Thursday, January 13, 2011

8th Most Dangerous Country!

According to some statics I live in one of the top 10 most dangerous countries in the world. Specifically, South Africa is the 8th most dangerous country to live in with Iraq topping the list at number 1. So it should not come as any surprise that this week hubby and I had our home security upgraded from basic to ultra annoyingly sophisticated. While our new private security company was busy updating and replacing our old security systems with new improved security measures, I couldn’t help but wonder – have we become so overly obsessed with our own personal security that we are voluntarily turning our houses into fortresses and in so doing effectively turning our homes into prisons?
We live in a day and age where going to bed without looking your doors or leaving your keys in your car is long forgotten much like VHS and Cassette Tapes. The world have become a more dangerous place, and especially in South Africa, people are more prone to be vigilant and security conscious. So when we bought our house, a year ago, security was on the top of our priority list when doing our renovations, and this was somewhat of an adjustment. You see, we moved from an apartment without an alarm system and where 3 keys would get you into the apartment, now we live in a house where I have a set of 11 keys, an alarm system that’s complicated and moody and NOT pussy friendly!

You see, we have had too many rude awakenings at four o’clock in the morning due to one of our cats tripping one of the motion sensors while going for an early morning pee. So when this happened one too many times this past December and fearing falling victim to the “cry wolf” complacent syndrome, hubby and I decided to upgrade our alarm system:. One motion sensing beam was modified, one added and one moved; two additional motion sensors were fitted; a lock box mounted; the 8 zone control panel replaced with a 16 zone panel; two remote control panic buttons with arming and disarming functionality was provided and a pinhole camera installed. On completion of this 8 hour upgrade it was promptly followed by an hour long training session on how to operate everything accompanied by an 80 page manual. Now, if for any reason the alarm is triggered and we forget or fail to provide the right password to the control room, armed men with bullet proof vest will come bursting through our doors and blow shit up!
With all the security upgrades my one and only request was that it were to be done discreetly. I didn’t want our house to look like we were hiding Osama Bin Laden, were members of a Mafia family or were owners of a vast collection of expensive art. I didn’t want people driving past our 10 foot front wall wondering what the hell is so damn important behind it that requires 10 cameras and an armed response, as that would also attract the wrong kind of attention! Luckily, for me, they complied with my request but only within reason. Now, I know you may ask yourself is all of this security really necessary?

The simple answer is yes! The crime rate in our neighborhood is relatively low; there have been a few housebreaking's, car thefts, car hijackings but violent home invasions are rare but they do happen. Inevitably if they break into your house and you are unfortunate enough to be home you will be hurt or killed. So I’d rather be safe than sorry, and I appear not to be alone.

More and more people are raising their walls, putting up electric fences and enhancing their security systems. Homes are slowly being transformed from serene picket fences to full fetched fortresses where you can only see your neighbors by appointment. Going to bed at night have also become a complicated affair with the locking of doors, the switching on of outdoor lights and the arming of secure zones for your own protection. Unannounced visitors now have to wait up to 10 minutes before you can let them in, or else they would face the wrath of your security company and their men with guns. Jehovah Witness now have to try and pitch their religion to you through and intercom system and the paperboy needs a security clearance to deliver your news paper. And all of this because we want to feel safe!
I live in the 8th most dangerous country in the world and there still is no place like home! Yes we have motion sensors mounted at our property’s perimeters, yes we have motion sensors in every room and in the roof, yes we have armed men in bullet proof vest the press of a button away and yes we have security doors and burglar bars, but my home is still serene. It is serene because I have peace of mind. Peace of mind with the knowledge that if anything bad should ever happen that we will be OK. Peace of mind because I know if anyone who should not be here get within one feet inside our property all hell will break loose with bells, whistles, sirens, guns, bullet casings and two very annoyed Queens.  Our house may be a fortress or even a prison that keeps unwanted people out, but at least it is a pretty and discreet one!

Till next time.

Straight Gay Guy - Comedy Time


Janene Murphy said...

So THAT'S where Obama's been hiding! Seriously, all of your precautions do sound extreme, but all it will take is one break-in attempt to prove them necessary.

Stay safe!

Pierre said...

@Janene Murphy, LOL! Let's hope that break-in attempt never happens!

Darren Ingram said...

Wow that security souns extreme - security busineses must make a fortune over there. I have a lock on the front door and that's about it and I live in London, which many people think is crime ridden itself - I count myself lucky!

Nice blog by the way

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