There’s less than two weeks to go until Christmas and by now you will either have put up your decorations or at least considered it.
It’s an exciting and special time of the year but if we get carried away or forgetful it can lead to some disastrous and un-merry situations.
This week An Garda Síochána issued 12 safety tips to ensure we have a Christmas that is memorable for all the right reasons.
“Christmas should be a time of year for everyone to enjoy,” said Sergeant Kevin Courtney.
“Our aim is to help people have a safe and peaceful Christmas and not have to spend the festive period dealing with difficult and possibly traumatic situations for themselves or their families.”
The 12 tips are as follows:
- Drink alcohol responsibly – wherever the celebration, everyone should promote safe behaviour.
- Plan your night out – tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back.
- Don’t walk home alone – remember safety in numbers, and if you have no other option, walk in well-lit areas.
- Watch your stuff – take care when carrying your handbag, smartphone or tablet in crowded areas and keep them in a safe location where you can see them.
- Pickpocket alert – keep an eye out for them in crowds. Keep your handbag zipped, don’t put your wallet in your back pocket, and if you’re in the pub, watch where you put your coat and handbag.
- Cop on at ATMs – only take out as much money as you need, cover your PIN, and call the Gardaí if you think the machine is dodgy.
- Don’t get your shopping stolen – never leave it unattended, especially not in your car.
- Be smart with your car – park it and lock it in a secure, well-lit area, and keep valuables like bags and coats hidden.
- Lock up your house – secure all doors and windows and use your alarm when you’re out at night.
- Don’t get your prezzies nicked – keep them hidden from view for anyone outside your home.
- Expecting a parcel? Make sure someone’s at home to collect it, or ask a trusted neighbour to take it in.
- Going away for Christmas? Make it look like you’re home – leave a light on, and ask a neighbour to check on the house.