Safety Tips for the Holidays
All of us at the Women’s Defense League of NH want to wish our members, friends, and supporters a wonderful holiday season. As our gift to you, we put together some safety tips to help you Refuse to be a Victim.
Refrain from posting photos or comments that you’re away from home, even briefly. It doesn’t take much for a would-be bad guy (or gal) to take advantage of your absence. Post your travel photos when you return. Don’t post that you’re heading to the mall for hours of holiday shopping. And don’t tell the whole world that you just got some fancy or expensive items. That only makes your home a target.
Parking lots are particularly vulnerable areas. Park your car in a well-lit spot in a populated area. Pay attention when exiting the building so you’re aware if someone is nearby or following you. Don’t overload your arms with packages and bury your face in your cell phone while returning to your car. If you still have more shopping to complete, relocate your car to a different section of the parking lot. It’s common for thieves to hang around watching people drop off their holiday bags — they know exactly which cars to target and know owners won’t return for a while. Have your keys in-hand as you approach your car; never fumble around in your purse or backpack searching for them. Always lock your car doors immediately upon entering the vehicle.
It’s getting darker and darker outside even earlier in the afternoon, but there’s no reason to return to a dark home. Inexpensive lamp timers are readily available and easily adapt to any light around the house. Ideally stage lights so it appears someone is home; some models allow for multiple on/off times throughout the day. Set timers so you never come home in the dark again.
When it’s dark outside and the lights are on, can the whole neighborhood see into your home? Criminals are very opportunistic and you don’t want them to see when you’re gone or that you have packages under the Christmas tree. Take a look at your house from the street so you can see exactly what is visible to the public. Draw the curtains or blinds so people can’t see into your home.
Many of us use online retailers for holiday shopping. Be mindful of all those boxes that may be left outside that someone could easily take before you even know they were delivered. If possible coordinate shipping to a day you’ll be home, or make arrangements to have items placed in a secure or discrete location. Also be careful about disposing cardboard boxes after the gift-giving festivities. Boxes can be tell-tale signs that you just splurged on a big screen TV for the family or got a new game system. Don’t advertise what new items are in your home.
Warm wishes from all of us at the League to you and yours. May you have a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season!