The following are a few extra precautions you can take during the holiday season to help ensure that you have the safe and uneventful celebration you envision and deserve:
Top Shopping Safety Tips:
• Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, park in a well lighted area, go with a friend or family member and ensure that you tell someone where you are going and when you intend to return.
• Try to shop when it is less crowded.
• Dress casually and comfortably. Reducing stress during shopping can increase your awareness and safety.
• Avoid wearing expensive jewelry if possible. Save it for your family gathering.
• Don’t carry a purse or wallet if possible.
• Always carry your Drivers License or an Identification Card.
• Stay alert to your surroundings and always be ready to provide your location.
• Always carry a cell phone and have local emergency numbers available.
• Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
• Avoid carrying large or bulky items. Ask for help from a trusted source.
• Pay for purchases with a check, credit or debit card when possible.
• Keep cash or wallets in your front pocket.
• Keep you credit account information and phone numbers in a safe place and immediately report any lost, stolen or misused cards.
• Make sure you keep an eye on your credit card when it is being processed and make sure you get it back after the transaction.
• ALWAYS keep an eye on your children or if possible leave them at home with a responsible adult. If you must bring them, have another adult with you who can watch them while you are conducting a transaction.
• Teach children to stay by you and what to do if they lose site of you.
• Be prepared to provide complete information about your children to law enforcement in the event of an emergency.
• Immediately report any suspicious activity.
• While using an ATM machine during the holidays you should be extra alert:
• Use them during daylight hours if possible. If not, pick a well lighted and populated area.
• Use machines in populated areas at all times.
• Have a friend or family member with you.
• Protect your personal identification number (PIN).
• Make sure it does not appear that the ATM machine has been tampered with.
• Be aware of your surroundings and look around for anyone acting suspiciously at or near the machine before you use it.
• Never help others at the ATM machine.
• Be prepared to make your transaction. Do not stand at the machine figuring out deposits.
• Park in well lighted areas and as close to the establishment as possible.
• Make note of where you parked your vehicle.
• Walk with a friend or relative.
• Ask for a security escort to your car if you feel unsafe or it is a late hour.
• Leave with large “friendly” groups.
• Lock your vehicle.
• Keep all valuables, including items you just purchased, out of view. Use your trunk if possible.
• Have your keys in your hand before you leave the store.
Parties or Social Gatherings:
• Plan carefully and well in advance.
• Celebrate responsibly.
• If you drink alcoholic beverages – Always have a designated driver or make arrangements to stay where you are at.
• Avoid celebrating with gunfire at any time.