As we return to work after the festive break it is important to keep home security and personal safety top of mind.
With schools having reopened recently, traffic congestion is likely and may mean extra time needs to be factored into morning routines.
“Rushing to ensure that you arrive at the office on time is never a good idea, both in terms of road safety and general awareness of your surroundings,” said Martin Kriel, Managing Director of ADT Security’s East Coast Region. “It also increases the chances of slipups such as not properly locking the doors and windows at home; or even forgetting to arm the alarm system.”
“If you commute with public transport, be aware of your surroundings on the walk to and from the taxi rank or bus stop. Try not to listen to music en route as you may not notice a potential attacker or vicious dog, or hear an oncoming vehicle. Keep your cell phone or any other valuables – such as a wallet – in your bag or a front jacket or trouser pocket.”
Kriel said that there are precautions to practised by those who travel privately as well.
“Be alert when driving to and from the office, particularly while waiting at intersections,” said Kriel. “Keep an eye open for anyone who approaches your vehicle on foot – especially while traffic lights are red. If you suspect you are being followed by another vehicle drive directly to the nearest police station.”
Once you’ve arrived at your destination, if you do not have a designated bay be sure to park in a safe area that’s not isolated.
“Carry your handbag or laptop bag by the straps and keep it close to your body. Do not talk or text on your cell phone while you walk as this kind of distraction makes you an easy target.”
If the office is a new space to you, ask a colleague to show you around and point out where the fire escapes and panic buttons are positioned.
By the end of a long day at the office, one generally feels fatigued and this means we may be less aware of our surroundings. Kriel advised exercising the same precautions as one would when travelling to work.
“As you enter your street and near your home, keep an eye out for suspicious people or vehicles,” added Kriel. “If you do spot anything out of the ordinary immediately report it to your security company or the police.”