Definition of domestic violence as stipulated in the Combating of Domestic Violence Act, 2003 means enganging in any of the following acts or courses of conduct -
a) physical abuse, which includes -
i) physical assault or any use of physical force against the complainant;
- Most burglaries are committed by opportunist thieves. Studies conducted on burglaries found that, 2 out of 10 burglaries no force is used, they simply enter through an open door or window. It is very difficult to make your house totally burglar proof, but you can defeat most burglars. Try looking at your home through a burglar's eyes, look for places they could break in unseen. How strong are your locks on both the windows and doors; are there high hedges, trees or fences for the opportunistic thief to hide behind? The enemies of the burglar are noise and time. If your security measures mean that the burglar has to take a lot of time or make a lot of noise they can be put off. Great tips include planting plants with sharp spikes on in front of windows and down-pipes, laying pea-shingle on flowerbeds, gravelling paths and fitting alarm system if you can afford one. Leave a light on in the evening when you go out; be selective as if you really were in the house. Ask yourself what lights would be on.
- Do not leave a spare key hanging inside or under plant pots or doormats or anywhere else around your home. Thieves know all the hiding places and you will just make their job easier. Many doors offer little protection from a determined criminal, so you could be at risk despite any other security measures you might employ. This is particularly true of outside doors that include any glass, which can easily be smashed to aid a thief's entry. Outside doors are safest when fitted with what is called a "five-lever mortice deadlock". You can buy these in most shops, In some cases, your external door may not be thick enough for a five-lever mortice lock, if it isn't, you should look for a "high security rim deadlock" or any other deadlock type locks. Door hinges also need to be sturdy as thieves can easily remove them. Make sure they are secured with good long screws, and for extra security fit hinge bolts to reinforce the hinge side of the door against attack. Glass in doors can be prone to attack but you can minimize the risk by fitting toughened laminated glass (two sheets of glass with a plastic sheet between them) or burglar bars. Security on integral doors is equally as important as on external ones. Doors leading from the inside of the garage to your home for example should also be fitted with 5 lever mortice locks and hinge bolts as these offer maximum protection.
- Patio doors are especially vulnerable to break-ins, so additional security locks should be fitted at the top and bottom to stop the frame being lifted off the tracks, and ensure that the sliding section is always on the inside. A multi-lock system can help with mortice security bolts with removable keys at the top and bottom of both doors, and locks that prevent the doors from being lifted out of their runners. In addition to a multi-lock you should consider installing further security devices such as a burglar alarm system or security lighting for overall protection. Remember, quality locks and bolts are only as strong as the door and the frame to which they are fitted. Check that the frame is well fixed, and if the woodwork is weak or rotten make sure you replace it. The main aim is to have maximum protection for yourself and household.
- These will come on as darkness falls. They are controlled by a switch in your home. They are normally low power consuming device. Security lights can be easily tampered with from ground level. Position them high enough so they cannot be reached. Ensure you have one placed near your front door that will not only provide you with enough light to find your door keys, but will allow you to identify anyone who may come to your door without casting a shadow. Often, security lights are fitted with motion detectors that activate the light when anyone enters the space around your home. Always follow the instructions for fitting these lamps or employ the service of a qualified technician so that small animals or birds don't accidentally set them off repeatedly during the night, causing false alarm and anger your neighbours. If a motion detector is fitted you should be able to aim this without moving the light to ensure that only people on your own yard/property set it off. Lights should be pointed down so that they only shine on your property. If they shine on other houses or through neighbours' windows it is considered a form of disturbance. Take notice and be understanding of any complaints, otherwise your neighbours may rightfully inform the municipality and/or local authorities.