Campus police offer holiday safety tips

By on December 4, 2013
shop til drop

‘Tis the season to be safe. 

As the holidays approach, the University of Alabama at Birmingham Police offer safety tips for shopping or traveling that can help keep your celebrations merry.

Shop ‘til you drop
“Stores and malls are busy this time of year, and so are the bad guys,” said Tonya Webb, UAB Police crime prevention specialist. “Go with a friend, stay in well-lit areas, have a plan and stick to it.”

Webb offers these other shopping tips:
Shop during daylight hours whenever possible.  If you must go at night, then go with a friend.

Stay alert to your surroundings, no matter how rushed or stressed you might be.

Do not carry a purse or wallet. Keep your ID, credit cards or cash in a front pocket. Avoid carrying – and displaying – large amounts of cash.

Use checks or credit cards for purchases. Notify the credit card issuer immediately if the card is lost or stolen Keep a record of you credit card numbers in a safe place at home.

Don’t overload yourself with packages. You want freedom to move and good visibility.

Beware of strangers who approach you. Crooks sometimes work in teams with one serving as a distraction while the other grabs your belongings.

Over the river and through the woods…
“The holidays are a great time for travel to visit family and friends,” Webb said. “A little pre-planning and some simple tips can make your road trip a fun and safe one.”

Webb’s list to get you safely to Grandma’s house:
Have an itinerary.  Write it down and share it with others, particularly noting your estimated departure and arrival times.

Keep you cell phone charged and handy. Check in during travel stops with friends and loved ones at your destination to keep them aware of your progress.

Keep maps, GPS and directions handy. Map your trip in advance, and keep this material close by during the trip.

Anticipate flat tires or car trouble. Have your insurance information, roadside assistance numbers and automobile club accounts nearby.

Pack a first-aid kit, blankets, food and water and a flashlight, especially if traveling in the north.

UAB News Service

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