Holiday safety tips
During the holiday season, people are busy and sometimes not paying attention to everything
going on around them. It's a time when a person should be extra careful, since it's a
peak season for burglars, pick-pockets, purse snatchers, shoplifters and con artists. Here are
some things you can do to help make the holidays a safe and happy time.
Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave, even for a few minutes.
Don't display gifts where they can be seen from a window or doorway. Store gifts before
you go away on a holiday trip.
If you go out in the evening, turn on lights and a radio or television so the house looks
and sounds occupied.
If you go away for a few days, get an automatic timer for your lights. Have a trusted neighbor watch
your house, shovel snow, pick up the mail and newspapers, and park his or her car in your
driveway from time to time.
Be wary of strangers that may come to the door asking for charitable donations. They may be taking
advantage of people's generosity during the holidays. Instead, help charitable
organizations you know.
Teach your children not to play with tree lights or electric connections.
Immediately after the holidays, mark down the serial numbers of any expensive items (such as electronics) and put this information in a safe place.
Use only fire resistant ornaments on your tree and make sure lights are in good working
- Don't leave the holiday lights on overnight or when you are away.
Test your smoke detectors.
Even when you're rushed and thinking about a thousand things, stay alert to your
surroundings. If you see people loitering in parking garages, parking lots, and outside of
stores, go the other way.
Coordinate shopping trips with a friend if you plan to be out late. Never park in an unlit
lot, no matter how convenient it is.
Lock your car and close the windows, even if you're gone only a few minutes. Lock
packages in the trunk.
Park near street lights if possible and have your keys in hand when you return to the car.
Check the interior of your car before getting inside.
To discourage purse snatchers, don't overburden yourself with packages.
Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Pay for purchases with a check or credit card when
possible. Be sure to put the receipt in your purse or wallet. Never leave it in the bag.
Don't carry excess credit cards. Take only those cards for the stores where you intend
Be extra careful with purses and wallets. Carry a purse under your arm. Keep a wallet in an
inside jacket pocket, not a back pants pocket.
Teach your children to go to a store clerk or security guard and ask for help if they
become separated in a store or shopping mall.
Lock any gifts you've bought on your lunch hour in a safe place. Remind co-workers to
do the same.
Be especially careful to keep your purse or wallet with you at all times or locked in a
drawer or closet.
Thieves may try to take advantage of the holiday mood and employees inattention to steal items
from businesses. If you see unauthorized people in places they shouldn't be, call your
security department immediately.
Help keep the holidays happy for everyone by being extra alert. If a neighbor's going
away, offer to take in the mail and papers.
- Have a Neighborhood Watch party that includes everyone. Don't forget the elderly and other people who might be especially lonely during the holidays.
Get teens in your neighborhood together to help elderly residents with shopping, shoveling
walks and decorating their homes.
For more information, contact:
Bloomington Police Department
1800 West Old Shakopee Road, Bloomington MN 55431-3027
PH: 952-563-4900, TTY: 952-563-8740, FAX: 952-563-4936
Crime prevention tips