Vivi's Safety Corner - November 2011
by: ESD Safety Coordinator Vivi Fissekidou (x5610)
HOLIDAY SECURITY TIPS!
‘Tis the season, to be joyous, but it’s also the season to be wary of burglars, thieves, pickpockets and other holiday grinches. Nothing can ruin the holiday spirit faster than becoming the victim of a crime. Unfortunately, burglars view the holiday season a little differently…for them, it’s a time of opportunity to burglarize your home, vehicle or office for cash, credit cards and gifts. The following are a few strategies that will help you enjoy the holidays without incident:
While at Work
- Carry only small amounts of cash.
- Avoid carrying a purse.
- Use a fanny pack or deep pockets in clothing to carry what you need.
- Don’t leave your wallet unsecured to stowed under desk.
- This is not securing your property.
- Carry your keys, cash and credit cards separate from each other.
- Keep the number of credit cards at work to a minimum.
- Be aware of strangers in your work area – question all unknown persons.
- Use the buddy system to travel to and from your vehicle or call for an escort from Security personnel.
- If you have to carry a purse, carry it close to your body and always zipped.
- Park strategically--close to the mall is optimum.
- Park in well-lit areas and never park right next to a van.
- Know exactly where you park your car.
- Make a mental note or write it down so you’ll know exactly where to go when you leave the mall.
- If you're not sure a shopping bag will be available to you, take one of your own to the mall.
- Consolidate as many packages as possible.
- Avoid shopping if you are exhausted.
- You are more alert when you are less tired.
- When hurried or in a crowded shop, make sure you get all forms of I.D. and your credit cards returned to you before leaving.
- Check underneath your car as you approach it.
- This is a common hiding place of criminals in mall parking lots, as they attempt to take you or your property by surprise.
- Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave your house or apartment, even for a few minutes.
- Keep gifts hidden from view through outside windows.
- After opening gifts, break down cardboard boxes of expensive electronics and fancy stores.
- Put them in plastic bags to hide the fact you have new valuable items in your home.
- Don’t advertise…burglars look for occupancy cues like outdoor lights burning 24 hours a day, piled up newspapers, mail or advertising flyers handing on the door knob.
- Use an inexpensive light timer when you’re away and ask a neighbor to pick up your newspapers and mail.
- If you go out for the evening, turn on lights and a radio or television so the house or apartment appears to be occupied.
- Don’t hide spare keys under rocks, in flowerpots, or above door ledges. Instead give the spare key to a trusted neighbor.
- Burglars prefer to enter through unlocked doors or windows.
- A holiday problem can occur when exterior lights or extension cords are run inside through a window and prevent it from being secured.
- Don’t post your family name on your mailbox or on your house.
- A burglar can call Directory Assistance to get your telephone number and call you home while in front of your house to confirm that you’re away.
- Don’t leave descriptive telephone answering machine messages like “You’ve reached the Wilson’s…we’re away skiing for the Christmas holidays…please leave a message.” Bad guys love to hear that they have plenty of time to break in and completely ransack your home.