The holiday season is a wonderful time to go shopping, enjoy holiday festivals, travel, attend New Years Eve parties, and spend time at home with friends and family. However, stores, malls, holiday festivals and streets downtown are packed with unsuspecting people not necessarily paying attention to their surroundings. This can make for an ideal situation for pickpockets, burglars, and robbers.
This is why we would like to share these safety tips below for you to consider to make your holiday experience a memorable one. Happy Holidays from Titan Security Group, and as always, feel free to reach out to us with any security or safety-related concerns.
Holiday safety tips for you to consider:
- Be aware of your surroundings, walk with confidence, with your head up and stay in well-lit areas. 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 reachable places for others to grab. Keep wallets in the front of your pants or the breast pocket of your coat.
- Keep a close watch on credit cards and balances– report any suspicious behavior right away.
- 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.
- Never carry large amounts of money, use credit cards instead of cash.
- Dress comfortably and casually, thieves and pickpockets are more likely to be attracted to expensive clothing and jewelry.
Protect your Vehicle
- Try to park as close to your destination as possible and in a well-lit area.
- Put all shopping bags or valuable items in the trunk of your car, or in a space where they are not visible.
- When driving, be courteous of other drivers, stay alert, and allow extra time for increased traffic and slippery roads.
- Be prepared for emergencies on the road by having a winter “survival kit” in the vehicle. This includes items such as a working flashlight, extra batteries, cellphone charger, First Aid Kit, ice scraper, and snow-brush.
Secure Your Home
- When leaving the house for lengthier periods, 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 can get them.
- Be careful when using candles by making sure they are kept away from decorations or other flammable materials.
- Do not overload power strips. Do not plug space heaters or other devices that use extra current flow into power strips.
- Consider turning off holiday lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could short out and start a fire.
- Read tags and manuals of holiday toys, electronics, and appliances to make sure you are following safety and age guidelines.
- Take your time when decorating for the holidays, use ladders safely and ask for an extra hand when needed.
Holiday Package Theft
- Track your deliveries online and confirm when the delivery occurred. You can sign up for email and text notifications to track your packages from initial shipment to its arrival at your home, or the recipient’s address if you have the gift delivered directly to them.
- If possible, and allowed by your employer, switch the delivery location to your work where it can be received by someone and not left on the porch.
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).