Holiday safety tips to keep your property secure

Published 9:26 am Saturday, December 24, 2022

As Christmas Day looms, Valley Police Chief Mike Reynolds shared tips to keep the community safe from holiday-related burglary and incidents.

Reynolds encouraged the public to put their high price items in their trunks if they plan to leave them in the car while they shop. Many burglars will pass by a car that appears empty in search of a better target.

“Most of the time, if they don’t see anything in the car, they’ll leave it alone. It’s when there’s something in there that they think they can get rid of real quick. That’s when they break into the car and actually cause damage,” Reynolds said.

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With the cold front arriving in time for Christmas, Reynolds reminded families to be prepared. He also said people should be careful when using space heaters. The heater should be well-ventilated. Reynolds also said kerosene heaters should never be used indoors. Carbon monoxide often goes unnoticed without a carbon monoxide detector.

“Carbon monoxide kills a lot of folks every year,” Reynolds said. 

After Christmas, many families will be cleaning up wrapping paper and boxes. Reynolds said people should be mindful of the boxes that they put on the curb which may advertise high-price gifts like TVs or electronics that are in the house.

“It’s like shopping at Walmart for them. They just drive through the neighborhoods and they say, ‘Okay, well, this house has this, and this house has that.’ They can mark their targets that way,” 

Instead, the police chief suggested breaking the boxes down and putting them into bags so that they are indiscernible. That way, burglars will be less likely to target the house from the road.

For those traveling during the holidays, Reynolds said drivers should pay attention to their surroundings. With the inclement weather coming, families should check to see if there will be precipitation at their destination. In case drivers run into ice or snow while traveling, Reynolds also advised everyone to keep a survival kit in their car, equipped with blankets, water and snacks at the minimum.

With families spending the holidays together, Reynolds said it’s common for conversations to get heated and lead to fights. He reminded families to be mindful of conflict and separate those involved in the conflict before it can escalate. 

“If it looks like it’s getting out of hand, somebody needs to have a level head and try to head things off or separate the parties,” Reynolds said. “Nothing will ruin a family get-together more than Uncle Bob and cousin Jimmy trading blows over politics.”