Statistically we know that home invaders/house robbers/farm attackers in South Africa WILL SEVERELY TORTURE and KILL YOU. They operate in well organized groups (fancy name for armed gangs of up to 10 killers).You cannot fight well organized groups on your own- this is not the movies and you are not Rambo. Nope, your army training of 20 years ago does not equip you to deal with these ruthless criminals and having attended a 1 day tactical house penetration course with an ex-RECCE will neither.
Best defense is to have the element of surprise on your side. Have as many layers of security in place as possible to delay intruders and prevent them from reaching your residence before you become aware of them.
Think of an onion.
The core of the onion is you and your family. Each layer of skin that you peel off makes your eyes tear-up and burn. Those layers of skin are your security measures at home.
The outer layer is being involved in local Community Policing Forums and Neigborhood Watch activities so that you know what is going on in your area and to enable you to plan for the correct threat.
The next layer is to have security fencing around your home. If you have no fencing, they simply walk in and it offers you less time to react. Bear in mind that all fences can be breached if the intruder is determined enough, has the correct tools and has time on his side. Yup, that include those anti-cut, anti-climb fences, devils fork, electric fences, walls with spikes on top etc.
The next layer is to have a reliable electronic system that will warn you when intruders breach the fence (Zeus your dog is not reliable). Dogs are easily distracted, are sometimes not alert and can easily be killed. “But they will warn me” I hear you say. Yes, probably, but probably you will not pay attention. Or, like most dog owners, you will scream at Zeus to keep quiet so you can focus on the rugby game on TV. In all likelihood, the only people who will pay attention will be the annoyed neighbors who are the only ones hearing Zeus bark aggressively at the moon every night.
The following layer is quality security gates and burglar bars on all doors and windows. The common retail store variety is a total waste of your hard earned money and will be easily breached. Having bars only on opening windows serves no purpose. Oh, and do spend a few extra Rands to protect your roof cavity with some razor coil stuck in between the roof covering and ceiling boards. This will help to make it more difficult for them to access your home “mission impossible” style through the roof. PS, alarm beams will not stop them from entering through your roof. It will only alert you they are already inside your roof cavity…
The last layer is the emergency contingency plans you have inside the house. Your family emergency plan. Your safe room where everybody can run to and lock themselves in when warned of an intrusion and where you have a phone, panic buttons, weapons, first aid kit, fire extinguisher and flashlight. Only keeping your trusty 9mil under your pillow is not a plan. This is where training comes in. Does every family member have an assigned role i.e. Dad on gun defense, Mom pressing the panic button and calling the cavalry and Dad’s Army buddies, Junior shining the flashlight set on strobe mode into the attackers face so that Dad can demonstrate how great shot he is while the attacker is blinded …
The layers will buy you time until help arrives.
Stay inside the safe room. Gents, if you go outside dressed in your PT shorts and flip flops with your 9mil to “sort out” the intruders, you are not a hero. Nope, you are wrong, you do not protect your family by going outside. By going outside, you actually expose them more because you will get killed. You do not know how many attackers there are, where they are or what they are armed with. If you want to be a real hero, stay in the safe room with your family, keep them calm and protect them from there. You have a much better chance of “sorting them out” with your trusty 9mil when they want to break through your safe room door and by the time they do break through, your buddies who attended the house penetration course with you, will have arrived to help you.