Holiday Safe Travel Tips

The holidays are quickly approaching and your schedule is likely packed with festive activities and parties. If you are planning on heading out of town to visit family or friends for the holidays or for the day, it is important to keep in mind safety tips for traveling.

photo via Ris Media

By Car

Check your vehicle before heading out. Make sure you have a full tank of gas, your tires are properly inflated and your lights and windshield wipers are working. Pack a winter weather emergency kit in case of inclement weather on your trip.

  • Don’t drink and drive. If you have been partaking in festive celebrations involving alcohol do not get behind the wheel. Have a sober driver get behind the wheel instead. Even if it is the next day make sure you are awake and alert before beginning your road trip.
  • Wear your seatbelt and make sure kids and pets are properly bucked up. Make sure your child is in the proper safety restraints for their size and age (car seat, booster seats.) Pets should not be allowed to roam around the car, protect them with a cat or dog travel carrier, pet barrier in the trunk, or seat belt harness.
  • Have your cell phone available but don’t text/call while driving. Keep your attention on the road, not your electronic devices. It is important to have a phone easily accessible in case of an emergency or inclement weather.
  • Check the weather along your route. Have an idea of what you are heading into. If you are facing snow, rain, sleet, ice, hail, thunderstorms etc. you should be prepared.
Photo: Sean Locke

Photo: Sean Locke

By Plane 

  • Pack your presents in carry-on luggage to avoid theft and damage.
  • Travel light. Although you may need to take warm winter clothes (hats, gloves, scarves, sweaters…) with you don’t pack things you don’t need. It will make for an easier trip if you aren’t weighed down with heavy luggage or extra bags.
  • If you have medications you are bringing make sure to keep the medications in their original packaging and keep in your carry on bag. If your luggage is lost you don’t want to have to deal with not having important medications.
  • Make sure a friend or family member has your travel itinerary and that you have arranged for transportation once you arrive at the airport. The holidays are busy and many people will be waiting for taxis and shuttles.
  • Leave expensive jewelry, cameras and electronics at home. You don’t want to risk getting robbed or potential damage.
  • It is flu season, wash your hands often and carry hand sanitizer with you. Avoid touching your face or eyes. Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve. If you have been sick, consider postponing your trip.


Preparing ahead for your travels will help you avoid stress during the holidays. Follow these tips to help you arrive safe, happy and on time to your holiday destination.


Holiday Theft Prevention Tips

The holiday season is among us, a time for celebration and giving. However with all of purchases, presents and merry partying comes the threat of break-ins and theft. Protect your home, vehicle and your family this holiday season with these seven tips.

1. Leave the lights on. If you are heading out of town to visit family or just going down to the mall for some last minute gifts don’t leave your house in the dark. Empty houses are targets during the holidays. Have your outside lights and holiday lights on timers. Ask a friend or neighbor to pick up your newspaper and mail if you will gone for a few days.

2. Don’t have your gifts visible. After a day of shopping make sure you put your gifts in the trunk of your car, if your trunk is visible cover your packages with a blanket to keep the bags out of view. If you have a Christmas tree in your front window, leave gifts hidden out of sight until Christmas, if all of the wrapped gifts are in view you are more likely to be a target.

3. Install a security system. Using a security alarm can alert you or the police of an intrusion. Install pet-friendly motion detectors in areas like your living room or front door area. The motion detectors will go off when a person triggers them but ignores anything weighing less than 60 lbs. You don’t want Fido or Fluffy triggering the alarm and causing a panic!

4. Lockup valuables. Purchase a safe and keep any valuables, important documents and momentos in here. Keep track of your holiday gift purchases. In the event of a theft you will likely be able to recover some of the value lost from your insurance.

5. Invest in a front-door security camera. (Or at least a decoy!) With many packages and deliveries getting left on your front porch many potential thieves may be tempted to make a grab, installing a security camera at the front door can help deter people from entering. If you don’t want to spend the money on an actual camera system, purchase a realistic decoy that will do the trick.

6. Install a password protected or fingerprint keyless entry lock. Fingerprint locks can give you a little extra protection and the high tech entry systems will keep a record of who goes in and out.

7. Don’t open the door without checking to see who is outside. If you don’t have a peephole- install one and make sure that you can get to the door without being seen from the outside. Teach your children not to open the door if they do not know who is there or to wait for an adult.


These are just a few tips to keep in mind when trying to stay safe and secure and prevent theft during the holiday season.


Thanksgiving Safety Tips

Thanksgiving is right around the corner! You are likely planning out the meal, travel plans, and maybe even your holiday shopping. The holidays are a fun time of year, don’t spend it worrying about your safety and the safety of your loved ones. Ensure a worry-free Thanksgiving by following these tips.

  • Don’t share your travel plans on social media.
  • Stop newspaper and mail deliveries or have them picked up by a neighbor or friend.
  • Use timers to turn on lights.
  • Secure windows and lock doors. If you have a security system, make sure it is working and alarmed.

Cooking the meal?

  • Thanksgiving is the leading day for home cooking fires. Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen.
  • Be cautious when using fryers.
  • Don’t leave things on the stove unattended, check back often to ensure your food isn’t burning.
  • Be careful of loose fitting clothing.

Traveling by car?

  • Make sure your car is safe and full of gas.
  • Do not drive impaired. Have a designated driver or plan to stay overnight.
  • Drive carefully and take frequent breaks to stretch and rest.
  • Avoid distractions and keep your attention on the road.

Have pets?

  • Don’t allow your pets to eat a large amount of “human food.”
  • Keep foods that are toxic to pets out of their reach.
  • Watch exits when guests are arriving or leaving. Door can be left open and pets may make a break through.
  • If yourpets get fearful of large groups or crowds, make sure to keep them in a safe and secure room with food, water and toys.

Black Friday shopping?

  • Don’t keep packages visible in your car.
  • Be aware of your surroundings, have your keys out and ready when walking to your vehicle.
  • Drive safely in parking lots and be alert for other cars and people.
  • Don’t carry large amounts of cash or flash it, this could entice thieves.

Follow these tips for a fun, safe Thanksgiving! We wish you a wonderful holiday.

Don’t Rely On Luck: St. Patrick’s Safety Tips

St. Patrick’s Day is coming quickly! The Irish holiday celebrated by many here in the U.S. as a day of drinking green beer and pinching people for not wearing green is typically a care free and fun event. However, with many people partaking in festivities involving drinking, it is important to make it a safe and responsible night as well. Here are some safety tips:


1. Plan ahead. If you will be out on the town or attending a party, make sure you have a plan for a safe ride home. Select a designated sober driver, plan to stay with a friend, or plan to take a taxi or Uber home. Never let a friend drive when intoxicated.

2. Hydrate. Drink enough water during the day to help ensure you are not hungover on March 18th.

3. Know Your Limits. Everyone wants to have a fun and enjoyable night out. Don’t go overboard and be a burden on others.

4. Charge Your Phone. Before your night out make sure you have a full battery on your phone. You will want to have a way to contact people.

5. Keep Valuables Close. A large crowd of people can sadly attract pickpockets. Make sure you keep your purse and wallet safe from people that could take advantage.

6. Watch Your Drink. Don’t leave your drink unattended. Make sure to have someone you trust watch it if you need to put it down.

7. Eat Up. Make sure you have enough food in your stomach to soak up the alcohol. Eat a healthy, substantial dinner before you hit up the bars.

8. Stay in a Group. Don’t go out by yourself or leave the group. Make sure you are at least with one other person. Also, make sure someone knows where you will be for the night.

5 Tips for a Safe Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! You are probably busy planning a romantic date night for your valentine, but make sure to prepare ahead for a safe night to make sure your day stays sweet.


Follow K.I.S.S. (Keep it safe and secure) with these tips.

1. Beware of social media

Sure, sharing pictures of your heart shaped dessert on Instagram may be fun, but sharing your location is dangerous. Letting people know your home is vacant (dinner and a movie date will let them know you will be gone 2+ hours) can make you a target for burglars. Post pictures when you get home!

Bonus: Being off of your phone will make for much better conversation with your partner.

2. Limit your cash

With lots of people out on date nights, you can become victim to a lost wallet, stolen purse or a pickpocket. Limit the amount of cash you are carrying and keep valuables close to you. Ladies, keep your purse fully zipped closed and keep it in front of you. Men, don’t carry a wallet in your back pocket.

3. Avoid dark areas

Sure, you want to be alone with your significant other on Valentine’s Day, but being alone in a dark alley or street makes you vulnerable. Stay in areas with other people and walk and park in well-lit and trafficked areas.

4. Secure your home

Even if you are gone for just the evening make sure to lock doors and windows and leave some lights on in your home. If you will be traveling out of town get someone to check on your house.

5. Don’t leave it burning

Candles and fires are romantic on Valentine’s Day. Before you go to bed or leave your house ensure candles are blown out, the fireplace is off, the stove and oven are off and your hair straighteners or curling irons are unplugged.

Trick-or-Treating Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween is just two weeks away.  As the excitement for pumpkin carving and candy corn eating builds, it is important to consider tips for staying safe this trick-or-treat. Holidays bring additional crowds and potential hazards for kids, parents and everyone in the community. If you prepare ahead of time for a safe night, Halloween will be a fun experience for everyone!

Photo: Readers Digest


Trick-or-Treat Safety

If your kids are heading out to collect candy, make sure that they follow these tips to ensure they are safe.


  • Have at least one adult accompany young children.
  • Plan out your route before heading out. Younger kids will get tired and you don’t want to go to far. Go to an area you know well, it will decrease chances of getting lost.
  • Dress for comfort. Although it may be tempting to dress for the costume, always wear comfortable shoes, and dress warm (or cool) enough for the weather.
  • Avoid risky costumes. Avoid masks that will impair vision and make sure the costume isn’t dragging on the floor. You don’t want your little one to trip and fall.
  • Be alert for cars. Although the roads are full of trick-or-treaters there will be people driving around. Make sure they can see you. Wear bright clothes and carry a flashlight.
  • Check your child’s candy and remove any that are opened. Make sure wrappers aren’t opened and remove anything homemade or that look suspicious.

Driving Safety

  • Look out for little ghosts and goblins out there! They may have reflectors and flashlights but they may not be completely visible. Go slow in neighborhoods and be careful backing out of your driveway.
  • Yield to pedestrians. Children may not stop to look both ways or they may not see your car in their excitement.
  • Use your headlights. You want to be visible to people and other cars.
  • Continually scan for little ones on the sides of the street.
  • If you are heading out for your own Halloween fun, have a safe driving plan. Always have a designated driver if you plan to be drinking. DUI patrols will be out in full force, do not risk it.

Avoid Halloween Hazards

  • Provide proper lighting and remove any tripping hazards from your yard or porch. If you have jack-o-lanterns consider using electric candles instead of real candles to avoid fire hazard.
  • Keep any pets secure. You don’t want them to get out when the door opens, you also don’t want any children young or allergic to be startled by a barking dog.


Follow these tips for a safe and enjoyable Halloween night with kids and adults too!