Safety tips for golden oldies

Following some unfortunate incidents on seniors, ADT Security has drawn up a list of handy safety tips which they hope will help keep senior citizens safe from criminals.


“Too often it is those sections of society who could be perceived to be weak and defenceless who end up falling prey to criminals. We hope that these tips and suggestions will make a small difference, and that it can help keep people safe,” says Theunis Kotze, ADT General Manager Inland Region.


Safety, he says, begins at home:


–          Make sure that the locks you have installed on doors and windows are of a good quality, and cannot be broken easily.

–          Never leave spare keys hidden under a doormat, in the mailbox or in or under a pot-plant. Rather give them to a family member or trusted neighbour for safekeeping.

–          Ensure that the street number on your house is large and can be clearly seen, so that emergency services personnel are able to spot it easily in the event of an emergency.

–          If you live in a retirement home or village, make sure that you are able to communicate with the guard at the main gate or entrance.

–          Always be cautious when entering or leaving your retirement village as driveway hijackings are common.

–          When service or delivery people come to the door, do not let them in without asking for identification. If you are not completely convinced of their identity, contact their employer to confirm that they are at your premises for legitimate reasons.


Kotze also has advice for people who want to be safe when they are out and about:


–          Avoid walking alone and in isolated areas, especially in the early morning or late in the afternoon.

–          If you are going out alone, make sure to tell someone you trust where you are going and what time you expect to be back. It doesn’t matter whether you tell a family member, a friend, a neighbour or a complex security guard, it will help that someone is alerted to be on the lookout for your safe return.

–          Always keep your handbag tucked firmly under your arm; and your purse or wallet in an inside pocket.

–          Do not shop with your good jewellery as this could make you a target.

–          Never carry large amounts of cash or valuables, however do take along your cell phone which you’ll be able to use in the event of an emergency.

–          When shopping, never leave your handbag unattended or in a trolley.


Lastly, says Kotze, there are criminals who could try and abuse one’s good nature with these tricks:


–          Be wary of any offers if it sound too good to be true; such as a free vacation, miracle cure or sure-fire investment.

–          Never give any personal information, such as your credit card or banking details, to anyone who randomly calls and asks for them. If necessary, ask them for their details and call them back once you have verified that it is a legitimate request.

–          Be suspicious of anyone who tries to rush you into signing an insurance policy, sales contract or any other contractual agreement. Read the documentation very carefully, and if possible ask a trusted friend or an advisor to check it too.