A private security company has issued a call on South Africans to not drop their guard when celebrating Valentine’s Day later this month and to remember their personal safety.
“On the 14th, we will all want to concentrate on romance and love. Please don’t allow criminals to spoil the beauty of this day for you,” says ADT Security’s Theunis Kotze, General Manager ADT Inland Region.
“Opportunistic criminal elements will always be on the lookout for people who appear to be distracted. No matter what you have planned for the day, you should always be aware of your surroundings and of the people around you.”
When arriving at your destination, ensure that your car is locked before leaving the parking area. It is also best to avoid areas that are isolated as these could put you and your loved one in a vulnerable and dangerous situation, says Kotze.
If you are going out, Kotze suggests:
- Let a family member or friend know and tell them approximately what time you expect to return home. They can raise the alarm in case of an emergency.
- Always carry some kind of identification, your cell phone and some small change in the event of an emergency.
- Memorise and programme to your mobile phone important numbers; including those of your parents, your partner or a close friend and the emergency services.
- When your kids stay home for the evening, please ensure that they know how to operate the alarm system. They also need to have all the emergency numbers at hand in case of an emergency.
- When meeting someone for the first time, ensure that it is in a public setting.
Returning home after an evening out:
- If you think you may arrive home after dark, turn on an outside light before you leave or make sure someone is there to meet you at the door.
- About two kilometres from your home, turn down the volume of the car radio so that you are more aware of your surroundings.
- Keep an eye out for suspicious individuals or vehicles as you approach your driveway.
- If you do notice anything out of the ordinary, drive away. Go to a neighbour, the local police station or contact your security provider to have an officer meet you and accompany you to your home.
- Remember to let your family member or friend know that you have arrived safely.