The holiday season is fast approaching and as we hurry to cross off everything on our To Do Lists, it’s easy to forget our safety routines. Here are a few reminders that will help you avoid the dangers and hassles of being victimized by opportunistic criminals.
At the ATM Machine
Fisherman go where the fish are and criminals go where they have the greatest chance of success. An ATM machine is a great fishing hole for the desperate criminal needing a fast buck.
· Avoid drive-through ATM machines after dark. It’s very easy to box a person inside their vehicle and demand that they withdraw money. Quite often you can’t even open your door in a drive-through ATM, which keeps you pinned inside.
· Make an effort to go into a grocery store or bank where it is crowded to make a withdrawal. It only takes a few extra minutes.
Purse and Wallet Safety
Purse snatchers ambush distracted, unsuspecting victims. You can’t see the criminal sneaking up behind you, yet they can see your purse or wallet, and they time the theft to their advantage.
· Carry your purse or wallet close to you in front of your body where a criminal is less likely to see it and still remain out of your line of sight. Purse snatchers don’t want to be seen, so you will be a less attractive target.
· While walking to or from a store keep your head up, your hands in front of you and, if possible, hold your keys through your fingers.
Parking Lot Safety
Let’s keep this one simple. The second you park your vehicle, lock the doors and head for the store. When returning to your vehicle, get in, lock the doors immediately, and drive away. Think “lock and relocate.”
Many people post their out of town plans on social media. There’s nothing wrong with being active on social media, but there are steps you can take to prevent break-ins while you’re away from home.
· Leave a front and rear light on in your house the entire time you’re gone. This is a small price to pay for security.
· Use a timer to turn interior lights on and off in the evenings.
· Leave a car in the driveway, or better yet ask a neighbor to park one in your driveway.
· Invest in small signs that say, “beware of dog” or “premises under video surveillance” and place them at the front and back of your property.
· Keep in mind that the “perception” that the house is occupied is real for the criminal.
Traffic Safety for Kids
Nothing is as important as your child’s safety during the holiday season!
· Remind your children to be extra alert to traffic when walking through parking lots and playing at home near the street. In all the hustle and bustle, distracted drivers will be less likely to notice children on foot or on that new bike or scooter they just got for Christmas.
· For drivers, remember that it’s often difficult or even impossible to see a small child behind you, especially in an SUV or full-size truck.
Tragic statistics go up drastically during the holidays. Accidents and criminals don’t take time off, so communicate all your safety expectations to your children and be vigilant. The holidays are filled with joy, but also timelines, shopping, and commotion. Remember to breathe, take time to reflect on what truly matters, and enjoy the season with family and friends.
Happy Holidays Team, stay safe 🙂