.
    • Check your driveway and street before you leave or enter your premises.
    • Make sure your driveway is well lit and clear from shrubbery where perpetrators can hide.
    • Be aware of unknown pedestrians close to your residential address – do not turn into your driveway – pass and go back later.
    • Liaise with your neighbours – know them.
    • Be aware of vehicles parked close to your address with occupants inside. It might be perpetrators observing the area.
    • Be alert if your animals do not greet you at the gate as usual. It might be that the perpetrators over-powered them.
    • Phone your home and ask for someone to make sure your driveway is safe and to open and close the gate for you.
    • When returning home after dark, ensure that an outside light is on, or have someone meet you at the gate. Check with your armed response company if they are rendering rendezvous services.
    • If at any time you have to open the gate yourself, switch off the vehicle, leave the key in the ignition and close the door. Then open the gate.
    • If you have small children in the vehicle, take the key with you (this is the only exception). You need the key as a “negotiating tool”. The perpetrators want your vehicle and you want your children.
    • If your children are older, it is advised that they exit the vehicle with you when opening the gate so that you are all separated from the vehicle should a hijack occur.
    Parking your vehicle:
    • Check rear-view mirror to ensure you are not being followed.
    • When exiting your vehicle, be cautious and aware of surrounding obstructions and shrubbery that may be concealing a hijacker.
    • Never sit in your parked vehicle without being conscious of your surroundings. Sleeping in a stationary vehicle is particularly dangerous.
    • When approaching your driveway, be on the lookout for suspicious vehicles / persons. This is very important as the majority of hijackers approach their victims in home driveways.
    Ensure exterior lighting is installed and that the exterior of the house is well lit, it is also worth considering demand lighting which is activated by a motion detector

    Try to reduce any bushes or obstructions in the vicinity of your driveway as these act as good hiding places.

    Ensure Chubb's emergency number is programmed into your telephone's speed dial and that your entire family know the number.Keep you panic button with you at all times! A Free Alarms consultant will gladly come to your home and access your situation. 

    Tuesday, 12 July 2011

    The Best Guard Dogs

    A family pet can add more value to your family than companionship for the children. A well trained guard dog can add a new level of security to your household.  

    Basically any dog can be a watchdog, that includes those silly little dogs celebrities carries around in their handbags. But all they can do is alert their owners of danger with their persistent ear piercing barks. A guard dog, on the other hand, can be trained to restrain or attack any unwelcome visitor to your home. 

    If you are serious about your security here is a few of the best guard dogs available in South Africa.


    The Doberman’s frequent use as a military, search and rescue, police and guard dog all over the world speaks volumes about this great and versatile breed. This medium to large, squarely built dog is highly athletic and one of the most intelligent dog breeds in the world. Doberman’s are ranked as the 5th most intelligent dog in the category of obedience command training. Dobermans have an unfair reputation of being stereotyped as unmanageable and overly aggressive. They are extremely loyal to their family. As a personal protection dog they are fearless and capable guardians and sufficiently obedient and restrained to only do so on the command of their owner.


    The Rottweiler is an ancient dog breed which originated in Germany and was originally used as herd guards and protection dogs. This is a medium / large breed with compact and powerful body, a broad deep chest and muscular neck. Rottweilers have a fearless and self assured nature. They have generally good temperament if raised by a firm owner. Their credentials as a guard dog are great because of a natural desire to protect family and home. It is an intelligent dog of extreme adaptability and hardiness with a strong willingness to work, making them especially suited as a guardian and companion. The exceptional strength of the Rottweiler makes it a menacing appearance to any intruder.

    German Shephard (Alsatian)

    German Shephards are one the most recognizable and popular dog breeds in the world. This agile, large and powerful dog is also ranked highly in intelligence and is widely used in police and military roles. German Shephard’s are known for their intelligence. Their protective nature, high trainability factor and physical strength make them a highly recommended guard dog.


    The Bullmastiff is a large and ferocious looking dog of English origin. Their physical power combined with natural guardian instincts are great for families as these dogs can alternate between a capable protector and playful pet.

    Boerboel (South African Mastiff)

    The Boerboel is a large and powerful dog of South African origin specifically bred as a guard dog. Boerbels have a have strong territorial instinct and due to their calm and confident nature they remain the guard dog of choice for many African farmers. Boerbels are a powerful and headstrong breed and require obedience training from a young age. This breed is highly recommended for strong and dominant owners.

    Alarms systems that a specially designed for a household with animals are available from Free Alarms.  The sensors are set in such a way that your dog won’t trigger a false alarm. Modifications can also be made to your current system.


    Wednesday, 6 July 2011

    How to Avoid Triggering a False Alarm

    When it comes to home security you don’t want to become the boy that cried wolf.  If your alarm goes off regularly the police and neighbours will no longer consider it a priority.  You also don’t want to be the annoying neighbour whose alarm system keeps up half the neighbourhood at inappropriate times. 

    1.    Set up an alarm system maintenance and upgrades schedule. Like all electronic devices alarm systems need to be updated to work at its optimal potential. Replace all batteries every three months.

    2.    Include the cleaning the alarm equipment in your house cleaning routine. Lint and dust can clog the motion sensors which can cause them to go off at inapt times.

    3.    Pets are one of the main causes of false alarms. Install pet friendly sensors and keep your pets away from problem areas if possible.

    4.    Keep windows and doors locked as most alarm sensors are connected to entrance ways.

    5.    Study up on the interworking of your alarm system. Know how to cancel the false alarm and how to set it up again afterwards.

    6.    When away let the house sitter know about all the quirks of the house and system.

    7.    If you are changing anything in the home your contact your security provider, Free Alarms, like if you are planning a remodelling project that will affect the system’s operation. 

    8.    Involve the whole household when installing the system. If everyone is informed decreases the likelihood of simple mistakes such as leaving windows and doors open.

    Ideally an alarm system is a subtle presence that will protect your household. By following these simple tips it will be.