Here are some tips for not just the Christmas season but throughout the year:
Lock doors and windows. This applies to your home and to your vehicles. Don’t openly display your Christmas tree and gifts. Don’t advertise your absence from your home by leaving lights on 24 hours of the day, newspapers piled up on your front door or lawn, and/or uncollected mail. Set “timers” on a few lights within your home and even leave a radio on, especially at night! Don’t hide keys to your home outside. Burglars know where to look! Make arrangements with a friend or neighbor to have your key instead. Make sure your answering machine message doesn’t give any clue that you are gone, even for a day. Burglars find your name, mostly from mail boxes, they call “Information”and get your number, if listed, which in turn they call to see if anyone is at home. After Christmas, tear down your product boxes. Don’t give burglars any idea of what you got for Christmas: TV’s, computers, DVD player, etc., so that they come back later and help themselves to your possessions. While shopping, take extra care, especially at night. Park in well lighted areas, shop with a companion or quit shopping before dark. Try not to walk alone; walk with a group or at least with someone else. Lock your vehicles and make sure your windows are closed as well. Don’t display your purchases. Carry your keys in your hand and look carefully around your vehicle as you approach it. Look inside as well before unlocking your vehicle. Avoid carrying large sums of money. Pay with credit/debit cards instead. Ladies guard your purses! “Strap” them to your shopping carts using the infant straps in most carts or strap them to your cart using a lanyard or a small bungee cord. Men, guard your wallet! Having it in your back pocket isn’t suggested unless the pocket buttons and/or zips. Put it in an inside jacket pocket instead.