Dancing sugar plums may or may not be filling your head….but the endless list of things to do this holiday season sure is! From decorations, to travel plans, to cooking, to parties, to gift buying…it’s a BUSY time of year! Unfortunately, it is also a high CRIME time of year. If you are trying to avoid the crowds and shop online…you could be at risk for cyber fraud, Identity theft or credit card fraud (see our tips here for avoiding these while shopping online!). If you are in the stores…it’s not much safer a lot of times. Hustling, bustling crowds and distracted shoppers create the perfect storm for stolen purses, stolen packages and house/car break ins. Check out these safety tips for safe and merry shopping for the holidays!
- Park in well-lit areas close to your destination. “Parking lots and structures are typically the most dangerous places at the mall,” according to security firm ADT. If shopping alone ask security personnel for an escort to your car. Carry your keys in your hand to use as a weapon if necessary.
- When entering your car, remember E.L.F.S. – Enter the car, Lock the doors, Fasten seat belts and Scram.
- Pick restrooms in well-lit and well-trafficked areas of the mall. Always accompany children to the restroom.
- Be mindful of your surroundings and the things you’re carrying. Don’t overload yourself with packages or become distracted by your cell phone.
- Lock everything: This seems obvious, but more often than you would expect a burglar gets into a house just because something was left open or unlocked, especially with house guests visiting who may not have keys.
- Secure valuables: Never leave anything of value out in plain sight. If you have not already done so, now may be a good time to consider placing any jewelry, extra cash or other valuables in a safe deposit box or even a secure hidden safe within the house. Nothing should ever be visible from any window and the master bedroom is the first room any intruder will check for valuables.
- Control your social status: Though you might be tempted to broadcast to the world about how excited you are for your holiday travels or Black Friday shopping sprees, resist the urge to broadcast to the whole world that you are not going to be home. Many people cannot seem to wait to let everyone on Facebook or Twitter know that they are about to leave and this is a dangerous thing to share.
- Leave the light on: Not the most eco-friendly advice, but the more it looks like someone is home, the less likely that someone will try to intrude on your home. Keep the lights on, the Christmas lights lit, and the television on. Anything to signify to potential robbers that someone is home. The home automation and smartphone interactive management tools available from many security systems today allows for you to turn your off and on the lights throughout the day and night to keep up appearances that someone is home.
- Activate your alarm system: Again, while it may seem obvious, your mind is distracted and you could be in a rush to get out the door. Don’t forget to arm your security system – this simple step will go a long way to protect your home.
- When in doubt, think like a robber. How would they get in? Does it look like someone is home? Where are your valuables? Use common sense and remember these easy home security tips and ensure your possessions will be safe from harm while you are out doing your Christmas shopping, traveling or partying.
Have a SAFE and Merry Christmas! The Choice Insurance Agency. We’re on YOUR side. 757-416-5100.
The Choice Insurance Agency’s mission is to help you get from where you are to where you want to be financially by planning, achieving your plan and protecting your plan from unexpected events. In the process, our goal is to deliver insurance services in a manner that exceeds your expectations. See what The Choice Insurance Agency can do for you today. Give us a call at 757-416-5100 to speak with one of the licensed, professional members of our team or request a contact here. The Choice Insurance Agency. We’re on YOUR side. 757-416-5100.