Easter holiday security reminders for parents and the elderly in South Africa

The Easter holiday’s are here! Ensure that you and your family are kept safe during this time by keeping these reminders at the top of your ‘to-do’ list.

This article has been shared by the Xpanda group from Rekord Centurion.

The long weekends, holidays and Easter break are just around the corner and many children will be at home enjoying some fun holiday time.

“Children will be at home with a caregiver, domestic worker or possibly just by themselves,” says ADT Pretoria district manager, Leon Muller.

“Now is a great time to teach them about staying safe at home during the holidays.”

Top security tips for parents:

– Teach children to keep doors locked, and that nobody is to enter the property without your permission.

– If you have a home security system installed, teach them how to activate and de-activate it and how and when to use other security devices like panic buttons.

– Have a list of emergency contacts – including the 10111 number – near the telephone and explain to children when and how it must be used.

– If you allow children to walk to a friend in the neighbourhood, walk the route with them before they try it on their own.

– Tell them to let you know when they are leaving and when they arrive.

– Explain that it is better to walk a slightly longer route down familiar streets where there is more activity, than taking short-cuts across velds or deserted areas.

– There’s a good chance that kids will be watching TV or browsing the internet, so make sure that parental control settings are activated and privacy is set as high as possible.

– Make sure they understand that they should never post any personal information online – like an address, email address or mobile number – and if they see something online that makes them feel uncomfortable, unsafe or worried: they should leave the website, turn off their computer and tell someone immediately.

“It’s important to ensure that the children know that a caregiver or domestic worker is in charge while you are at work,” he concludes.

“They should also know that they can call you at any time if they feel unsafe or can press the panic button. Empowering children to be safety savvy is a great gift.”

Senior safety begins at home:

– Install and use good locks on doors and windows.

– Do not hide keys under the doormat, in the mailbox or in a pot plant. If needed, leave a spare key with a family member or a trusted neighbour.

– When service or delivery people come to the door, ask for identification and check with their company if you are still not 100% certain about their identity.

– Make sure that the street number on your house is large, well-lit and unobstructed so that emergency personnel can find your home quickly when needed.

– If you decide to install an alarm system, consider one that is monitored for burglary, fire and medical emergencies.

– If you live in a retirement home, ensure you have communication with the guard at the main gate.

Stay safe when you go out:

– Preferably go out with family and/or friends rather than on your own.

– Avoid carrying large amounts of cash or valuables but carry a cell phone which you can use in an emergency. Programme in an emergency number.

– Avoid walking early in the morning or late in the afternoon and try and avoid isolated areas.

– Always let someone know when you are going out alone – a neighbour, family member or complex guard.

– Always keep your handbag closed and close by and keep your wallet in an inside pocket. Petty criminals know that the elderly prefer cash to credit cards.

– When shopping, never leave your purse unattended in your trolley, even for a second.

– It is advisable to use a direct deposit service for social security and other regular cheques.

Do not fall for con artists’ tricks:

– Be wary of offers, if they sound too good to be true, such as a free vacation, miracle cure, sure-fire investment and more.

– Be wary of anyone requesting personal information such as your credit card and/or banking details. If necessary, ask them for their details and call them back once you have verified that it is a legitimate request.

– If someone tries to rush you into signing an insurance policy, sales contract or any other contractual agreement, be suspicious. Read the documentation carefully, and if possible ask a trusted friend or an adviser to check it as well.

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