State Police extend holiday safety tips


On behalf of our Superintendent, Colonel Nathaniel McQueen Jr. and the women and men of the Delaware State Police, we would like to extend our best wishes for everyone to have a safe and happy holiday season. Your family and home safety are always on our minds and we must work together for a safer Delaware. Troopers kindly offer safety tips throughout the year but specifically during the holiday season.

Please take the time to secure your home and lock all windows and doors when leaving for any length of time. Even while you are home, we recommend that you keep your house secured. Close the blinds and drapes and do not keep any gifts or valuable items in view. Set timers for lights. If a person knocks at your door and you don’t recognize them, don’t feel obligated to open your door. Teach your children not to open the door to anyone prior to your knowledge. Inform a trusted neighbor or dependable person to watch your house when you travel during the holidays. During the holiday is an excellent time to get to know your neighbors. Neighbors watch out for neighbors and help keep a watchful eye out for suspicious activity to make communities stronger and safer. Mail should be stopped or arrangements for a trusted neighbor or friend to pick up when you are away from home for a period of time.

While shopping we suggest you lock your vehicle and hide valuables, preferably in the trunk or locked compartment. Stay alert to your surroundings and take a moment to glance around for possible suspicious persons, vehicles or situations. Prior to getting into your vehicle take a look inside and around before entering. When in crowded places, be alert for potential suspicious activity. Never leave personal belongings unattended. As an added precaution, make sure you have a record of all your credit card numbers in a secure place at home. Try to shop with friends, there is safety in numbers. Teach your child to go to a trusted adult or store clerk and ask for help in case your child is separated from you. Teach children to stay close to you at all times while shopping. Never allow children to make unaccompanied trips to the restroom. Children should never be allowed to go to the car alone and they should never be left alone in the car. Teach children their full name, address and telephone number to give to police officers or mall security. Teach children to immediately inform you if a stranger is bothering them.

More people are moving to online shopping. The Internet does have risks so it is essential to take steps to safeguard yourself when shopping online. It is suggested that you make sure you have a form of security (firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware) installed and updated with the most current information before shopping online. Also, keep your operating system and Web browser up-to-date. Before you enter your personal and financial information for an online transaction, look for signs that the site is secure. This includes a closed padlock on your Web browser’s address bar or a URL address that begins with shttp or https. This indicates that the purchase is encrypted or secured. Never use unsecured wireless networks to make an online purchase.

Many people celebrate the season by attending holiday parties with family and friends. Enjoy these gatherings responsibly so this time of happiness does not become a time of tragedy. Don’t drink then drive, get a ride with someone who is responsible and sober. It is recommended that you prearrange transportation if you plan on consuming alcoholic beverages. We can never be too cautious, too ready or too mindful. Please share this information with family, friends and neighbors.

The Delaware State Police wishes you a safe, happy and peaceful holiday season.