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5 Holiday Safety Tips for your business from the Richmond Police Department

The holidays can be a wonderful time for family, friends, gifts and food and can be a very profitable for your business! However, it is also a time when there is a spike in thefts and robberies. We’d like to provide a few holiday safety measures you can take in order to prevent your business from falling victim to crime.

Safety Tips for Your Business

  1. If you have surveillance cameras ensure that they are in working order. If you have signs that state that you have surveillance, be sure to have them in plain view. Signs which state that you have cameras can deter people from stealing and/or robbing your business.
  2. Change your routine; people who are looking to rob businesses, search for patterns. If you or your employees take money to the bank at the same time everyday you/they can fall victim to those who are looking to rob you/them. Be sure to periodically change the time when you/they do so, in order to not create routine.
  3. Ensure that when operating and closing your business that there is more than one person doing so. You or your employees are more vulnerable to robberies if you/they are alone. There is power in twos!
  4. Ensure that when leaving your business you do not have money containers/bags, or other expensive items visible. Robbery can also be a crime of opportunity; if you or your employees are exposing money or expensive items, you/they can easily fall victim to those who are looking to commit this crime.
  5. Be sure to keep in mind and to tell your employees to be aware of their surroundings. Pay attention! If there is someone hanging around at the time of closing when they should not be; do not hesitate to call the police. If you are not sure if these individuals are a threat, you can also call the non-emergency number (510) 233-1214 and we will send someone by, just in case.

As we prepare to bring in a New Year we hope you all are having a safe and profitable Holiday Season!

Below you will find a few extra safety measures to keep in mind:

Shopping in Stores

  • Do not buy more than you can carry. Plan ahead by taking a friend with you or ask a store employee to help you carry your packages to the car.
  • Save all receipts. Print and save all confirmations from your online purchases. Start a file folder to keep all receipts together and to help you verify credit card or bank statements as they come in.
  • Consider alternate options to pay for your merchandise, such as onetime or multiuse disposable credit cards or money orders, at online stores and auction sites.
  • Wait until asked before taking out your credit card or checkbook. An enterprising thief would love to shoulder surf to get your account information.
  • Tell a security guard or store employee if you see an unattended bag or package. The same applies if you are using mass transit.

Walking To and From Your Car

  • Deter pickpockets. Carry your purse close to your body or your wallet inside a coat or front trouser pocket.
  • Have your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle.
  • Check the back seat and around the car before getting in.
  • Do not leave packages visible in your car windows. Lock them in the trunk or, if possible, take them directly home.

Shopping with Small Children

  • If you are shopping with children, make a plan in case you are separated from each other.
  • Select a central meeting place.
  • Teach them to know they can ask mall personnel or store security employees if they need help.

Shopping Online

  • Before surfing the Internet, secure your personal computers by updating your security software. Everyone’s computer should have anti-virus, anti-spyware, and anti-spam software, as well as a good firewall installed. Visit www.bytecrime.org for free software downloads.
  • Keep your personal information private and your password secure. Do not respond to requests to “verify” your password or credit card information unless you initiated the contact. Legitimate businesses will not contact you in this manner.
  • Beware of “bargains” from companies with whom you are unfamiliar—if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
  • Use secure websites for purchases. Look for the icon of a locked padlock at the bottom of the screen or “https” in the URL address.
  • Shop with companies you know and trust. Check for background information if you plan to buy from a new or unfamiliar company.

Crime Prevention & Safety At Home

  • Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave the house, even for a few minutes.
  • When leaving home for an extended time, have a neighbor or family member watch your house and pick up your newspapers and mail.
  • Indoor and outdoor lights should be on an automatic timer.
  • Leave a radio or television on so the house looks and sounds occupied.
  • Large displays of holiday gifts should not be visible through the windows and doors of your home.
  • When setting up a Christmas tree or other holiday display, make sure doors and passageways are clear inside your home.
  • Be sure your Christmas tree is mounted on a sturdy base so children, elderly persons or family pets cannot pull it over on themselves.
  • If you use lights on your Christmas tree ensure the wiring is not damaged or frayed. Frayed or damaged wiring can cause a fire.
  • Place your Christmas tree in water or wet sand to keep it green.

 

 

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