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Must-Know Tips for Layered Security

You may be asking yourself, "what is layered security and why do I need to know about?". Well, first thing is first, why is any form of security an important topic to discuss? Sadly, the world we live in today, especially with the financial implications of COVID, is one that has many people unemployed, desperate for money or simply looking for an easy money-making target. This is where home security is vital in keeping your home and family protected as these desperate people could make a home robbery into something much worse. This is where layered security steps in and creates a home defense system that helps to avoid your worst nightmare. Read on to see exactly what a layered home security system is and the 'Must-Know' tips to help you create yours.

What is Layered Security?

Layered Security involves having multiple security solutions that compliment each other with the aim of fully protecting your home. From the perimeter of your property to the bed you sleep in at night, there are various ‘layers of protection’ that you can implement to achieve a layered security system.

Like an onion, there are multiple layers surrounding the central bulb and one has to peel away each layer before getting to the center. This idea in security means that an intruder has to get past numerous security measures before getting to you which makes achieving this without detection very difficult. A single form of security is much easier to avoid thus making you an easy target.

But how can I achieve this?

Let’s look at a standard home/property like a 3-layered battlefield (a battle we aim to win):

Layer 1 - The Perimeter

The perimeter of your home is generally the boundary or border of your property which could be a fence line or wall surrounding your garden. This is your first line of defense and there are multiple ways to improve this layer.

  • Lighting

  • Electric fencing

  • Automated gates

  • CCTV

  • Natural barriers

Read our blog on the 7 best ways to best secure your home perimeter for my detailed help.

Layer 2 - ‘No-man’s land’

This is the area between the perimeter and one’s home, so this could include a small or large garden, driveway, patio, pool, etc. ‘No-man’s land’ in a battle is an unoccupied area because of fear of uncertainty, thus this is where you can take advantage of the uncertainty of the intruders and catch them before they reach your home. How can this be done?

  • Lighting

  • Outdoor beams

  • CCTV

  • Pets/Dogs

Layer 3 - ‘Home Base’

Your home, your safe place, the area you definitely do not want intruders getting into. There are various various to protect this layer such as:

  • Lighting

  • Outdoor beams

  • CCTV

  • Alarm system

  • Indoor passives

  • Panic buttons

  • Pets/Dogs

As you can see from the lists above, the security measures suggested all overlap and compliment each to achieve the goal of layered home security. These measures are fantastic but they need to be installed properly, checked frequently and positioned correctly to actually fulfil their purposes.

Here are some Must-Know tips to ensure that your layers are functioning optimally:

1. Lighting

As you can see lighting is one of the best deterrents for intruders if positioned correctly. Remember:

  • Shadows - Note obstructions like trees, roof eaves and walls when positioning your lighting as these obstructions will throw shadows and reduce the light’s reach.

  • IP rating - This is the weatherproof level of the light fitting. Ensure the light fitting is the correct IP rating for the area you wish to place it. Note that if it is fully exposed to the elements it should be IP65 or above.


This has become one of the most effective forms of security if installed and placed properly. Remember:

  • Use a certified installer to ensure this installation is done correctly.

  • Use the correct camera for the necessary placement and weather exposure. Dome cameras are better suited for indoor or covered areas whereas bullet cameras generally have better weatherproofing so suited for indoor and outdoor areas.

  • Cameras need adequate lighting for the infra-red to kick in and for a clear view at night

  • Ensure lights are not directed at the cameras as it will ‘blind’ the cameras and make them pointless at night.

  • Placed cameras so that there is an overlap to avoid blind spots.

3. Outdoor beams

Outdoor beams are a great way to detect and alert you of intruders in ‘No-man’s Land’ and around your house or office. Remember:

  • Start by using a good quality brand (such as Paradox or Optex).

  • Mount the beams at the correct height for the correct application

  • If you have pets, ensure you get pet-friendly beams.

4. Alarm system

One of the most popular security solutions in SA and for good reason. Remember:

  • Always use installers that are registered with the main alarm manufacturers.

  • Secure your windows using magnetic hard wired switches or, if you do not like cables being visible, you can opt for the wireless options.

  • Install indoor passives with anti-masking or microwave detection.

  • If you have pets, ensure you install pet-friendly indoor passives

  • Test all your panic buttons frequently to ensure the alarm is in perfect working order.

5. General

  • Ensure your battery back-ups for your alarm, garage, gate, etc are all in working order to ensure you have a functioning system when loadshedding occurs.

  • Do regular checks on all your security solutions to ensure they are operating optimally and correctly.

  • Do a ‘test-run’ through your 3-layered battlefield. If you were an intruder, how could you break into your property? Look for weak spots and systems that are not working properly so you know where you can improve.

These layered security solutions work best hand in hand with each other but pricing may limit you with what you can do and implement. Start off with lighting as this an inexpensive, multifunctional solution that is required for most of the other systems to work effectively too. Then build on as you can because the reality is that we live in a time where burglars and alarmed robberies are a frequent occurrence and we should do utmost to protect our offices, homes and loved ones where we can.

Remember, if you require any of these above products or advice visit one of Northside Electrical’s branches or call and chat to a security sales consultant to personally assist you with your specific security needs. Northside provides the KZN region with superior quality electrical, lighting and security products with remarkable service.

Red Hill - 031 569 1005

Ballito - 032 946 0977

Durban North – 031 564 5692

Hillcrest – 031 765 4140

Umbilo – 031 942 7755

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