Preventing Crime During The Holidays

As the holiday season approaches, a sense of joy and anticipation fills the air. Homes are adorned with twinkling lights, stores are bustling with shoppers, and families are planning gatherings to celebrate together. However, amidst all the merriment, it’s crucial to remember that this time of year also sees a spike in crime rates. At Blanchard Insurance, we understand the importance of safety and security during these festive times. Our mission is to provide clarity and transparency in an industry often perceived as complicated, and part of that involves educating our clients on how to protect themselves, their homes, and their belongings. That includes assisting in preventing crime during the holidays. 

The holiday season presents unique challenges and risks, from potential burglaries when homes are left unattended during travel, to the increased threat of online scams during holiday shopping. It’s essential to be proactive in taking steps to mitigate these risks. This blog post aims to provide you with practical tips and strategies to help you prevent crime and stay safe during the holiday season. We’ll cover various aspects, including how to secure your home, protect your car, and ensure your safety while shopping. 

Remember, the goal is not to create fear but to empower you with knowledge and strategies to enjoy a safe and secure holiday season. So, let’s dive into these tips and ensure you have a safe, secure, and joyful holiday season 

Tips For Your Home 

Protect your home with lights

There are several steps you can take to protect your home and help reduce the risk of becoming a victim of crime during the holidays.

  • Illuminate your property. Keep your home well-lit and consider installing a security system or cameras to deter burglars. Avoid posting your holiday plans on social media, as this can alert potential burglars that your home will be empty. 
  • Secure your windows. Don’t run extension cords through windows to power outdoor lights, as this prevents them from locking securely. Make sure all windows are locked before leaving your home or going to bed. Don’t leave blinds open, as this gives potential burglars an insight into the layout of your home, when people are home, if there are any animals, and where valuables or presents are. Close your blinds or curtains when you’re not at home or during the night. 
  • Consider investing in a security system or doorbell camera to help deter potential break-ins. 
  • Avoid posting your holiday plans on social media, as this can alert potential burglars to when your home will be empty.  
  • Use timers on indoor lights to create the appearance of someone being home while you are out. 
  • Ask a trusted neighbor or friend to take care of your home and bring in mail and packages if you are traveling. If no one is available, cancel any scheduled deliveries.  

Tips For Your Car 

How to protect your car during the holidays
  • Park in well-lit areas and keep your car locked. If you must shop at night, try to park in a well-lit area whenever possible and take along another person. 
  • Don’t leave gifts or other valuables in your car where they can be seen. Keep your belongings with you or hide them in the trunk before reaching your destination. 
  • Use an anti-theft device if you have one.  
  • Always be aware of your surroundings when parking or approaching your car. Pay attention to people and vehicles around you. 
  • Have your keys in hand when you are walking towards your vehicle.  
  • Stay off your phone until you are safely in your locked car. It is easy to get distracted and surprised while talking, texting, or scrolling.  

Tips For While Shopping 

Prevent crime while holiday shopping
  • Be aware of your surroundings and avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Use credit or debit cards instead and keep your wallet or purse secure. Don’t carry your wallet or phone in your back pocket.  
  • Shop with another person whenever possible.  
  • Don’t wear expensive jewelry or accessories and dress comfortably.  
  • If you feel uncomfortable or like someone might be following you when leaving a store, ask for a security escort to your vehicle. 

Tips For Shopping Online 

Online shopping is incredibly popular and makes shopping easier for millions of busy people each year. Shopping at online retailers comes with additional, unique risks of crime during the holidays. Here are some ways to help mitigate those risks.

  • Only shop on secure websites and be cautious of phishing scams and fraudulent websites. 
  • Protect your personal information. Be cautious about sharing personal details online. Use strong, unique passwords, and consider using secure payment methods. 
  • Monitor your credit card statements for any unauthorized charges. 

Review Your Insurance Coverage 

  • Ensure your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance covers potential theft. 
  • Consider purchasing additional insurance if you will be hosting any large gatherings.  
  • Secure insurance on new, high-value purchases as quickly as possible. This can include jewelry, cars, and any other valuables.  
  • Consult with Blanchard Insurance or your trusted agent to understand your coverage options.  

By following these tips, you can reduce your risk of becoming a victim of holiday crime and enjoy a safe and happy holiday season. By being proactive, staying aware of your surroundings, and taking necessary precautions, you can significantly reduce the risk of becoming a victim of crime during the holiday season. 

Remember, a little preparation goes a long way in ensuring a safe and enjoyable holiday experience. For personalized guidance on protecting yourself and your belongings and preventing crime during the holidays, reach out to Blanchard Insurance today. Let’s work together to keep your holidays joyful and secure. 

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