Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

The holidays are meant to be a time for fun and celebration with family and friends. However, the hectic pace of the holidays can also present increased risks, such as overcrowded stores, greater opportunities for thieves to target your valuables and personal information as well as safety hazards around your home. Here are five simple tips to help you have a safe and enjoyable holiday season:

  1. Protect Your Identity, Online and in Stores: Before you go shopping, think about how much information a thief would get his hands on if your wallet or purse was stolen. Avoid carrying Social Security cards, birth certificates or passports unless absolutely necessary. When shopping online, be sure to only use a secure website, log off from that site after you have completed your purchase, and monitor your bank accounts and credit card activity regularly throughout the holidays.
  2. Watch Out for Package Thieves: Theft of packages from front porches increase as online shopping drives more home deliveries during the holidays. Take advantage of electronic delivery alerts to make sure your gifts are safely delivered and received.
  3. Beware of Parking Lot Bandits: While you are in the mall purchasing gifts, thieves may be roaming the parking lot looking to steal valuable items in unlocked cars. Shoppers should remember to always lock their doors, park in well-lit areas and hide valuables from plain view.
  4. Travel Safely: Many people choose to travel during the holidays by automobile, with the highest fatality rate of any major form of transportation. In 2013, 343 people died on New Year’s Day, 360 on Thanksgiving Day and 88 on Christmas Day, according to Injury Facts 2015. Alcohol-impaired fatalities represented 31% of the totals. In addition, during this time of year, we have difficult weather conditions, limited daylight and drivers in unfamiliar areas. By planning extra travel time and eliminating distractions, you can help ensure safe travels during the holidays. Below are some tips that can help make your travels that much safer.
    • Use a designated driver to ensure guests make it home safely after a party
    • Make sure every person in the vehicle is properly buckled up no matter how long or short the distance being traveled
    • Put that cell phone away; distracted driving causes one-quarter of all crashes [Map of Dallas Distracted Driving Crashes]
    • Make sure the vehicle is properly maintained, and keep an emergency kit with you
    • Be prepared for heavy traffic, and possibly heavy snow
  5. Prevent House Fires by Using Candles Wisely: Christmas Day, Christmas Eve and Dec. 23. are three of the top five days for home fires caused by candles. About 2,200 deaths were caused by fires, burns and other fire-related injuries in 2013, according to Injury Facts 2015, and 12% of home candle fires occur in December, the National Fire Protection Association reports. Increased use of candles and fireplaces, combined with an increase in the amount of combustible, seasonal decorations present in many homes means more risk for fire. Here are some fire prevention tips:
    • Never leave burning candles unattended or sleep in a room with a lit candle
    • Keep candles out of reach of children
    • Make sure candles are on stable surfaces
    • Don’t burn candles near trees, curtains or any other flammable items
    • Don’t burn trees, wreaths or wrapping paper in the fireplace
    • Check and clean the chimney and fireplace area at least once a year
  6. We hope that by taking some of the above precautions, you can help ensure your whole family remains safe and injury-free throughout the season. We wish you and your family a safe and joyous holiday from your team at Guajardo & Marks!