Household Security Rules
In any large city there will always be criminals and thieves. Jakarta is no different and it is important to always be aware of your surroundings to avoid falling victim to scam artists that victimize foreigners and Indonesians alike. Sometimes these scam artists pretend to be friends, couriers, investigators, salesmen, police officials and/or other government officials. Whatever their reason, nationality or scam, if you are aware of the possibilities and make your staff knowledgeable about your family's security rules, hopefully your stay in Jakarta will be a safe experience.
In many instances, these thefts and other crimes have occurred partly as a result of domestic staff who, in an effort to be polite and helpful, have provided important information regarding occupants of the home and/or access to the premises. The only fault of the domestic staff in such cases is that they have been too trusting.
Especially when the family is away from home, the domestic staff are the first line of defense against intruders entering the home.
Such intruders are a threat to the personal safety of every member of the household, including all of the family members and domestic staff. Usually, such intrusions can be prevented by being alert to the situation and following basic principles and procedures designed to safeguard the persons and the property of the household.
The basic rule, of course, is to be wary of strangers and to exercise caution and common sense in all situations. To make this general principle more meaningful, set out below are a number of basic rules and procedures to share with your staff that should be followed at all times.
General Security Measures
- Keep the outer gate locked at all times.
- Keep all doors and windows of the house locked at all times, unless a household member is in the adjacent outside area.
- Never leave the premises unoccupied. Someone, either a member of the family or the domestic staff must always remain on the premises. If possible, a male member of the household should always be present.
- At dusk (approximately 6:00 p.m.) turn on the appropriate outside lights around the home and in the garden.
- If no family member is at home, in the evening turn on one or two lights to suggest that someone is inside.
- Do not open the gate for unauthorized persons under any circumstances. This includes individuals claiming to be friends, or relatives of the family. Even if they have visited us before, they may not enter the premises if we are not home.
- This also includes people claiming to be government or police officials of any types, even if they provide identification. In almost all cases, police or government officials are required to make an appointment in advance before entering the premises.
- Never allow any person, whether known or unknown to you, to enter the home in the family's absence, unless we have previously notified you that that person will be visiting that day. If you are not sure, telephone one of the family members.
- Never provide any personal information about yourself or the family
members to any visitor, whether known or unknown. For example, never tell anyone:
- The family members' names or the household staff members names
- How many people live in the home
- Where the family members have gone (if not at home)
- When the family members will return
- The nationality of the family
- How many children the family has
- Where the working spouse is employed
- The family's telephone number
- Or any other personal information
- Should any suspicious visitors come to the gate, especially those asking personal questions, you should report the details of the incident to the employers as soon as possible.
- If someone calls and the family is not at home, write a message on the form provided, including the date and time of call, name of caller, phone number and any message.
- Never provide any personal information regarding yourself or the family to the caller (except immediate family members that you know). If an unknown caller asks “siapa ini” do not answer. Ask the person they are trying to reach and/or the number they are calling, but do not tell them your name, the family's name or any phone numbers.
- The details of all calls should be written down, even if there is “no message”.
- Do not tell the caller (unless it's a family member):
- Whether the family is at home
- The address of the house
- The phone number they have just called
- The family members' handphone or office telephone numbers
- Any of the other personal details mentioned in Section 2(d) above
- In case of fire, notify us immediately of location of the fire - regardless of the time of day or wherever we are.
- If the fire appears to be electrical, do not try to extinguish it with water. Use the fire extinguisher, dirt or other non-flammable materials to cut off the oxygen supply.
- If the fire seems to be uncontrollable, immediately call the fire department.
- In case of all other emergencies, such as floods, electrical blackouts, plumbing problems, or roof leaks notify us immediately. If we are not home, call us either at the office or by handphone.
Other Rules and Regulations
- We do not mind if your immediate relatives (parents, brothers and sisters) visit you occasionally. Friends and more distant relatives, however, are not permitted to visit without your employer's prior express permission. Under no circumstances may any guest of yours enter the house (including the kitchen) for any reason.
- Next to the telephone in the kitchen are important contact numbers for the family as well as the fire department, the police department and others. If you have any uncertainty regarding any incident, especially visitors attempting to gain access, you must call one of the family members before permitting the person through the gate.
- When one of the family members arrives home, whether by car or on foot, immediately come to open the gate.
- In general, do not provide information to anyone, whether in the marketplace, on the street or elsewhere, regarding where you live, your phone number or any details regarding the family you work for.
Our thanks to Eugene Flynn of Lexindo Consulting for sharing these rules with us!
Other Articles Related to Safety Concerns
- Security at home and around town
- Emergency Preparedness
- Residential Security Basics
- Household Security Rules
- Residential Guards, Security Officers and Watchmen
- Home Security During Vacations and Home Leave
- Emergency Phone Numbers for Jakarta and Tangerang
- Crime Statistics and Safety for Foreigners in Indonesia
- Some thoughts from a recent Expat Forum thread on “How safe is it in Indonesia for foreigners?”
Last updated April 19, 2014