Unfortunately, criminals love the holidays! All the hustle and bustle can sometimes cause us to put our guard down. Here are some tips from the Beavercreek Police Department on how to celebrate safely.
Basic Home Safety Reminders
- Make sure your home is well lit, and keep doors and windows locked, even when you are home.
- Don’t advertise new gifts or purchases – break boxes down and place them in your recycling container.
- Don’t display gifts and packages where they can be seen from outside.
- It’s not uncommon for people to try to take advantage of others’ generosity over the holidays – if you are approached at your home and asked to make a charitable donation, ask to see proof of a peddler license from the city. If they can’t provide proof, call the police department at (937) 426-1225 to report this activity and an officer will be dispatched to the area. Remember, if the person is sponsored by the city or educational institutions (i.e. Boy Scouts, band associations, PTA groups, youth sporting groups, etc.) or selling of newspapers, they do not need a peddler license.
Holiday Package Deliveries
- Track deliveries online so that you know when to expect them. Try to have someone home to accept deliveries.
- If you can’t be home consider switching the delivery address to a family member, neighbor, or even your place of work.
- Consider investing in one of the doorbell or home video technologies now available. If you do invest in some smart technology, put out the signs that let passersby know your home is protected.
If You Are Traveling
- Invest in an automatic timer for your lights.
- Ask a trusted neighbor to watch your home, pick up the mail, and park in the driveway from time to time.
- Don't forget the Beavercreek Police Department offers vacation house checks!
If You're Shopping
- Stay alert and be aware of what's going on around you.
- Park in a well-lit area, and be sure to lock the car, close the windows, and hide shopping bags and gifts in the trunk.
- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash; pay with a check or credit card whenever possible.
- Only carry a minimal amount of credit cards when out shopping.
- Do not carry your Social Security Card or PIN numbers in your wallet or purse, leave these items in a secure place at home.
- Taking the extra time to close your purse and keep it physically close to you while shopping or in public places. This will reduce the opportunity for thieves to take wallets and other valuables.
- Shopping with kids? Teach them to go to a store clerk or security guard if you get separated.
- When possible, walk to your car with someone or ask a store employee to walk with you to your car especially after dark.
Take a Holiday Inventory
The holidays are a good time to update — or create — your home inventory. Take photos or make videos of items. Write down its description and serial number. If your home is burglarized, having a detailed inventory can help identify stolen items and make insurance claims easier to file. Make sure items like TVs, DVD players, stereo equipment, cameras, camcorders. sports equipment, jewelry, silver, computers, home office equipment, and power tools are on the list. Remember to check it twice!
Drinking and driving is a danger to everyone on the road. Remember that the risk isn't worth it — if you choose to drink alcohol, don't drive. Use public transportation or have a designated driver. Remember to celebrate responsibly.