Safety 4 Sistas
IT'S the Yuletide season ladies and the season brings with it the usual excitement of shopping and increased social activity. However, do not get carried away with what's great about the season and ignore the 'not so great' issues, which include the need to be extra alert.
Take the time to read and apply the following safety tips which may save your life or the life of a loved one.
* While at home, keep your cell phone within reach at all times with 119 on speed dial. It's important to have phone numbers for the police and fire department as well. In case of an emergency, you should also have an emergency contact such as a family member or friend who lives close by.
* Ensure that your doors are secure. As a rule, never open your door unless you are certain who is on the other side. Deadbolts are an inexpensive and effective way of adding security to all of your exterior doors. Door chains can be used to open a front entry door slightly to identify visitors while preventing them from pushing the door open. Make it a habit to keep all your doors and windows locked at all times, day and night.
* Ladies, please do comfort over fashion. Don't wear six-inch heels when you have to walk at least two minutes; when you are attending a dance party; when going to the beach; when you're in some rustic environment; or if you have to walk to get from the parking lot to the main area at work or elsewhere.
* Avoid wearing expensive jewellery when you are out alone. Also think before choosing to wear certain types of clothing to certain places. Get into the habit of leaving restrictive clothing and shoes for those occasions when your safety risk is lower, such as when you have someone picking you up from work.
* Safety is in numbers. Wait in a nearby shop or in a well-lit area for public transport to arrive.
* While travelling on buses, to avoid being blocked in by a potential assailant, always choose an aisle seat or try to sit behind the driver.
* Always check the identification of the driver (usually located near the visor) and ensure that the photo matches the driver.
*Be aware of cars with central locking systems. Don't sit behind the driver as it may be easy for him or her to lock the rear passenger door. Always choose the adjacent seat
* Avoid taking white plate taxis from the street. Utilise the legal taxis services so that at least the driver and car can be traced.
* Resist the urge to wear headphones or listen to music when going for a jog. If you feel you are being followed, phone a friend or family member, share your concerns, and get them to stay on the line with you until you get home safely.
Jerome Morgan is a personal security and self defence enthusiast with over 11 years experience in security and intelligence locally and internationally. He is also a certified private investigator, black belt instructor and Krav Maga, who is passionate about helping the most vulnerable, including women, to defend themselves. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Archangel on Facebook.
— More next week