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​Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

Holiday Season Shopping Safety Tips

Now that all the leftover turkey and sides are consumed, let’s prepare for the next big holiday by reviewing some simple safety tips to keep the season merry and bright.

Shopping online is a great way to avoid the crowds at the mall and save a little on gas but what happens to those packages once they’re sent from the distribution center?

Nowadays, most shipments come with tracking information that makes it easier than ever to anticipate when your package will arrive. If you don’t plan on being home when the package is going to arrive, check to see if a neighbor might be able to receive the package for you. If you don’t have the ability to add special delivery instructions to your order, try including something simple like ***LEAVE AT BACK DOOR*** in the second address line. This will be printed on the shipping label and is likely to get seen by the delivery driver.

If you ordered something expensive, weather sensitive, or particularly large that shouldn’t be left until you get home, consider shipping the order to your workplace or someplace where someone is likely to be during normal delivery hours. This will save you from having to make a special trip to retrieve your package from the post office or delivery center.

Those are tips for delivery but what if you’re one of those people who absolutely must go to the mall?

If so, bring a friend. Shopping in pairs is always more fun. Park as close as you can to your destination, and remember where you parked. It’s easy to get confused in a large crowded parking lot, and when you wonder around confused, you could be a target for theft.

Consider using your smartphone to snap a picture of where you’ve parked so you’ll have a handy visual reference. If you must shop at night, park in a well-lit area and avoid parking next to vans, trucks with camper shells, or cars with heavily tinted windows. Don’t leave packages or valuables on the seats of your car. This creates temptation for those with dishonest intentions. If you must leave something in your car, like shopping bags you don’t want to keep carrying around, lock it in the trunk. If others don’t know what’s there, they can’t take it.

Never leave your car unoccupied with the motor running or with children or pets inside. If possible, leave smaller children at home with a trusted babysitter. If your kids or grandkids are going shopping with you, have a plan on what steps to take if you drift apart. If they’re old enough to have a cell phone make sure they have your number. Teach younger children to stay close to you at all times and to go to a store clerk to ask for help if they become separated from you. Take some “selfies” of your holiday shopping adventure – they’re a great way to record your day of fun but will also come in handy if you need to describe your wandering little one.

We can never be too careful, too prepared, or too aware. Following these simple tips and sharing them with your family, friends, and neighbors will hopefully contribute to a safe, happy, and peaceful holiday season. 



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