Staying safe over the festive season

Staying safe over the festive season

Unfortunately, the festive season is notorious for having the highest number of road accident-related deaths. As much as we look forward to the holidays, we should remain vigilant, and the ‘silly season’ isn’t always fun. 

The festive season also happens to be when theft and other crimes are on the rise. So in all likelihood, we might not be able to stop these incidents from occurring, but following these tips will guarantee a safer and happier time with our friends and family. 

Are your home and household contents protected?

 During the festive season, cases of housebreaking and theft increase considerably. The only thing you can do is stay alert and take the following safety precautions:

  • If you are contracted to a security company, let them know that you will be leaving and provide them with a contact number in the event of an emergency. 
  • Check that all your doors and windows are in working order and shut properly.
  • If you have electric fencing, make sure that no trees are interfering with it functioning properly.
  • Along with your security company, test that your alarm system is in good working order and place your CCTV camera to record what is happening inside and outside your house.
  • Place your jewellery and other valuables in a safe, and if you aren’t able to, store them in a place that is not in plain sight.
  • Arrange with your neighbour, a friend or family to come and check on the house often. They can make sure all your postal deliveries are taken out of the letterbox and that the area is secure. If possible, get a trusted friend or family member to house sit your home during this time.
  • Make sure you discard the boxes of expensive items like computers, cellphones, kitchen appliances and television sets. It is a clear indication of the contents of your home and might encourage thieves to target your place.
  • When you leave, unplug all appliances that will not be used.
  • If you are not going in your car, make sure it is parked out of sight.

Road Safety over the festive season

 As previously mentioned, thousands of people lose their lives over the festive season each year. Although there are plenty of road-safety drives, the onus still lies on road users to be cautious and vigilant. 

Before going on your trip, make sure your vehicle has a comprehensive check-up. This does not only secure your safety but that of the other road users as well.

  • Make it a rule; before you even turn on the engine, that all vehicle occupants must wear their safety belts. This is also a good habit to create for children.
  • On long-distance travelling, make sure you take a break every two hours of driving.
  • Do not drink and drive, or use your cellphone while driving. Appoint your “vice-captain” to attend to calls or messages while you’re driving, or better yet, check your cellphone during your break.

Child Safety 

 Most holiday destinations are busy, and on too many occasions, children go missing. Keeping your child safe is your responsibility. You must ensure that someone is always chaperoning them. 

For peace of mind, we have listed a few tips to keep your children safe during the festive season.

  • Ensure that your children are always under adult supervision, regardless of how safe the environment feels or seems to be. Remember, you are a stranger to the place and would not have any idea where to look first if your child should go missing.
  • Teach your children to never engage with strangers who approach them regardless of how nice they seem. 
  • Teach your children your car registration, and to be alert, so if they get lost, they should walk calmly back to your vehicle.
  • Make sure your children know your cellphone number.
  • Do not only learn basic first aid, but teach it to your teenage children as well so that in the event of a medical emergency it can be utilised.
  • When your children are swimming, make sure they are fitted with the necessary swimming aids.
  • Regardless of how busy or empty the towns may be, hold young children’s hands all the time, especially when crossing a road.

iER App during the festive season

The iER app is a free emergency application that can be downloaded on any smart device. It gives the user peace of mind by offering a no-cost solution for emergencies. The App is a panic button that can be used in a variety of situations to ensure that the proper response team is sent to the scene of an emergency or crime. It is a one-click solution available to everyone. 

There is no membership fee to make use of the iER application, although data or a Wi-Fi connection is required for use. Anyone who has the App, which can be downloaded from all app stores, can make use of the emergency response facilities. This is because the App was designed to be accessible to all.  

The FREE iER App is the gateway to emergency response services, including a national network of private, semi-private and government emergency medical and non-medical response services.