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Tips to stay safe and secure this holiday season

With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, safety precautions are often forgotten and can lead to burglaries, robberies and other suspicious activities. Bainbridge Public Safety Investigator, Chris Jordan is giving tips to residents to make sure this holiday season is a safe and fun one.

Jordan first discusses the precautions to take when shopping. He said, when entering a store and leaving packages or goods in the car, make sure to not leave them in plain sight, where people can see them. He suggests instead hiding the packages in the trunk or covering them up.

BPS also suggests when shopping that ladies keep their handbag within sight while shopping and loading their vehicle. They warn women to not turn their back to the shopping cart, because it makes it easy for a thief to grab and go with valuables.

When leaving from shopping, Jordan encourages everyone to always be aware of their surroundings, especially if shopping alone. BPS has warned those shopping alone to not approach their vehicle if they spot someone suspicious in the area. Instead, report the person to the store personnel and ask an employee or store security officer to walk to the vehicle with you. To help with this, BPS suggests parking vehicles in a well-lit area if possible.

“Everyone needs to be more vigilant during this time of year,” Jordan said.

Those who are planning to leave for the holidays should let a neighbor or someone they trust know, so they can keep an eye on the house, Jordan said. He also suggests leaving a light on inside the house or outside to make it look as if someone is home and always make sure to secure doors and windows.

Bainbridge Public Safety does their best to patrol every neighborhood, but people who are going out of town can contact the police department and ask for extra patrol.

Lastly, BPS warns of fire hazards that can be common during Christmas decorating. They ask that residents choose decorations that are fire resistant or flame retardant and that they replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Most importantly, when hanging decorations do not place them too close to a heat source. According to reports, two of every five decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source.

Jordan and the rest of the BPS staff hope these tips will keep everyone safe this holiday season and cut down on any issues that may arise.