Christmas Safety Tips
Love it or loathe it, Christmas is almost upon us and there are presents to be bought, family to visit and parties to go to, but it’s important to also think about personal safety during the festive period.
The nearer it gets to the 25th, the busier the shops become and the more fraught you are likely to be. Try to remember:
· Don’t get loaded down with too many bags. Try to keep one hand free.
· Try and avoid taking young children into busy shopping areas but if it is unavoidable make sure they know what to do if they lose you, e.g. Tell the nearest counter assistant that they are lost and NEVER leave a shop without you.
· Agree a meeting point with older children in case you get separated.
· Be careful where you park your car, especially if you will be returning to it after dark.
· If parking in a multi-storey car park, choose a space as close to the exit as possible and away from pillars. Reverse into position.
· Keep car doors locked whilst driving in built up areas, especially if you’ve got bags of presents in the car.
· Don’t leave lots of presents on show in a parked car as they could tempt thieves.
· Keep alert and aware of your surroundings, especially in busy shops and crowded streets where thieves and pickpockets may well be operating.
· If you think you spot a thief or pickpocket alert the police or security staff. Avoid a confrontation whenever possible
· Keep a close watch on your valuables and try not to keep them all in one place.
Most of us like a drink or two at a party but remember that alcohol will make you more relaxed and could affect your judgement – don’t let it endanger your personal safety.
· The most common date rape drug is alcohol, with victims being given drinks with a far higher alcohol content than they think.
· Watch your drinks and food to ensure that nothing is added to them.
· Be especially careful never to leave your drink unattended, even if you are going onto a dance floor or to the toilet.
· If your drink has been left unattended, do not drink any more of it.
· If something tastes or looks odd, do not eat/drink any more of it. Be aware though that some date rape drugs are colourless and tasteless.
· If someone you do not know or trust offers to buy you a drink, either decline politely or accompany them to the bar and watch that nothing is added to your drink.
· If you meet someone new at a party DON’T go home with them. DON’T invite them back to your home or accept a lift from them. Arrange a second date in a public place to get to know the person better.
· Pay attention to your instincts. If you feel uneasy about someone, there may be a reason – don’t give them personal details about yourself and don’t arrange a second date.
· Get a reputable taxi firms cab to get you home that you have ordered yourself.
· Do not be tempted to take a lift from a stranger or walk alone.
· Keep your mobile charged and handy to use.
Christmas home safety
· Be extra vigilante in locking windows and doors as burglars will know at this time of year most houses will be storing presents, many expensive easy to sell items.
· Be vigilante when entering into your house loaded with presents. Keep an eye out for any suspicious person watching you or your property.
· Beware of people coming to your door collecting for charities. Once more people feel in a charitable mood this time of year and can fall foul of many scams and bogus charities. If you wish to give, donate to a reputable charity in person or online.
· If you are out on evenings leading up to or over Christmas and your house is un -occupied leave some lights and a radio on and keep drapes pulled.
These are just a handful of handy tips that I hope you find useful to have a safe and happy Christmas and New year.
Kevin O’Hagan. DEC 2019.