The holiday season is a hectic and eventful time of year, but don’t let the holiday spirit lull you into giving burglars or pick pockets an opportunity to take advantage. Here are some tips for keeping yourself, your loved ones, and your property safe this holiday season.
If you’re traveling:
• Ask a neighbor to watch the house and, if possible, park a car in your driveway from time to time.
• Put timers on different lights throughout the interior and exterior of your home.
• Stop newspaper and mail delivery or make arrangements for someone you trust to collect these items for you.
If you’re shopping:
• Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings. Limit the use of your cell phone in public areas.
• Avoid carrying large amounts of cash, your passport, or your social security card.
• Don’t overburden yourself with packages. Carry your purse close to your body in front of you. Put wallet in front pocket or in a pocket inside your coat.
• Park in well lit areas. Lock your doors, close the windows, and hide any shopping packages in the trunk.
• Have children? Teach them to go to a store clerk or a security guard if you get separated.
If you’re out for the evening:
• Turn on lights and the TV or radio to make it look like someone is home.
• Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave.
• Don’t display gifts where they can be seen the window.
Most importantly, have a happy and safe holiday season!
Photo of lights in downtown Menlo Park taken by Chris Gulker in 2009