Are you living in your own compound or you want to build on your plot but are too afraid to build because of security concerns? Here are some basic steps that you can implement to get some peace of mind but before we get there, you need to have a thick skin and clear determination to handle the challenges that come.
These ideas are not arranged in any particular order so read to the end..
- Traffic control. Monitor who gets in and out of your estate. Ensure the guards at the gate take the details of the visitors. Seal off unmanned gates. Install an electric fence or razor wire if possible.
- Install a “Mulika mwizi ” and solar lighting .. timed lights.. motion sensor etc. This is unlikely to cost more than Ksh 50,000 for 4 flood lights. You can fix them on electric power posts to reduce the cost of infrastructure.
- Clear bushes and tall crops like maize, sugarcane etc. This will also sort out the snakes if any.
- Rapid response. Pay a security company to offer rapid response services when your alarm goes off.
- Car stickers. The car sticker for your estate shouldn’t read the exact name of the estate. Use a symbol or an acronym. You don’t want to be followed home.
- Get a trained intelligent guard dog. A dog will alert you and even in extreme cases take a bullet for you. A trained mature pure breed dog will range from Ksh 50,000 to Ksh 100,000 depending on its size, level of training and breed. Have the dog “poison proofed ” and let it be trained in basic obedience and bite work. Did you know that a dog needs to be trained how to bite … it’s not as natural as we think. Also, the location of the kennel is important. Don’t hide your dog at the back with the pit latrine. Build the kennel at the front of the house so that the dog can know the normal people coming into the compound and recognize a stranger when it sees one. Treat your dog well… feed it well… never beat your dog…then it will want to please its master… to your advantage. A trained intelligent dog will only bark when there is a threat. Ever wondered why almost every homestead in Karen has a dog? They aren’t called man’s best friend for nothing. A dog will never collude with a thief to steal from you.
- If you can, install 24 hr CCTV surveillance. Also know the patterns in your estate. Who gets in when, what they do… try to curb idlers and busybodies.
- Counter surveillance. Be unpredictable. Don’t always leave the house or get back at a specific time. Surprise yourself and those in your surroundings. Change your means of transport… from time to time… so they won’t say…the guy who drives a pajero hasn’t arrived… or Mr. so and so arrives after 9pm and on weekends he gets home at 3am. Get late sometime to go to work or work late… observe what happens outside your normal routine. Stay up late at night sometime or wake up at 3am and look though the windows… switch on some lights and then switch them off. Let that security guard who has been spying on you know that you are unpredictable.
- Talk to people… “Nyumba 10 initiative”. Join hands with your neighbors to secure your estate. Buy some stuff from the local shop… know the shop keepers name and support his or her business. In case you are being targeted by evil doers, they will most probably enquire about you from the local shop… and if you are a customer in that shop, the shop keeper will alert you that there are people who are enquiring about you and you will be forewarned of an impending attack. This is known as “counter intelligence”.
- Be kind to the watchman…give him used clothes… buy his chicken or eggs or goat or if they have small kids you can share your kids excess clothes or toys etc. They are your first line of defense…make sure they are loyal to you. Or simply put, buy their loyalty.
- Safe room. Have a safe room… a place where incase the thief enters into your house, you can retreat to. A room that has a “fire escape”. A room that when locked, you will buy yourself some time as you wait for help to come. A room with reinforced doors and grills. If possible, you can make the room bullet proof. However, if the thieves manage to get into your safe room, then co-operate with them.
- Grills and steel doors. These will make it harder for an intruder to come in or slow down the one who is determined to come in.
- Have a security protocol.
- What time does the watchman come in?
- What time do you open the kennel for the dog to start its patrol?
- What time do you lock the windows and doors?
- How often do you change the door alarm code?
- Ideally, the gate and the main door should not both be open at any one time.
- What time do you switch on the security light?
- Get rid of ladders and conceal water pumps, gas cylinders and anything else that might attract thieves.
- Guns ..check out Firearms Act Cap 114 of the Laws of Kenya.
- Insure your property against fire and your household goods against fire and theft. The premiums are normally very low. You can also take an insurance cover for the dog against death and sickness and a workman benefits cover for your house help, watchman and any other workers who come to your house.
- Finally, pray because unless the Lord watches over the city… the watchman keeps awake in vain. Psalm 127:1
The easiest way to lose a battle is to be oblivious of it. Author unknown
PS. Useful contacts:
- Genuine solar water heating and lighting with long warranties call +254 723 477 035.
- Interior designer Ms. Wamuyu https://www.wamuyutira.com/ call +254 738 147 314 based in Westlands .
- Architect and project management. Arch Ernest based in Loresho http://www.decalogue.co.ke/
- Quantity Surveyor Qs Godfrey of Capital Quantity Surveyors Ltd based in Westlands call +254 725 396 773
- Landscape designer Patrick of Green scope landscapes based at Ridgeways call +254 724 763 236
- Electrical Engineer Douglas based at Industrial area. Call +254 720 688 980
Kariùki Wawerù is the author of Kenya’s ONLY real estate book called “The ABC of Real Estate Investment in Kenya”. To have the book delivered to your door step kindly email email@example.com