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Festive season safety tips

As South Africans prepare to unwind and spend time with family and friends, it is important to remember to take care of yourself and your family.

Vuk’uzenzele shares some tips on how to be safe at home, on the road and while having fun.

Advice to keep your home safe include:
  • Ask your neighbours to take out the post. Post left in the mailbox says that nobody is home.
  • Make sure you have good lighting. Don’t leave the outside lights on during the day.
  • Don’t let too many people know when you are going on holiday, only those you trust.
  • Make sure your doors lock properly and that you have burglar bars.
  • If your house is broken into, notify the police immediately.
If you are going on a road trip:
  • Buckle up.
  • Don’t drink and drive.
  • Keep a safe following distance.
  • Do not use up your energy on activities, which will increase your fatigue.
  • Get enough sleep the night before, at least six hours.
  •  Do not travel when you are emotional or stressed out.
  • Plan your trip, the route you will travel and where you will stop and rest overnight.
  • Make sure your car is road worthy.
  • Make sure you have a spare wheel and that it is in good condition and a jack.
  •  Make sure your luggage is in the boot and that is closed properly.
  •  Stop every two hours, taking 15 minute breaks.
  • Avoid driving between 1am and 5 am.
  •  If you feel tired or restless, pull over at a safe stop and rest for a little while.
If you are travelling at night:
  • Be on the lookout for suspicious-looking people or vehicles.
  • Know where you are going, do not use unfamiliar routes to get home.
  • Lock your doors and close your windows.
  • If you are bumped from behind, head to the nearest police station or place of safety.
  • Never leave keys in your ignition to open gates.
  •  Don’t wait for your passengers, drive around the block or get out of the car and lock the doors.
  • Never pick up hitchhikers.
  • Don’t get out to assist someone who seems to be in trouble. Inform the police.

To ensure your safety while shopping:
  •  Avoid carrying large amounts of money.
  • Don’t leave valuable belongings in the trolley.
  • Don’t have your wallet or purse visible. Keep wallet in your front pocket and not the back pocket.
  • Don’t let money be too visible, especially large amounts.
  • Hold your child’s hand and be alert of them at all times. Always accompany them to the bathroom.
Water safety tips:
  • Always swim with an adult who can swim.
  • Only swim in a public pool or sea if there is a lifeguard on duty.
  •  Never dive into the water unless the lifeguard says it is safe to do so.
  • Never run along the edge of a swimming pool or push people in.
  • Stay away from diving boards when in the pool.
  • Always keep chairs and tables away from the pool fence to keep children from using them to climb over the fence.
  • Do not allow anyone of any age to swim alone - drowning happens to adults too.
  • When you are entertaining a group of children or adults, have a designated water watcher who is responsible for keeping track of everyone.
  • Never leave children unattended in or around pools - not even for a second.
Source: SAPS, Department of Transport, SANRAL and City of Johannesburg.