Security Over Christmas 2016: Is Your Family Protected?

Every year, Christmas promises us yet another season of festivities as we shop and plan for a season of celebration and gift giving. Unfortunately, Christmas is also a time for criminals to cash in as there are so many opportunities for criminals to take advantage of people who are so focused on preparing for and living the holidays that they forget to take basic security measures to protect themselves and their families.

Parking Lots

Parking lots are prime targets for criminals who often find unlocked car doors or prizes, like purses and gifts, so tempting that they will just bash through your car window and have what they like out of your car.

Christmas shopping often requires keeping goods in your car Make sure you do not leave anything valuable in your car when you go shopping. [Image by Sebastian Ballard [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons]It is not enough to lock your goods in the trunk, as criminals will watch for this so that they can wait for you to go into the store, break your car window and pop your trunk from the inside of the car.

Also, as always, be cautious when you are out alone late at night as there is always the possibility someone could just mug you as has happened in a Target parking lot in Dallas. Park in well-lighted areas and, if possible, shop with a friend or relative.

Going On Vacation

We’ve all seen the movie Home Alone, but what we don’t realize is that break-ins and robberies increase during the holidays and since so many people leave their houses to go on vacation, there are countless opportunities for criminals to raid your home for valuables.

A sleepy neighbourhood of holiday bliss or perfect target for crime? Criminals look for festive houses from which to steal. [Image by Harke (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons]Install a home alarm system and make sure all doors and windows are locked before you leave. Also, try not to leave anything valuable near windows as criminals can easily break your window and be in and out in just a matter of seconds.

Have a neighbor look after the house while you are away, and take simple precautions that go a long way, like motion sensor flood lights.

Kitchen Injuries

People spend more time in the kitchen during the holidays and this means more unnecessary injuries. From cuts from knives to burns to slipping and falling on oily or wet floors, the emergency room fills with people who have accidents in the home during this busy time. Don’t forget that sharp knives are safer than dull knives, so get your knives sharpened or buy a new set before showing off you culinary skills during the holidays. Also, be especially careful when handling items from the oven as burns can occur when reaching into a hot oven without gloves. Also, with all the increased foot traffic in the home, make sure any spills (or stray toys) are cleared from busy areas like the kitchen.

Death Rate Increase

Car accidents, suicides, assault — nearly all types of death increase over the holidays, so the advice is to be more cautious in everything that you do and also keep an eye out for people who might be emotionally struggling and could possibly hurt themselves or others.

Try to avoid rush hour traffic by shopping in the early morning and not waiting until the last minute, when roads are the busiest and everything from fender-benders to head-on collisions increase.

Moreover, although Christmas is a time of celebration, look out for anyone who might be depressed as it is during this time of inflated expectations that people decide they’ve had enough. Be there for any friends who might extra emotional support.

And finally, try to avoid fighting with friends or family during this time, as these fights can escalate. Tensions run high during this time when friends and family expect the most and are therefore let down the most when something doesn’t go exactly according to plan.

Make peace not war and be safe over Christmas.

[Image by Oliver Cossalter [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons]