Safety tips for Christmas
Safety is something we should all practise throughout the year, but especially at Christmas where persons might be more focused on buying gifts and attending parties.
Collisia Johnson-Reid, customer-service and business-development executive at Guardsman Alarms, has given some safety tips for the season.
Outside The Home
n Warn thieves that you're on the alert with 'No Trespassing' and other signs around your property.
n Keep small equipment like mowers or bikes locked in a garage or indoors.
n Leave shades, blinds and curtains in normal position. And don't let your mail pile up. Call the post office to stop delivery or have a neighbour pick it up if you are going to be away.
n Do not leave ladders, machetes, pickaxes or other tools outside in your yard.
n Do not leave exterior lights on for extended periods of time, as this is a dead give-away that no one is at home.
n Do not keep car keys and house keys on the same ring.
n Always keep a light burning to illuminate your car at night, if it is parked in the yard.
n Have listed, in a safe place, the make, colour, model and registration number of your car or cars.
Burglars prefer to enter through unlocked doors or windows. Sliding windows that are not secure can be seen from a distance. One holiday problem can occur when exterior Christmas light extension cords are run inside through a window and prevent it from being secured. Hire an electrician or handyman to install an inexpensive exterior outlet for your holiday lights.
Don't leave descriptive telephone answering-machine messages like, "You've reached the Wilsons ... we're away skiing for the Christmas holidays ... please leave a message." Burglars love to hear that they have plenty of time to break in and completely ransack your home.
Be careful not to advertise your home to burglars on social media! According to one recent study, social media is a commonly used tool for scouting potential targets. Social media-savvy families have a tendency to publish their whereabouts during the holiday season, including any vacation plans. This lets burglars know when your house is going to be empty. Uploaded photos of pricey Christmas gifts can also be a problem, as it basically allows burglars to go shopping just by viewing your Facebook profile.
After Christmas Day, don't pile up empty gift boxes from your new computer, DVD player, or stereo receiver on the street for the garbage man. Burglars appreciate knowing that you have expensive gifts inside for them to steal. Break them down or cut them up to conceal the items better. After a lucrative burglary, the chances of being burglarised again are increased, to steal the new replacement products.