Guide to the Holiday Season: Public Safety

The holiday season is always a special time of year. It is also a time when busy people become careless and vulnerable to theft and other holiday crime. You can never be too careful, too prepared or too aware.

The following are some safety tips.


Avoid driving alone or at night.

Keep all car doors locked and windows closed while in or out of your car. Set your alarm or use an anti-theft device.

If you must shop at night, park in a well-lit area.

Never leave your car unoccupied with the motor running or with children inside.

Do not leave packages or valuables on the seat of your car. This creates a temptation for thieves.

Be sure to locate your keys prior to going to your car.

Keep a secure hold on your purse, handbag and parcels. Do not put them down or on top of the car in order to open the door.

Do not approach your car alone if there are suspicious people in the area.

Automated Teller Machine (ATM)

If you must use an ATM, choose one that is located inside a police station, mall, or well-lit 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.


Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member.

Dress casually and comfortably.

Avoid wearing expensive jewelry.

Do not carry a purse or wallet, if possible.

Even though you are rushed and thinking about a thousand things, stay alert to your surroundings.

Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.

Pay for purchases with a check or credit card when possible.

Notify the credit card issuer immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen or misused.

Keep a record of all of your credit card numbers in a safe place at home.

Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps.

At Home

Always lock your 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.

Strangers at Your Door

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.

Donate to a recognized charitable organization.

Everyone should enjoy the holiday season, but you still must always remember to practice good safety habits so you do not become a victim of crime. While you enjoy the holidays, please remember that you should never drink alcohol and drive.

Please remember to like the Department of Public Safety on Facebook at FDU Metro Department of Public Safety or follow us on Twitter @FDUMetroPS.

The Department of Public Safety wants to wish everyone a safe, happy, healthy and peaceful holiday season.