HPD Offers Holiday Safety Tips
November 22, 2005 -- As the
Thanksgiving and Christmas Holiday season approaches it is wise
to keep some simple safety tips in mind. This could help reduce
your chances of becoming a victim of crime and identity theft.
Here are a few suggestions that could make the holiday safer.
--Stay alert and aware of what's going on in your immediate surroundings.
with friends; there is safety in numbers.
-- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Pay
for purchases with check, credit
or debit card. When carrying a purse, never wrap the strap around
your arms or
shoulders. You could risk injury from a would-be purse-snatcher.
Use a clutch
purse tucked under your arm or wear a fanny pack. Men should not
in rear pants pockets.
-- Protect your debit card PIN, credit card and
drivers license numbers from
-- Watch your purchases while eating in mall
food courts because bags can be
-- Educate your children on what to do if they
are lost or get separated from
-- Don't overburden yourself or jeopardize your
safety by carrying too many
In the Parking Lot:
-- Avoid shopping in the evening and park in a high visibility
area. Do not
park next to a vehicle with dark tinted windows.
-- When carrying packages to the car, have your
keys in your hand. Be
observant of anyone watching you. If possible, move your car to
parking space to deter a burglary of your vehicle.
-- Walk briskly, confidently and directly through
the parking lot.
-- Keep the outside of your home well lit, doors locked and window
-- Destroy or place boxes of gifts or big-ticket
items in non-clear garbage
-- Never place gifts under Christmas trees displayed
in front windows.
-- Use automatic timers for your interior lights to give the appearance
someone is home.
-- Ask a neighbor to watch your home, collect
mail, newspapers, and park in
-- Never leave an unattended car running. Always
remove keys from the vehicle
Don't forget to make an inventory list of your personal property
purposes or make a video tape of items.
DWI Task Force
During the holidays the Houston Police Department Traffic Enforcement
will step up it's efforts on the highways and streets in order
traffic accidents and prevent drunken drivers from hitting the
These efforts are aimed at first advising motorist that if they
drunk between the wheel of any motor vehicle they are going to
spend the rest
of the holidays behind bars. Officers don't want to arrest anyone
holiday but they will. Motorists need to be reminded that if you
have had too
much to drink to either have someone else drive them home, call
a cab or sleep
it off before hitting the road.
Second, DWI and radar enforcement units will be actively looking
who are exceeding the posted speed limits on all Houston Streets.
are using New laser technology which is able to pin point the
that is speeding as well as the reduced speed when you see the
officer on the
side of the road.
Third, seatbelt laws will be strictly enforced so if you plan
on packing that
car or SUV and heading to relatives home, everyone in the vehicle
a seatbelt. Children under the age of three must be in an approved
Credit Cards/money: Carry only credit cards that you plan to use
on your trip.
List credit card numbers, credit card company and phone number
to report lost
or stolen cards. Never hide a PIN number in your wallet and avoid
large sums of cash. Pickpockets frequent areas where there is
a lot of
physical contact and usually work in pairs.
Parking lot safety:
Park your vehicle in a well-lit area, or at a location where there
people. Be aware of your surroundings. Have your keys in your
hands and ready
before reaching the parking lot. Lock packages and valuables in
the trunk. If
you rent a car, never leave the rental contract in the car. It
information about you and your credit card.
Never leave your luggage unattended, even for a brief moment.
Remove all old
flight tags from your luggage to reduce confusion by baggage handlers
could result in lost items. Keep a close eye on your luggage as
through the X-ray machines and beware of distraction thieves.
Carrying or transporting weapons are regulated by State and Federal
Travelers wishing to transport weapons should check with the airlines
taking them to the airport.
Any remarks or comments relating to a bomb or threat will be taken
even if it's said in a joking manner. This type of situation could
flight delays and the arrest of the person making the statement.
Using public phones:
Block the view of the keypad while punching in phone card numbers.
directly into the phone when giving confidential information.
While on the
phone keep your baggage close to your body and in sight.
Report suspicious activity:
Report any suspicious activity in the airport terminal to a police
airline clerk. Your prompt action could reduce the opportunity
for a crime to
These tips are designed to make everyone aware
of what to look for, so thieves
become aware they're being watched.
For more information about Holiday Safety contact
the Houston Police
Department Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.
For additional information, please
contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.