How to have a safer Christmas

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How to have a safer Christmas.

The Christmas holidays are usually a time for fun and joy, preferably with family, friends and loved ones. But there is a dark side to the holidays. Because of increased spending habits during this time of the year, more opportunities to pounce on unsuspecting shoppers may be found by the criminal elements than at any other time. –– Burglaries Burglary is a major concern for homeowners during the holidays, particularly in between shopping trips when the house is left unoccupied. There are certain things we may take for granted, but which may actually serve as a lure for burglars.

• A house which is secluded from neighbors, due to its location.

• Absence of street or security lights near to or outside the premises.

• Low side and rear boundaries or fences, which would present no deterrent for potential burglar(s).

• Valuables which can be seen through the windows.

• Open or unsecured windows, even those on the top floor.

• Overgrown bushes in your yard or adjacent to it. There are some steps we can take to ensure that our homes are as secure as possible, should we happen to be out. And these plans do not even have to be as elaborate as those featured on the popular Christmas movie franchise “Home Alone”. It goes without saying that we should ensure that doors and windows are locked and secured. Grills are a proven deterrent, as well as motion activated or timed lights, but there are some basic home security options
everyone should know.

• Leaving the lights on while you are out, will give the impression to a passersby with nefarious intentions that someone is at home. Security experts have suggested that homeowners use drawn curtains and multiple rooms, as continued lighting in a single room may raise suspicions.

• Ensure that louver windows are secured with additions like screens or consider replacing them altogether. They can be lifted out of their brackets, even from the outside and thus present a security risk.

• Sometimes securing your home is as simple as informing your neighbor(s) that you will not be at home. They can be alerted to a burglar’s presence at your house by an unfamiliar car or noises that should not be emanating from a house that’s supposed to be empty.

• Dogs are known as man’s best friend, but they are also one of man’s best home security options due to their territorial nature. They work well with the preceding option, as a barking dog will alert neighbors of an intruder. All dogs can perform this role at varying levels, but there are some breeds, like the Rottweiler and pit bull, which can rapidly turn the tables on burglars and would-be attackers.

Armed robberies Unfortunately, burglaries are not the only way thieves can strike. Holiday season or not, armed robberies are a possibility and there are some steps recommended by the Guyana Police Force to safeguard your Christmas.

• Avoid use of earphones or headphones when walking, cycling or jogging along the road. There is a time and place for everything, but most would agree that that is not the best time to be distracted from your surroundings and unable to hear footsteps following you.

• It is advisable, when walking on the inevitably busy streets, to keep your purse as close to your body as possible. And if you are using wallets or have a phone or both, keeping them in your side pockets may be all that thwarts a would be pickpocket.

• It is the season for Christmas themed parties, but thieves can also make popular hot spots their site for identifying targets they consider easy. One way to prevent this is to avoid leaving night spots alone and on foot.

• Thieves can watch and observe your movements for days. An important way of breaking this reconnaissance is to vary your schedule and the routes you take to travel.

• Ensure that you have the numbers for police stations in your possession.

Article Categories:
Issue 26 · Security

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