Jul 28, 2014
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Holiday Safety Tips from the Herndon Police Department

Tips for driving, shopping and at home.

Holiday Safety Tips from the Herndon Police Department Holiday Safety Tips from the Herndon Police Department

The Herndon Police Department's Crime Prevention Section has gathered a number of holiday safety tips for area residents. 

During the holidays it's important to be aware of theft and holiday related crime. 

WHILE DRIVING:

• Avoid driving alone or at night. 
• Keep your car doors locked and windows closed.
• Park in well lit areas if you need to shop at night.
• Avoid parking near vans, trucks with camper shells and cars with tinted windows. 
• Park as close as you can to the doors of your destination, and notice where you parked.
• Don't leave your car unoccupied with the motor running. 
• Don't leave packages or valuables, such as GPS systems, laptops and iPods, where they can be seen by those walking by your vehicle.
• When returning to your car, make sure you ahve your keys ready in your hand.
• Make sure to look under your car and in the backseat when approaching your vehicle.
• If there are suspicious people in the area, have someone escort you to your car.  

WHILE SHOPPING:

• Always try to shop during daylight hours. If you need to shop at night, try to make sure a friend or family member is with you. 
• Only carry the credit cards you think you need and carry as little cash as possible while shopping.  
• Stay alert to your surroundings.
• If a credit card becomes lost or is stolen, notify the credit card company immediately.  
• Take extra care with wallets and purses, which are prime targets for criminals in crowded shopping areas.
• Teach your children to go to a store clerk or mall security if they become seprated from you.
• Make sure your children know their full name, your name, their address and phone number to give to mall security or a police officer if they need help.  
• Do not allow children to go to the bathroom alone.
• Never leave children alone in the car.
• Ask mall or store security guards to escort you to your car if you feel uncomfortable.  

WHILE HOME: 

• Make sure doors and windows are locked, especially when you leave the house, even if it's just for a few minutes. 
• When leaving home for an extended time, have a family member, family friend or neighbor watch your house and pick up newspapers and mail for you.
• Indoor and outdoor lights should be left on automatic timers when away.
• Leave a radio or television on so the house looks occupied when you're away.
• Make sure large displays of holiday gifts are not visible through the windows and doors of your home.
• Make sure Christmas trees are mounted on sturdy bases so children and pets cannot pull them or knock them over. 
• Make sure Christmas tree lights do not have damaged or frayed wiring, which could cause a fire.  
• Never leave an extra key outside under a mat, in a flower pot or on the ledge of the door. Instead, leave an extra with a trusted neighbor or family member.
• Make sure to have a wide angle lens viewer, also known as a peep hole, installed in your front door, and use it before opening the door.  

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