22 December 2021
It is always important to be aware of safety issues but particularly at this time of the year with its longer darkness and holiday shopping and distractions. Here are a few things to be aware of:
When you dispose of the cardboard that kept your high priced gifts intact, don’t just place them at the curb. Take apart the box or other packaging and fold it in on itself or tie it together so that there are no indicators of what the item was. Otherwise, you are just advertising a shopping list for some burglar.
Cars in the Driveway
Any cars in the driveway should be locked. That includes those frosty mornings when you are preheating the car or trying to defrost windows. Keep any packages concealed. Equip your house’s exterior with motion sensors that will turn on lights and cameras.
Don’t leave the car unattended as you transfer packages indoors.
In a hurry to get home or those times when the weather makes driving treacherous, try to keep alert for anyone following you. As you pull into your parking space or driveway, suddenly there is another car blocking your exit. The next thing you know someone is at your driver’s window with a gun and directing you to hand over your valuables.
Walking up the sidewalk to the door, especially at night, be careful of areas like around shrubbery or decorations, where someone can be lurking.
As you shop, park as close to your entrance as possible. If you are alone and carrying many bags or items, ask the security guard to keep an eye on you until you get into your vehicle.
‘Tis the season to receive lots of boxes. If you notice a delivery truck in the neighborhood, keep an eye on the packages that are left on door steps. If you see something unusual, see if you can get a photo of a license plate. Many people have doorbell cameras that will also get a good view of the culprit.
If you have neighbors who are home during the day, alert them when you are expecting a delivery. Retirees are great candidates for this job because they have more time to watch comings and goings.
While you might not be your brother’s keeper, wouldn’t you want someone keeping an eye on your property to prevent its theft?
If you are going to be away during the holidays, be sure to stop your mail delivery. It can be easily accomplished online. Don’t post on social media until you have returned home. Set timers to turn lights on and off in various rooms that will correspond with your usual schedule. Set up a radio, and turn the volume very high, in your living room or bedroom so that it sounds like you are watching television during hours you would normally do so. Notify reliable neighbors.
If you have a security system, be sure it is activated and display signage. If you don’t have a security system, put up signage anyway.