The festive season is finally upon us. It is a time where many South Africans are preparing to relax and spend time with loved ones. Yet, this time is also very active, and we tend to get busy quickly. Whether it be gift shopping, decorating your home, or travelling, it is crucial to remember to take care of yourself, your family, your home, and your pets. COVID-19 is still a number one concern for each of us, but it is not the only risk you need to look out for this holiday season.

Before going away, please ensure that your alarm system has been tested. We also suggest that you notify our control room of your departure and return dates so that we may maintain a level of high alert during your absence.

Here are a few helpful tips on keeping safe at home, on the road, and while having fun.

Your Home

When packing your car for your holiday, do it inside your garage or behind the closed gate, as doing this in full view of the street will alert everyone of your intended holiday.

Post left in the mailbox for extended periods may indicate that you are not home. Ask a neighbour that you can entrust with this duty, and only disclose your holiday plans to people around you that you trust.

Ensure your prepaid electricity is topped up to avoid running out while you are away which will not only affect your alarm system but your freezers and other appliances.

Make sure you pack away all valuables, such as jewellery and other expensive items in a safe or well hidden. And of course, when you leave ensure all windows or closed, gates are locked and all security is in place to protect your home.

While Travelling
Being on the roads at this time of year is dangerous. Therefore, make sure you practise good safety procedures while travelling with family and friends. Be sure to buckle up, keep a safe following distance and not drink and drive. Furthermore, before setting out on a trip, be well-rested and not overly stressed out. These are risks that could put yourself and your family in danger, as well as other road users.

Equally important, ensure that your vehicle has been checked and is in good condition for long distant travel. Check your spare wheel and check that you have the necessary tools for an emergency tyre change. Be on the lookout for potential hijackers and foreign objects thrown from bridges or dangerous highway spots.

Shopping
Often, excess and irregular shopping habits occur over the festive season. Consequently, it is crucial to be aware of the many risks and dangers which might occur during this time. In the event of online shopping, think before you click. Avoid clicking on suspicious account warnings, enticing offer links, and shipment notifications. On the other hand, shopping in person also requires smart shopping techniques. Such as not carrying large amounts of cash or leaving your belongings unattended. Mugging increases over this period, you need to be on alert. Don’t carry your bag on one shoulder, don’t carry your wallet in your back pocket, do not walk around while talking on your cell phone.

Overall, there are many ways to keep safe this holiday season. While it is a time of anticipation and fun, be cognisant of everyday dangers and risks that become more threatening as people want to relax more and worry less.