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Seasonal Safety TipsPolice Department SBPD

National Crime Prevention Council
1000 Connecticut Avenue, NW
13th Floor
Washington, DC 20036

This holiday season, don't let the spirit of giving lull you into giving burglars, muggers, nor pickpockets a chance to do their dirty work.

Criminals love the holidays as much as everyone else, chiefly because it's a perfect opportunity to commit a crime.

Keep these tips in mind for a safe and happy holiday season.

If You're Traveling...

  • Set an automatic timer for your lights.
  • Ask your neighbor to watch your home, pick up newspapers, collect mail, and park in the driveway from time to time.
  • Be sure to hide any gifts that may be left in the house while you're gone.

If You're Out for the Evening...

  • Turn on lights and a radio or the TV so that it appears that someone is home.
  • Lock all doors and windows while you're out, even if you'll be gone for just a few minutes.
  • Do not place packages or gifts near windows or in other high-visibility sites.

If You're Shopping...

  • Don't let your guard down just because you are rushing.
  • Stay alert and be aware of everything around you at all times.
  • Park in well-lighted spaces and as close to the store as possible, lock your car doors, and hide packages in the trunk or under the seats.
  • Do not carry large amounts of cash; pay with a check or credit card if possible.
  • Make sure that you do not carry all your packages at the same time.
  • Carry your purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket.
  • If you take your children shopping, teach them to go to a police officer or a store security guard if they get separated or get lost.

If a Stranger Comes to the Door...

  • Stay alert to suspicious-looking couriers delivering packages to you or your neighbors.
  • Many con artists take advantage of holiday generosity by going door-to-door. Ask for identification and get specifics to how and where the donations will be spent/used.
  • If you feel uncomfortable, just say “no thank you” and shut the door.

If You're at Home...

  • Turn on outside lights to deter burglars.
  • Report any suspicious behavior to the police or local community watch groups.
  • Make sure your homeowners (or renters) insurance is up-to-date and everything is inventoried properly.

Halloween Safety

Tips for Trick-or-Treating

  • Go in groups or with a parent.
  • Parents can map out a safe route.
  • Take a flashlight and stick to well-lit streets.
  • Do not enter a stranger's house.

Sorting the Loot

  • Don't eat any treats until you get home.
  • Inspect your treats in a well-lit room.
  • Make sure treats are in original wrappers/sealed packages.
Last Updated: Aug 22, 2018
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