Sheriff’s office offers home holiday safety tips

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Staff report

The holiday season is always a time of giving but that doesn’t mean it’s a time to give thieves and criminals a chance to ruin your holiday.

Being busy and hectic can lead to carelessness when it comes to safety. You can never be too prepared or cautious when it comes to protecting yourself and your home from criminal activity. Most criminals are opportunists so don’t give them an opportunity to strike.

Here are a few tips to help ensure you have a safe and merry Christmas:

● Make doubly sure doors and windows are locked. Deadbolt locks offer the best protection.

● Set your home alarm and keep the outside of your home well lit.

● During vacations, have neighbors gather mail and papers and ask someone to shovel the drive.

● Put indoor and outdoor lights on automatic timers and leave a television on in your house.

● Although you want to show off your decorations, gifts should not be visible from windows.

● Record the make, model, and serial numbers of electronics, firearms, and other items so if they are stolen they can be possibly be tracked. Taking photographs of important purchases is also advised.

● Be aware that criminals may pose as package deliverers or charity solicitors. If in doubt, contribute only to recognized charities.

● While you may be excited about your holiday and travel plans, it is not wise to advertise these on Facebook and other social media sites.

● Avoid leaving large boxes in your curbside trash pickup. These may tell thieves there is something in your house worth stealing.

● Holiday parties may be fun but make sure you don’t let guests drive drunk.

● If you see something unusual or suspicious, report it to law enforcement.

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