The holidays mean celebration, togetherness, and good cheer – but they also mean increased risk of crime and accidents. Here are some of our tips for ensuring you have a safe and happy holiday season:
If Santa can get down your chimney, thieves can be equally resourceful.
·Security lighting is the number one theft deterrent, so make sure your home has photo-sensitive lighting and that entries and garages are well lit.
·Leave a television or radio on when you are not home so it seems the home is occupied.
·Do not throw the boxes for electronics such as home theater systems or computers on the trash because that is a heads-up that you have something to steal. Instead break down the boxes and bring them to your local recycling center or trash dump.
·Mark expensive gifts with a drivers license number or identification number and take photos of any fits that cannot be marked with an engraving pen, such as jewelry. Do not use your Social Security Number.
·Leave lights on indoors and set them on timers so they turn on at night. Use CSA certified timers for exterior lights.
·Do not leave displays of holiday gifts in view through the windows of your home.
·Criminals sometimes pose as deliverymen for gifts and as door-to-door solicitors for charitable causes. Always ask for identification before allowing a stranger into your home. Do not make charitable donations at your door; ask for the name of the charity and say you will make a donation on your own time. Then check with your local Better Business Bureau to be sure the charity is not a scam. Only donate to recognizable charities because there are online scams too.
·When shopping, always have your keys ready as your approach your car. It is preferable to go shopping with someone else.
·Check the wiring for holiday decorations to be sure they are not damaged or frayed.
·Always be sure to have a bulb in every outlet.
·Never connect more than one extension cord together.
·Keep electrical connectors off the ground and away from metal rain gutters.
·Use insulated tape or plastic connectors not nails to hang electrical decorations.
·Place your Christmas tree in water or wet sand to keep it green.
·Be sure artificial trees are rated as fire retardant.
·Never drive or allow others to drive when intoxicated, even a little. Only time will eliminate alcohol from the body, not coffee or food.
·Eat before drinking, especially high protein food that will stay in your stomach longer and slow the absorption of alcohol.
·Have non-alcoholic beverages available.
·Arrange to have a designated driver for your party who will take home inebriated guests.
·When having guests over, be sure to lock medicines away and put purses and coats in a separate room, away from children, to keep them from “exploring” and accidentally ingesting medication.
·Take careful food precautions. Food may sit out on buffets longer than you expect, so avoid serving perishable foods with mayonnaise sauces, fish, etcetera.