Holiday Safety 2017

When store shelves are filled with all things pumpkin spice and Thanksgiving centerpieces sit next to sparkling reindeer displays, you know the holidays are here! Amidst the turkey day prep, travel planning and tinsel topping tree trimming, it can be easy to forget about one of the most important holiday gifts of all; your safety. So here are some things to remember.

When it comes to Thanksgiving, the day is synonymous with the four ‘F’s; family, friends, food and football. But there is another ‘F’ that comes to mind as well…Black FRIDAY! Millions of Americans take to streets to shop till they drop on Black Friday, some even getting a jump-start with sales that begin Thanksgiving Night. Before you head out to brave the crowds, remember to stay alert as you navigate stores and parking lots. For starters, never buy more than you can carry, thieves and criminals look for folks who exit stores with their arms full. People who do so are easy targets for bad actors. Second, park wisely. Lots are going to be full and parking road rage happens. So, breathe, relax and remember to take your time. Never park too far away thinking you’re out-smarting the crowds. …And if you must, make sure you find a spot that is very well lit. Lastly, once those all-important purchases are in the car, make plans to head straight home so you can tuck away the fruits of your shopping labor in the safe keeping of your home. If you have to continue on to other holiday errands, make sure your purchases are well secured out of sight. For more information on Black Friday safety tips, visit the National Crime Prevention Council’s website:

http://www.ncpc.org/about/news/you-need-a-personal-safety-plan-for-black-friday

Once you’ve awakened from your turkey induced, tryptophan slumber and it’s time to trim the tree, it’s still important to keep safety at the top of your holiday giving list. When it comes to Christmas and holiday safety, keeping your home safe and secure from visitors other than St. Nick, is key. As the season approaches, many of us find ourselves out and about at holiday parties, traveling to see family or even venturing off to a holiday island getaway to truly unplug from the stress of the season under the shade of a beach cabana! If this all sounds familiar, here is some safety planning food for thought. Avoid posting your vacation and time-away-from-home plans on social media. While social media certainly has its benefits, it has become an all-too-easy-forum for criminals to track your every move. So keep your plans private. …And speaking of social media and the internet, many Americans take to online shopping for all their holiday shopping needs. If you do so, be mindful of the delivery of those coveted packages. Don’t let boxes pile up at your door. The holiday season is the gift that keeps on giving for thieves who case neighborhoods, looking for unattended packages. If you can’t arrange for package deliveries when someone will be home to receive them, ask a neighbor to pick up the package. That way it will be kept safe and sound and out of the hands of criminals. When it comes to online shopping, use only trusted sites that will encrypt important personal information. While online shopping is convenient it sadly can provide a window into your life, making you an easy target for identity theft. So just as you are vigilant about making your holiday lists and checking them twice, make sure you keep those who are naughty at bay by taking extra care when shopping online. For more online shopping safety tips visit:

https://usa.kaspersky.com/resource-center/preemptive-safety/online-shopping-tips

The holidays are a time for fun, family, friends and creating memories that last a lifetime. Remember to plan ahead during all the fun and festivities, so that times of celebration and joy, don’t turn into a time of sadness and tragedy.

For more general holiday safety tips check out this additional resource from the National Safety Council.

http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/news-and-resources-holiday-safety.aspx

May your holiday season be safe, merry and bright!