Crime prevention tips from the Southington Police

The Southington Police Department has released some crime prevention tips for the holiday season.

Southington Police Dept (web)

When you are shopping:

  • Remember where you parked your vehicle. Always park in a well-lit and well-traveled area. Avoid dark, remote spots.
  • Look inside your parked car before you enter. Check to see if you are being followed.
  • Have your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle.
  • When storing items purchased at the stores, place them out of sight. The best place is in a locked trunk.
  • Do not leave your purse, wallet, or cellular phone in open view.
  • Don’t resist if someone tries to take any of your belongings. Don’t chase someone who robs you. They may have a weapon. Call 911.
  • Lock your vehicle and put up your windows even while you are driving.
  • Only visit automatic teller machines that are well-lit and in a safe location. Be aware of people around you.
  • Carry only the credit cards you need and avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • If you make a purchase with your credit card, be sure to obtain the carbons or see that they are destroyed in front of you.
  • Beware of the “good deal” scams. Things are not always what they appear to be.
  • If you are purchasing toys for small children, be sure that they are safe. You will be surprised what a small child can swallow or what can injure them.

When you are at home:

  • Be cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave the house, even for a few minutes.
  • When leaving home for an extended time, have a neighbor or family member watch your house and pick up your newspapers and mail.
  • Indoor and outdoor lights should be on an automatic timer.
  • Leave a radio or television on so the house looks and sounds occupied.
  • Large displays of holiday gifts should not be visible through the windows and doors of your home.
  • When setting up a Christmas tree or other holiday display, make sure doors and passageways are clear.
  • Be sure your Christmas tree is mounted on a sturdy base so children, elderly persons, and family pets are unable to pull it over on themselves.
  • Make sure any Christmas tree lights are undamaged or unfrayed. Frayed or damaged wiring can cause fires.
  • Place your Christmas tree in water or wet sand to keep it green.
  • Never place wrapping paper in your fireplace.

When a stranger visits your door:

  • Be aware that criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts.
  • It is not uncommon for criminals to take advantage of the generosity of people during the holiday season by soliciting donations door-to-door for charitable causes although no charity is involved.
  • Ask for their identification, and find out how the donated funds will be used. If you are not satisfied, do not donate.
  • Donate to a recognized charitable organization.

When you are hosting a Party:

  • Have non-alcoholic beverages available for party guests.
  • Find alternative transportation for intoxicated guests.
  • Arrange for an official designated driver for your party who will not drink at all.

When you are attending a Party:

  • Have something to eat before consuming alcoholic beverages.
  • Eat high protein foods that will stay in your stomach longer and slow the absorption of alcohol into your system.
  • Remember that time is the only way to eliminate alcohol from your body.
  • Know your safe limit.
  • Never drink and drive.

When caring for children:

  • If possible, leave small children at home with a trusted babysitter.
  • Teach your child to go to a store clerk and ask for help in case your child is separated from you.
  • Teach children to stay close to you at all times while shopping.
  • Never allow children to make unaccompanied trips to the restroom.
  • Children should never be allowed to go to the car alone and they should never be left alone in the car.
  • Teach children their full name, address and telephone number to give to police officers or mall security. •Teach children to immediately inform you if a stranger is bothering them.

When visiting an Automated Teller Machine (ATM):

  • If you must use an ATM, choose one that is located inside a police station, mall, or well-lighted location. Withdraw only the amount of cash you need.
  • Protect your PIN by shielding the ATM keypad from anyone who is standing near you.
  • Do not throw your ATM receipt away at the ATM location.

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