Christmas is here again, with its peculiar Security problems. So it is natural we should launch this weekly Darforp Security Blog with Security Tips for the season.
In many parts of the world, the rate of crime increases just before Christmas. Part of the reason for this is the quest by criminals for money to spend during the season on travels, entertainment etc, and the fact that money is easily available on people and in homes as people stock up.
In Nigeria, as in many parts of the world, people take advantage of the holidays to travel to the countryside to visit with family and friends. This may mean having no one at the town house for the period. We, therefore, have to take measures to safeguard the empty house, have a safe journey to and fro the countryside, and stay safe while away.
A. The Town House:
if no one is staying behind here,
· Ensure the windows and doors are locked. We assume the windows, especially the ones on the ground and first floors have good burglar-proof protection.
· Draw the curtains close.
· Leave all Security lights, and at least one light point inside the house, on. This is to make believe that there is someone in the house.
· Keep travel plans closely guarded. Not everyone (even among your friends) has the Need To Know this.
· Lock away ladders and any such items that will aid intruders scale the wall.
· Arm the intrusion alarms, and have the CCTV systems record on motion-activated mode, if electronic systems are installed.
· Have the local police and/or a trusted neighbor keep an eye on the house while you are away
B. On the Road:
· Only road-worthy vehicles with correct and current particulars should be put on the road. This prevents avoidable delays with the police and mechanic.
· Leave early enough to avoid doing the last lap of the journey at night. This allows time to deal with unexpected hiccups.
· Keep valuable locked away in the vehicle trunk.
· Keep doors locked and windows wound up enough to stop a hand being trust into the car from outside, in slow moving traffic.
· Maintain the approved speed limit.
· Have someone (like the trusted neighbor looking after your house) manage the journey for you. Agree on points from where you should call to report progress. If they do not hear from you, they should call you. Likewise, if you have unexpected problems, report to them while finding a solution.
· Do not offer lift to strangers. You could be overpowered on the way and disposed of valuables, including your car.
· If traveling in a commercial vehicle, do not accept food or drink from strangers. They could be drugged.
· Keep an eye on your luggage while your commercial vehicle is dropping off passengers. Your luggage could be switched.
· Drive on the inner or middle lane if in a slow-moving traffic. Hoodlums operate easily and freely from the side nearest the side or service lane.
· Do not economize on gas. Better to have a full tank at the end of the journey than to have an empty one in the middle of nowhere, especially with night approaching.
C. The Countryside:
· Maintain low profile. Flaunting wealth and opulence naturally attracts criminals to you
· Get the threat analysis from those who stay in the place. The current or prevailing crime profile should be a good guide.
· Avoid isolated spots. Do not move alone. There is strength in numbers.
· Avoid keeping late nights.
· Let someone know where you are at all times.
· Know who your true friends are.
The above list is not exhaustive. It is supposed to be a guide. Should you need a quick advice on any Security issue, call our Helpline: +234 0802 222 1738.
Ostar Christopher, CPP, CAS, CFE