The holiday season is quickly approaching, and as holiday preparations are beginning, safety and security might be the last thing on your mind; but spare some time to consider the following safety tips to ensure your holiday festivities are safe and enjoyable. Warm wishes from your friends at Titan Security this holiday season, and as always, feel free to reach out to us with any security or safety related concerns.
- Be aware of your surroundings and walk with confidence. Those who appear to be pre-occupied are more likely to be targeted by an offender.
- When walking with purses, shopping bags, or other personal belongings, make sure to keep your items close to you, and not in easily accessible places for others to grab.
- Put all shopping bags or valuable items in the trunk of your car, or in a space where they are not visible.
- Make sure your car is locked and parked in a safe safe spot. Try to park your car as close as possible to your destination, and always have your keys out when walking to your car.
- When leaving the house for longer periods of time, make sure to leave lights on at home.
- Ask a trusted neighbor to grab any packages that may be delivered while you are away and hold on to them until you are able to get them.
- Keep a close watch on credit cards and balances– report any suspicious behavior right away
- Try not to travel with large sums of cash or valuable items out in the open
- Use caution when making online purchases and do not hesitate to report fraudulent activity
- When driving be courteous of other drivers, stay alert, and allow extra time for increased traffic and slippery roads. Be prepared for emergency situations on the road by having a winter “survival kit” in the vehicle including items such as, a working flashlight, extra batteries, First aid kit, ice scraper, and snow-brush.
- Don’t drink and drive: The National Safety Council has documented that drunk driving related accidents increase during the holiday season.
- The Chicago Police Department may not respond to an incident that does not involve a crime in progress. Non-emergencies include crimes such as pickpocketing, theft from an automobile, deceptive practices, criminal damage to property, garage burglary, and other offenses in which the offender is no longer at the scene. The police non-emergency number is 3-1-1.
- The National Safety Council has documented that fires resulting from candles peak in the month of December. Be careful when using candles by making sure they are kept away from decorations or other flammable materials. Consider turning off lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could short out and start a fire.
- Shop with others whenever possible; when with children, make sure they know what to do if they become separated from you. Be extra careful with purses and wallets. Carry a purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket. Pay by credit card, rather than check/debit card, to reduce the risk of funds being taken from your bank account; keep all receipts and compare them to your monthly statements.
- Gifts and toys are important in many holiday celebrations. The giver should take notice and follow carefully the instructions relevant to the suitability and safety of toys according to age of children.
- Per the National Safety Council, 2-3 people per hour visit emergency departments for injuries that occur from decorating during the holiday season. Take your time and consider walking through your home to look for potential fall hazards.
- Enjoy winter sports safely by observing sensible guidelines about safe winter sports. Don’t let children skate on unapproved surfaces or let them skate alone. Check sleds are free of sharp edges and splinters, make sure slopes are free of obstructions and end with a flat run off away from traffic. Don’t ski or snowboard on your own, and always make sure young children are wearing the appropriate equipment that is safe and of the right size for them.
Arrival of Holiday Packages:
- Ask for a tracking number from the shipping company
- Get a tracking number from the shipping company.
- Require a signature with the delivery.
- If you won’t be home, have the company leave the package at a local shipping center.
- If UPS is making the delivery, get on board with their U.P.S. My Choice program, which sends an e-mail or text message to the customer just prior to package arrival; it will be rerouted if nobody is home.
- Insist that the driver leave the package in an inconspicuous area.
- Have the driver leave the package at your apartment’s or condo’s office.
- Retrieve your mail as quickly as possible after delivery.
- If you can’t retrieve it daily, have a trusted person get it.
- If you’re traveling, have the post office hold your mail until you get back.
- Never received mail you were expecting? Contact the sender to see if it was sent. If so, file a complaint with the post office. This also applies if the contents of mail are missing.
- Bring your checks or money orders to a postal collection box (personally give it to a postal worker) for the delivery driver to pick up; don’t leave checks or money orders in your home mailbox.
- Never leave packages outside your door.
- Alert recipients of your packages as to when they are to expect them.
As always, if you “See Something, Say Something”. For life-threatening emergencies, call 911. To report suspicious activity, call 855-RPRT-2-S4 (855-777-8274).
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BOMA/Chicago Best Practices Guide for Civil Unrest/Disturbances/Protests – Click Here
Building Security Best Practices for Protests – Click Here