Cost of home security

In Latest, Money cents by Donna Willan

Cost of home security

Cost of home security

Cost of home security

I’m feeling a little vulnerable right now, as two weeks back we had five incidents in our street in four days! Fortunately, we also had some arrests. So I have been thinking a lot about our home security – are we secure enough? Do we need to do more? Can I afford more? Can I afford not too? I’m sure most readers can relate in some way to these concerns.

I don’t want to become paranoid, but nor can we be complacent; home security has to be something we think about. Not so that we can join the often hysterical conversations about “OMG the crime is so bad”, but just to ensure we are being responsible and doing what we can to be safe.

So I looked at our home security system: we have an alarm linked to armed response, burglar bars, security gates and a “Man in the Hut” (a 24-hour security patrol in our street). Wow, with all this how can anyone even get into our street? All of this costs me nearly R1 000 a month.

On reflection, I actually don’t think I need to be ‘buying’ more security. I could add bits here and there (electric fence etc.) but I don’t think that is actually going to make a significant difference. This time ‘more money’ isn’t going to solve the problem.

My home security is pretty good, and although nothing is impenetrable I think I’ve done well. I will do a few small things, like have the alarm serviced (they came this week and found a fault!) and talk more to my neighbours. I think “knowing your neighbour” may actually be one of the really effective, and free, home security approaches. I hope I’m not wrong, but it feels like it is OK, and I’m glad I thought about this carefully – otherwise I probably wouldn’t have got around to servicing the alarm.

In my next column, I’m going to look at developing a long-term plan for buying a new car in a few years – planning ahead!

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