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Safety Tips for the Holidays

American Alliance Security Agency would like to remind all members of the communities we proudly serve to keep the following safety and security tips in mind, as the holidays approach. Share them with your families, friends, colleagues and co-workers.


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Smart Shopping Tips
  • Don't leave purchased merchandise, cash, wallets, phones, purses, or any other item of value in your parked car where they can be seen. Always conceal these items, away from sight. The best place for purchased merchandise is in your trunk.

  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash with you. Pay for purchases with checks, credit, charge or debit cards. It's also a good idea to carry your cash or wallet in a front or zippered pocket to reduce your chances of having your pocket picked in larger crowds or dropping/losing it somewhere.

  • Stay vigilant. Be aware of your surroundings! If you notice anything out of the ordinary, make sure to report it to the management of the establishment, your local police department and/or security.

  • Try your best to park close to your destination, in a well-lit area.

  • When shopping online, avoid purchasing through pop-up ads as they may be phishing scams or contain malware. Shop online with known businesses. To make sure your conducting your transactions on a secure server; look for the padlock device on the browser’s status bar. The URL should change from “http” to “shttp” or “https” when asked for payment information, which indicates that the purchase is encrypted or otherwise secure.

  • Always double-check to make sure you've locked your doors when leaving your vehicle parked.

 
Workplace Alerts
  • If leaving any personal items in your office/work area, lock them away in a desk or file cabinet. You should never leave purses or wallets exposed where they can easily be stolen.

  • If the building is left unattended, draw blinds after business hours so that computers and other valuables are not visible from the outside. Also, make sure that all doors and windows are properly closed, locked and secure.

  • Make sure to question any suspicious visitors who wander throughout your offices or on your property. Legitimate guests and visitors will appreciate your offers of assistance, while potential solicitors or thieves will be deterred.

  • Be suspicious of unfamiliar people claiming to be repair/maintenance persons, as thieves are apt to disguise themselves.

  • Report all trespassers, solicitors, suspicious persons, and all other irregularities to security, law enforcement or your managers.

  • If you are working late and feel vulnerable, ask for an escort to your car from a trusted colleague or security if applicable.

  • Do not prop open any doors, whether the building be occupied or unattended.

  • Make sure that all workers or contractors are cleared by your receptionist and/or security before allowing them into your office or building.

 
Home Safety
  • Refresh your holiday lights; consider buying energy-efficient LED types that are cooler than conventional incandescent lights and heed indoor or outdoor use labels.

  • Monitor candles and fireplace fires, and make sure to extinguish them before leaving the house empty or going to sleep.

  • Don’t open the door to just anybody. In this time of year, many thieves and criminals are prone to disguise themselves. Let strangers who knock or ring your doorbell know you are home without opening your door. Do not feel compelled to donate to anyone asking for suspicious or unfamiliar donations.

  • If you plan to travel for an extended period, ask a trusted neighbor, friend, or relative to collect your mail or have the post office hold it until you return.

  • Consider installing motion or lighting sensors that turn off automatically when no one is around. Home security systems/cameras are also a good security measure.

  • Ensure that all decorations and lights are turned off when going to sleep or leaving the house. You can also set automatic timers for six or eight-hour increments to conserve energy.

 
Fire Safety
  • Test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure that they work at optimal level year-round. Replace batteries, as needed.

  • Remain alert when preparing any meals in the kitchen and keep potholders and food wrappers away from heat sources.

  • Never prop open self-closing doors, as their purpose is to keep fires, flames and smoke from spreading.

  • Do not block exits and stairways. Don’t store things on or under stairways, or on landings.

  • If you live in an apartment complex, know where the exits and evacuation routes are located. If you notice that any exit signs are broken or vandalized, notify the property manager or your landlord.

 
Additional Tips
  • Visit the National Safety Council's website for more holiday safety tips and recommendations.

  • Check out safety guides from the Electrical Safety Foundation International. They have many useful recommendations in regards to safety awareness concerning holiday decorations and other safety resources.

  • Expect and prepare for more thorough airport security checks and measures by TSA prior to traveling. Another good idea is to register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), which is completely free. With STEP, U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad can enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the foreign country they are traveling to or living in. This way, you can receive important information from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate about safety conditions in your destination country and help them contact you in an emergency, natural disasters, civil unrest, or family emergencies. You also make it easier for your family and friends to get in touch with you in case of any emergencies.

  • Before making any purchases on toys and other products, check out the Consumer Product Safety Commission website for any potential recalls or alerts.

 

We would like to point out that any list of safety tips is going to overlook a few safety hazards. Therefore, keep these safety tips in mind but as always, use your common sense this holiday season. The best way to fill in the blanks and keep yourself safe is to use your head. American Alliance Security Agency wishes you a happy holiday season, and a healthy, joyful, peaceful and prosperous 2022!


American Alliance Security Agency, Inc.

www.aasecurityagency.com