From staff reports
JEFFERSON COUNTY — The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office has offered tips to stay safe this holiday season and especially on New Year’s Eve.
The sheriff’s office offers these tips, by category, to enjoy a safe holiday season.
- 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.
- Avoid parking next to vans, trucks with camper shells or cars with tinted windows.
- Park as close as you can to your destination and take notice of where you parked.
- Never leave your car unoccupied with the motor running or with children inside.
- Don’t leave packages or valuables on the seat of your car. This creates a temptation for thieves. If you must leave something in the car, lock it in the trunk or put it out of sight.
- Be sure to locate your keys prior to going to your car.
- Keep a secure hold on your purse, handbag and parcels. Don’t put them down or on top of the car in order to open the door.
- When approaching or leaving your vehicle, be aware of your surroundings.
- Don’t approach your car alone if there are suspicious people in the area.
Automated Teller Machines (ATMs)
- If you must use an ATM, choose one that’s located inside a police station, mall or well-lighted location. Withdraw only the amount of cash you need.
- Protect your PIN number by shielding the ATM keypad from anyone who’s standing near you.
- Don’t throw your ATM receipt away at the ATM location.
- 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 police officers or mall security. Teach children to immediately inform you if a stranger is bothering them.
- Be extra 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.
Strangers at your door
- Be aware that criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts.
- It’s not uncommon for criminals to take advantage of the generosity of people during the holidays 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’re not satisfied, don’t donate.
- Donate to a recognized charitable organization.
Hosting a party
- Have non-alcoholic beverages available for party guests.
- Find alternative transportation for intoxicated guests.
- Arrange for an official designated driver.
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 only time will eliminate the alcohol from your body.
- Know your safe limit.
- Never drink and drive.