All across South Africa, people invest a lot of time, money and effort to keep themselves and their families safe in their own homes.
Walls, burglar bars, dogs, alarms, private security companies, and even camera’s and ingenious hi-tech security systems are abundant. However, when something happens in our streets or when we are out and about, who can we rely on? Governmental emergency response organisations are often unreliable, inefficient or even completely unavailable in some areas. Many neighbourhoods turn to safety whatsapp groups which have their own challenges, including the irritations of trivial chitchat and the risks of spreading hatred and division.
A team of pro-active Hout Bay residents have come up with their own innovative solution: The Buzzer Community App which has since taken Cape Town by stormforce and has thousands of active users from all parts of town: from the lush valley areas & CBD’s, to the Cape Town townships.
Keri Cross, director and founder of the Buzzer app explains “We needed a solution that could efficiently connect neighbours to neighbours AND to the local security service providers. Given the size of the security market in our country, we expected that an off-the shelfl solution would be somewhere out there.. but to our surprise there was nothing that suited our needs!”.
Keri, mother of two young girls, and her business partner Jessica Boonstra decided to organise a workshop with representatives from all different local communities. Together with local emergency responders and the residents, they co-designed their ideal process’ in case of an incident and this became the blueprint for the Buzzer app.
“We wanted to build a solution that is freely accessible for everyone”, Boonstra says, “Not just for the happy few who can afford a private security company or an expensive app subscription”.
Buzzer has teamed up with Plett Security to bring us this community safety app that has been used with fantastic success in and around Cape Town over the last 2 years.
Buzzer is a FREE community safety tool, built specifically for both community and private response.
Buzzer gives users a personal SOS button and also has a Report function for crimes, fires, suspicious activity – the list goes on! All alerts made through the app go directly to Plett Security AND your neighbours.
The SOS and Report features work in green belts, parks and most nearby mountain areas that have cell phone signals, making the app great for hikers, walkers and riders too.
Buzzer puts all emergency services into one place and eliminates not knowing who to turn to for help.
Camille Paterson, Hout Bay resident, says: “Buzzer is an incredible app that connects us all and helps us feel safe and aware, where we can also help or be helped”. Ingrid Smith, who used Buzzer to call for help during a break-in: ”We had the unfortunate need to use it last night and the response and support was incredible. Feel much safer having this on hand”.
The app is available for free, for all iOS and Android users.
Private and volunteer response organisations can contact firstname.lastname@example.org if they would like to join the Buzzer network.
Stronger and safer together!