Monday, December 8, 2008

Safety Tips for The Holidays


Shopping Safety Tips
  • Even though you are rushing and thinking about a thousand things, stay alert to your surroundings and the people around you. If possible, park your car in an area of high pedestrian activity. Avoid remote areas.
  • Lock your car and close the windows, even if you are only gone for a few minutes.
  • Lock your packages out-of-sight in the trunk. Place your valuables in the trunk before you get to your destination, not after, a thief may be watching.
  • Be sure and lock your car, many opportunists simply look for unlocked cars.
  • Always report a theft to the police.
  • Teach your children to go to the store clerk and ask for help if you become separated while shopping. They should never go to the parking lot or the car alone.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Pay for purchases with a check or credit card when possible; and if the credit card receipt has carbons, ask for these too. Notify issuers immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen, or misused.
  • Be extra careful with purses and wallets. They may become targets for crime in crowded shopping areas, at bus stops, and on public transportation.
  • Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps.
Home Safety Tips
  • At home, be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave the house, even for a few minutes. Leave lights and a radio or television on so the house looks occupied. Do not put large displays of holiday gifts in view of your windows or doors.
  • If you go away for the holidays, try to keep your home appearing "lived in": Get an automatic timer for your lights. Have a neighbor watch your home and pick-up your newspapers and mail.
  • If you use lights on your tree, make sure that they are in good working order.
  • And lastly, when hosting a party, find alternative transportation for intoxicated guests; and when going out drinking, please remember: Don't Drink and Drive!
Party Safety Tips
  • Always get your own drink. Watch it being poured.
  • Don't leave it unattended.
  • Don't drink or taste anybody else's drink.
  • Don't accept drinks from anyone else.
  • When in bars or clubs always get your drink directly from the bartender and do not take your eyes off the bartender or your order; don't use the waitress or let somebody go to the bar for you.
  • At parties, only accept drinks in closed containers: bottles, cans or tetra packs.
  • Never leave your drink unattended or turn your back on your table.
  • Do not drink from open beverage sources like punch bowls, pitchers or tubs.
  • Drugs used to spike drinks can be colorless and tasteless so you might not realize that anything has been added.
  • Keep your eyes and ears open; if there is talk of date rape drugs or if friends seem "too intoxicated" for what they have taken, leave the party or club immediately and don't go back.
  • Be aware of the behavior of your friends. Is their behavior out of character? Do they seem too "out of it" for what they've had? See the section on Drink Spiking to find out what to do.
  • Watch out for your friends. Are they binge drinking or taking drugs? Are they making safe decisions? Are they OK?
  • If your friend needs to sober up or straighten out, check to see that they are OK. Are they alone? Who is with them? Are they safe?
  • Encourage people who are drunk to drink water or eat something. Keep an eye on them, if you can.
  • Do you really trust whom you are going home with? Are you sure they won't make you do anything you don't want to do? Will they take "NO" for an answer?
  • If you are going home with someone different, let someone know. Introduce them to your friends.
  • If you still want to be even more cautious, consider purchasing drink testing strips. Test your drink by simply dipping it in your glass. These strips will change color if any drug is detected
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