HOLIDAY SAFETY TIPS
These tips are useful all year long; however I like to remind people to be extra vigilant during the Holiday Season.
Away from home
- Do NOT leave anything in your vehicles!
- With that being said, I know that it is not always possible. Try to make regular stops at your house to drop off your shopping bags; they are safer at home than in your car.
- IF you have to leave anything in your car, hide it before you get to your destination. Placing it in the trunk before you head into the store is never a good idea.
- REMEMBER that all cars since the late 90’s have trunk release buttons. It is very easy to break the window and push the button in order to gain access.
- Stay aware of your surroundings. Have your keys ready before you approach your car. Lock your doors and keep your windows up.
- Try not to carry anything that you don’t need. Ladies, this is a good time to carry a much smaller purse. You only need keys, driver’s license, cash, credit card(s) that you plan to use and your phone.
- You do NOT need birth certificates, Social Security cards, all your pictures, the kitchen sink, etc. Just what you need! It’s lighter to carry, easier to keep control of, and less to lose if something happens.
- Keep your doors locked. Make sure your windows are also locked if you are away from home.
- Make sure that lights are left on if you are away at night or overnight.
- IF you have an alarm, SET IT! We get several break-ins a year where the alarm was not armed.
- Be watchful of people in the neighborhood. If you someone does not belong, call 911. Give the best description possible and a direction of travel.
- Door-to-door sales are legal, with a permit, in the City of Fort Worth. However, you did not ask them to come disturb you at home, therefore you owe them NOTHING! There is no need to open your door and carry on a long conversation just to be polite. If you are not interested, tell them so and close the door.
- Most Burglaries of homes happen during the day. Most burglars will knock on the door/ring the doorbell before forcing entry into the home. Most burglars do not want a confrontation.
- Answer your door if you are home. I did NOT say open your door. A simple “Who is it?” will do just fine. This lets them know that someone is home. If it is a saleman, see above. If it is a Burglar, they will normally make up a bad excuse as to why they are there and then promptly leave. Be alert! Did it make sense? If not, get a description and call 911!
- It is very common for them to say they are there to sell magazines. Are they carrying any samples or a clipboard to take orders? NO, then call 911.
- They also like to say “Is (insert name here) home?” or I’m looking for (insert name here)”. If you have lived at that house for a long period of time and know that no one by that name lives or has lived there, call 911. We may not get there in time to talk to them, but the worst that will happen is that the Police will drive through the neighborhood. You may just be saving you or your neighbor from a future burglary.
- Package thieves will be very active the next few weeks. Please have your packages delivered to an address where someone will be home or require a signature so that way it will not be left unattended. You may also consider getting a PO Box or similar box at a Pack-and-Mail type location to use during this time of year.
- Keep your receipts, record your serial numbers, and keep them in a safe place.
- I also recommend keeping your gifts stashed in different locations around your house. That way if someone does break in it will be less likely for them to get “everything”.
- Do NOT pile everything up under the tree until you are ready to open things up.
Lastly, if anything happens, call 911. Officers are on-duty 24/7/365 and someone will be there to help!