Friday, November 15, 2013

Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

With the holiday shopping season nipping at our heels, we've asked our Community Policing Division to prepare a few tips to help keep you safe during this time.

·       Travel safely: Make sure everyone wears a seatbelt, and if the weather doesn’t want to cooperate, slow down and give yourself plenty of room. You can’t enjoy the holidays if you don’t arrive safely.

·       Limit the distractions: Remember driving is a full time occupation. Driving distracted (phone, text, music) is dangerous. Leave the distractions turned off so you can arrive safely.

·       Out of sight, out of mind: When shopping, conceal packages in the trunk of your vehicle. Leaving all those expensive purchases lying on the back seat in plain view is an open opportunity for a car burglar. When you arrive home, please don’t display gifts openly, especially rooms that can be viewed from your front porch.

·       Shop light: When shopping, just carry the bare minimum. Leave you purse and bulky billfold at home. Carry only a driver license and one or two credit cards. If your credit card is lost or stolen, report it immediately to the credit card company so you will not be responsible for charges you did not make.

·       Candle safety: Candles make beautiful decorations, but beware of the fire risk. There are several new candle look-a-likes on the market now that utilize a safe long lasting LED bulb that won’t cause your holiday to go up in smoke.

·       Keep gifts out of view. Your family room might look like a Thomas Kinkade painting with the gifts placed around the tree, but this makes short work for a burglar. There are plenty of “Grinches” out there

·       Keep your doors locked:  Keep them locked, even when you are at home. Over half of all burglaries occur through unsecured doors. Keep your garage door closed and don’t forget to lock your car even if it is parked in the driveway or garage.

·       Know your neighbors:  If you plan on being out of town over the holidays let a trusted neighbor or friend know your plans and provide them a phone number just in case. Make sure to arrange to have the trash put out at the curb on trash day, and have the mail picked up or stopped. Don’t forget to shut the water off to your washing machine and have someone do a walk through of your home just in case the furnace goes out. It would ruin the holiday to return home to frozen or broken pipes.