State of the art security now essential to any housesale, says APKF MD

One of the best pieces of advice that estate agents can give homeowners is that money spent on installing or upgrading the security of their homes is never wasted – it will in fact usually add significantly to the home’s value and marketability.

Lanice Steward, MD of Anne Porter Knight Frank, told her agents recently that if a home in today’s South Africa is not adequately secured and comes up for sale, the buyer will often overestimate what new security provisions will cost and will alter his bid accordingly.

“If even one item on the “checklist” is missing, it can result in the sale price being discounted.”

This checklist, said Steward, should include:

  • electrified and alarmed perimeter fencing,
  • an intrusion alarm which can monitor either the perimeter of the house or every major room – or both. (Perimeter alarms enable legitimate occupants to move about freely in the home but detect any interference with doors or windows.)
  • laser beams on the perimeter of the erf and/or surrounding the house.

“In today’s conditions,” said Steward, “beams are no longer an optional extra, they are a necessity.”

This basic security list, said Steward, should possibly also include CCTV cameras and these should be able to operate 24/7 – it is essential that they are able to detect objects in the dark and record all movements for police records.

“Since the end of the World Cup and the recent reduction in the police presence that proved so effective over that period, the number of crime related incidents has shot up,” said Steward. “We have had a sad history of being reactive not proactive. For their own benefit and for the sake of increasing the value of their homes, homeowners should now take the precaution of installing state of the art security systems.”

A simple security “measure” which has proved highly effective time and again, says Steward, is a big dog.

“It is a proven fact that big fearless dogs can and do protect properties well. Small, timid dogs are, however, can often alert an occupant that an intruder is around, so they have a role to play.”

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