Be safe this holiday season

Published 9:20 pm Monday, December 18, 2017

There is less than a week left until Christmas, and while most of us are busy with last minute purchases and family plans, it is important to remember to take every precaution against those wishing to steal some of our Christmas joy.

In a video with LGTV, Sgt. Stewart Smith from the Troup County Sheriff’s Office gave tips from the office for what holiday travelers can do to be safe this holiday season. Here are some additional tips:

The TCSO will do a security check if you live in county before you leave for your holiday travels. To contact the sheriff’s office to set up a check call (706) 883-1616.

Do not post about your holiday trips while you are away, it makes it easy for people decided to enter your home and steal valuable items. Wait to post photos and talk about your trip when you get home.

After Christmas, do not pile all of your boxes displaying their former contents on the side of the street. These boxes tell people exactly what you have inside your home, which could tempt those with ill-intent. Make sure to tear them and put them either in recycling bins, or at least put the torn pieces in dark plastic bags.

Lock your car and residence doors. There’s nothing worse than buying Christmas for loved ones only to discover they have been stolen. To prevent tempting thefts, hide valuables under seats or in trunks. Additionally, park under well-lit areas.

Check your bank accounts because identity theft is common this time of year, according to Smith. It’s always a good idea to regularly update passwords and to never share that kind of information.

For the safety of yourself and other drivers, do not drink and drive. Know your limit, especially you’re drinking limit. No one wants a DUI during the holiday, or worse, to be the cause of an accident.

Additionally, do not text and drive. Distracted driving is a hazard to all travelers. If you need to communicate with another person that is texting you, find a legal parking stop to pause before chatting. All messaging can wait.

Lastly, wear your seat belts. According to the National Highway Traffic Saftey Administration’s website, airbags are not enough to save you.