The Holiday Season is a time of joy, family, friends, and peace on earth. In fact, the month of December is full of cultural observances and rich traditions. It is also a time to be extra vigilant regarding safety. Below are some important safety tips to keep yourself and your loved ones protected.
At Hanukkah celebrations, be cautious with the Menorah. Hanukkah lamps crafted by children are not usually suitable for lighting, and should be used only without candles or open flames. The Menorah should be placed on a sturdy, nonflammable surface such as glass, marble or metal and it should not be near or under any flammable materials. It should also be well out of reach of children or pets who could accidentally knock it over.
Likewise, Christmas candles and the Kwanzaa Kinara should be treated with similar care. They should never be placed near curtains, tablecloths, books, shades, or any other flammable materials. Adult supervision is required for the lighting of the Kinara, and it should never be left unattended when lit. Lighters and matches should be stored up high, and out of the reach of children.
At holiday time (and always), know your limits regarding alcoholic beverages. Be sure to have high protein foods prior to drinking alcohol, and remember that only time will eliminate alcohol from your system. Drink only in moderation and never drink and drive.
If you need to use an Automatic Teller Machine, particularly at the holidays when crime rates are high, choose one that is located inside a mall or other well-lit location. Don’t withdraw large sums of money; instead use credit and debit cards whenever you can. You should also shield the ATM keypad from any observer that is standing nearby. Don’t linger at the ATM machine after making your withdrawal.
Avoid shopping alone or at night. If you feel that you must shop at night, be sure to park in well-lit areas, and ask a mall security officer to escort you to your car. You should also park as close as you can to your destination, and never leave valuables on the seat or floor of your car, where they are visible. Be aware of your surroundings and keep packages, purses, and wallets secure.
Even if you are only going to be away for a few minutes, lock all doors and windows before leaving your home. It is not wise to have large displays of holiday gifts that are visible from outside the home, and never open the door to strangers. Criminals will sometimes take advantage of holiday generosity by soliciting donations for non-existent charities, while others will also pose as deliverymen. If you don’t know who’s knocking, it is best not to open the door at all, especially if you are home by yourself.
With a little extra caution and some common sense during the holiday season, you can protect your home, your valuables, and most importantly, the ones you love.