By: Harold Zarecki, DES
Used with permission Fort Greely Interceptor
The holiday season is filled with happiness and celebration, but it can also be a time of danger. Unfortunately, there are criminals who use the holidays to target victims who may be distracted by the busy season. The holiday season is a time when busy people can become careless and vulnerable to theft and other holiday crime. Don’t let the rush and excitement of the holiday season make you careless in protecting your home from potential criminals.
Shopping during the holiday season can present unique danger. Taking a few prevention measures can help keep your holiday season joyous: Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member. Dress casually and comfortably. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry. Do not carry a purse or wallet, if possible. Always carry your driver’s license or identification along with necessary cash, checks and/or a credit card you expect to use. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Pay for purchases with a check or credit card when possible. Keep cash in your front pocket. Be extra careful if you do carry a wallet or purse. They are the prime targets of criminals in crowded shopping areas, transportation terminals, bus stops, on buses and other rapid transit. Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps. Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, con-artists may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.
When removing money from the ATM be observant and look around for any suspicious persons or activity near the ATM machine. The ATM is an especially vulnerable area during the holiday season. The holidays can present potentially dangerous situations for children. Some simple prevention measures can help keep your children safe during the season. Here are a few tips: If possible, leave small children at home with a trusted babysitter. Teach your child to go to a store clerk and ask for help in case your child is separated from you. Teach children to stay close to you at all times while shopping. Never allow children to make unaccompanied trips to the restroom. Children should never be allowed to go to the car alone and they should never be left alone in the car. Teach children their full name, address and telephone number to give to police officers or security officers. Teach children to immediately inform you if a stranger is bothering them.
For more information on how to protect you and your loved ones during the holiday season and to take the Holiday Safety Quiz