By WRCB Staff

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Chattanooga Police are sharing some safety tips for holiday shopping and travel. 

1) Vehicle/Travel Safety:

  1. Keep plenty of gas in your vehicle.
  2. If traveling for the holidays, have your car checked for:
    i.    Belt wear and tension
    ii.    Hose wear
    ii.   Fluid Levels
    iv.    Antifreeze temperature protection
    v.    Tire wear and pressure
  3. Know your route in advance
  4. DO NOT leave valuables visible in your vehicle
    i.    GPS
    ii.    Purse
    iii.    Wallet
    iv.    Bank Envelopes
    v.    MP3 Players
    vi.    Etc.
  5. Park in well-lit areas
  6. Have "Call the Police Sign" – use if you break down.
  7. If traveling north, toward more severe winter weather, have a shovel, cat litter and other winter items in your car.
  8. DO NOT leave on answer machines that you are out of town.
  9. Have someone else pick up your mail or stop it at the post office.
  10. Expect travel delays
  11. Pre-program your Highway Emergency Notification Number for the states in which you will be traveling:


2)    Parking Lot Safety

  1. DO NOT carry your purse or other bulky items. Put your ID, purchase source (Cash or Card) in your pocket.
  2. DO NOT Stop and put your purse in your trunk at the store. (Several models of cars can have the window broken and then the trunk release will work even with no key).
  3. Walk against traffic to and from your car.
  4. Walk in the middle of the traffic lane (watching out for cars)
  5. Keep purchases in your trunk, not in your car where they are visible.
  6. DO NOT leave valuables visible in your vehicle
    i.    GPS
    ii.    Purse
    iii.    Wallet
    iv.    Bank Envelopes
    v.    MP3 Players
    vi.    Etc.
  7. Park in well-lit areas.
  8. Park near the entrance if possible.
  9. Shop/walk with a friend in parking lots.
  10. Ask for a security guard to walk you to your car if it is dark and you have a long way to walk.
  11. Do not accept "help" from strangers.
  12. Have your keys ready to use
    13.  Expect travel/traffic delays and crowded parking lots.


3)    Retail Safety

  1. Keep your credit/debit card in your vision at all times.
  2. Look at your free credit report, 3 free credit reports a year (go to web site for more information.
  3. Don't use toy stores/video arcades, etc. as a babysitting tool for children
  4. Stay alert to your surroundings
  5. Shop with a friend
  6. Avoid carrying large quantities of cash
  7. DO NOT leave your purse unattended (even to turn your back to pull something from the shelf) in any shopping cart. It does not matter if it is sitting right in front of you.
  8. DO NOT leave your purse, wallet, etc. unattended in the dressing/changing room.
  9. DO NOT leave your children unattended in shopping carts. Each year during this time, several kids are injured as the fall/jump from these carts.
  10. Avoid overloading yourself, which can make you and easy target. 
    i.    Packages
    ii.    Children
    iii.    Etc.
  11. Expect delays.


4)    After Holiday Tips
        a.    Since Electronics seems to be such a hot item
               i. Keep a record of all serial numbers
                  1. Usually you have to record them yourself in the manual.
                  2. Sometimes, the serial number is on a sticker on the box. 
               ii.    Register your electronic item with the manufacturer
                  1. Often they will work with police if an item is located and suspected stolen. 
        b. Watch out for "advertising" your new items by leaving the box out for the trash truck. 
        c.  Take pictures of all items of value and record description, serial numbers, etc.
             i.    Your Insurance Company has forms for this. 
             ii.    You can get some forms from the Internet. 
             iii.    You can purchase programs to record serial numbers and insert pictures.