Here are some tips to keep your home safe this holiday season, from the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office:
• Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave your house or apartment, even for a few minutes.
• Don’t display holiday gifts where they can be seen from a window or doorway. Store gifts before you go away on a holiday trip.
• If you go out for the evening, turn on lights and a radio or television so the house or apartment appears to be occupied.
• If you take a holiday trip away from your home, have some interior lights activated by an automatic timer. Have a neighbor or family member watch your house, shovel new snow, pick up the mail and newspaper and park his or her motor vehicle in your driveway from time to time.
• Participate in Operation Identification and mark your valuables with a unique identification number.
• Be wary of strangers soliciting for charitable donations. They may attempt to take advantage of people’s generosity during the holidays. Ask for identification, how donated funds are used, if contributions are tax deductible, etc. If you aren’t satisfied with the answers, don’t give.
• Immediately after the holidays, mark new gifts with an identification number and record new serial numbers.
• Test your smoke detectors.
• Use only fire resistant ornaments on a holiday tree and make sure electric lights are in good working order. Don’t leave the lights on overnight or when you are away from home.
• If you have house guests, advise them of your security precautions and make sure they follow them.
• Avoid leaving boxes from purchases (especially TV’s, VCR’s, computer, etc.) out on the curb for trash pickup.
Holiday Party Safety
• Have non-alcoholic beverages available for party guests.
• Serve something to eat before serving alcoholic beverages. High protein foods stay in the stomach longer and slow absorption of alcohol into the system.
• Have alternative transportation for intoxicated persons. Don’t let guests drink and drive.