File picture: Paballo Thekiso/Independent Media
File picture: Paballo Thekiso/Independent Media

KZN homeowners advised to have 'safe rooms' after woman's brutal panga attack

By Anelisa Kubheka Time of article published Feb 12, 2019

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Durban - Homeowners have been advised to ensure they have “safe rooms” in their homes, should an intruder manage to work through the various home security layers.

This comes after a Pinetown woman was brutally attacked with a panga when she confronted an intruder trying to steal her television.

According to Elio Zannoni, managing director at Strategic Threat Analysis, homeowners and their families need to have an agreed-upon room to lock themselves in.

The company focuses on the identification, analysis and reduction of vulnerabilities and risks.

Zannoni said the room could be anything from a bathroom to a storage space.

“If you make use of security services, it’s a good idea to keep an extra panic button in this safe room. A spare cellphone that’s fully charged and has airtime is also good to keep in this room,” he said.

Zannoni said dogs could be a deterrent provided they were adequately trained to raise the alarm.

He added that small dogs kept indoors, especially at night, could act as an early warning system against potential intruders.

“Have a ‘beware of the dog’ sign at strategic places.

“Intruder detection and panic systems may not in themselves prevent a criminal attack against a household, but may be of value in detecting a crime in progress and activating an emergency reaction system,” he said.

Zannoni added that outdoor infra-red beams or passive infra-red detectors offered the advantage that homeowners would be alerted of an attempted housebreaking at an early stage, providing them with time to react to an emergency situation.

“Furthermore, remote portable panic transmitters should be carried at all times in order to be able to summon the contracted security company at the first sign of potential trouble.

“A panic transmitter should be kept in the car,” he said.

Commenting on the Pinetown attack, Blue Security’s media liaison officer Andreas Mathios said the 51-year-old woman was awoken by a noise in her home at about 3am and got up to investigate.

“The woman found the suspect in her lounge, where he was attempting to steal the television. She confronted him and he pulled out a panga and started hacking at her with it before fleeing the scene without the television, running into the nearby bushes,” Mathios said.

He said she sustained serious injuries to her right arm and the fingers of her left hand.

Mathios said the suspect had approached the property from the nearby bushes and had forced his way into the house through the front door.

“Unfortunately, there are far too many cases where residents who have confronted intruders have been seriously injured, or worse, during an attack on their properties. If you suspect that there may be an intruder on your property, rather press your panic button and let your security company respond to the scene to investigate.”

Daily News

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