Monday, December 5, 2016

Here are a few tips to help keep everyone jolly and safe at home and when you are out this holiday season.

Parking Lots

  • Stay focused: When driving in a parking lot, chose a spot that is well lit and located closer to the entrance of the building. Also, look around before you get out of your car or the building. Notice if there is anyone walking or hanging around the parking lot. You do not want to be on your phone completely distracted to everything going on around you.
  • Keys in Hand: Try not to have your hands completely full of shopping bags and presents. If possible, it is important to have your keys in hand so you have easy access to your car. It is best to avoid being focused on finding your keys at the bottom of your purse in a dark parking lot.
  • Out of Sight: Do not leave valuables in sight in your car. Try to use your trunk or other covered spaces within your car. It may just be too tempting for the holiday Grinch when they walk by your car.
  • Safety in Numbers: Not only is it fun to go shopping with family and friends, there is always safety in numbers. If you did not drive together and parked in separate areas, it would be smart to walk together to one car and then drive to the other car. Also, there is usually a security guard in shopping areas and offices that could always walk you to your car.

Credit Cards

  • Online shopping: When you are making those online purchases, make sure you are using legitimate websites. Start with well-known stores. In addition, it is important that webpage is secured before you start to enter your credit card. Look for the 'https:' in the URL.
  • In-store Shopping: Make sure you pay attention to your credit card and that it ends up back in your wallet before you leave the cash register. We all become so distracted. It would be easy to leave a credit card behind as we rush to go check off the next person on the holiday gift list or the next to-do item.

Traveling

  • Social Media: Save the status updates for later. Four out of five burglars used social networks last year to find out when people were not home. Telling friends and family your holiday plans on social media may seem harmless, but that social media message can be an advertisement to burglars that says, "I'm not home." Don't let your social media behavior while you're gone put your home at risk for a burglary.
  • Merry and Bright: Keep some lights on at your house. If a burglar has a choice, they will select a darker house over a well-lit one.

According to Shane Cohea, Director of Safety, Security, and Emergency Preparedness for Norman Regional Health System, "We need to be alert and in tune with the appropriate precautions necessary to stay safe and enjoy the holidays with family and friends. Being rushed could create a vulnerable situation for those who are distracted." We all need to plan ahead and slow down so our days can be merry and bright... and safe.