We can avoid death, delays, thefts and other crimes in December
As the year closes in, the public is occupied by or with many activities some personal, work-related, government or non-governmental. ;
Every person is rushing to close the year on a positive note. These activities are associated with huge numbers of people at the same place, movements, shopping, merrymaking, etc.
Companies and institutions are looking forward to closing the year in style of course by making sure they hit set targets, but also celebrate achievements of the last 11 months. ;
End-of-year parties are everywhere across the city from November to the end of December. Hotels are booked to capacity both for lodging, conference and garden facilities. ;
Institutions with upcountry staff invite them for these end-year functions, most banks will be closed on one of the Saturdays of these remaining days of the year and the reason is to have an end-of-year party attended by its staff. ;
Schools end the year at the beginning of December. Most universities will also close towards Christmas days. ;
Therefore, in the last three weeks of December, the movement of goods and people increased sharply putting pressure on the few available public means. Taxi and bus parks are full and fares automatically go up. ;
The airport traffic will double both in and out, hence increased traffic in cities and upcountry.
All these activities mentioned above have implications for the safety and security of persons and their valuables. ;
For one to get out of this season unhurt, extra precautions are necessary to safeguard both lives, properties and households. Most of us are required to do what would ordinarily be usual, but very important as far as safety and security safeguards are concerned.
By looking at the police crime index, the last three months of the year contribute close to over 40% of the total number of crimes committed over the year. When it comes to traffic accidents, it becomes worse. ;
Individually and collectively, we have a responsibility to change these trends. A life saved today can be a life changer to a family or society tomorrow. ;
As I have always done, I owe the nation a responsibility to share basic safety and security tips that can save a life or secure a facility, home, warehouse, or shop, from fire thefts, break-ins, vandalism or even death. ;
Road safety tips
As you plan to drive whether around the city centre or upcountry, endeavor to do the following, ensure to wear a seat belt from one point to the other. This rule applies to both driver and passengers and it should not be compromised. ;
Subject your car to normal checks by a qualified mechanic. This service is almost free on every petrol station. ;
The “I know my car syndrome doesn’t apply when it comes to either one’s life”. Take breaks every after two hours of driving, this freshens the mind of the driver and kills off the possibility of sleep while driving.
Keep the speed below 100kmphr, don’t overtake if you are unable to see 200 meters ahead of you, follow road signs religiously, keep window glasses ¾ open to allow fresh air inside the car, and keep checking dashboard signs. ;
Any new sign especially temperature, oil and engine signs immediately turn to the next petrol station and seek professional advice. When you avoid overspeeding, you have complied with 60% of road safety demands. The most common cause of accidents in Uganda are cousins of overspeeding. ;
This is the most challenging means of transport because it’s highly regulated and time-capped. Quite often passengers error on three things, departure time, necessary documents and 24-hour time style. The airline industry counts their time in a 24-hour clock. ;
When you read your ticket and find your departure time as 02:30hrs, this means 02:30 am in the night. I have seen over 30 cases where passengers show up at the airport at 12:00hrs (Mid-day) for a 02:30hrs flight. Get used to the 24-hour clock if you are a passenger. Secondly, most flights close their check-in counters 1hr or 1hr 30 minutes before departure. ;
This is to give airline, immigration and security officials to clear checked-in passengers including boarding them. On peak time at Entebbe airport- between 12:00noon to 17:00hrs, five major flights take off including; Emirates, Uganda Airlines, Qatar, KQ, and Ethiopia, among others. Both departures and arrivals are busy and this clogs all activities at the airport.
Latecomers always miss flights and become angry and frustrated at airport officials, especially airlines and security staff for no reason. When it comes to Christmas time, the trouble doubles, to avoid missing the flight together with the necessary costs, arrive at the airport at least three hours before departure time. ;
Before you depart home, ensure you have your travel documents- passport, national ID for regional destination minus TZ, Yellow fever card, if possible google your destination country travel requirements to avoid stories at the airport. ;
Home, work safety and security
Those that didn’t reap in the last 11 months are getting ready to harvest from us so that they can as well merrymake between 25-31th. ;
They can only harvest from our pockets, and bank accounts, vandalize our cars, break into our houses, shops, and warehouses etc. To have what to sell or eat. This is very possible to happen but also very possible to stop or minimize.
- Improve security lights at home and work. Darkness harbours criminals and facilitates their movement and activities. ;
- Hire a private security guard to take care of your house office or factory when you are away. The cost is manageable compared to the cost of replacing what has been stolen, damaged or vandalized. ;
- Install security systems that are alive and can be monitored remotely. CCTV and intruder alarms communicate with you in real-time and in case of any intrusion, you can ask for police or private security intervention. These systems also scare away the would-be criminals. ;
- Keep at least one or two people at home. This is critical for township dwellers. Criminals also know when to attack. They do their reconnaissance well and by the time you are back, you find a shell house.
- Relate well with your neighbours. Our neighbours are our un-commissioned security guards. They can effectively monitor the environment and report effectively even when they are not on our payroll. ; ;
- Estate private security: Some organized estates in Kampala have contracted services of private security to improve their security notwithstanding the availability of similar services offered by Uganda Police and sister security agencies. ;
- Offices: switch off electrical equipment not in use like ACs, computers and others during long Christmas break. Such equipment is always a source of electric fires. An office custodian should be on site all the time to attend to emergencies especially giving access to responders like plumbers, electricians, and AC experts. ;
Finally, the ultimate safety and security measure is to seek the expertise of a professional. Ugandans want to try it first then on heavy failure and loss, seek professional assistance. ;
Like the way you walk to a doctor’s, lawyer’s or accountant’s office, it’s the same way you should to safety and security experts. The consequences of unsafe and insecure practices are detrimental. ;
The effects of unsafe and insecure acts are so costly that sometimes lives are lost. If you want me and you to catch up next year, follow these tips above.
The writer is a Safety and Security expert.
Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).