During the holiday season, it is easy to get distracted, let down your guard and become a little less careful about your safety and that of your family.
But with Christmas shopping, holiday gifts and criminals waiting to take advantage of the season, it is best to take some precautions.
Lt. Keith Hupp, patrol watch commander with the , offered five easy tips and helpful advice that everyone can follow to better ensure their safety during the holidays:
1. When going Christmas shopping, do not leave gifts already purchased visible in your vehicle. Either put them in your trunk before you park at the store you are visiting, or better yet, drop them off at home before continuing to shop. Many auto burglaries happen because people leave valuable items for thieves to see inside their vehicles.
2. When withdrawing cash from the bank or ATM, be aware of your surroundings and who is watching—especially at night.
3. When not at home, make sure to completely secure your house, locking all doors and windows. Many burglaries occur through windows or doors that someone forgot to lock.
4. Safeguard your ID and credit cards. Shred all bills and credit card solicitations instead of throwing them in the trash can.
Check your credit card statements frequently to make sure you do not have unauthorized charges. Use caution when using credit cards online. Subscribe to a credit monitoring service.
5. When away from the house for more than a couple of days, set a few lights in the house to go on and off at different times with an inexpensive timer that can be purchased at a home improvement store.
Consider putting a small radio on a timer as well. Do not leave mail or newspapers to gather while gone, or ask a neighbor or relative to pick up these items so it is not an obvious sign that you are out of town.
Always have one or two neighbors who you can exchange phone numbers with, and let them know when you will be away from home so they can keep an eye out on your house.
There are many other safety tips that you can follow that are inexpensive yet decrease the chances that you will become a victim of crime.
Use common sense and think security and it will provide a safer environment for your family!
Have a great holiday season, and be careful: there are many people who drink and drive during the holidays, and always remember to "BUCKLE UP."
You may contact the by calling 323-563-5400 for more information and other safety tips.