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Since the dreaded COVID pandemic struck, we have been alerted to stay home and stay safe, which certainly makes sense. Indeed, we are safest at home. Safe from COVID, with less exposure to others, but also the lack of commuting to work and back also reduces the risk of other dangers like hijacking, smash and grabs, and accidents.

But while we are safely hibernating at home, what kind of risks do we face with vacant office buildings, factories, and warehouses. For many companies, the ease of lockdown restrictions means that buildings may not be entirely empty, but at the very least fewer staff members are occupying the space.

In SAPOA’s latest vacancy report, they stated, “At Q4 2020, the overall office vacancy rate of 13.3% was the highest since 2004 as the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic continues to filter through the real economy. The curve has steepened dramatically since March as tenants’ financial position has come under pressure, forcing occupiers of all to reconsider the extent to their physical office presence.

With more than 350 000sqm of space already becoming vacant since March, there is much uncertainty about where the cycle might top out and what shape the recovery might take. The weak economic environment and improved technology may be a catalyst for more companies to cut overheads through higher Work from Home adoption.”


how to monitor threats to my business

Blind spots and vulnerability

In these situations, activity levels around the premises would be low and fewer people would be positioned at windows and entrances where entry could be monitored. The blind spots that become inevitable leave the door wide open for easy break-ins and armed attacks. The staff members who choose or are required to work from the office are left vulnerable and at risk.

Criminal activity around the workplace might also not be as straightforward as an unsuspected entry through a door or window when no one is watching. Our beloved load shedding regime adds to the vulnerability. “We have had reports of criminals tripping the electrics before a scheduled outage, so they can cut an electric fence and gain access like that. That is one thing that people must be very aware of, don’t just assume it is load shedding; it could be a criminal activity.” Martin Kriel from ADT Security.

Another area that leaves many organisations at risk is outdoor yards where bulk stock is stored. Fence hopping is a prevalent offence in these types of facilities.

How do I monitor threats to my business while working from home?

The knee-jerk reaction of most companies is to get team members back into the office as quickly as possible. There is a far simpler way to keep an eye on your team and premises.

Off-site CCTV monitoring provides 24/7 coverage 365 days a year. Our control room operators keep a close eye on your most vulnerable spots, and our advanced security technology alerts them of any suspicious activity on any cameras that may not be actively monitored.

At the first sign of suspicious activity, our team immediately alert emergency response units, as well as you and your team, to ensure that reaction is swift and threats are instantly diffused. We make sure that a security team is despatched so that there is no delay in response.

“Including off-site monitoring as part of your security strategy is hugely beneficial in reducing risk. We are able to monitor perimeter walls, entry points, and your most vulnerable blind spots. The great benefit is that you only pay for the cameras you choose for us to monitor. It doesn’t make sense paying us to keep an eye on your sales office in the middle of the night, for example.” Mandi Mosterd, General Manager TTK Solutions.

Addressing load shedding

To Martin Kriel from ADT Security’s point, load shedding does have a hefty impact on security. Our systems are set up to alert you of any power outages, and security patrols are immediately despatched to secure the area and monitor activity.

Accuracy of information

Employing off-site monitoring means that you are able to investigate accurate information and evidence in understanding where the threat came from, what tactics were used to force entry and where your potential blind spots or security weaknesses lie. Our control room operators compile incident timeline reports that are accurate to the minute and explain every step from the first suspicion of activity right up until the suspects are arrested, or the event is over.

The insights you obtain give you the power to prevent future incidents and seek justice against the offenders.

Taking matters into your own hands

There is nothing more intimidating than being alerted to concerns and not having immediate access and insight on events. Whether you’re working from home or travelling, you will be able to access camera footage from your smart device with access to a live feed.

For more information on TTK’s off-site monitoring solutions or to receive personal advice on your security infrastructure, please contact us at

The importance of seeking expert assistance to protect your property, stock and staff has even been condoned and advised by the South African Police Services.

Police spokesperson Athlenda Mathe said in an interview with SABC news last year, “I must say private security companies are key to us as an organisation, as the South African Police Service in squeezing crime to zero in South Africa,”.