As you find yourself fully immersed in the holiday season and the many fun activities it brings like decorating, shopping, entertaining and traveling, the City of Heath Department of Public Safety offers the following tips for keeping you and your loved ones safe during this extra busy time of year:

At Home:

  • Make sure all doors and windows are locked. Double-check each one daily.
  • Don’t leave presents under the tree. Burglars can make quick money with new gifts.
  • When you go out for the evening, turn on your lights and a radio or TV to make the house look and sound occupied.
  • If you will be away for a few days, use an automatic timer for your lights. Ask your neighbor to watch your house, pick up your mail and newspaper, park their car in your driveway, and even put your trash and recycling bins in front of your house on trash night.
  • Be sure to mark all of your property with your Texas Driver’s License Number and engrave the new items you receive as gifts.
  • Be wary of strangers soliciting door to door. They may be checking out your home as a future target to burglarize. Call the police immediately to report suspicious persons in the area.
  • Be aware of package deliveries where couriers have the wrong address. Write down the license plate numbers of suspicious delivery vehicles.
  • Test all decorative lights before hanging them and do not let children play with them.
  • Do not leave interior decorative lights on overnight or while you are out.
  • Remove all personal items from your car and lock it.

While Shopping:

  • Stay alert to your surroundings. If you see people loitering in parking garages, parking lots or outside stores, go another way and notify mall security or the police.
  • Shop before dark, and coordinate shopping with a friend. Never park in an un-lit parking lot.
  • Lock all car doors and keep the windows closed. Use your car alarm and/or any anti-theft devices.
  • Lock all packages in the trunk. If you return to the store or mall to do more shopping, move your car to the other side of the parking lot. This will lessen the chance of someone who watched you put packages into your car of being tempted to break into your vehicle when you go back into the store or mall.
  • Park near street lights and have keys ready when you return to your car. Check the interior of your car before entering.
  • To discourage purse snatching, do not over load yourself with packages.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and/or an excessive number of credit cards.
  • Teach your children to go to a Security or Police Officer, or store clerk if they become lost or separated from adults. Children should never go into
    the parking lot alone or walk the mall areas without supervision.
  • To prevent distractions that make you a target, try to avoid take small children shopping.

If you have questions, please contact the Heath Department of Public Safety at 972-961-4900.