With the holiday shopping season approaching, National Neighborhood Watch has some tips for staying safe, preventing package theft and protecting holiday light displays.
• Make sure all doors and windows have secondary locks such as window pins, deadbolts and dowels. Use them!
• Do not hide spare keys in mailboxes, planters or under doormats.
• Ensure that dark areas and entrances have lighting that comes on after dark or is activated by motion detectors.
• Keep trees and shrubbery trimmed so they don’t conceal doors and windows.
• Place gifts where they can’t be seen from the outside.
• Be sure to mail cards, checks or gift certificates from the Post Office or at a blue U.S. Postal Service collection box.
• Lock your vehicle and remove all the valuables, even in your driveway.
Strangers at your door
• Use caution anytime there is a stranger at your door.
• Be suspicious of unexpected sales calls or deliveries.
• Ask for identification.
• Investigate charities before making donations. Ask how the funds will
Leaving for the holidays
• Ask a trusted friend, neighbor or Neighborhood Watch member to watch your home.
• Use timers for lights and radios while you’re away.
• Remember to make arrangements for mail and newspapers.
• Dress casually and comfortably.
• Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member.
• Avoid wearing expensive jewelry.
• Do not carry a purse or wallet, if possible.
• Always carry your Florida driver license or identification card along with necessary cash, checks and/or a credit card you expect to use.
• Stay alert to your surroundings.
• Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
• Pay for purchases with a check or credit card when possible.
• Keep cash in your front pocket.
• Notify the credit card company immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen or misused.
• Keep a record of all of your credit card numbers in a safe place at home.
Protect your package
• Network with neighbors.
• Have packages delivered to work.
• Leave specific drop-off instructions.
• Use a Smart Lock.
• Install security cameras.
Protect holiday lights
• Shut down displays at night.
• Set up surveillance.
• Consider bringing in valuable items at night. Report disturbances to law enforcement and/or local neighborhood watch.