Holiday Safety Tips from the Duncanville Police Department

Filed under: City |

The holiday season is often a joyous time of giving, sharing, and spending time with family and friends. Unfortunately, this time of year is also shared with a particularly high crime rate. Hopefully the following safety tips will allow you to have a safe and happy holiday season.

At home:

  • Never let strangers inside your residence.
  • Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when leaving home, even for a few minutes.
  • Keep your garage door closed to prevent thefts
  • Keep your outside lights on at night Criminals like to lurk in the shadows.
  • Do not display holiday gifts where they may be seen from a window or doorway.
  • Store gifts away before you go on a holiday trip.
  • Test smoke detectors.
  • If you are going to be out of town over the holidays purchase timers for your lights so they will cycle on and off while you are gone.
  • Use only fire resistant ornaments on your holiday tree and make sure electric lights are in good working order.
  • Do not leave Christmas lights on overnight or when you are away from home.
  • After the holidays make sure you record new gifts and purchased serial numbers.

While shopping:

  • Shop before dark whenever possible.
  • Try to coordinate shopping trips with a friend.
  • Never park in an unlit parking lot or area, no matter how convenient it is.
  • Lock packages in your vehicle’s trunk. Keep the doors locked and windows closed.
  • Have your keys in hand before returning to the vehicle.
  • As you approach the car, check to see if you see anyone hiding underneath or inside.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. When possible, pay for purchases with a check, credit card, or debit card. Do not count cash in open areas, especially after leaving an ATM.
  • Use waist-pack (fanny sacks) to carry items instead of a purse.
  • Do not over load yourself, keep your hands free as much as possible.
  • Teach your children to go to a store clerk or security guard and ask for help if you become separated. Children should never go into a parking lot alone.

When Shopping Online

  • Beware of “bargains” from companies you are unfamiliar with— if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
  • Shop with companies you know; make sure the site uses a secure connection for purchases.
  • Keep your personal information private and your password secure. Do not respond to requests to “verify” your password or credit card information unless you ask for it—credible retailers should already have that information!

The holiday season is also a time of year when people come together and enjoy each other’s company. If hosting a holiday party, have non-alcoholic beverages available for your guests. Also have alternative transportation for intoxicated persons. Do not let your guests drink and drive.

By following these few basic tips, you can ensure yourself a safe and happy holiday season.

For more information about Crime Prevention Programs and Holiday Tips contact Officer Doug Sisk with the Duncanville Police Community Relations / Crime Prevention Division or (972)-780-5027.