Many of us know the regular safety precautions to take during the holiday season but even as I was doing the research I found some new tips for myself. I hope this list will help to ensure we all have a happy and safe holiday season.
- Whether at holiday parties or out with friends, be sure to designate a driver. There are many ways to get home safely whether it is using public transit, taxis, designated-driver services or calling a friend; it is important that everyone gets home safely.
- Park in well-lit areas and those closest to building entrances. If possible don’t walk alone. Wait for others going the same direction as you or go with friends or family. Whether you are going out or shopping there is safety in numbers.
- Always have your keys ready whether you are getting in your car or entering your home. Be aware of who and what is around you.
- Do not leave boxes from big-ticket purchases out for recycling. It notifies potential thieves of what high-value items are in your home. Consider taking boxes to a recycling centre yourself.
- If you have a home security system, be sure to set the alarm every time you leave.
- Make sure that your house address is well-lit and visible from the street. Do not cover your address with decorations.
- Use trusted websites. Look for a padlock icon in the upper right corner of any page asking for your credit card information to indicate it is secure. Monitor your bank accounts closely.
- Never give away your PIN code online.
- Always open websites in a new browser before entering any personal information.
- When making a purchase, don’t take your eyes off of your debit card if someone else is handling it.
- When using debit or credit cards, make sure to cover the pin pad when entering the PIN and never give your PIN to anyone else.
- Don’t leave bags or packages in your vehicle in a parking lot. If you need to continue shopping, make sure bags are out of sight. Always lock your vehicle.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Being distracted is an opportunity for a thief intent on stealing your belongings. Be cautious of strangers who approach you while shopping.
- Do not leave your bags, purse or purchases unattended at any time.
Going out of town
- Be sure to notify a neighbour that you will be away. Ask them to collect all flyers and mail that land on your doorstep (even if you are only away for a couple of days).
- Leave light and noise on in your home. Using timers to turn lights and radios on are a great way to give the appearance that your home is occupied.
- Don’t post on social media that you are going away. Save those pictures and posts for when you return home.
- If you are driving, keep an emergency kit and blankets in your vehicle. Make sure someone knows your travel route and the time you plan to arrive at your destination.
Have a happy and safe holiday season!
Until next time…
Debbie Sellers, ENW
Edmonton Neighbourhood Watch (ENW) is a not-for-profit, charitable, volunteer passive crime prevention organization.