Chief Stan Brown and members of the Claremore Police Department wish everyone a happy holiday season and want to remind you of a few holiday safety tips.
Holiday Shopping Safety Tips:
Be Extremely Careful Using ATM Machines
- Use them in populated places and be constantly paying attention to what’s going on around you.
- Try to go during the daylight hours.
- If you must go at night, pick a machine that is well lit and visible to passing traffic.
- If anyone is lurking near the machine, pass it up and find another.
- Protect your personal information from view and never leave debit/credit cards or associated documents visible to others.
At the Mall/Retail Stores
- Try to shop when the mall is less crowded—during the weekday. Try and avoid the weekend rush.
- Don’t dangle your handbag from your shoulder. You are creating a perfect setup for a purse-snatcher. Instead, keep your purse tucked tightly under your arm, or better yet, don’t even carry a purse.
- If you use pockets, place your checkbook, cash, or credit cards in your front pockets. Only bring one or two credit cards and a limited amount of cash.
- Don’t flash large rolls of money in public. You never know who’s watching!
- Make a list of your major credit cards, their account numbers and the phone numbers to call if cards are lost or stolen. Keep this list at home.
- Consolidate as many packages as possible, or make several trips to your car to deposit packages in the trunk. Don’t allow yourself to become so burdened down with packages that you become a tempting target.
- Avoid carrying large, heavy packages that block your vision and make you a target for purse-snatchers.
- Keep an eye on your child. It is okay to let children look around and have fun while they shop, but they also need to understand that it’s important to stay near their parents. Teach your son or daughter what to do in the event you get separated. The best option is to instruct your child to look for a security guard or police officer, or go to the customer service desk where people are trained to help.
In the Parking Lot
- Always park where there is plenty of light, not only around your car, but also from your car to the mall or store entrance.
- Once your car is parked, familiarize yourself with its location so you can find it without delay.
- Don’t hesitate to ask for a security escort if you feel unsafe.
- Use the trunk of your car to keep packages out of sight.
- Keep your car locked at all times.
- When walking through the parking lots, be sure that you are aware of your surroundings. Walk with authority. Don’t look like a victim.
- Have your keys in your hand before you go to your car.
When you are out for the Evening
- Turn on your lights and a radio or TV so it looks like someone’s home.
- Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
- Don’t display gifts where they can be seen from outside.
In Your Home:
- Make sure all guest and children are familiar with your home safety and evacuation plan
- Make fire safety a routine part of your holiday preparations.
- Don’t use combustible decorations.
- Never put lighted candles in decorations, displays or trees.
- Use only “UL” approved lights and electrical decorations.
- Don’t place your Christmas tree near a radiator, fireplace or other source of heat.
- Turn off the tree lights when you leave home or go to bed.
- Check your smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.
- Never burn gift-wrappings in a fireplace; they can produce toxic fumes.
- Check your Christmas tree for freshness by looking at the needles and the trunk.
- Check the tree’s container every day and add water if necessary.
- Don’t connect more than three sets of lights to an extension cord.
- Make sure the tree is fastened securely in its holder or stand so it will not tip over easily.
- Have fun at holiday gatherings but don’t drink and drive – ride with a designated driver.
- Keep holiday plants away from pets and children; they can be harmful.
- Never allow children to play with plastic bags or bubble wrap.
- Make arrangements to have large package deliveries picked up by a trusted friend or neighbor if you can’t be there to receive them
- ALWAYS keep your vehicles locked If parked outside
If you are Traveling
- Get an automatic timer for your lights.
- Ask a neighbor to watch your home, shovel snow, and park in the driveway from time to time.
- Don’t forget to have mail and newspaper delivery stopped. If it piles up, it’s a sure sign you’re gone.
- Always carry a flashlight in your car and keep a cell phone convenient when you are traveling.
- Remember to buckle your seat belt and use all child-safety restraints
Chief Stan Brown and Staff