Safety tips for the festive holiday

* Stephnie van Rooyen helps Jody van Rooyen, 8, buckle in.

ER24 is urging people to exercise caution and pay attention to their surroundings this festive season and have offered some safety tips to keep in

* If you are going away on holiday, ensure all your external house doors and gates are locked and your windows closed. Switch off unnecessary switches such as those linked to the television. Also switch off your geyser. If you decorated your Christmas tree with lights, switch them off
while you are away. Remove all post and newspapers from your post box and get someone you trust to continue removing them while you are away. Do not leave lights on. Rather install a timer if you are able to.

* Remember to activate your alarm system. If you do not have an alarm system, have one installed if you can. Remember
not to inform a lot of people that you are
going away. Instead, tell someone you trust and also inform them when they should expect you back.

* A number of people draw large sums of cash during the festive season. Rather swipe one of your bank cards while shopping. If you have to draw cash, be aware of your surroundings. If you see something suspicious at the ATM, rather use another one. Do not let anyone distract you
while you are withdrawing cash. Also watch that you are not being followed when you leave the ATM.

* Shopping centres are busy at this time of year. While you may be in a rush to finish your shopping, you must be alert at all times. Keep a close eye on your belongings. Ensure your vehicle is locked.

* Always be alert while driving. Watch that you are not being followed. Be vigilant when stopping at traffic lights or stop streets. If you suspect that you are being followed, go to the closest police station or to a busy area. Also remember to keep all valuables in the boot. Keep your doors locked and windows closed. You should also leave ample space between you and the car in front of you in order to escape should you need to.

Also remember to pay close attention to your surroundings when close to your house. If you see something suspicious, rather drive away instead of stopping at your house. You can call and ask your security company to escort you home or
alert the police. Be vigilant when stopping in front
of your gate and waiting for it to open or be opened.

* When driving, avoid speeding. Also ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy. Refrain from drinking alcohol and driving. Avoid road rage. Have your vehicle checked before going away on holiday. Remember to keep a first aid kit in your vehicle as well. Also ensure that you wear a safety belt, buckle up children appropriately and obey the rules of the road.