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Safety tips for the Christmas season

The Holiday season can often be hectic with decorations needing to be put up, family visiting, traveling and shopping. With all that going on it’s easy for one’s mind to drift, or for others to prey upon victims during the season.

The Covington Police Department offers several tips for a safer Christmas.

Safety tips for your Christmas tree
• Keep your tree immersed in water
• Do not permit smoking near the tree
• Place tree away from heat sources
• Use only lights that are U.L. approved (indoor/outdoor use)
• Use flame retardant decorations and paper
• Inspect lights for frayed or cracked wiring, broken plugs, and defective sockets
• Do not overload your sockets
• Unplug lights at night and when leaving the home
• Remove the tree soon after the holidays-before the needles dry out
• Test your smoke alarms

When Shopping
• Stay alert to your surroundings & the people around you
• Shop with a friend, there’s safety in numbers
• Carry only the credit cards and identification you need
• Avoid carrying large amounts of cash
• Have your car keys in your hand before leaving the store

When you’re in Parking Lots
• Don’t tempt someone by leaving valuables (wallets, phones, money, bags, etc) visible in your car. Hide them BEFORE you get to the store parking lot
• Park where you can easily see is someone is loitering near your car
• Make sure you park in a well lit area of the parking lot if you shop at night
• Walk briskly, confidently, and directly through the parking lot
• Ask store security to walk you to your car if you are uncomfortable
• Be cautious of people handing out flyers or asking questions in the parking lot
• Be noticeable of person(s) sitting or standing at vehicles when you approach your vehicle
• If you suspect someone is following you, report it to store security or law enforcement immediately

Keep your home safe
• If you are going away on vacation, go to your local law enforcement office and request an ‘extra patrol / residence check’ until you return.
• Ask a trusting neighbor to keep an eye on your home
• Keep the outside of your home well lit with doors and windows locked
• Don’t display gifts beneath a Christmas tree which can be seen from windows
• After the holidays don’t announce you new high-dollar purchases, break down boxes of TVs, stereos, computers, etc, before putting them in the trash
• Record details of valuables and don’t keep large cash amounts at home
• Always activate your burglar alarm system before leaving home and/or while at home
• Report ANY suspicious activity or suspicious person(s) immediately to law enforcement
• Utilize your neighborhood watch in your community. If you don’t have a neighborhood watch then network with your neighbors to report any suspicious activities or person(s) to law enforcement and the neighbors.