With summer on its way and the recent relaxation of lockdown restrictions, families will be getting out more to take advantage of the weather and the chance to do more socializing.
It is also Heritage month and South Africans are undoubtedly already planning their much-loved public holiday and National Braai Day on September 24.
Charnel Hattingh, Head of Marketing and Communications at Fidelity Services Group, reminds people that criminals do not play by rules. The relaxation of lockdown restrictions is merely something that provides more opportunity for them.
“Curfew has been extended to 11pm and the number of people at indoor and outdoor gatherings has also increased, following the President’s update on September 12. This is welcome news and a boost for the economy, but we urge people to remain sensible and aware when attending events, visiting restaurants and pubs, travelling home late at night and entertaining at home,” she says.
She shared these seven safety tips:
- At restaurants/pubs/shopping centres: Keep your personal belongings out of sight in your handbag or other secure bag worn over your body.
- Never keep your cellphone in your pocket or flash cash around. Be aware of who is around you.
- In parks/exercising outdoors: Leave your valuables at home and if you have a cellphone keep it out of sight.
- Do not wear earphones when exercising. Be alert to who is around at all times. Do not cycle or jog in remote areas alone.
- At home: If it is a hot day and you open doors and windows, make sure the security gates remain locked with the keys removed.
- Activate outdoor beams and your electric fence if you are inside the house. Never open the gate for strangers and inform someone if you are expecting a delivery.
- Coming home after dark: Turn your radio down and take note of any cars or people in your street. Do not park up against your gate and then open it. Allow space to drive away if need be and once the gate is open wait in the car with the doors locked until the gate is closed again.
- Going out: Always let someone in your family know where you are going, what time you should arrive there and when you expect to be home. It is a good idea to leave an alternative contact number too. If using e-hailing services, be 100% sure the ride is legitimate before getting in.
- Entertaining at home: Never leave the gate standing open while you wait for guests to arrive. They should also all preferably park inside the property. Alternatively, hire a security guard to watch the cars if they are parked in the street. Activate outdoor beams in areas you are not using and keep remote panic buttons close at hand.
- Going away: If you will be out of town for a weekend or longer, inform your neighbor, security company and neighborhood watch. Ensure your alarm is in working order well before you leave on your trip so that you can get any issues sorted out beforehand. Do not post your holiday or travel plans on social media or your location while you are away.