Tips to survive this festive season

The holiday season is just around the corner. While for some this is the time to pause and relax, for others, the festive season can bring a lot of stress especially if you planning that holiday away from home.

Many of us also tend to over indulge this time of the year and it can thus be easy to get into debt and financial stress. We also worry about our safety and security this time of the year due to an increased risk at malls, beaches and on the road. So how do you make sure you survive all the frenzy?

Here are a few safety tips to guide you:

Be vigilant

When it comes to your safety and that of your loved ones, the South African Police Service suggests that you be vigilant at all times.

  • When going shopping, never carry large amount of cash but can instead use bank cards credit cards or electronic funds transfer to make transactions.
  •  Ensure that your vehicles are properly locked.
  •  When withdrawing cash at the ATM, do not allow yourself to be assisted by strangers. Only seek help from bank officials.
  • At public places like malls and beaches, do not leave your children unattended

 On the road

Like all holiday seasons, there is an increased risk of accidents on the roads during December. According to the Department of Transport, the majority of accidents are due to human error. Most of these accidents can be avoided if you follow the following tips:

  • Undertake a pre-trip inspection of the vehicle before you embark on a journey
  • Check your vehicle roadworthiness before taking a journey
  • Do not drink alcohol irresponsibly. It reduces your driving ability and you will be arrested for drunken driving.
  • Texting or making a call while driving is extremely dangerous – cell phones cause visual, manual and mental distraction. Stay away from your phone while driving.
  • Always wear your seatbelt, it can save your life in an event of an accident.
  • If you travelling long distances by road, make regular stops of about 20 minutes. Grab a sandwich and stretch your legs before you resume your trip.  


Leaving home unattended

Going on holiday can be exciting especially if you taking your whole family with you. But leaving your home unattended for longer periods may attract criminals. You don’t want to return home from a lovely holiday only to discover that all your valuables are gone!

  • Arrange that the premises be guarded by a registered security company.
  • Notify the security company of your period of absence so that they can intensify the patrols
  • Ensure that your premises are properly locked before leaving.
  • Arrange where possible a relative or friend to look after your premises during period of absence.
  • Lock away valuable items in safes or store rooms.
  • Ensure that your post is not pilling up in a post box which may alert the possible criminals of absence. You can arrange with post office not to deliver post during period of absence.
  • Do not leave gates or garage doors opened during period of absence.
  • Install proper security gates to deny criminals easy access to your premises.
  • Install proper alarm system that will notify the security company of unauthorized access to your premises.
  • Arrange with a relative or friend to always come to switch lights on because dark premises also attract criminal activity especially if left for a longer period of time.
  • Arrange for garden services to continue because tall grass can be a hint to criminals that the premises are unattended.

 Safety of children at swimming pools and beaches

The number of children who drown usually increases during the festive season. The chaos can destruct us and end up losing sight of the children. Always ensure the safety of your children by following these simple tips:

  • Children must not be left unattended at swimming pools or beaches
  • Parents must not indulge in excessive alcohol when with their children at swimming pools or beaches.
  • Children must be accompanied by adults when in vicinity of swimming pools or beaches.
  • Children must be equipped with necessary safety equipment when next to swimming pools or beaches.
  • Avoid loud music next to swimming pools because it can distract or prevent victims when requesting assistance.
  • Where possible children must undergo swimming lessons.
  • When swimming pools are not in use they must be properly secured to deny children access.
  • Adults must not drink and ride their boats at dams because it is unlawful.

And finally, do not overspend

We all want to have a good time during this period of the year. We shower each other with gifts and spend our hard earned bonuses spoiling ourselves. But remember it’s easy to get into financial stress if you over spend. Remember, December is just another month, there is January coming and school fees. Set a budget and stick to it! – SAnews.gov.za