Community Safety

10 Safety Tips for The Holiday Season

November 29, 2023

0 mins

Community Safety

10 Safety Tips for The Holiday Season

The holiday season is upon us, and it brings both merriment and increased safety risks. In an effort to keep you, your family, and your community safe this year – here are 10 safety tips for the holiday season.

1. Don’t leave valuables in your car when shopping

Whether heading to the mall or a big box retailer, have a plan ahead of time. How long will you be shopping? Where will you stow your purchases? Will you order ahead and pick up your item curbside? If purchasing a big-ticket item in-store, can you have a store employee meet you at a side exit to load it into your car?

By thinking through what you’ll purchase and how you’ll be as discreet as possible getting it into your car is vital. Crimes of opportunity are rife this time of year as many folks are focused on the merriment and forget to stay aware. So, plan ahead to stay safe. 

2. Be vigilant in parking lots

Robbery in parking lots is common during this time of year as people have more cash and valuables with them. Even something as mundane as a trip to the grocery store can result in an unwelcome encounter with a criminal.

When you’re somewhere that you need to load items into your car, using the triangle method is a great way to protect yourself from being an easy target. 

3. Vary your route home and check for suspicious vehicles

Once your items are loaded safely into your vehicle, consider varying your normal route home. Many jugging incidents happen due to someone being followed home.

By being aware of your surroundings and not taking a typical path, you can help deter this type of crime. Read our article to learn more about jugging and how to avoid it: What Is Jugging? 5 Tips to Keep You Safe From This Dangerous Crime.

4. Protect your packages from porch pirates

Tis the season of increased package delivery, so be sure to remove packages from your porch promptly. If you’re not able to do so, consider having someone else collect your package or delaying the delivery time to when you’re home.

For even more safety tips, check out this video on holiday season porch pirates

5. Secure your neighborhood with LPR

Porch pirates are just one common crime during the holidays. Burglaries of homes and cars are also a possibility. In order to help deter criminals and solve crime when it happens, consider installing license plate recognition (LPR) cameras. This will provide vital information including license plates and vehicle descriptions for if and when a crime occurs.

Learn more about protecting your community in our article: How to Implement a 3-Step Approach to Safer Neighborhoods

6. Take precautions for seasonal fire hazards

With all the twinkling lights of the season comes increased chances of fire risk. From a dry Christmas tree to kitchen accidents and misplaced candles and space heaters, be extra careful about fire safety during the holiday season.

According to FEMA, half of home decoration fires in December are started by candles. Be smart about where you place your tree too. FEMA also shares, more than 1 in every 5 Christmas tree fires were caused by a heat source too close to the tree.

Lastly, rechargeable batteries are a potentially dangerous item. If you’re giving gifts with lithium-ion batteries, be careful where and how you store them. For more tips on battery safety, check out these tips from FEMA.

7. Know your nearest hospital

With all of the increased hazards of the season, familiarize yourself with the nearest hospital (and children’s hospital if you have kids).

Know the best route to get there in the event of an accident.

Always call 911 in the event of an emergency and save the number to your local poison control hotline too.

8. Beware of seasonal scams and identity theft

Criminals will often use the warm spirit of the holiday season to catch people with their guards down. From phone scams to online scams to identity theft, be extra vigilant this time of year.

If asked for donations, verify the cause with a tool like Charity Navigator.

If asked to verify a financial transaction via phone, hang up and call your financial institution directly at the number listed on their website.

Watch your financial statements and check your credit report to ensure no one is using your identity. You can also consider freezing your credit.

Other common scams include gift cards, giveaways, and often a sense of urgency. Don’t let criminals ruin your holidays with these scams. Call local law enforcement if you do find yourself the victim of one of these crimes.

9. Know what to do in the event of gun violence

While it’s the last thing that anyone wants to think about – especially during the holidays – gun violence is an all too real threat. In the event that you find yourself in the midst of a shooting, the FBI recommends that you run, hide, and fight.

To better prepare yourself for this situation – that hopefully never happens – check out the FBI’s “Run. Hide. Fight.” Training video

10. Celebrate safely

From ensuring that your home is secure and protected to advocating for safety in your neighborhood, take a little extra care to celebrate safely this holiday season.

A little vigilance and planning will give you and your loved ones the best chance of an incident-free and happy holiday season.

For even more tips, check out our video – 5 Tips for Holiday Safety – featuring Sam Meyer, a former law enforcement officer and current Customer Success Manager at Flock. 

Plus, you can download our free guide – Secure Your Home: 21 Tips to Keep You and Your Home Safe.

0 mins