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Holiday Safety and Security Tips | The Loken Group

The holidays keep many of us preoccupied with last-minute shopping, festive parties, and traveling, which can make us vulnerable to robbers. Prevent yourself from becoming an easy target with these tips from security expert and award-winning author Roger Eckstine.

1. How can I avoid my packages being stolen?

Package theft is an increasingly prevalent issue, especially around the holidays. Fortunately, there are several ways that you can prevent your packages from being stolen from your front door or porch. The most obvious solution is to ensure that you are home when your package is being delivered, which you can monitor through the online tracking service offered by most couriers. Another alternative is to have the package delivered to your office or place of work. Thirdly, you can choose to have your package delivered to a locker or access point – which are typically located in safe, convenient locations such as a convenience store – or to the nearest UPS facility.

2. What can I do to reduce the risk of being robbed?

Jugging, a term commonly used by law enforcement, is used to describe the stalking of potential victims as a prelude to burglary or robbery. This form of robbery is reported to be on the rise in the Houston area, which is why it is critical to be properly informed on what to do should you find yourself in this situation. Jugging occurs when a criminal will stake out a bank or popular place of shopping with big-ticket items and lie in wait until the victim loads the car and drives away. They will then follow them to their next stop. If that stop is a place like a restaurant or the dry cleaners, they will smash and grab, meaning they will break into the car and steal the merchandise while the victim is otherwise occupied. In the worst-case scenario, the criminal may follow you home, which can lead to a driveway robbery, carjacking, or home invasion. The best thing you can do to stay safe is to be aware. Watch your rear-view mirror, keep your money or purchases hidden (never leave them in the car), and always stay alert.

3. How can I know when I’m being followed by a car and what can I do about it?

If you think you’re being followed into your neighborhood, make a circle and see if they continue to follow you. If you are being followed, continue driving – don’t stop – and don’t confront. While you’re driving you can call 911.

4. What can I do to make my house less vulnerable to break-ins?

The most common type of break-in is having your door kicked in. In fact, an estimated 70% of home invaders enter through a door (as opposed to a window), which includes front doors, patio doors, and even garage doors. A good way to combat this is by installing two doors and having one of the doors pull outward (i.e. high impact storm doors).

5. Are motion-activated lights effective for home security?

Motion-activated lights are an extremely valuable addition to your home security because they can deter potential robbers and stalkers. However, you must pay attention to how they’re adjusted, and be sure to avoid any blind spots!