- The most obvious - keep your doors locked
- If you don't have a security system, you can post signs that says you do
- Perhaps think about getting an outdoor camera (can even be a trail cam)
- I know people that have a sign that says 'guard dog' and have auto recorder attached to door - that are action activated. The recording is the barking of a large dog.
- Keep bushes and trees away from windows - they are a great hiding place
- Have motion activated security lights
- Those living in colder areas - please keep your walks shoveled and salted. If not for your family - for the postman, utility readers or paper boys.
- Make sure that any animal that stays outside has a warm and protected area to be. Make sure they have food and 'water' (not ice). If it gets too cold - animals need another warm protected area to be.
- DO NOT use the oven for a heat source if at all possible. Carbon monoxide can kill
- If using baseboard heat or portable heaters - keep anything and everything away from them
- Make sure you have working smoke/fire detectors and a fire extinguisher close at hand. It is also a good idea to have a carbon monoxide detector in or around where you furnace is. (These are good gift ideas as well!!!!!)
- Always lock your car
- Do not leave packages in view - cover them in some way
- Do NOT leave handbags, computers, phones, CD's, money, chargers, etc. in view (even in a locked car)
- Be ever vigilant of your surroundings when walking back to your vehicle
- If at all possible walk out with other people or a crowd
- Try not to shop or walk in parking lots at night
- If living in area with snow and ice - make sure that ALL of your windows are clear of snow and ice - this not only keeps you safe - but others as well. DO NOT put others in jeopardy because you have an obstructed view
- If you do a lot of traveling or travel in unpopulated area - keep food and warm blankets (or clothing) in the vehicle. Have a shovel, ice melt or cat litter for getting stuck, and flairs. Snow can act as water - but you need warmth for sure.
- Make sure cell phones are always charged when traveling
- Do not put gifts under a tree that can be seen from outside - that is an invitation to crooks
- If having deliveries made - make sure you will be home or have them delivered to your work or to a neighbors. There are so many stories every day of packages being stolen from porches
- Be careful of what real holiday plants you have in your home IF you have pets. Many plants are toxic if eaten.
- Keep trees, throws, blankets, etc. away from heat vents. Trees dry out quicker and that can cause fires. Depending on the heat source - material can catch fire.
- Keep LIVE trees properly watered
- Keep tinsel and garland out of reach of animals. If eaten it can cause damage to their organs
- Do not feed pets overly rich and fatty foods. Chocolate and many other items can cause animals to be ill
DO NOT "advertise" on ANY social media outlet that you are going on vacation or traveling. That is like telling crooks "the house is available for you".
IF you have to attend a close family funeral that has been in the paper - TRY to leave someone at the house to 'house sit'. Crooks watch the obituaries.
Another tip - when shopping - I keep my car keys and my cell phone in my pockets and not in my handbag. IF someone gets off with my handbag - at least I can get home and I can call police!
Sadly this is the world we now live in!
BE VIGILANT, BE SAFE, BE MINDFUL
and STAY SAFE!!!!!!!!!!!!