The holidays are here. As such, people will be out visiting friends and relatives. They will also be out shopping. While most folks will have no problem, the best way to ensure this is by thinking about holiday safety, as criminals also come out during this time.
Considering the potential for problems during this season, numerous police agencies have issued tips for staying safe. These include both personal and home safety methods. Whether going out yourself, or sending family members goodbye for a few hours, consider these tips for staying safe. And make sure everyone you know follows them as well.
Personal Holiday Safety
The best way to stay safe when out is through situational awareness. Staying aware can be difficult with everything going on, but it is crucial. Not only is this important making sure the kids don’t disappear to look at something, but also to keep personal items from walking away. Of course, when shopping, walking away from the cart is pretty much expected. However, there are ways to make sure no one trifles with purses.
First, always keep the purse closed. Additionally, though, consider running the child safety strap on shopping carts though the straps. However, since not every cart comes with these, also consider attaching a carabiner and clipping it to the cart. Of course, the best way to not take a purse, instead carrying a small amount of cash in a front pocket.
Those out and about should also travel in groups as much as possible. It is much harder to attack groups of people than individuals. However, this isn’t always possible, so pay particular attention when walking through parking lots, especially at night. If anything makes you suspicious, go back inside and ask for an escort, or wait until others are heading in the same general direction.
After arriving at your car, take a good look around. Sometimes, bad people hide nearby or under cars to attack when attention is elsewhere. Take a particularly good look in the backseat. If you don’t carry a gun, keep your keys in your hand. This allows you to quickly enter the car, and provides a defensive tool in an emergency. Also, consider parking near a light, as it makes it easier to see. This is when a good flashlight comes in very handy, which can also make a good defensive tool for fighting back.
Home Holiday Safety
The holidays are also when many folks travel. While this can be great fun, it also leaves homes unattended. While a security system is probably the best defense, there are numerous other methods to deter criminals. One, make absolutely sure that all doors and windows are locked. This is important whether anyone is home or not. Also, get to know your neighbors — this is good for many reasons — and get one to keep a watch on your house and pick up mail and newspapers.
You should also set lights, both interior and exterior, on timers. Also, consider leaving a radio or TV running, also on a timer. Doing so makes it look like someone is around.
Folks also need to be careful when at home. There are numerous scams that take advantage of generosity, and some criminals steal packages off porches or pose as delivery drivers to obtain access. If in doubt, always ask to see ID through windows or the peephole. You can even call the company to make sure the courier is real.
It is sad that we have to take such precautions to ensure holiday safety during this happy time. However, it is not really all that different than the rest of the year. There will always be certain elements that will take advantage of any situation, many of which that have no regard to the laws of man. It is always up to you to keep yourself safe, regardless of the time of year.
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