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Keeping Your Family Safe During the Holidays

While it may be the most wonderful time of the year, the holiday season can also be one of the most exhausting. We are all busy checking our lists twice, and it often becomes easy to overlook the simple steps you can take to protect yourself.

As you get ready to enjoy this special time with your families, I’d like to offer the following tips from the Calgary Police Service to help keep your family safe and to avoid any unwanted stress:

If you are leaving town, have a neighbor, friend or family member watch your house, collect your mail and shovel your walks. Do this even if you are only away for a few days.

Avoid displaying gifts where they can be seen from a window or a doorway, even while you are home.

Consider using a timer on both interior and exterior lights to make it appear as if your home is occupied when you are away.

Never share your vacation plans on social media. Wait until after you’ve returned from your holiday to share pictures with friends.

Don’t leave purchases and presents unattended in vehicles. If you must, lock up your purchases in the trunk of your vehicle.

Avoid leaving boxes from expensive purchases, such as electronics, on the street for garbage pick-up. This advertises the contents of your house to thieves.

With holiday excitement growing, this is also a good time to remind ourselves about winter driving safety and to prepare for the months ahead. I would also encourage you to take this opportunity to restock your vehicle emergency kit, especially if you will be driving out of town.

Vehicle emergency kit

Be sure to include warm blankets and extra clothing, a flashlight and batteries, emergency food and water, an ice scraper and snow brush, a shovel, booster cables and sand or road salt for traction. If you will be leaving the city, you may also want to add a candle and matches, a First-Aid kit and a fire extinguisher.

Before you head out on the roads

Now is a good time to winterize your vehicle and ensure your vehicle maintenance is up-to-date. Have someone you trust check your vehicle’s fluids, brakes, tires, windshield wipers and battery.

While on the road

Make sure you clear all snow and ice from your vehicle before you start driving, including the windows, mirrors, lights, roof and licence plates. Once you hit the road, turn on your headlights, slow down for road conditions and stay alert. When roads are slippery, double your following distance from two seconds to four seconds, and leave extra space when stopping. If you begin to skid, take your foot off the brake and steer in the direction you want to go.

For more updates and crime prevention tips throughout the season, like us, the Calgary Police Service, on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @CalgaryPolice.

On behalf of the Calgary Police Service, I’d like to wish you the happiest of holidays!

Paul Cook is a Police Supt. for the Calgary Police Service. 

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