Recently, I listened to counsel by a security goon regarding precautions needed for the coming festive months.....or whenever we party. I 'd like to share some of those tips with you:

Location of the party.
Use an Event centre if party is big. May use Home if party is small. But better to use your compound than House. If Compound, then close all doors to the house. If house, then pack all valuables into one room and lock it up.

Festivities may involve a lot cooking. Better to do all cooking in the compound and outside the house. If indoor cooking, place Gas Cylinder outside and pipe gas to indoor Cooker. In case of fire, you can easily turn off the external gas cylinder and reduce fuel to the fire. Observe hygeine.
Fire extinguishers must be full and handy and you and your household must learn and practise how to use them.

Smoking Cigarettes.
In closed places? Better not. Smoking while driving? Better not.

Security at the venue.
On arrival, do a quick but thorough appraisal of the security situation of the event venue and surroundings. Park your car facing the exit of the event venue. If outside parking, park in tandem with the traffic and not against it....so you do not need to reverse before leaving. Within the venue, sit facing the exit and not backing it.....so you can watch the comings and goings.

Security during transactions.
Withdrawing money and paying cash? Better not. Better to pay by POS than withdraw cash from ATMs to avoid being mugged.
Responding to SMS alerts. Confirm from your bank by actually visiting before giving out impt PINs and codes.
Conversations. Avoid sensitive conversations in public places like buses to avoid giving away important info to potential robbers. Ask the caller to call you back.

When shopping.
Staying together. To avoid losing your kids from straying. If such kids are teenagers, Congregating at a predetermined spot would suffice. All of you should agee to meet there after an agreed length of time after shopping. So you must all wear wristwatches and synchronize them. If kids are infants, hold their hands continuously throughout the shopping.

Parking spaces.
You must consider parking issues if shopping at or eating out at eateries located on streets full of such like Bode Thomas in Surulere and Ajose Adeogun in V.I.

Don't provide alcohol to guests at all for you have a responsibility to them to get home safely. If you serve alcohol, you must check your guests from excessive drinking or get them a sober person to drive them home.

Staying late at parties?
Have company so reducing risk of being mugged if leaving late and trekking through lonely paths. Otherwise, sleep over...

Dr Tosin Akindele is a Lagos-based Medical Practitioner, a former Secretary of AGPMPN Ikorodu zone, a former Secretary of the Quackery Committee of AGPMPN Lagos State Branch, founder of Analytical Minds, a good health advocate and social critic.

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Articles by Tosin Akindele