By Tamas Mondovics

The 2017 holiday season is in full swing as local officials including members of law enforcement and fire rescue to offer residents some much appropriate safety tips.

The Sheriff’s office emphasized that with the potential for thefts more frequent, and the distractions the holiday season brings, many forget the basics about safety; at home or when out shopping.  

Shopping Tips:
*Lock your car doors and roll up your windows.

*Limit the amount of cash you carry. If possible, pay for your purchases with a credit or debit card

*Limit the amount of jewelry you wear.

*Keep your purse close to your body and your wallet in an inside jacket pocket if possible.

*Place all packages in your trunk, so they are not visible to individuals walking close to your vehicle.

*Remember where you are parked, and have your car keys in hand when approaching your vehicle.

*Don’t leave cell phones, purses or other items in your parked car where they will not be visible.

ATMs:
*Use in a populated area and pay constant attention to your surroundings.

*If possible, go during daylight hours.

*If anyone is lurking near the machine, pass it up and find another.

*Remember to retrieve your credit/debit card after a transaction.

Home:
*Be cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave your home.

*Don’t display gifts where they can be visible from a window or doorway.

*Leave a light or television on when away from home.

*Be wary of strangers coming to your door.

*Do not leave boxes from gifts outside for the trash collector.

Vacation:
*Before you leave, contact HCSO with the dates of departure and return. Your home will be periodically checked by deputies patrolling your area.

*Notify the post office to hold your mail or arrange for a neighbor to pick up your mail and newspaper daily.

*Move valuables so that they won’t be visible from windows.

*Have someone pick up flyers and circulars from your doorway.

*Leave your number with a trusted neighbor.

Always report any/all suspicious persons, vehicles, or activity to local law enforcement or HCSO’s Non-Emergency Dispatch at 247-8200. In the event of an emergency dial 911.