5 simple ways to make your community a safer place to live

There are many simple actions the average person can take to make their communities a safer place to live.  With just a little time and effort, you can take control of your neighbourhood and keep yourself safe from criminals. Here are 5 simple ideas from Dialdirect Namola to make your community safe.

 

Be an active community member. Take interest in your community and find out what is being done to make your community safer. There may be a Neighbourhood Watch group that you can join. Even if you are not able to become a Neighbourhood Watch patroller, providing a coffee stop for patrollers or offering to contribute in another manner can go a long way. We can all start somewhere. Report suspicious activity to your Neighbourhood Watch. Cooperate by providing statements and witness testimony if you have information that could lead to the apprehension of a criminal.

 

If every good person in South Africa raised their hand

 

Encourage your community to make use of the Dialdirect Namola emergency app.  Tell your neighbours and local WhatsApp safety groups to download the Dialdirect Namola emergency app. This not only enhances their safety but also improves yours. It is also worth encouraging your Neighbourhood Watch Group to sign up for Namola Watch. Namola Watch allows community organisations like your local Neighbourhood Watch to respond to emergencies, fast.

 

Join Namola Watch now

 

Get to know your neighbours. Even if you have been living in your neighbourhood for a while, it’s never too late to introduce yourself to your neighbours. A trusted neighbour who keeps a vigilant eye on your home is one of the best crime deterrents there is.

 

Weaving the community safety net

 

Join your local WhatsApp / Facebook group. This is one of the best ways to stay in touch with what is happening in your community. Most communities will have an established WhatsApp or Facebook group. Speak to your neighbours or contact your local Neighbourhood Watch group to see how you can join.

 

WhatsApp Group do’s and don’ts

 

Clean up the neighbourhood. Organising a neighbourhood clean up is a great way to get people out of the house, and working together around a common cause. Call the city public works department and ask for help cleaning up.

 

#GetHelpFast with the Dialdirect Namola app. Download it now for free.

5 ways to stay safe this New Year’s Eve

Download and test the Dialdirect Namola emergency app. We cannot stress this enough. The Dialdirect Namola emergency app is the only way to go if you have an emergency this New Year’s eve. Make sure, that you have not only just downloaded it, but that you have signed up and tested the app to know how it works in an emergency.

 

 Watch how easy it is to test the Dialdirect Namola app

 

 

Family Safety Feature. Want to have the peace-of-mind that you and your loved ones are safe this New Year’s eve? Add your loved ones to the Family Safety feature. Make sure that they do the same for you.

 

Watch how easy it is to add your loved ones

 

 

Use a ride-sharing app. If you are planning on getting merry this New Year’s Eve and need to be on the roads, make sure that you sign-up and make use of ride-sharing apps such as Taxify.

 

Download the Taxify app now

 

Watch your drink. Unfortunately, there are those few who know how to ruin a party. Make sure that you do not fall victim to having your drink spiked. Never leave your drink unattended or with someone you barely know.

 

Tips to test for and avoid spiked drinks

 

Fire safety. If you are using fireworks to celebrate this New Year’s Eve, make sure you do it safely and read the following article from Dialdirect Namola emergency app Firework safety article

 

Planning Fireworks this New Years Eve? Here’s what you need to know

Kidnap victim found with the help of her real-time location

It’s the festive season and we are all pushing towards wrapping up the year. Some people are working overtime to make some extra cash for the holidays. Sibu’s* sister, Miriam* is one of these hard-working individuals that was pulling a few extra shifts to ensure she had some spending money this holiday season.

 

“Miriam works at a bar in Johannesburg,” explains Sibu. “She messaged me at around 1am on Sunday morning to say that she was going to catch a cab home. She told me that she was with a girl she had met and that she was going to drop her off first because she had had a lot to drink and wanted to make sure that she got home safely. I must have fallen asleep, but when I woke up the next morning, Miriam’s bed was unmade.”

 

The thought sent chills down her spine

 

The thought of her sister not coming home sent chills down Sibu’s spine. She tried to call her, but her phone just rang. After countless messages and missed calls, Sibu got really worried and called one of Miriam’s colleagues.

 

“Her colleague confirmed that she had seen Miriam get in the taxi with an unknown female,” Sibu tells us. “She said that before they left a scuffle had broken out in the bar with a couple of men harassing the lady. Miriam had wanted to make sure that she (the lady being harassed) got home safely.”

 

Sibu’s phone rang

 

“It was around this time, that I saw my phone ring,” says Sibu. It was Miriam calling. “I answered the phone and asked her where she was. She was incoherent and not making much sense, but she did tell me that she was scared. I tried to ask her some more questions, but I got cut off.”

 

When Sibu tried to call her back, there was no answer.

 

Sibu, then realised that she had was able to see where her sister was all along, as she had access to her sister’s GPS location and so with this new found information Sibu requested assistance through the Dialdirect Namola emergency app for further emergency assistance. She retold the story to the operator, who contacted the closest police station and nearest community responders.

 

“From the information that Miriam’s sister was able to give me, it sounded like a possible kidnapping incident. I made sure to notify all of the responders to ensure that we worked together to act fast and get Miriam the help she needed,” says the Operator.

 

A couple of minutes later the police arrived

 

A couple of minutes later, the police arrived on scene and rescued Miriam from the house. When we spoke to Sibu, Miriam was understandably shaken, but recovering in hospital. She had been drugged with an unknown substance.

 

“We are still trying to put together the pieces on what exactly happened,” says Sibu. “From what it looks like, the scuffle at the bar was all part of a ploy to kidnap Miriam. They found the lady Miriam had tried to help home at the house, unharmed.”

 

Police are still investigating.

 

“We finally got our Miriam back with the help of Dialdirect Namola and SAPS,” says Sibu. “It was the most traumatic experience of my life. Please download this app and always tell everyone where you go.”

 

Add your loved ones to the Family Safety feature

 

This story highlights why the new Dialdirect Namola feature, Family Safety, was introduced. By sharing your real-time location with your loved ones, it gives you — and them — the peace-of-mind to know that someone you trust can watch out for you if something goes horribly wrong. Don’t get caught off guard; make sure that you have downloaded the latest version of the Dialdirect Namola app and add your loved ones to the Family Safety feature. As you have just read, it could make the biggest difference.

Planning fireworks this New Years? Here’s what you need to know..

New Years Eve. Saying goodbye to the old year and seeing the new one in, in style. If you are planning on using fireworks to celebrate, remember that even though fireworks are beautiful and exciting to watch, they can also be potentially dangerous, which could cause damage to your property or harm your family and pets. Dialdirect Namola has the following advice for keeping safe when using fireworks this New Years eve:

 

Make sure that the fireworks are legitimate. You should only buy fireworks from authorised dealers and shops displaying the relevant permits from the South African Police Service (SAPS).

 

Know the law. The use of fireworks in South Africa is regulated by bylaws under the Explosives Act, 1956. It states that: Fireworks may not be set off in any public place, for example, in parks, on the pavement or the streets. This also includes shopping malls, restaurants, liquor stores and clothing retailers.

 

Designated areas. Check where the designated areas are and stick to them.

 

Avoid fire. Keep a bucket of water nearby in case of a malfunctioning firework.

 

Avoid injuries. Be sure to set off the fireworks in an area clear of people. Fireworks should only be lit in a designated area away from homes and other buildings, trees and cars. Never light fireworks on the grass, but always on a smooth, flat surface such as concrete or the pavement.

 

Keep your children safe. Never allow children to touch, handle or light fireworks. Red Cross hospital sees an influx of unnecessary burn victims from Guy Fawkes Night. Make sure you know where your children are when dealing with fireworks. Never let under 16’s handle fireworks on their own.

 

Even the little ones can be dangerous. Sparklers can be just as dangerous. Always light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves. Never hold a baby or child if you have a sparkler in your hands. Put finished sparklers with the hot end down in a bucket of water as soon as they have burnt out.

 

Pet owners need to take special precaution in keeping their pets safe. Dialdirect Namola offers the following advice for your furry friends:

 

Stay at home. If your pooch is a little skittish, rather stay at home if you suspect fireworks will be used in your neighbourhood. Just having someone at home while the fireworks are going off can have a calming effect on animals who may be frightened from the noise. If your dog is really nervous, a mild sedative or tranquilizer can calm the fears of a distressed animal. Speak to your vet about this.

 

Close the windows and the curtains. Attempt to mask any noise by closing the windows and drawing the curtains. Put the television or radio on to provide some noise distraction

 

Comfort them. Put familiar and comforting things around them such as toys, or their bed or basket.

 

Tire them out. Tire your dog out before the fireworks start by playing outside or going for a long walk. This will help get the animal into a calm state.

 

Keep your dogs inside. Keep your dogs inside on Guy Fawkes Night. If you have to be outside with your dog, keep him/her on a leash or in a carrier at all times. Dogs may try to sniff, eat or fetch thrown fireworks or ones that are lighted on the ground. Keep them away from parks, or areas where people may let off fireworks.

 

Beware of leftover items. If you walk your dog in a public place where fireworks have been set off, watch for leftover sparklers or other sharp objects.

 

To report a fire or if you have information relating to the illegal sale or use of fireworks, request assistance through the Dialdirect Namola emergency app.

 

Download the Dialdirect Namola app FREE

Three things you need to know if you experience a burglary.

Coming home to find that your home has been broken into can be very traumatic. Aside from the loss of valuables from your home, it can also leave you feeling as if your personal safe space has been violated. However, the next steps that you take are vital. The Dialdirect Namola app, therefore, encourages you to follow these important guidelines:

 

Leave the home and call the police. One never knows who is still inside the premises and so for your own safety, it is best to leave the home as it is. Use the Dialdirect Namola app to request assistance and get the police to your house. You should also contact your home security company.



Talk to neighbours or message your local WhatsApp Group. This will serve two purposes: one being that they could have seen or heard something that will be useful to the police, and also to alert them to the criminal element in the area.



Contact your insurance company.  Having home insurance is the only way that a homeowner will be able to recover any financial loss that is incurred during a burglary. If the household items were insured, the insurance company will need to be notified of the burglary. It’s also a great idea to see what benefits your insurance company can offer you in your time of need. Dialdirect Insurance, for example, offers to cover the costs of locks or keys lost or damaged in the burglary.  

 

For that extra – peace-of-mind download the Dialdirect Namola app.

Dialdirect is an authorised FSP

T’s and C’s online

 

A free guide to keeping your empty house safe.

Holidays, where homes are left empty, are like honey to the proverbial criminal bees. The Dialdirect Namola app encourages South Africans to be proactive in their fight against crime. Particularly if, with the upcoming public holidays, travelling away from home is on the cards. Make sure that your home is safe and that you take note of the following tips courtesy of Property 24 and the South African Police Service to keep your home safe while you are away:


Tell your insurance company.
Most insurance companies need to be notified if you leave your home unoccupied for 45 days. According to Maanda Tshifularo, Head of Dialdirect Insurance: “Even with all the insurance in the world, it’s a painful experience to come back from a relaxing holiday and find that your home has been emptied of your valuables. You owe it to yourself to ensure that the chances of that happening are minimal.”

 

Test your alarm. Just as Dialdirect Namola encourage you to test the app, make sure that your home alarm system is working properly before you go on holiday.

 

Ask a neighbour to keep an eye on the premises. A safer community starts with knowing your neighbours. Make sure that you are friendly with your neighbours so that they will be more amenable to watching out for your empty house while you are away. Suggest that they download the Dialdirect Namola app for their safety. It’s a great conversation opener.

 

Check access points. Close and lock all windows and doors and ensure all windows have burglar bars. Fit suitable locks and bolts to all sliding doors as a means to prevent burglars from lifting the glass off its tracks — the most common method for break-ins.

 

Leave no trace. If you are away for a long period of time, ask someone to clear your post box every few days. Cancel newspaper deliveries for the period you are away.

 

Never bury your treasure. Do not leave keys on the inside of doors or hidden under doormats, in flower pots, etc.

 

Pack away tools. Never leave tools in your garden or an unlocked garden shed that would help intruders break in.

 

Wherever you are this holiday season, remember that you can always #GetHelpFast with the Dialdirect Namola App. Download it now for free

Dialdirect is an authorised FSP

 

What you really should do if you are in a car accident?

Car accidents are an everyday occurrence on South African roads, but throw in end-of-year stress and holiday mode, and the roads are a scary place to find yourself on.

 

The Dialdirect Namola app wants to ensure that, should the worst happen this holiday season, that you know what to do. Read the following super simple tips on what to do if you find yourself in a car accident:

 

Stop and get help. Stop, switch on your hazards to warn other vehicles and climb out of your car if it is safe to do so. You are required by law to stop your vehicle if you are involved in an accident and commuters and pedestrians are injured or killed or property is damaged. Failing to stop is considered a criminal offence.  You can use your Dialdirect Namola app should you need the police or an ambulance. If you are a Dialdirect Insurance customer, you can also make use of their Tow Truck Direct benefit.

 

Clear the road. Move any cars that are obstructing the flow of traffic, but be sure to mark their position on the road first with chalk or spray paint if available, or to photograph the scene before the cars are moved. If a person or animal has been injured in the accident do not interfere with the evidence or move any vehicles unless those vehicles are obstructing the traffic completely.

 

Assess the damage. According to Dialdirect Insurance, you should take photos of the accident from as many different angles as possible. Take close-up photos of any damage to your car and any other cars involved. This will assist your insurance provider when it comes to claiming.

 

Questions and answers. You will need the following information from all other drivers involved in the accident as well as from people who witnessed the accident:

– Full names and surnames
– ID numbers
– Phone numbers (try and get two different numbers here)
– Physical addresses
– E-mail addresses
– Vehicle registration
– Description of the vehicles (make, model and colour)
– Names and contact details of the police officials, paramedics and tow truck drivers
– Your location: street name and suburb ( if you do not know this you can also request assistance through the Dialdirect Namola app)
– The time of the accident
– Road conditions and visibility

 

Take notes. Take note of what happened immediately before and after the accident. For example, was the other driver drunk, talking on their cell, or driving too fast? You need this information if you want to submit a claim to your insurance company or the Road Accident Fund, or if you want to claim the cost of the repairs to your car from other drivers.

 

Report the accident to the police. Report the accident to the police within 24 hours. If you are injured or in the hospital and cannot report the incident within 24 hours, do so as soon as you possibly can and explain why your report is delayed. It is an offence not to report an accident in which another person has been injured or in which someone else’s property has been damaged, even if neither of the parties intends taking legal action.

 

Report the accident to your insurance company. Report the accident to your insurance company even if you don’t intend submitting a claim to them. This is important because if you caused the accident, another party involved in the accident may wish to make a claim against your policy.

 

Don’t admit liability for the accident.  Even if you think that you may have caused it.

 

Don’t allow your vehicle to be towed by unknown companies. If you don’t have tow cover with your insurance company, ask the tow truck driver for a quote before your vehicle is towed away. Write down the name, contact details and vehicle registration number of the tow truck driver and find out where your car is being taken.

 

If you are insured with Dialdirect Insurance you have access to Tow Truck Direct. It’s their way of giving you direct access to the roadside assistance you need when you need it the most.

 

For that extra peace-of-mind download the Dialdirect Namola app.

 

Dialdirect is an authorised FSP

Family Safety feature

Brought to you by 

Let me tell you a quick story. My spouse has this uncanny ability to never be able to answer his phone. On top of all of this, he thinks (and let’s be honest this is probably why he married me) that I have super-human powers. These powers allow me to see that he has left work gone to the gym, popped in to see his mother or (and this is my personal favourite) meet him for a drink after work at our local. We have 6 locals. I cannot tell you how this new feature is going to change my life.

 

New Dialdirect Namola feature: Family Safety

 

Dialdirect Namola’s new feature, aptly called Family Safety, now gives you and your loved ones extra peace-of-mind, knowing whether they are safe at all times. With Namola’s emergency contacts, you could and still can add friends or family members that Namola would notify if you requested assistance through the app in the event of an emergency.

 

The Family Safety feature, however, has taken this to a whole different (superpower) level and allows you to permanently share your location with your nearest and dearest. Like me and my husband, we all have that time where it would be so valuable to know where your loved ones are. Whether it’s wanting to know that they get home safely after a late dinner party, or that their exercise route has not gone worryingly off course. It could be a loved one driving a considerable distance or a child old enough to be independent, but young enough for you to worry (are they ever old enough?). By them being able to share their location with you, and you with them, Family Safety gives everyone the peace-of-mind to know they are safe, and the power to have information at hand should you need to help them out.

 

Receive real-time notifications

 

As if that isn’t enough, Family Safety also gives you the option to receive real-time notifications when loved ones leave or arrive at a location. No need to remember to call your loved one to see that they have arrived safely home.

 

We know exactly what you’re thinking: “I don’t want just everyone to be able to see me, that’s kind of creepy?” We agree, super creeps, and so with Family Safety, we put the control in your hands. It is totally up to you to decide with whom and for how long you would like someone to know where you are.

 

Get peace-of-mind

 

So as we head into the silly season, have the peace-of-mind to know whether your loved ones are safe (with some really great safety tips below) and add your clan to Family Safety.

 

5 things you should do to prepare for the December holidays.

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Believe it or not, silly season is here. Before we blink, businesses will be downing tools and getting some well-deserved rest.  Before you run out of time, take note of these 5 things we at Namola, the free safety app supported by Dialdirect, encourage you to do to stay safe this silly season.

 

One: Check your home insurance policy. Leaving your house empty or renting it can both be associated with risks. Make sure that your insurance policy is up to date and you feel confident knowing your insurance company has your back. It’s also a great time to check that your home alarm is in working order. Just like you test Namola, give it a test too.

 

Need an insurance policy? Get a quote from Dialdirect now

 

Two: Open a Taxify account. Taxify is the smartest way to move around your city. This e-hailing service offers rides at the push of a button. With a zero-tolerance approach to drinking and driving this holiday season, make sure that you open a Taxify account.

 

Sign up to Taxify now

 

Three: Get your car checked. Planning a road trip with the family, there is no better time than now to check that your car is in top-notch condition to carry your family safely.

 

[READ] 10 things you need to check in your car before your road trip

 

Four: Fill in your emergency information in your Namola App. Take a couple of minutes to update your emergency information in your Namola App. It could save valuable time in an emergency, which in turn could save your life.

 

[WATCH] how to fill in your emergency information

 

Five: Make sure you and the kids have had “the safety” chat. Whether you are travelling by air or land, visiting a beach or a mountain, having a safety discussion with your kids is key. Remind them what to do in an emergency and what they should do if they get lost.

 

[READ] how to be safe when travelling with kids at an airport

Mother’s instinct tells her to get daughter, help fast.

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A parent’s worst nightmare is waking up in the middle of the night to five missed calls from your daughter. This nightmare became a reality for Tersia*, a mother of two. When Tersia tried to call her daughter back, her boyfriend answered the phone.

 

Five missed calls from her daughter

 

“I had five missed calls from my daughter. I thought that there was something wrong with my grandchild so I called back immediately. Her boyfriend answered the phone,” says Tersia. “When I asked him what the matter was, he said nothing and everything was fine, but I could hear my daughter crying in the background.”

 

As a mother, you never want to assume the worst, but when the hairs on the back of Tersia’s neck told her something was wrong, she listened to her instincts and requested assistance through Namola, the free mobile safety app.

 

Possible domestic abuse situation

 

Namola’s Response Centre Operator who received the request for help gathered the information about the possible domestic abuse situation taking place. When he tried to call Tersia’s daughter himself, and there was no answer, he jumped into gear and alerted the necessary responders.

 

Police were a couple of minutes away when Tersia’s daughter phoned her mother to say that she was safe and that her boyfriend had left the house. The Namola Operator called the police to stand down, but also mentioned that they should keep an ear out for any disturbances in the complex where Tersia’s daughter lived

 

You really are a lifesaver

 

When the Namola Operator called back the following evening to check on Tersia and her daughter, Tersia could hardly hold back the tears.

 

“Really you are a lifesaver,” she said to the Operator. “Because of you, I didn’t lose my mind and I remained calm. The Namola safety app is on my speed dial and I am telling everyone about this amazing app.”

 

Moms need Namola

 

When the Namola Operator asked her if she had installed the app on her daughter’s phone, she chuckled. “My daughter is the one that made me install it on my phone when it first came out a year ago. She may not want to use it, but she knows that she can get hold of me and I know exactly where to find help, fast.”

 

As a daughter, my mom is always the first on my call list. If you are a mom, make sure you are prepared for any emergency and download the Namola safety app FREE

 

*Names have been changed for User’s protection

 

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