The holidays are upon us! It’s a time for fun, celebration, and spending quality time with our family and friends. Unfortunately, the typical hectic pace of the season can present many dangers and increased risks. That’s why it’s important to be extra vigilant during the holidays.
Check out the following 8 tips to keep you and what matters most safe this holiday season!
Be Smart in Parking Lots – Take extra care when you’re in parking lots, especially when it’s dark outside. Make sure to hide all of your valuables, lock your car, and park in well-lit, populated areas. Keep your keys close by, and stay alert of your surroundings. If you notice any suspicious people, vehicles, or situations, avoid them and alert the authorities, if possible.
Stay Alert When Shopping – Shopping during the holidays can be a stressful time, especially because of the crowds of people who are out looking for the perfect gifts. Be very cognizant of your surroundings, and make sure that you aren’t loaded down with packages and that you are maintaining your visibility and mobility at all times. Refrain from wearing expensive jewelry and carrying large amounts of valuables or cash, and keep your wallet in a safe place.
Keep Your Children Safe When Shopping – If you have children in tow with you while you’re out shopping, keep a cautious eye on them at all times. You can even consider teaching them to find a store clerk or security guard in case you get separated. Make sure that they know their first and last name so you can be easily reunited, and give them a contact phone number that they can keep on them at all times should they get lost.
Be a Smart, Savvy Online Shopper – If you don’t feel like tackling the crowds to get your shopping done, you can always find fantastic gifts online. But beware – making purchases online does carry its own risks. The National Cyber Security Alliance recommends that you have a firewall, anti-virus software, and anti-spyware software installed and updated regularly before doing your shopping. Additionally, only make purchases on secure sites; these sites will have “https” at the beginning of their URL address. Your purchases and account information will be much more secure this way.
Stay Safe at Home – You should exercise caution while at home as well during the holiday season. Make sure that your windows and doors are locked whether you are home or not, and keep your gifts and valuable items out of plain sight. Consider also setting indoor and outdoor lights on timers to make it appear as if someone is home. Keep your blinds and curtains closed as well so that a potential burglar won’t be able to see what is inside your home.
Tell Someone You Trust About Your Holiday Travels – Heading out to visit loved ones or just to take a vacation by yourself this holiday season? Make sure you tell someone you trust where you’ll be going and the timeframe that you’ll be gone. In the event of an accident or inclement weather, you will have someone back home who will check in with you to ensure that you’re safe. Ask a neighbor or trusted friend or family member to watch your home while you’re out as well.
Stay Safe on the Roads – Holiday travel can be hectic. There’s an increase in drivers on the road, and weather can be slippery and tricky, making travel dicey. Drive defensively and stay tuned in to weather conditions. Keep emergency supplies in your vehicle including a blanket, batteries, a flashlight, dry food and water bottles, a radio, and other supplies in case you get stranded.
Celebrate Responsibly – If you’re going to be one of the many celebrating the season by attending holiday parties with your friends and family, make sure to enjoy these celebrations responsibly. Too often do these times of joy turn so quickly into a tragedy. Remember, this is completely preventable. Keep yourself and others safe by watching how you drink, and never drink and drive.
Want to stay extra safe this holiday season? Call your agent here at Madison Mutual to ensure that your insurance policies are up-to-date. Call today at 1-800-766-MMIC or learn more online at www.madisonmutual.com.