Holiday Safety

DRIVING

  • Avoid driving alone or at night
  • Keep all car doors locked and windows closed while in or out of your car
  • If you must shop at night, park in a well-lighted area
  • Avoid parking next to vans, trucks with camper shells, or cars with tinted windows
  • Never leave your car unoccupied with the motor running or with children inside
  • Do not leave packages on the seat of your car This creates a temptation for thieves
  • When approaching and leaving your vehicle be aware of your surroundings
  • Do not approach your car alone if there are suspicious people in the area
  • Ask mall or store security for an escort before leaving your shopping location

AUTOMATED TELLER MACHINE (ATM)

  • If you must use an ATM, choose one that is located inside a police station, mall, or well-lighted location Withdraw only the amount of cash you need
  • Protect your PIN by shielding the ATM keypad from anyone who is standing near you
  • Do not throw your ATM receipt away at the ATM location

SHOPPING

  • Dress casually and comfortably
  • Avoid wearing expensive jewelry
  • Do not carry a purse or wallet, if possible
  • Always carry your Massachusetts Driver License or Identification Card along with necessary cash, checks and/or a credit card you expect to use
  • Even though you are rushed and thinking about a thousand things, stay alert of your surroundings
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash
  • Pay for purchases with a check or credit card when possible
  • Keep cash in your front pocket
  • Notify the credit card issuer immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen or misused
  • Keep a record of all of your credit card numbers in a safe place at home
  • Be extra careful if you do carry a wallet or purse They are the prime targets of criminals in crowded shopping areas, transportation terminals, bus stops, on buses and other rapid transit
  • Avoid overloading yourself with packages It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps

CHILDREN

  • If possible, leave small children at home with a trusted babysitter
  • Teach your child to go to a store clerk and ask for help in case your child is separated from you
  • Teach children to stay close to you at all times while shopping
  • Never allow children to make unaccompanied trips to the rest room
  • Children should never be allowed to go to the car alone and they should never be left alone in the car
  • Teach children their full name, address and telephone number to give to police officers or mall security Teach children to immediately inform you if a stranger is bothering them

AT HOME

  • Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave the house, even for a few minutes
  • When leaving home for an extended time, have a neighbor or family member watch your house and pick up your newspapers and mail
  • Indoor and outdoor lights should be on an automatic timer
  • Leave a radio or television on so the house looks and sounds occupied
  • Large displays of holiday gifts should not be visible through the windows and doors of your home
  • When setting up a Christmas tree or other holiday display, make sure doors and passageways are clear inside your home
  • Be sure your Christmas tree is mounted on a sturdy base so children, elderly persons or family pets cannot pull it over on themselves
  • If you use lights on your Christmas tree ensure the wiring is not damaged or frayed Frayed or damaged wiring can cause a fire
  • Place your Christmas tree in water or wet sand to keep it green
  • Never place wrapping paper in your fireplace

STANGERS AT YOUR DOOR

  • Be aware that criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts
  • It is not uncommon for criminals to take advantage of the generosity of people during the holiday season by soliciting donations door-to-door for charitable causes although no charity is involved
  • Ask for their identification, and find out how the donated funds will be used
  • If you are not satisfied, do not donate
  • Donate to a recognized charitable organization

HOSTING A PARTY

  • Have non-alcoholic beverages available for party guests
  • Find alternative transportation for intoxicated guests
  • Arrange for an official designated driver for your party who will not drink at all

ATTENDING A PARTY

  • Have something to eat before consuming alcoholic beverages
  • Eat high protein foods that will stay in your stomach longer and slow the absorption of alcohol into your system
  • Remember only time will eliminate the alcohol from your body
  • Know your safe limit
  • Never drink and drive