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

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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


Got a story you want to share? Email us

Renting your space short-term? You need to know these safety tips.

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Deciding to share your space or rent out your little slice of heaven can feel scary. Namola, the free safety app supported by Dialdirect, offers you the following advice to ensure that you are safe when renting out your house.


Set guest requirements. According to Airbnb, every guest is asked to provide certain details to them before a booking. As a host, you also have the option to request a guest identification (an ID or passport) and a security deposit. You should outline specific expectations to your guests before they book and include any house or complex rules.


Interact smartly. Always pay and communicate on Airbnb. Use Airbnb’s messaging system to get to know your guests and share expectations about the trip or your space. Read profiles and reviews of your potential guests, and look for verified phone numbers, connected social networks, and references. If potential guests don’t have any profile verifications, you can ask them to complete some. Trust your intuition: If you don’t feel right about a reservation, don’t accept it!


Mention safety features in your house manual. If a guest encounters an emergency situation, it’s important they know who to call, what to do, and where to go. Tell your guests about the Namola safety app. For foreigners, or people who are not familiar with your town, a free emergency safety app is better than any other emergency numbers you may leave. It will be a great addition to ease their mind about safety during their stay. It is also a good idea to fill out a home safety card.


Make sure that you’re insured. Even though Airbnb have host protection insurance for hosts, you may want to give your insurance company a call and check your cover. Dialdirect encourages Airbnb hosts to check out their Bed and Breakfast Insurance, which includes fire damage to buildings, loss or damage to the structure of your building and a whole lot more.


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5 things everyone should know about being in an emergency

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An emergency is any situation that poses an immediate threat to a person’s health, security, property, or environment. Knowing how to assess the signs that make up an emergency will help you know how to handle it.


Namola, the free emergency safety app supported by Dialdirect, encourages South Africans to be proactive in their safety by downloading and testing Namola. Dialdirect also offers the following advice, should you find yourself in an emergency situation.


Namola is on your smartphone. This may sound obvious, but in an emergency, panic can take over. Regularly test your Namola app and put it on your home screen so it is easily accessible in an emergency.


Panic may set in. Remain calm. Although emergencies require rapid action, the most important factor in effectively handling the situation is to keep calm. If you find yourself becoming confused or anxious, stop what you’re doing. Take a deep breath. Reassure yourself that you can handle the situation.


You may need additional help. No matter your emergency, use your Namola app for emergency assistance. After you request assistance through Namola, one of Namola’s dedicated Operators will call and confirm your emergency and coordinate the right help for you. Remember you need to answer your phone or communicate with the Response Operator through Namola’s in-app chat feature.


There could be an immediate threat. If one person appears injured, are you or anyone else in danger of also being injured? If you find yourself in an emergency of this nature, keep yourself safe. Run to a safe location, or find shelter in a safe place and then request assistance through Namola.


You may need to comfort victims. If you have assessed that there is no immediate threat to your safety and you can safely assist someone else in leaving a dangerous situation, do so. If the situation is risky, rather wait for a trained responder. You could still assist by offering verbal reassurance to an injured person if they are conscious, even if you can’t move them. Let that person know who you are and what is happening to them. Ask them questions to keep them conscious. If the situation is stable, stay with the victim.


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5 ways to get the most out of your Dialdirect Namola App

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Dialdirect Namola a FREE emergency safety app. South Africans now have a simple and easy way to get help fast. Read these 5 steps to ensuring that you are getting the most out of your app.


One: Test Namola.

Just as you would test your home alarm system to check that it works, Namola encourages you to test your app frequently. Not only will this empower you to know how Namola works in an emergency, but it will also give you peace of mind that someone will call you when you need help the most. Remember you need to hold down the request assistance button. You may just be tapping the “request assistance” button to get emergency assistance, but remember you need to hold it down for 3 seconds until the button is completely red.


[READ] why you should test Namola


Two: Turn your location settings on. In an emergency, every second counts. Namola encourages their users to keep their location settings on permanently, to ensure that you do not waste time in an emergency.


[READ] 6 common myths about your location settings in Namola


Three: Add your loved ones to the Family Safety feature. The Family Safety feature allows you to permanently share your location with your nearest and dearest. We all have that time where it would be so valuable to know where your loved ones are. 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.


[READ] more about Family Safety


Four: Put the Namola app on your home screen. In an emergency, there is no time to waste. Not only do we at Namola encourage you to test Namola, but we also encourage you to place it on the Home screen of your smartphone so that it is top of mind and easy to access.


[READ] nightmare home invasion, has happy ending


Five: Add your emergency information. Any extra information that can be accessed by your dedicated Namola Operator, will save time and maybe even your life. Your data is protected by POPI and can only be accessed by the Namola operator when you request assistance through Namola.


[READ] how easy it is to fill in your emergency information


Download Namola FREE

Own a business? You need the Dialdirect Namola emergency app. Here’s why.

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Business robberies and intimidation of shop owners, especially of small spaza shops, has been big news lately. Just two nights ago we heard of a Bangladeshi shop owner who was seriously injured when robbers invaded his store and then set it on fire, with him inside. So when a threatening call came through to Happy Hyper* a couple of weeks ago, one of the employees recommended that the owner download the Dialdirect Namola emergency app.


“We received a threatening call”


“We received a threatening call a couple of weeks ago, and it was very difficult to know what to do and who to call,” says Yusuf* owner of Happy Hyper. “So when my employee showed me how the Dialdirect Namola App worked, I told all of my staff to download and test it, and I downloaded it onto the phone that we use for customers to call.”


It was not two weeks later when one of Happy Hyper’s employees answered the shop phone to a threatening message. Having been prepped by the owner on what to do in this type of emergency, the employee instructed his colleagues to close the shop, while he opened the Namola App and requested assistance. Due to the fact that Yusuf had cleverly added his details as one of the shop phone’s 5 emergency contacts he also got a notification that the store was in danger.


Responders arrived ten minutes later


Ten minutes later, first responders arrived on scene, followed by ADT, whom the owner of the shop had alerted. Five minutes after their arrival, SAPS were on scene.


“I couldn’t believe how fast everyone was on scene,” says Yusuf. “Your App is really great for situations like these. Even though no one was arrested, the information and help that I received made me feel completely safe.”


Hostages get help fast


Four months ago, Dialdirect Namola reported on a story in which a shop owner saved her customers and staff members with the app. She was working in the storeroom when perpetrators stormed her shop and held up her employees and customers. She used the Chat Feature to communicate in silence with the Namola Operator, so that she could stay out of sight and sound. Read her incredible story now

If you own a shop, be safe and download Namola. Potential perpetrators, think twice before you decide to rob or intimidate shop owners — Namola has their back.

Download the Dialdirect Namola emergency app FREE

*Names have been changed for User’s protection

Guy Fawkes Safety

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Remember, remember the 5th of November. Guy Fawkes Night — it’s the night bonfires are lit and fireworks set off. 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. Although not widely celebrated in South Africa, Namola — the free safety app supported by Dialdirect Insurance — has the following advice for keeping safe this Guy Fawkes Night:

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 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 Namola.

Download Namola FREE