- Always keep a close eye on your children. Don’t let them wander off on their own or be without the supervision of a responsible adult.
- Never leave children in the care of an adult you don’t trust.
- Don’t leave children under the supervision of other children.
- Never leave children alone in a car.
- When travelling by car make sure that babies or young children are buckled up or in a car seat, and drive responsibly.
- Learn first aid or at least learn CPR. It could save a life.
- Child-proof your home or the place you are staying by making sure that all dangerous substances and items are out of reach. Make sure that all electrical wiring is safe and swimming pools are sealed off with an SABS-approved safety fence or safety net, preferably both. Keep all alcohol out of the reach of children.
- Talk to your children before a family outing. Make a rule that you must always be able to see them, and they must always be able to see you. It may sound simple, but keep reminding them periodically, especially if you think they’re getting restless. Use the “two giant steps” rule – your children should never be more than two giant steps away from you. It’s a fun and uncomplicated way for young children to remember not to wander away.
- Teach your children that if they ever become separated from you, they should look for a “safe stranger” for help. Some examples include a mom with kids or a cash register person. With older children, agree on a “meeting place” ahead of time, in case you become separated. Make sure that your children know your cell phone number.
- Teach your children never to leave the mall or store to go looking for you, no matter what anyone tells them. Remind your child that you would never leave until you are reunited.
- Establish the “check first” rule with older children. They must always check first with you before going anywhere in a public place, including another store, play area, or even the restroom.
- Don’t treat public facilities as a “convenient babysitter.” Do not leave your children alone at movie theatres, play areas, or other public places. Predators are known to look for unsupervised kids.
- Always bring young children into the restroom with you. Look for well-lit restrooms in high traffic areas, whenever possible.
- If older children go to the mall, teach them to always stay in groups. If a stranger tries to get them to leave, they must scream and make the people around them aware of what is happening.
At the ATM:
- Be alert and conscious of your surroundings when using the ATM.
- Never give your card or PIN (Personal Identification Number) to anyone, for any reason.
- Don’t write your PIN on the card or anything that is kept with the card.
- Do not insert your card until asked to do so by the display screen.
- Never use an ATM with a blank screen and, if the ATM is obscured from view or poorly lit, leave immediately and find another ATM.
- Stand close to the ATM and use your body and hand as shield to make sure nobody sees you keying in your pin.
- Also, make sure you keep your hand over the card slot to make sure nobody can swop or take your card.
- Never accept help from strangers when using an ATM. You should be wary of strangers asking for help.
- Criminals work in teams- one to distract you while the other steals your card or money.
- If your card is retained (swallowed) by the ATM it is advisable to phone your bank toll free stop card line immediately and stop your card.
- Never allow a bystander to call the toll-free stop card line on your behalf- they could be tricking you into thinking your card has been stopped.
- Guards are placed at ATMs to discourage criminal activities and therefore cannot help you with transactions.
- If you need help, ask a bank official.
- It is advisable to set a daily ATM withdrawal limit at your branch.
Carrying cash (Individuals)
If you need to pay accounts, consider options that are lower risk instead of withdrawing large sums of cash. Apply the following tips to avoid being a victim:
- Carry as little cash as possible.
- Consider the convenience of paying your accounts electronically. Cconsult your bank to find out about other available options.
- Consider making use of cell phone banking or internet transfers or ATMs to do your banking.
Carrying cash (Businesses)
A small business which is cash based and needs to deposit money on a regular basis at the bank should apply the following tips which will minimize the chances of you being a victim of robberies:
- Alternate the days and times on which you deposit cash.
- Never make your bank visits public, even to people close to you.
- Do not openly display the money you are depositing while you are standing in the bank queue.
- Avoid carrying money bags, briefcases or openly displaying your deposit receipt book.
- It’s advisable to identify another branch nearby that you can visit to ensure that your banking pattern is not easily recognisable or detected.
- If the amount of cash you are regularly depositing is increasing as your business grows, consider using the services of a cash management company.
- Refrain from giving wages to your contract or casual labourers in full view of the public rather make use of wage accounts that can be provided by your bank.
- Refrain from driving to the bank in your company branded vehicle on a typical pay day.
- Consider arranging for electronic transfers of wages to your contract or casual labourers’ personal bank accounts.
Carrying cash (Saving clubs and stokvels)
If you are a member of a cash savings club, advise members of your club of the following tips that will assist your club from being victim to cash robberies:
- Refrain from making cash deposits of club members’ contributions on high risk days, e.g. Monday after month end.
- Ensure persons depositing club cash contributions or making withdrawals are accompanied by another club member.
- A stokvel, savings club or burial society can arrange for members to deposit cash directly into the club’s account instead of collecting cash contributions.
- Arrange for the club’s pay-out to be electronically transferred into each club member’s personal account or accounts of their choice.
Safety is the number one priority for runners and walkers.
Here are some safety tips to ensure that you get the most out of your training:
Safety during the run
- Always stay alert and aware of what’s going on around you. The more aware you are, the less vulnerable you are.
- Think about possible escape routes in case of a confrontation.
- Take notice of who is ahead of you and who is behind you. Know where the nearest public sites are with some general activity – there is usually safety in numbers
- When in doubt, follow your intuition and avoid potential trouble. If something seems suspicious, do not panic, but run in a different direction.
- Run clear of parked cars, bushes, dark areas.
- Be extra vigilant at junctions with alleyways where traffic may emerge.
- Run across the street at crosswalks and always pay attention to traffic lights.
- Drivers have a bad habit of not looking for pedestrians. Be sure to make eye contact before crossing in front of a car.
- Never assume you have been seen!
- Be considerate of other road/ pavement users – do not force pedestrians into the road – do not step off the pavement without checking behind – cyclists do not make a noise!
- Be aware of other hazards such as forces of nature, animals etc.
- Use discretion in acknowledging strangers. Look directly at others and be observant, but keep your distance and keep moving.
- Ignore verbal harassment.
- Do not approach a car to give directions or the time of day. Point toward the nearest police or information source, shrug your shoulders but keep moving. If you feel you must respond, do it while moving.
Clothing / running gear for safe running
- Dress appropriately – Respect the cultural norms of the society that you are in. In countries where women dress in loose clothing that covers them completely, avoids form-fitting jogging clothing.
- When selecting a running shoe, look for good shock absorption and construction that will provide stability and cushion to the foot.
- Excessive clothing can produce sweating, which causes the body to lose heat rapidly and can increase the risk of hypothermia. Instead, dress in layers. The inner layer should be material that takes perspiration away from the skin (polypropylene, thermal); the middle layer (not necessary for legs) should be for insulation and absorbing moisture (cotton); the outer layer should protect against wind and moisture (nylon).
- If exposed to the sun, apply sunscreen. ] • Wear sunglasses to filter out UVA and UVB rays, and wear a hat with a visor to shade your eyes and face.
- On very windy days goggles or eyeglasses can provide additional protection.
- Always carry some form of identification in a wrist pocket and some change for a phone call.
- Also include information on any allergies, blood group, medical fund and contact number of next of kin.
- If travelling alone and staying at a hotel, carry a card with the hotel phone number and address.
- Do not wear headsets when running alone on the street – do not wear anything which distracts you. You need to be completely aware of your environment.
- Research has shown that high visibility clothing is effective at improving drivers’ awareness of the presence of runners and cyclists. If drivers are aware of other road users just a fraction of a second earlier then they can take evasive action that can prevent an accident. If you aren’t seen, the consequences are often tragic.
- Light coloured clothing is safer than dark colours. Fluorescent and reflective strips provide increased driver awareness once you are in the beam of the car headlights.
- Don’t wear jewellery.
- Take a whistle with you.
Planning the run
- Traffic: When you run outdoors, traffic will be a hazard.
- Let others know where you will be running, and stay in familiar areas, away from traffic if possible.
- Run on the side of the road facing traffic -run preferably in the early mornings when traffic is sparse and exhaust fumes are few and far between.
- Always give traffic right of way and watch for those crazy overtaking speedsters who don’t care about runners.
- Try to get a running partner – If staying at a hotel, ask the concierge for nearby, safe running routes, or possibly a school track.
- Caution another runner in case you find one is not being mindful of something you think is basic—it could save someone from getting injured.
- Do not run at night, but if you run at dusk or dawn, wear reflective material.
- Whenever possible, run on a clear, smooth, resilient, even, and reasonably soft surface. Avoid running on hills, which increases stress on the ankle and foot.
- When running on curved surfaces, change directions in forwarding movement, so that you have even pressure on both feet during the run.
- Avoid unpopular areas, deserted streets, lonely trails – and especially avoid unlighted routes at night.
- Run in familiar areas. Be aware of emergency phones and how they work, note the location of neighbours you trust along with your route.
- Be careful of the terrain and aware of possible potholes and cracks in the streets and sidewalks that can cause major injury.
round the ejection port while retracting the slide; doing so may result in an accidental discharge.
Competitions are well organized and there is careful attention to safety details – it is however during training that cyclists must deal with the dangers caused by other road users, harsh conditions of nature and the perils of bad road conditions.
The following tips will enhance cycling safety:
- Always ensure that your bike is in good repair.
- Always wear cycling helmets to prevent head injuries. Head injuries cause a high percentage of all cycling deaths – much of which can be prevented by wearing a helmet.
- Replace any damaged helmets for maximum protection. Helmets must fit properly to be safe. When the straps and comfort pads are adjusted, the helmet should not move forward, backward, or come off. It should sit level on the head and extend down to about two fingers (3 cm) above the eyebrows. Chin straps should be snug without pinching, and the front and rear straps should meet just below each ear when tightly adjusted.
- Helmets only work once. If a helmet has been in a collision that required the inner lining to absorb shock, buy another one! Even though the damage may not be visible, the shock absorbing qualities may be deadened.
- Wear eyewear to protect eyes from dirt, wind and bugs.
- Wear reflective and fluorescent clothing suitable for the weather and time of day that will help other road users to see you.
- Obey the rules of the road and know what each traffic sign means.
- Ride with the flow of traffic, not against it.
- Watch out for surface conditions like potholes and debris.
- Never ride your bike through puddles, there may be hazards hidden beneath the water that you can’t see.
- Allow ample time to inform vehicles behind of your intention to turn either left or right with hand signals.
- Keep both hands on the handlebars unless signalling.
- Avoid swerving left and right on the road, ride in a straight line.
- Avoid speeding behind a moving vehicle, if it brakes sharply there could be a collision.
- Pedestrians should be given priority always, remember that some of them may be partially sighted or deaf and may not be aware of your presence.
- Avoid carrying any load that will affect your balance and centre of gravity.
- On hot summer days, wear sunscreen and carry water to prevent dehydration.
Cyclists are encouraged to wear an emergency bracelet. There have been several cyclists that owe their lives to the fact that they were wearing an identification bracelet or some other means of identification. This is very important info for medics to have when treating an injured cyclist as they are often unconscious or incoherent in an accident.
- Declutter your house to make sure you have plenty of space to walk around. Less clutter also means less risk of falls.
- Make sure all rugs have anti-slipping pads.
- Cover furniture corners to prevent injuries if you accidentally bump into them.
- Make sure every room has proper lighting, including walk-in closets. Use a nightlight to make it easy to see at night.
- If your home has different floor levels, use proper markings and make sure they are visible.
- To prevent fall risks, use cord covers for all cords and cables, or secure them out of the way.
- Use handrails for all staircases.
- Remove all carpets from stairs and staircases to prevent slipping.
- Pay attention to the height of your bed: if your feet can’t touch the floor while sitting on the bed, it means your bed is too high. Try lowering it by removing your box spring. Similarly, if your knees are higher than your hips while sitting, it means your bed is too low. In this case, try adding a box spring.
- Place a light (such as a lamp) close to your bed and make sure you can reach it easily.
- Have all the items that you use frequently within easy reach in the kitchen – don’t place them on high shelves that are hard to access.
- Install grab bars in your bathroom for safety.
- Use rubber mats in your shower or bathtub to prevent slipping.
- If you have a water boiler, don’t set the thermostat to “Hot”. Instead, use the “Medium” setting to avoid burns or scalding.
- Check your faucets and make sure they are easy to turn on and off.
- Make sure all electrical equipment around the house works properly. Service your appliances every 3-6 months. Many seniors keep important medication in their refrigerators, so it’s important to make sure they are in good working condition. If you have a clothes dryer, make sure the vents are cleaned by a professional, to prevent risk of fire.
- Check to ensure that your kitchen counters are easy for you to reach. If they are too high, it’s a good idea to lower them to a more accessible height.
- Avoid stepping on wet or damp surfaces – promptly clean up any spills on the floor.
- Have a cordless phone at home and keep it within easy reach, to prevent having to rush to answer when the phone rings.
- Do not mix cleaning products together – some substances may be extremely dangerous when combined.
- Wear anti-slip slippers or socks when walking around your home, especially on slippery surfaces such as polished hardwood floors or tiles.
- Consider purchasing a medical alert device.
Use your sixth sense. “Sixth sense” or “gut instinct” – whatever you call it, your intuition is a powerful subconscious insight into situations and people. All of us, especially women, have this gift, but very few of us pay attention to it. Learn to trust this power and use it to your full advantage. Avoid a person or a situation which does not “feel” safe – you’re probably right.
Safety when using public transport
- Don’t haul out wads of cash while paying for your fare.
- Don’t wear very expensive brand-name clothing, particularly if you have a long or secluded walk from your taxi-stop to your destination.
- Wear practical shoes if you can, as apart from being comfortable, they make you more capable of dealing with a potential threat when walking to and from the taxi/bus/train stop. Carry the
pretty shoes in your bag.
- Don’t commute while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Safety when using an ATM
- When you’re by yourself, avoid using an ATM in out-of-the-way or deserted areas. Use ATMs located inside banks or supermarkets where other people are around. Use ATMs in well-lit, public
- Be aware of your surroundings when withdrawing funds. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, come back later or use another ATM.
- If it looks like someone has tampered with the ATM equipment, don’t use it. It could mean that a criminal has attached a “skimmer” to the ATM.
- When typing in your pin, cover the keypad so others can’t see what you are typing.
- After completing your transaction, remember to remove your card, cash and any printed documents such as receipts or statements.
- Put your money and ATM card away before you leave the ATM. Always avoid showing your cash.
- Take your receipts with you so that potential criminals will not know how much you withdrew or how much money is in your account.
Safety when driving
- When stopping in traffic, leave enough space to pull out from behind the car in front of you.
- Lock all doors and roll up the windows while you drive.
- Keep your valuables – laptop, handbag, gym bag, mobile phone – out of sight.
- Never give lifts to strangers.
- If you suspect that you are being followed, drive to the nearest police station or busy place to get help.
- Avoid distractions while driving, tempting as it may be to check phone messages or update Facebook and Twitter while in traffic, your phone should be off every time you turn on the ignition.
- Always park in a central, well-lit place, preferably where there are attendants on duty or people passing by.
- Hold your keys in your hand as you approach your parked car. Don’t wait until you reach the car to search for them in your purse. Experts say you’re most vulnerable when you are getting
into or out of your vehicle.
- When approaching your vehicle, regardless of where you have parked it, always walk around the vehicle to check for any irregularities.
- Wait until you’re close to the car before unlocking it, and if the car design allows it, unlock the driver’s door only.
- Never leave your car door open with the engine running when you are opening your gate or garage door. When using electric gates and doors always keep your car doors locked until you are
- If you stay in a secure complex with security guards, do not be fooled into thinking you are safe. You can easily be followed into your complex so always remain vigilant. Research shows
that most people relax the closer they get to home, and this is often when they are most vulnerable.
- Don’t leave the remote control that opens your home’s electric gate in your car.
- Don’t be a victim of car-jamming! When you press your remote-control button, make sure that you hear the beep of your alarm activating and see or hear the locks clicking into place.
- Always check your door handle before leaving the car.