Thursday, November 12, 2009

Safety Tips to Protect Against Holiday Crime

Safety Tips to Protect Against Holiday Crime

The holiday season is a time for giving, sharing and enjoying family and friends. Unfortunately, it's also a season for criminals, who have more targets carrying extra money with lowered awareness.

But there are ways to protect yourself and to lessen your chances of a crime happening to you.

  • Stay alert.
  • Keep your mind on your surroundings, who’s in front of you and who’s behind you. Don’t get distracted.
  • Walk purposefully, stand tall, and make eye contact with people around you.

  • If you feel uncomfortable, leave.
  • Personal Protection
  • Make yourself a "tough target."
  • Don’t think that it can’t happen to you.
  • Should you resist? Every situation is different.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings.
  • If being followed call 911 or drive to a police station

Home and Neighborhood
  • Good locks, simple precautions, neighborhood awareness, and common sense can help prevent most property crimes.
  • Install and use good deadbolt locks in your doors (half burglars enter through unlocked doors and windows).
  • Secure sliding glass doors with locks or a rigid wooden dowel wedged in the track.
  • Lock double-hung windows by sliding a bolt or nail into a hole drilled at a downward angle through the top of each sash and into the frame.
  • Trim back shrubbery hiding doors or windows. Cut back tree limbs that could help a thief climb to the second story.
  • Make sure all porches, entrances, and yards are well lit.
  • Maintain the neighborhood. Dark alleys, litter, and rundown areas attract criminals.
  • Do not hide house keys in mail boxes, planters, under doormats or in other easy to find places.
  • Do not put personal identification on key rings.
  • Leave only your ignition key with mechanics or parking attendants, keeping other keys safe.
  • Install a peephole or viewer in all entry doors so you can see who is outside without opening the door.
  • Do not trust door chains. They can be easily broken.
  • Don’t open the door to strangers. Insist service personnel verify their identity before letting them in.
  • Don’t give any information to "wrong number" callers.
  • Check references of any person calling about a survey or credit check before offering information.
  • Hang up immediately on threatening or harassing calls.
  • Make your home appear occupied when you go out
--Leave lights on and the radio playing.

--Keep your garage door closed and locked.

--Use timing devices to turn inside lights on and off.

--If you will be gone several days, arrange to have the mail and papers stopped or picked up. Many burglaries occur during the day when neighbors could report the thieves.


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