Homeowners can empower their staff by teaching them about safety

2018-12-11 06:00

HOME security is about more than safeguarding your family and your property; it includes the safety of your domestic staff, who are often home alone for hours at a time while the family is at work and school.

A local private security company has urged homeowners to make sure anyone who works on their property knows the basic principles of personal safety, so that they are familiar with how to act in an emergency. Domestic workers, says Fidelity ADT’s District Manager for KwaZulu-Natal Ivan Govender, play an integral part in any home security system and it’s critical that they are empowered and equipped to look after their own safety, as well as the safety of anyone else on the property.

“Everyone wants and deserves to be safe, no matter who they are and where they work. In the same way that you should share safety tips with your friends and loved ones, you should also share it with anyone that works on your property,” he said.

He urges domestic workers to ask themselves: What would you do if someone tried to break into the house that you are working at? Do you know where the panic buttons are, and how to call for help? If not, discuss it with your employer as soon as possible.

Govender offered some pointers to share with domestic workers:

• Be careful of having unguarded conversations about your employer or their property — you never know who might be listening.

• Be observant and speak up if you see something suspicious in the suburb. If you see something or someone that appears to be out of place, take a photo with your cellphone

• Never allow anyone onto the property or indoors unless they have an appointment or if they have a legitimate reason to be there, and your employer confirmed it for you

• Exchange cell phone numbers with domestic workers at nearby properties so that you can alert each other of suspicious activities

Talk about security and safety issues with your domestic worker and/or gardener. Teach your domestic worker how to arm and disarm the alarm; ideally they should have their own password and code — Supplied.

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