Housebreakings are common in South Africa. Therefore, it’s important to have a crisis management plan and basic guidelines in place to ensure that everyone in the house, including your domestic worker, knows what security measures to apply to keep safe.

Share the tips below with your domestic worker, and any other employee you have working at the home:


  • Do not allow anyone access to the property unless you have been instructed to do so by your employer. This includes service providers such as electricians, Telkom etc.

Phone Calls From Strangers

  • Instead of giving away that you’re home alone, when someone calls to speak to your employer, let them know that your employer is currently busy and you will take a message to inform them to return the call.
  • Do not give away any information regarding the security of the home
  • Ensure that your doors and windows are locked at all times when you are away from home
  • When you are doing work in the garden or outside of the home, ensure that you keep your phone and panic button (should you have one of these) on you at all times. Intruders may take this opportunity to strike while you are not expecting it
  • Always be vigilant when you are doing work outside of the home, like taking out the rubbish. Keep an eye out for suspicious activity or unfamiliar people wondering around. Remember to keep the gate closed at all times.
  • Garages and rooms detached from the home should always be locked

What To Do When You’re Home Alone

If an intruder gains access to the home

  • It’s critical to know who you need to contact in the event that there is an intruder in the property. Knowing how to report a break-in and what details need to be provided are vital in this instance
  • Ensure that you have all the necessary emergency contact details readily available at all times

Never approach the gate

  • If there is someone at your gate, do not go out to the gate if you don’t have to. If there is an intercom, speak to the person over the intercom instead and establish what it is they are requesting from you, first
  • When leaving the house, make sure that you have all the main keys to the home with you, as well as the gate key
  • Should any keys or remote go missing, inform your employer immediately so that they can be replaced as soon as possible
  • Avoid leaving keys in doors as they can easily go missing or get stolen
  • Keep a panic button on you at all times and test it to make sure that it works from outside the home when you are performing duties in the garden area
  • Ask your employer about how the panic button works. Does it set off the alarm, or is it a silent alarm? Also, is it linked to a security company

Panic Buttons and House Keys

ICE: In case of an emergency

  • Ask your employer to draw up a list of all the necessary contact numbers you will need in the event of an emergency. This includes service providers like the security company and your employer contact details, alternative numbers
  • ICE: Add important contact number to your phone so that you can quickly make a call in case of an emergency

Protect your pay

  • Ask your employer to transfer your salary into a bank account where you know your money will be safe, rather than carrying cash on you and making yourself vulnerable to potential robbers
  • Keep only the cash you need on you, for taxi fare etc.

Going to and from work

  • Try to walk in a group to your place of employment. Do not walk alone
  • Do not share private information about your employer with other domestic workers. Often times, a small fee is welcome for information that will assist criminals in gaining access to your employer’s property

It’s important for you to note and share this information with your domestic staff at your home. Ensure that they are aware and security conscious in order to maintain the safety and wellbeing of you and your family.

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