On 7 June, Fidelity ADT in partnership with one of the big residential estates in Midrand conducted domestic watch training to help domestic workers understand and empower themselves to help in the fight against crime.
“Become the eyes and ears on the ground” was the primary message at the meeting which was well attended by more than 100 gardening and domestic workers.
Linda Goodenough, Community Development Manager Fidelity ADT, says it is so important for everyone to remain vigilant and report suspicious behaviour. “Living in an Estate doesn’t mean that we can leave doors and windows open because there is security in the complex. The perception is often that very high walls and fancy entrances to complexes deter criminals, but this is not always the case,” says Goodenough.
She stresses that the bottom line is that even in a secured complex, there is always a risk of burglaries and theft from inside and outside the complex and everyone needs to remain vigilant and responsible for their personal security.
“This is particularly true of complexes that are not fully let or where construction workers are still present. “Residents and domestic staff,” says Goodenough, “need to be part of the contingency planning, conducting regular security drills and monitoring of security systems. They also should not be complacent thinking that the complex security is enough. We highly recommend that residents have alarms and other security measures in place in their individual units. It is not uncommon to hear of cases where criminals have moved into complexes posing as residents and then break into houses before moving out with their stolen goods.”
Five top security hints for domestic staff to remember:
- Never let in strangers in unless you have verified who they are.
- Always keep your panic button on you at all times, especially when going outside to hang up the washing. Remember to test your panic button regularly.
- Lock the door behind you when going outside and do not put up a fight if suspects get into the house, especially if they have a weapon.
- Know how your house alarm works and test your alarm regularly too.
- Always have contact details available and make sure you can reach the homeowners in the event of an emergency.
“Also ensure everyone has emergency numbers ie SAPS Sector vehicle number, Ambulance, Fire, Security Company? It is so important to have a good relationship with all your employees as they are the eyes and ears of our neighbourhoods during the day. Let’s all make the effort to keep our employees, homes and neighbourhoods safe,” she concludes.