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Holiday Safety Tips from Sheriff Bob Nolan

This time of year is when spirits are high and everyone is looking forward to the joy of the holidays, but not everyone is in a giving spirit. There are those who will take advantage of people's high spirits and good-will because we tend to let our guard down during the holidays. This holiday season lets keep "Criminal Grinches " at bay by using some simple common sense safety practices.


When Shopping, be aware of other people around you. Look up every once in awhile and look around. Thieves are targeting people who are not paying attention to their surroundings. Keep your purse close to you at all times and put wallets in your front pocket. Put credit cards in a RFID shielded wallet and be sure that no one can see you entering your pin number. Know your rights when it comes to refunds, cancellations, returns, layaways, bait and switch, and rainchecks. Know gift card rules. Gift cards may have an expiration date which must be clearly marked and gift cards not clearly marked with both a date of issuance and a date of expiration are valid forever.

Remember where you parked and walk directly to your car with your keys in hand. Try not to walk alone. Wait a moment for a group to walk out and walk out with them (safety in numbers). Check around your vehicle and inspect the interior through the window before entering. Quickly unlock the car stow gifts in the trunk and lock the doors as soon as you are in the car.
Make sure that your home appears to be occupied at all times. A brightly lit exterior is a deterent to thieves.
Do NOT display gifts where they can be seen from outside. This will attract the attention of thieves.
Unplug christmas lights and electric portable heaters when the house unoccupied. Do not put a live tree near any heat source. Do not burn Christmas tree branches or wrapping paper in your fireplace. Put burning candles out of reach of small children and pets.
Keep pets and children in mind when decorating. Small decorations or decorations that look like food should be kept out of reach. Holiday plants such as Poinsettias, Holly Berries, Mistletoe, Amaryllis, Boxwood, Christmas Rose, Crown of Thorns, English Ivy and Jerusalem Cherry are all poisonous. Color fire additives and artificial snow are harmful if inhaled.
Holiday solictations - Never give out personal information to solicitors and require that all requests be in writing. Your credit card companies already have all of your information and should never request you to provide it by telephone or email. Fedex and UPS do not need your personal information other than your address to deliver something to you and they will have a tracking number if there is a problem with your delivery. Police Unions only solicite donations by US Mail and never by telephone.
If you are the host of a holiday party, never let anyone get behind the wheel of a car if they have been drinking. Ask guests when they arrive whether they have designated driver in their group, if not; ask them to give you their keys until it is time to leave. You can also call for a ride to take them home or arrange for them to spend the night.
Be very careful and take your time when using a ladder to hang decorations. Take your time and think about every move you are going to make. Never over-reach and always have another person with you to assist and foot the ladder.
Thieves are always looking for those mailbox flags during the holidays. Take any mail with cash or gift cards directly to the post office or give it directly to your mail carrier when they arrive at your home. Retreive your mail from the mailbox as soon as possible after it is delivered.
11. In addition to all of the above, please consider all Covid-19 safety tips as well. See the COVID Safety page.
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Please practice  these common sense tips and have a joyful Holiday Season - Sheriff Bob Nolan



Revised on November 30, 2020

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