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Holiday Safety

With the cooler weather rolling in it is growing abundantly clear that the holiday season is upon us. No matter what holidays you and your loved ones choose to celebrate, this season can be a joyous yet hectic time of the year. Between school plays, grocery shopping for large family meals, gift shopping for friends and family, making sure your house is the best decorated on the street, and your in-laws coming into town this weekend, you are lucky if you have time to sit down! With all of the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it is important to remember the potential threats that can invade our family’s favorite traditions. Here are some things to be aware of and lookout for as we begin our holiday endeavors, as well as simple ways to avoid them:

  • Stealing packages
    • As much as we don’t want to assume the worst in people, sometimes we have to accept the reality that we need to be aware of possible theft around the holiday season. We don’t always have the opportunity or the time to find the exact size, color, and style of every gift, ingredient, or decoration in a local store. This is why it is important to put safety protocols in place when ordering such items online for delivery. More packages are delivered during the holidays than any other time of the year, and stealing a package from a front doorstep is rather easy to do and get away with if the proper precautions are not in place.
    • Solution!
      • Track your packages that way you know where they are and when they will be delivered. If you will not be home on delivery day/time, then simply ask one of your neighbors to lookout for your package and bring it inside their house for you to pick up later.
  • Breaking into cars
    • We have all been there – shopping so much that we have to take a trip to the car halfway through the day to drop off some of our purchases. Around the holiday season this is very common, as is making multiple stops with new purchases in your vehicle. As you go shopping at the mall, and then stop by the bank before picking up the kids from school, and then swing by the grocery store to get dinner on the way home, it is important to be aware of possible car burglars. Cars are often stocked with goodies this time of year, and car burglars are more aware of this than most. Being aware of this potential threat can keep you and your precious belongings safe.
    • Solution!
      • Hide or disguise your purchases in your trunk, underneath seats, or in undergo storage in your vehicle. Also remember to always lock your vehicle before going into a new location.
  • Drunk drivers
    • Driving on safe roads is always a concern; however, around the holiday season as celebrations and parties begin to grow in number, it is important to be aware of your vehicle’s surroundings. Intoxicated drivers are, unfortunately, very common in this day and age. For this reason, it is vital that you do not put you, your loved one’s, or others in harm’s way.
    • Solution!
      • Be aware of what part of town you are in and what time of day/night it is. Avoid driving through busy areas with lots of bars or restaurants late at night. If you are the one partaking of the fun, then always ensure you have a designated driver or ride service setup.
  • Lost luggage
    • Holidays often bring about traveling! As excited as you might be for your trip, it will not be as fun if your luggage gets lost or stolen. Although lost luggage is often unintentional and up to circumstance, there are ways to help prevent this from happening to you – no one wants to be stuck in the snow with no jacket.
    • Solution!
      • Luggage tags! Luggage tags are something that many people forget, that can make or break a trip. Another idea is to tie a piece of colorful ribbon to the handle of your suitcase. This will make baggage claim as well as finding lost luggage easier when attempting to identify your bags. This is especially helpful when identical luggage is in baggage claim.
  • Stolen credit card numbers online shopping
    • Many of us find ourselves much too busy to physically go shopping for all of our gifts, and this results in a lot of online shopping taking place. I mean if I can shop for gifts while drinking hot chocolate on my couch in my Christmas pajamas, why wouldn’t I? Although this scenario seems very inviting, it is important to be aware of possible scammers and traps online. Some sites save your card numbers or do not have the proper cybersecurity in place to prevent hackers from taking your card numbers.
    • Solution!
      • Only shop from credible online stores such as Amazon, Ebay, or Etsy. If shopping from an unknown site, perform research and read reviews before ordering.
  • Food fires
    • Many holidays that are coming up involve a large feast of some kind. Let’s be real, we all have our favorite recipes or requests for Mom to make. Although cooking is often done with great care and awareness, none of us are immune from forgetting about that Turkey in the oven, or leaving the stovetop on when rushing out of the house for work. Many fires are begun in the kitchen around this time of year, so here is your friendly reminder to be extra careful when cooking for you and your loved ones this holiday season.
    • Solution!
      • Never leave anything in the oven or on the stove in an unattended house. If needed, purchase devices built to be plugged in and  left alone (such as a Crockpot).
  • Tree Fire
    • Even though it is not Christmas time yet, many families are already planning on getting their Christmas tree in the next couple of weeks (some already have them up!). One important thing to remember when working with a real tree is that it must be watered often. If your tree is live and not watered frequently enough it will grow brittle and dry. Mixing dry tree branches and warm light bulbs never ends well. In other words, if you do not water your tree enough you have essentially decorated a giant fire hazard and placed it in the middle of your home.
    • Solution!
      • Set up a watering schedule. If you have little people in your house, assign them days and times and make a chart to hang on the wall.

Here’s to ensuring your packages don’t get stolen, your car doesn’t get broken into, you have no trouble finding a designated driver, you don’t lose your luggage, no hackers invade your holidays, no fires start (or end) in your home, your turkey doesn’t burn, your lights don’t have a bad bulb, your decorations turn out beautifully, your wrapping paper doesn’t tear, and may you never, EVER, run out of tape this holiday season😉