How to avoid hijackings:
• Be vigilant when pulling out of your driveway or coming home – most hijackings occur close to home.
• If you suspect you are being followed, slow down at least two to three houses prior to your home to force the vehicle behind you to pass.
• If you have an electric gate, do not pull into your driveway before opening the gate. Rather open your gate while your car is still on the road to allow a quick getaway if necessary.
• If you do not have an electric gate and your child is in the car, take the ignition key with you as you stop to open the gate. The key is a valuable negotiating tool – the criminals want your car and you want your child.
• Don’t fall for the “tap tap” trap where the driver of another vehicle gently drives into the back of your car in traffic.
Never get out of your car to assess the damage but rather drive to a busy location. Signal to the other driver to follow you. If it is not legitimate they will seldom follow you.
Safety tips to share with your children:
• Make sure your children memorise their full names, address and phone number.
• Using a play phone, teach children when and how to dial 10111.
• Put other emergency numbers on speed dial on your home phone and mobile. Teach your children how to operate the speed dial, explaining when it should be used.
• Always leave a phone number where you can be reached along with numbers for neighbours and emergency services right next to the phone.
• Make sure they realise the importance of speaking clearly and telling the emergency services exactly what is happening.
• Let your children practise operating door and window locks.
• Set a good example by locking doors and windows and checking to see who it is before opening a gate or door.
• Teach them to not reveal on the phone or at the door that no adults are home but to rather say their parents are too busy to come to the phone or door.
• Rehearse the home fire escape plan with your children.
• Teach your children basic first aid such as putting pressure on a bleeding wound and what to do with minor burns.
• Show them how to press the panic button and explain when they should do so.
Hide your keys
In many home thefts, criminals are known for taking vehicles along with the household contents. To prevent this, always ensure your vehicle keys or spare keys are hidden in an unusual place, especially if you’re away on holiday. Although it is convenient, it is best to not have keys on key hooks or counters where they are easily seen, – rather put them out of sight and in a safe place.