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Make merry but stay wary: How to improve your safety and security this festive season

  • Posted by: admin

The holiday season is upon us! Are you traveling upcountry? Off on holiday? Worried about your security and that of your home or business? We live in a world with ever-evolving threats, an era where the only constant is that there is no constant.

Security and personal safety should be a priority throughout the year, with even more of an emphasis during the festive season. COVID-19 cases in the country have increased drastically and it seems as though the Omicron variant is well and truly among us. This means preserving our health remains a priority. Security agencies within the country are also on high alert for terror and criminal activities during the holidays. We should follow suit since security starts with you.

Here are some steps you can take this festive season to help prevent, detect, and deter crime:

  • Invest in a simple intrusion detection system. Studies show that as many as 67% of home break-ins could be prevented with the use of CCTV cameras.  It is also estimated that burglars are 90% more likely to target a property without an intruder alarm system. Protecting yourself, your home or your business is a 24/7 activity and its effectiveness depends on you. For quick and convenient security system, you can get yourself an affordable smart home security kit. Add a few indoor and outdoor cameras in strategic places and you’re good to go – all monitored, anywhere in the world straight from your smartphone.

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  • Inform someone you trust to keep an eye on your home if you won’t be around. With many set to travel, homes that are unoccupied become a soft target for professional and opportunistic criminals.  Ask friends, family, or domestic staff to switch on and off the exterior at random. Affordable smart home technology also allows you to create the impression that someone is at home by turning on appliances and lights in and around the house. A neighborhood program like “Nyumba Kumi” would also come in handy in making sure your home is safe.
  • Stay in touch and make sure your loved ones are aware of your whereabouts. Before you set off anywhere, be sure to let those close to you know where you’re going, who you’re going with and what you’ll be going to do. Keep your family members posted of your whereabouts as you go along. Live tracking features such as the “Follow Me” option on the Securex app allows you to track your loved ones throughout their journey. 
  • Be on the lookout for any suspicious activity. “See Something, Say Something” should be our motto this festive season. Report anything suspicious such as an unattended backpack or someone loitering in sensitive areas.

Quick Safety tips for the Holiday season.

  1. Whether you’re traveling across town or around the world, always be safe on the. Wear a seat belt every time you drive or ride in a vehicle. Always buckle children in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat, or a seat belt appropriate for their height, weight, and age.
  2. Don’t drink and drive! Do not let someone else drink and drive either! Have a designated driver or call a taxi when you know that you will be consuming alcohol. Drunk driving is one of the main causes of death on Kenyan roads.
  3. If you must use an ATM, choose one that is in a secure area such as a mall or a well-lit petrol station. Withdraw only the amount of cash you need and try use mobile money wherever possible.
  4. Once you have withdrawn any money, always be alert for someone who could be monitoring your movements. Whenever you’re unsure, take two rounds around a roundabout or drive towards a public place such as a shopping mall or a petrol station.
  5. Always travel with windows and doors locked and valuables out of sight.  If windows must be open, ensure the opening isn’t big enough to fit a hand.
  6. Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. Confident pickpockets have mastered the art of distraction with the intention of stealing your money or belongings.
  7. Teach children their full name, address, and telephone number to share with police officers or security if they ever get loss. Encourage children not to speak to strangers and to immediately inform you if strangers are bothering them.
  8. Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave the house, even if it’s for a few minutes.
  9. When leaving home for an extended time, ask a neighbor or family member to watch over your house.
  10. If you use lights on your Christmas tree, ensure the wiring is not damaged or frayed. Frayed or damaged wiring can cause a fire.
  11. Beware of criminals posing as couriers, delivery riders or service providers in an attempt to gain access to your premises.
  12. Be sure to walk in well-lit, busy areas, even during the day. Never take shortcuts through parking lots or alleys and avoid using routes that are unfamiliar
  13. If you think you are being followed, abruptly switch directions, or turn into a police station, petrol station, hospital, or other busy public spaces and ask for help.
  14. Maintain your situational awareness. Talking on your cell phone or listening to music on your headphones leaves you distracted, making you an easy target for would be criminals.
  15. When reaching your home or vehicle, avoid fumbling around looking for your keys in your bag or pocket. Have them ready in your hand prior to reaching the door.

Stay safe this festive season and make it a December to remember. Happy Holidays!

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