Safety Tips From Melbourne Police To Protect Families This Holiday Season
By Space Coast Daily // December 2, 2015
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – It’s easy to get distracted during this busy time of year. Be aware of your surroundings and follow these simple precautions to keep your holiday safe and enjoyable.
The busiest shopping season of the year is here. This time of year may also be an invitation to thieves who could take this opportunity to do their own type of “shopping.” Thieves know people will be buying gifts and will be leaving them and other valuables in their cars, where they are vulnerable to theft.
To help keep you safe during the holiday season, the Melbourne Police Department will be increasing patrols in shopping areas and also offers the following safety tips:
• Always park in well-lit areas.
• Do not leave packages visible in your car windows. Lock them in the trunk or, if possible, take them directly home.
• Keep all valuables out of sight — including purses, GPS devices, phones, sunglasses, and gifts.
• Keep purses and handbags closed and within site while shopping. Do not leave your credit cards out. Do not leave your purse in a shopping cart unattended — even for a moment.
• Before surfing the Internet, secure your personal computers by updating your security software. Everyone’s computer should have anti-virus, anti-spyware, and anti-spam software.
• Save all receipts. Print and save all confirmations from your online purchases. Start a file folder to keep all receipts together and to help you verify credit card or bank statements as they come in.
• Use secure websites for purchases. Look for the icon of a locked padlock at the bottom of the screen or “https” in the URL address.
• Shop with companies you know and trust. Check for background information if you plan to buy from a new or unfamiliar company.
Shopping with Small Children
• If you are shopping with children, make a plan in case you are separated from each other.
• Select a central meeting place.
• Teach children to know they can seek assistance from clerks, security guards/law enforcement should they get separated.
If You Are Traveling
• Get an automatic timer for your lights.
• Ask a neighbor to watch your home, and park in the driveway from time to time.
• Don’t forget to have mail and newspaper delivery stopped. If it piles up, it’s a sure sign you’re gone.
Take a Holiday Inventory
The holidays are a good time to update — or create — your home inventory. Take photos or make videos of items, and list descriptions and serial numbers. If you become a victim of a crime, having a detailed inventory can help identify stolen items and make insurance claims easier to file.
Make sure things like TVs, DVD players, stereo equipment, cameras, camcorders, sports equipment, jewelry, silver, computers, home office equipment and power tools are on the list. Remember to check it twice!
The holiday season is a time of celebration and revelry. Drinking and driving is a danger to everyone on the road. Remember that the risk isn’t worth it—if you choose to drink alcohol at a party, don’t drive. Take a cab, or a designated driver. Have fun, but remember to celebrate responsibly.
Last but not least, don’t let holiday stress get the best of your holiday spirit. Make time to get together with family, friends, and neighbors. And think about reaching out in the spirit of the season and helping someone who’s less fortunate or lonely.