5 Tips For A Safer Festive Season
- Security News South Africa
- 03 Sep, 2020
The festive season is almost upon us and the excitement of going away on holiday is slowly building up. We could all do with a relaxing break especially now that we’re all having to deal with the stress of Covid-19 and its effects on our lifestyle. Although the Christmas season is a cheerful time, it can also be a nerve-racking one.
As we are all aware, the crime stats in South Africa escalate over the festive season. Burglaries, home invasions and fraud increase drastically. Remembering a few basic safety tips can help you enjoy your well-deserved break and give you peace-of-mind. This season, avoid falling victim to opportunist criminals with these 5 tips for a safer and more merry December break.
Always Be Alert
Being aware of your surroundings is a sure-fire way to reduce the chances of falling victim to a criminal act. Before pulling out of your driveway, look around for any suspicious characters or activity. Criminals tend to take advantage of oblivious individuals. Remember to stay alert, not anxious.
When stopping at a traffic light, be aware of who is standing around, or approaching your vehicle. While driving, avoid distractions at all costs. Remember not to leave mobile phones, wallets or anything valuable in plain sight.
Always pay extra attention to what is happening around you, whether you’re relaxing on a beach or sipping cocktails on a holiday home deck. Being aware of your environment is an integral part of preventing crime and can go a long way in ensuring personal security.
No Matter What - Always Lock Up
During the months leading up to the festive season, house robberies tend to increase. Now more than ever is the time to be vigilant. Whether you’re going on holiday, just popping out to the store down the road or checking in with a neighbour, always lock up your home and activate your alarm if you have one.
Even if you’re spending the entire holiday season at home, always keep your security gates locked and windows closed. Ensure your car windows and doors remain locked even if it’s parked in a secure garage.
Hire A House- Sitter
If you can afford one, hire a house-sitter. Make sure to they’re from a reputable company or a trusted friend or family member. Teach them how to correctly use your house alarm and get them acquainted with your pets if you have any.
If you’re sceptical about having strangers in your home, ask a neighbour to create the illusion that you are home by occasionally turning on the lights. If you’re part of a neighbourhood watch, make sure you inform them of your holiday plans so that they can keep an eye out on your property.
Avoid Being A Statistic
If you’re unfortunately faced with an uncertain or dangerous situation, escaping it should be your number one priority. Don’t become the victim of a dangerous crime by playing the hero. Your life is not worth jewellery or a TV. If you are not able to immediately make a dash for it, perhaps consider complying with the offender until you can devise an escape plan.
Explain your strategy and escape routes to your family before-hand so that you are all on the same page. If an offender demands your valuables, it’s best just to give it to them. Be mentally prepared for any situation to avoid being frozen with fear. Always try your utmost to steer clear of being a statistic.
Don’t Broadcast Your Holiday Plans
Be extra careful of who you tell about your holiday plans. The excitement of taking that much need break can sometimes cloud ones judgement. We all occasionally feel the need to share or broadcast our vacation plans. Sometimes those casual friends you have on your social media platforms may not be all that friendly.
If you can, try to avoid mentioning it on social media networks. If you do, take the necessary precautions to ensure that your page settings do not allow the public to see your updates. Believe it or not, criminals do use social media to target homes.
Additional Security Tips:
- To avoid easy access to your property, clear any bush or trees around your gates. They tend to offer criminals effortless entry to your yard and are a great place for them to hide.
- If you’re staying home this festive season, vary your daily routine.
- Dogs are an excellent deterrent.
- Lock away your valuables
Remember, just because you are on holiday, it does not mean that criminals are taking a break as well. Be safe and have a happy festive season. Till next time, stay alert.