bodyguard – Securing Your Estate

Usually your personal security won’t be much of an issue. Yes, anyone can get mugged, but unless you go around upsetting dangerous people or living in dangerous places you shouldn’t need a bodyguard. The best thing you can do to protect yourself is to keep a low profile. When mixing with wealthy people it’s fine or even desirable to dress up, wear your expensive watch and jewellery & flaunt youself. It’s fun. But there is a time and a place for everything. Don’t rub your wealth in the faces of non wealthy people. Their life is hard enough already without being reminded of what they don’t have but would love to possess. Most people (wealthy or not) would never dream of hurting you or robbing you even if they are jealous. But don’t tempt fate. Jails are full for a reason. Some people are desperate enough to steal with or without violence. I do recommend you take self defence classes, they keep you fit, help your self confidence and could save your life. If you do find yourself in the position however where someone sticks a gun or knife in your face and demands your watch, give it to them, it should be insured anyway. Don’t be a hero, graveyards are full of heroes.

To secure your car, get an alarm and never leave it unattended when it is unlocked. Keep it fully insured and park wherever possible in a well lit parking structure which has video surveillance and a boom gate that needs to be raised using a ticket or manually by some person in a booth when you want to leave.

To secure your home you need to take a good hard look at the estates weaknesses. Start at the perimeter. Fences are designed to keep the faint hearted out, delay intruders, warn the resident of intruders, if alarmed, and it fitted with cameras identify the intruders. The best fences are masonary walls at least 2.5m high with barbed wire or broken glass fastened to the top. Don’t have more gates than necessary and keep them locked. For convenience have automatic gates with a card or pin number access. Remote controlled gates can be hacked too easily. The gate should be made of similar strength material as the wall.

Normally when people steal from you they do it in a way so they are not seen or they use a ruse (like pretending to be a removalist and clear out your house openly in front of the neighbours). If you take the right precautions you can be very well protected. You don’t need to turn your house into Fort Knox. Nobody with half a brain is going to ram through your front gate and storm your house armed with machine guns if you have a decent police force in your country. Too high a profile, limited chance of success.

Keep your yard clean and free from hiding places. Clear shrubs away from windows. Use cameras, have some clearly visible as a deterrent and some hidden so they can’t be found and neutralised (not a likely event). Flower beds around the house are a good idea as they offer no where to hide and are very good at collecting footprints. Thorny plants around fences and around downpipes are a good idea. Cactuses are good for this, so are roses, bouganvilleas, holly and barberry. Guard dogs are excellent if they have been trained not to take food from outside their bowl and they have been trained not to eat your kids. Put up ‘Beware of the Dog’ signs to prevent lawsuits. Small yappy dogs make good alarm systems but they are also annoying as they often yap at anything. You need one that knows the difference between an intruder and a moth.

Lighting is important. Gates and entrance points should be constantly lighted as a deterrence. Motion sensitive lighting should be considered for the rest of your compound.

Gravel driveways and paths are difficult for people to walk on quietly. You might want to consider this.

Doors should be solid, not hollow. Use security screen doors locked at all times. Remember also, a door is only as strong as the frame it is in. Glass in the door if used at all, should be kept away from the locking mechanism. Use deadlocks (so you need a key both sides) and good quality hinges. Garage doors are a weak point in most homes. The door leading from your garage into your home should be treated as an external door and secured as such. Use peep holes and intercoms to screen people before opening the door to them.

Windows are a problem. Using pins are a good idea to lock sliding windows (and doors for that matter). They can also be easily removed in an emergency. If possible windows on the ground floor should have bullet proof glass so they can’t be smashed. Make sure skylights are reinforced and that vents that lead to the roof or walls are all too small for human access.

Invest in a quality alarm system. A monitored alarm system is best. If it goes off a security company comes to see what the problem is. Have signs clearly visible as a deterrant. If you can afford it , pay to have security patrols come by your house at irregular intervals or even have them permanently on site.

Don’t tell people your plans when going on holidays. By this I mean, keep it as quiet as possible. Have your mail and newspapers collected. Put some of your interior lights on timers so it looks like you’re home.

Also secure your home from fire. Protect sleeping areas by installing smoke detectors between sleeping areas and other parts of the house. Check the batteries regularly. Have fire extinguishers in the kitchen, sheds and garages. Kitchen extinguishers must be rated for fat fires. Also have a fire blanket fitted in the kitchen. Learn how to use them. Have monitored fire alarm systems fitted with your monitored burglar alarm system. Also have a fire escape plan and make sure everyone knows it.

You can also have a medical emergency panic button installed that is also monitored in some cases.

At the end of the day, don’t panic or live in fear, just take sensible precautions. You have worked too hard to attain your lifestyle, to just give it away to someone looking for a short cut.


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