Holiday Safety Tips from KPD

Post date: Dec 15, 2012 8:18:05 PM


  • Stay ALERT! Be aware of your surroundings and people around you. Trust your instincts; if you feel uncomfortable, get away.

  • Shop with a friend – there is safety in numbers.

  • Do not leave the store alone. Walk with friends, other shoppers, or security.

  • Keep your cell phone on your person.

  • Make sure someone knows where you are going and when you will return.

  • Don’t overburden yourself with packages while shopping.

  • Only make online purchases from trusted, secure websites. Look for “https” in the web address to verify security.

Guard your purse or wallet

  • Protect your purse or wallet and clean out any unnecessary items before leaving home.

  • Don’t carry large amounts of cash or extra credit cards. Carry only those cards that you will need to use that day. Keep a master list of all cards so if your wallet is stolen, they can be reported promptly to the appropriate banking facility.

  • Never leave your purse, wallet or cell phone unattended in a public place.

  • If you carry a purse, carry it close to your body. Place the strap over your shoulder, never around you neck.


  • Keep doors locked while driving.

  • Do not leave your car unattended with children inside or while it is running.

  • Keep your car in good mechanical condition with plenty of fuel in the tank.

  • If you have car trouble, be wary of strangers offering to help. Stay in your locked car and call for help.

  • Be sure of the route you will be taking to your destination. Know alternates.

  • Be patient! Allow yourself extra travel time due to weather conditions and/or heavy holiday traffic.

  • Buckle up! Children and adult passengers, too.

  • Don’t drink and drive!


  • Park in a well-lit area.

  • Remember to lock your vehicle!!

  • A thief is looking for easy targets & the more you can do to deter them from choosing your

  • car, the better.

  • Minimize the number of valuables left in your vehicle. Keep valuables, electronics (including cell phones and DVD players), gifts and other “theft attractors” out of sight.

  • Have your keys out and ready when you return to your vehicle.

  • Lock purse and other valuables in your trunk PRIOR to arriving at the shopping center, mall, or other parking area.


  • Role-play with children about what they should do in the event you are separated.

  • Teach your child to go to a store clerk and ask for help if separated or lost.

  • Teach children to stay close to you at all times. Avoid unaccompanied trips to restrooms,

  • etc.

  • Teach your child their name, address, and phone number to give to a police officer or mall security officer only.


  • Use caution anytime there is a stranger at your door.

  • Be suspicious of unexpected sales calls or deliveries. Ask for identification.

  • Be aware of scams that criminals commit to take advantage of people's generosity during the holidays.

  • Investigate charities before making donations. Ask how the funds will be used.


  • Use the “buddy system” when attending parties.

  • Consume food before you drink alcohol to slow the absorption rate.

  • Never leave food or drinks unattended.

  • Only time can rid the body of alcohol – not coffee, cold showers, etc.

  • Drink responsibly. Arrange for a trusted designated driver.


  • Make sure all doors & windows have secondary locks (window pins, deadbolts, dowels, etc.) and use them!

  • Don’t hide spare keys in mailboxes and planters, or under doormats.

  • Ensure that dark areas and entrances have outdoor lights that are turned on after dark or that are activated by sensors.

  • Keep trees and shrubbery trimmed so they do not conceal doors and windows. Remember, overgrown foliage can provide a hiding place for criminals.

  • Place gifts where they can’t be seen from the outside.

  • Consider safe deposit boxes for coin and stamp collections, seldom worn jewelry, stock and bonds, etc.

  • Be sure to mail cards, checks or gift certificates from the Post Office or a blue US Postal Service collection box.

  • Lock your vehicle and remove all the valuables. Yes, even in your driveway.

Leaving for the holidays

  • Ask a trusted friend, neighbor or Neighborhood Watch member to watch your home.

  • Use timers for lights and radios while you’re away.

  • Remember to make arrangements for mail and newspapers.

After the holidays

  • Don’t advertise expensive toys, electronics, or other gifts received by the boxes left for garbage collections. Compress large boxes and place them in black garbage bags for pick-up.

  • Add new items to your home inventory. Take photos or video of all items of value in your home and list each item’s make, model, serial number or other information.

  • Engrave new items to help identify them in the event they are stolen.

For more information, please call:

Knoxville Police Department: (865) 215-7000

Safety Education Unit: (865) 215-1325

Click below if you would like to download and print these safety tips.