With Thanksgiving just a day away, the holidays are finally here! It’s a wonderful time of the year to gather with friends and family, to give to others and to celebrate what is best in each of us. Unfortunately, not everyone views the holiday season that way. Rather than give to others, some see the next four weeks as an opportunity take from others for their own selfish gain. Even during this wonderful time, we are reminded that we must always be careful and not provide an opportunity to those that would take advantage of us. That’s why it’s important for you to take a moment and think about your own, personal holiday security.
Creating Your Own Holiday Security
When you really think about it, our activities and our mindset during the holidays really open us up to scammers, pick-pockets, thieves and burglars. We are on the go, often not home and in crowded shopping areas carrying cash and credit cards.
Could there be a better time of year for those with bad intentions? Probably not. But, despite the circumstances, there are things that we can do to protect ourselves.
The Los Angeles Police Department has posted a list of Holiday Safety Tips to follow during this time. For example, they suggest being extra careful about your home’s security when you leave it. If you will be away for an extended period visiting relatives or friends, ask a neighbor to watch your house, and pick up the mail or newspapers. When leaving your home, they also suggest creating an illusion that it is still occupied by leaving some lights on and having a radio or TV play.
The LAPD also asks that homeowners be aware of who might be at their door. Criminals often pretend to be delivery people with packages. If you are not sure of their identity, don’t open the door and ask them to leave the package on your front doorstep.
When it comes to deliveries, take precautions so that they won’t be stolen. We’ve all seen home security video of brazen robbers walking right up to someone’s front door and taking packages, sometimes in broad daylight! The St. Anthony Police Department suggests arranging to have packages delivered at a time when you will be home. If you can’t be there, then have them delivered to a neighbor.
Shopping also presents the possibility for theft. Even though you are rushed and thinking about your gift list, stay cautious and be aware of your surroundings. Remember to lock your car doors, and keep any presents in the trunk and not on the seats where would-be thieves can see them.
Try not to carry a purse or wallet, they can be attractive targets to thieves. Instead, keep cash and credit cards in the front pockets of your pants or shirt. Also, be aware of strangers that approach you. Some may try to distract you with the intention of taking your belongings, or having others do so. If someone approaches, keep walking quickly and stay in crowded areas. If they continue to follow you call the police or find security.
These are just a few safety and security tips that are available. Take a few minutes before you head out to read them. Doing so will help ensure your own, personal holiday security.
From all of us at American Security Force, Happy Thanksgiving!