Baltimore County Now
Baltimore County Police Captain Michael Balog, Precinct 9/White Marsh
Police departments throughout the country send out “Holiday Safety Tips” this time of year. It takes only a small amount of time and effort to secure your recent holiday purchases, your credit card information, and – most importantly – your own physical well being.
Some of the best safety tips I have heard have come from some clever people who figured out how to use common household items – and common sense – to protect themselves and their property. Here are a few of those safety tips:
- Use remote-controlled switches that plug into an outlet as an additional light source. You can plug more than just Christmas lights into them. Plug in a lamp or two, and you can turn on those lights from your bedroom at night. An internet search quickly found a pack of three for under $20.
- Old baby monitors are a good tool for detecting outside noises. Place them outside, near your doors, at night, and place the control monitor next to your bed.
- When you order something to be delivered to your house, you don’t want it sitting there unattended. Arrange for a neighbor to pick it up immediately after delivery if you can’t be home to get it.
- After opening the new electronic gizmos this holiday season, cut up the boxes and place in a black trash bag so no one can tell what nifty new items you have. Better yet, keep the boxes in your house until you have an extra moment to recycle them at a recycling dumpster at one of the County’s recycling drop off centers.
- Please stop telling the world that no one is at your house. Criminals use Facebook and Twitter, too.
- Believe me, the king of some obscure country does not need your credit card number or bank account number, and he will not give you a million dollars after you first give him a few thousand dollars. Similar scams frequently target the elderly, and often succeed. With the holiday shopping season in full swing, such scammers may become more active.
- Bookmark our holiday crime prevention page.
Have a happy and crime-free holiday.