I ran across a few tips that are certainly good ideas for your holiday season while out shopping and during holiday travel. These tips come from The Law Enforcement Officer’s Complete Crime Prevention Manual and American Crime Prevention Institute. 

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AT HOME:

Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave your house or apartment.

Don’t display holiday gifts where they can be seen from a window or doorway. Store gifts before you go away on a holiday trip.

If you go out for the evening, turn on lights and a radio or television so the house or apartment appears to be occupied.

If you take a holiday trip away from your home, have some interior lights activated by an automatic timer. Have a neighbor or family member watch your house, pickup the mail and newspaper and park his or her vehicle in your driveway from time to time.

Be wary of strangers soliciting for charitable donations. They may attempt to take advantage of people’s generosity during the holidays. Ask for identification, how donated funds are used, if contributions are tax deductible, etc. If you aren’t satisfied with the answers, don’t give.

Immediately after the holidays, mark new gifts with an identification number and record new serial numbers.

Use only fire resistant ornaments on a holiday tree and make sure electric lights are in good working order. Don’t leave the lights on overnight or when you are away from home.

Avoid leaving boxes from purchases (especially TV’s, VCR’s, computer, etc.) out on the curb for trash pickup.

SHOPPING:

Shop before dark if possible. Coordinate shopping trips with a friend. Never park in an unlit lot or area, no matter how convenient it is.

Lock your packages and gifts in your vehicle’s trunk. Keep you vehicle’s doors locked and windows closed.

Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Pay for purchases with a check, credit card, or debit card when possible.

Be extra careful with purses and wallets.

Teach children to go to a store clerk or security guard and ask for help if you become separated. They should never go into a parking lot alone.

These are just a few good ideas to help insure a safe and happy holiday season.