PUPILS and students are currently focused on their end-of-year exams and all the pressure and stress that this entails.
It is perfectly understandable to want to celebrate when the examination process is finished, but a South African security company has called for these festivities to be done in a safe and responsible manner.
“Sadly, every year there are reports of deaths and injuries at end-of-exam parties caused by road accidents, excessive drinking, drug overdosing and other avoidable acts. Theft and vandalism is also too often an occurrence at these parties, and we are therefore appealing to everyone to party responsibly and never neglect their personal safety,” said Charnel Hattingh, National Marketing and Communications Manager at Fidelity ADT.
Hattingh offers these easy safety tips for Grade 12 pupils on their way to “Matric Rage” events as well as everyone else who will be celebrating away from home in a possibly unfamiliar area:
• Before leaving your accommodation for the day or night, ensure that anything valuable is locked away in a drawer or safe.
• Never carry large amounts of cash or go out wearing flashy or expensive jewellery.
• If your accommodation is a holiday house or apartment, make sure all the doors are locked, the windows are properly shut and that the alarm is activated if a system is installed.
• When out at different events and activities, be aware of your surroundings and arrange with your friends to keep an eye on each other and your belongings.
• If you are approached by a suspicious individual; walk away and report it to the closest security or to the police.
• Do not accept drinks from strangers and do not leave your drinks unattended. Spiking of drinks is still rife.
WHEN IT IS TIME TO RETURN TO YOUR ACCOMMODATION:
• Never leave without your friends.
• Do not accept a lift from a stranger; rather use transport provided by the event organisers.
• Driving after a few drinks is never an option. Call a cab or use event shuttles if they are available instead.
• Consider appointing a designated driver or someone who agrees not to drink and will be responsible for getting everyone home safely.
Hattingh urges parents and caregivers to have a conversation with their kids about these safety tips, to help prepare them.
“The reality is that matrics will be partying, and they have certainly earned the chance to blow off some steam. Let us encourage them to do it as responsibly as possible.
“It may also be worth speaking to your security provider about personal safety apps that are available as well as services such as ‘Meet and Greets’ to ensure peace of mind,” she concluded.