Although it may feel like you have no chance against natural
disasters or criminal acts, there are a number of things you can do
to minimise your risk of falling victim to these negative events.
We have compiled a few safety hints and tips to help you make sure
your home, business, motor vehicle and other valued items are as
secure as possible.
Ensure that you and your vehicle are safe
- Double check that your vehicle is locked by testing the doors
after pressing the immobiliser button.
- Make sure you test all immobiliser devices and security systems
at regular intervals. If there are any faults, an authorised
service provider should be contacted to fix or replace the faulty
system with a recommended device.
- Personal items such as sunglasses, cell phones and even
groceries should not be visible in the vehicle and should rather be
stored in a locked boot, thereby reducing the temptation to steal.
Some insurance policies specify that items need to be locked in the
boot when unattended, so train yourself and your family to do so on
a permanent basis.
- We provide optional cover for claims on stolen groceries and
household goods from cars. The car however needs to have been
locked at the time of the theft.
Safe driving tips
- Plan your trips in advance. This allows you time to decide
which roads to use and can help you avoid poor weather and high
- Have your car serviced by a qualified service mechanic.
- Make sure your windscreen is undamaged; this includes cracks
that can obstruct your view.
- Check to make sure your wiper blades are fully functional. If
worn out, replace them before you travel.
- Check the quality of your tyres. Worn out tyre treads can
reduce braking time; especially on a wet surface.
- Make sure your headlights work properly and offer good
Prevent or limit hail damage on the road:
- Vehicle owners should follow weather reports closely during
summer to lessen the risk of being caught in a hailstorm while
driving - in severe cases hail can be 20cm deep.
- If a hailstorm starts while driving, the first thing to do is
to find a shelter such as petrol station, shopping mall parking or
even a bridge.
- If there is no shelter nearby, pull over to a safe area because
hail will cause more damage to a moving vehicle.
- If parked in the driveway, or if there is no parking garage,
vehicle owners should layer their vehicles with thick blankets to
minimise the impact of hailstones, these can be bought cheaply and
left in the boot of the vehicle.
Minimise the effect of hail damage at home
- It's important to clear gutters of leaves, twigs and any other
debris regularly. Hail takes a while to melt and an overflowing
gutter could lead to a leaking roof and further damage.
- When fitting gutters, quality matters. Better quality gutters
are able to withstand increased water flow during rainfall and
- When building, it's sensible to opt for impact resistant
roofing as it will prevent any serious damage to the roof
Make sure your business premises are secure when you close shop
for a holiday break
- Make sure the alarm is working properly.
- Park the fleet in a secure place under lock and key and
preferably under security guard protection, too.
- Do a quick check of electrical equipment to make sure there are
no potential fire-causing bad connections.
- Pack all valuable goods away in a storeroom where curious
passersby cannot see them.
- Make sure anyone who has access to your premises knows how to
use the alarm and has a comprehensive list of emergency contact
- Do not rely on the CCTV system. Hire a security company, too,
to keep an eye on your business whilst it's locked up for the
- Go over your insurance policies or contact your broker to
verify the terms of your policy to make sure everything's up to
date and that you're not under- or over-insured.
- Make sure there are at least two people back home that you can
contact in case of emergency and who can contact you easily and
Keep hearth and home safe while you're on holiday
- Don't tell the world (on Facebook or Twitter) when you're going
away and how long you'll be gone for. It's not only your friends
who may be interested in this information.
- Leave a spare set of house keys with someone you trust. Don't
leave the spare keys outside under a flowerpot or in the post box.
Also give this person a copy of your flight tickets, passports,
contact numbers, itinerary, travel insurance documents, travellers
cheques and ID books.
- Except for the fridge and freezer, unplug all electrical
appliances to prevent the possibility of fire. Turning your geyser
off will save you money on the electricity bill.
- Talking of the geyser, if it's older than three years, get a
plumber to check it out for you. If it floods while you're away, it
will incur thousands of rands of damage.
- Consider installing a timer if you can't find someone to come
in and switch your lights off in the mornings and on in the
evenings. This will give people the impression of someone being
- Review the terms of your household insurance to make sure you
are fully covered in the event of a burglary or an accident that
may cause damage.
- Contact your post office to arrange for your mail to be held
while you are on holiday.
- Practice common sense while on holiday. Don't carry large sums
of cash on you; safely secure valuables such as cameras and laptop
computers when you're not using them; don't be cavalier with money
and jewellery and be sensible when using ATMs in unfamiliar places.
It's also a good idea to find out where the closest police station
is when you check into your holiday accommodation.
Reduce your risk of identity theft
- Never give out your personal bank PIN numbers to anyone or
allow anyone to peep over your shoulder at the ATM;
- Before throwing away any financial statements, be sure to shred
- Make copies of your driver's licence, ID books, passports and
all cards in your wallet, and ensure that you have copies of these
saved in a safe place;
- Never shop online on unprotected websites, always make sure
there is a lock symbol on the site;
- Check your bank and credit card statements regularly for
strange or unusual transactions and keep your statements safe;
- Never give your credit card or personal information over the
phone unless you initiated the call and trust the business;
- If you are using the Internet through wireless connection
specifically, ensure that you have all the approved software and
safety precautions in place - check with your service provider for
the best protection;
- When shopping at retailers or paying at restaurants, never let
your credit card go out of sight. Keep a close eye on the
- Banks and other financial institutions will never ask you for
your PIN codes or sensitive information over the phone or
email. So be aware of phishing attempts and alert your bank
if you receive any requests along the lines of "your account is
currently suspended" or "Internet banking service upgrade" for
- If you suspect that you are a victim of identity theft, contact
the police or the South African Fraud Prevention Service
immediately to assist you. You can also verify your ID status
on the Home Affairs website to make sure you are registered as
"alive" and not "deceased". You can visit the website on www.dha.gov.za for more