2017 Holiday Safety Tips

by Terry Bryant

With this year’s holiday season right around the corner, we checked with local police and fire officials for their advice on safety. Here’s some of what they told us.

Driving and Parking

  • Keep all vehicle doors locked and windows closed while in or out of your car.
  • If you shop at night, park in well-lit areas.
  • Avoid parking next to high-profile vehicles (vans, trucks, etc) which block the view to yours.
  • Never leave your car with the motor running or children inside, even if you lock the doors.
  • Hide all packages or valuables in your car trunk.
  • Have keys in hand when you reach your car.
  • When approaching or leaving your vehicle, check your surroundings; if there are suspicious people nearby, walk away and dial 911.

ATM’s

  • Choose an ATM inside a police station, mall, or well-lit location.
  • Try to limit withdrawals to $50 or less.
  • Protect your PIN by shielding the keypad with your hand.

Shopping

  • Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you shop at night, go with a friend or family member.
  • If possible, ask mall or store security for an escort when leaving your shopping location.
  • Avoid wearing expensive clothing or jewelry.
  • Even though you are rushed and your mind is cluttered, keep aware of your surroundings.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash: pay with credit or debit card when possible.
  • Keep cash in your front pocket.
  • Be extra careful if you do carry a wallet or purse. They are the prime targets of criminals.
  • Avoid overloading yourself with packages. Make frequent trips to carry them to your car.
  • Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. “Con-artists” try various ways of distracting you to take your money or belongings.

Children

  • Teach your child to go to a store clerk and ask for help from a security officer if you become separated.
  • Teach them to stay close to you in public.
  • Never allow children to visit the restroom or go to the car alone.
  • Teach children to tell you immediately if a stranger bothers them.

At Home

  • When leaving home for an extended period, have a neighbor or family member watch your house and pick up your newspapers and mail.
  • Keep indoor and outdoor lights on automatic timers.
  • Put radios or televisions on timers too so the house looks and sounds occupied.
  • Keep large displays of holiday gifts away from sight through your home’s windows and doors.
  • Keep Christmas trees away from high-trafficked areas.
  • Be sure your tree is on a sturdy base so children, the elderly, or pets cannot knock it over.
  • Check the wiring on Christmas tree lights to make certain it isn’t frayed, which is a dangerous fire hazard.
  • Strangers at Your Front Door
    • Criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts.
    • Others try to steal packages delivered to your door. Have your packages sent to remote drop-offs (Amazon boxes) or a mail store if possible.
    • Criminals often pose as charity workers and solicit “donations” door-to-door. Ask for identification, and find out how the donated funds are used. Or ask for the charity’s name and address so you can send a check if you are suspicious. Donate only to recognized charitable organizations.

And NEVER drink and drive.

If you have questions or would like to speak to someone at our firm, contact Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law at 1 (800) 444-5000 or fill out our online contact form.

And Happy Holidays!