With the levels of crime perpetually on the increase, one of people’s primary concerns is that of safety and security. Hence, in the previous article, certain du‘aas for safety and security were mentioned. In this article, we will insha-Allah elaborate on a few practical safety tips.
1. Let’s begin with the obvious – invest in decent locks and ensure that all entrances are kept locked when not in use. The same applies to windows and other points of entry. Double check that all the doors and windows are closed/locked before sleeping. Often, because a person lives in a complex or a flat, the presence of neighbours make him feel a false sense of security. We should remember that in such a situation, because of the number of people coming and going, it can be even easier for a thief to enter and exit without drawing attention to himself.
2. Install an alarm system if possible, and ensure that it is activated when leaving the home, even if you are leaving for a short while. In some cases, burglaries can be executed in as little as 15 minutes or less.
3. Make sure that you do not divulge your alarm code to anyone – not even by accident. Often, a person forgets that he is accompanied by his small children and allows them to learn the code. Thereafter, the children unwittingly reveal this information. The same applies to the whereabouts of cash and other valuables in the home – they should not be made known to the small children.
4. Do not grant entry into the yard, complex or building to a person who is unknown. Just because it is an expensive car at the gate, such as a Mercedes, do not open, until you know who is in the car. Similarly, if a man wants to enter and claims to be a delivery driver, do not just open the gate. First ask yourself, “Am I expecting a delivery?” If the answer is no, do not be hasty in opening. If the delivery is for someone else in the complex or building, it is their responsibility to open – not yours. It should not be that you inadvertently allow a thief into the building.
5. The key to most robberies is information. Without prior information and planning, it is generally only opportunistic theft that takes place, and these cases do not tend to be as common or devastating as planned theft. In regard to information, bear the following in mind:
– By way of example, if we enter our bedroom every time we need to pay the staff in the home, they will know that there is cash kept in the bedroom. We should rather take the cash out in advance, before they arrive.
– Do not advertise every detail of your life, neither in person nor on social media! There will be people following your moves with sinister motives. If you post that you are embarking on a two-week holiday, the thief will be informed, by none other than yourself, that he has a two-week window in which to execute his robbery. If you post from overseas, the thief knows that the house is empty. If you post that you purchased a new set of earrings, the thief knows that there is jewellery to be taken.
– The above point applies to staff in the home as well, especially as many robberies are sadly the result of inside information. Sometimes, if we buy jewellery, we will hide the item, yet we leave the gift bag with the name of the jewellery store lying in the open. Any intelligent person will understand that jewellery was just purchased. It is even worse when we leave the receipt lying around, as the information is then far more precise, informing the thief of exactly what it is he should be looking for.
– Appropriate information must be given to the correct people. For example, if we have a good understanding with our neighbours and trust them, inform them that we will be away for a week. In this case, if they see any activity around our home in this period, they will raise the alarm.
6. On the subject of opportunistic theft – do not leave anything lying around that will create temptation. Even if we trust our staff, it is not fair to them that we leave money and valuables lying around and unnecessarily tempt them.
7. Finally, always remain vigilant and aware of your surroundings. Many a robbery or hijacking was foiled because the victim was alert and managed to react in time. In this regard, the cell phone is the greatest enemy. A person who is glued to their phone becomes oblivious to their surroundings and is thus an easy target– especially as the phone is itself an item worth stealing.
Although there are many more points that could be mentioned, we have sufficed on the above as these are some of the main areas where we tend to be lax and negligent.
May Allah Ta‘ala keep us all in the mercy of His safety and protection, aameen.