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Secur alert november 2013 - holiday travel safety

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This month’s edition focuses on some great tips and advice to help keep you and your families’ safe during one of the busiest travel periods of the year.


Publicada em: Turismo, Esportes
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Secur alert november 2013 - holiday travel safety

  1. 1. As a precursor to our December Holiday Safety Special Edition of SecurAlert, we thought our November issue would focus on some basic tips to help you and your families stay safe and secure during one of the busiest travel times of the year! Travel Safety: Think Before You Go Making sure your holiday travel experience is secure and safe begins well before you drive or fly to your destination. Consider taking these actions: n Alert your financial institution that you’ll be traveling. Some banks and credit card companies will deny the use of your card if they notice suspicious activity in a city they know you are not in. While spending while you are traveling isn’t considered suspicious activity to many, it is to your financial institution. It’s better to take a few quick moments to notify them of your travel plans, instead of being stuck without access to your money while you are away. n Make copies of all credit cards and the numbers to call if they are lost or stolen…and only carry one or two cards with you and keep cash down to a minimum. File a “travel plan.” Let someone know where you are going, the route you plan to take, when you plan to arrive and how to contact you. If you deviate from that plan, let someone know.
  2. 2. Have a neighbor park a car in your driveway to make it appear as if someone is home. n Never tell your “friends” on Facebook or other social media sites that you will be away on vacation. n n n n n n n You probably have seen the recent ad on TV which shows a traveler posting her vacation plans to Hawaii while she is waiting to take off at the airport and a message from a hooded criminal chimes in, which reads, “have a nice trip!” But this is no joking matter. Internet criminals are highly sophisticated and will access social media sites just for this type of information. Travel with friends. There is safety in numbers. Never leave a message on your home phone, business phone, business email or personal email that indicates you are away travelling. Again, this information can get into the wrong hands! Make sure your house appears “lived-in” when you are away. Lock all doors and windows, set household lights (inside and out) on timers. Have a neighbor, friend or relative pick up your mail and newspapers while you are away or have them held at the post office (or better yet, have newspaper subscriptions held and stop mail by going to usps.com) Cancel your mail and put selected lights and even TV sets on a timer. And just don’t buy one timer that goes on and off at the same time. Multiple timers in various rooms of your apartment or home give a lived-in look to lurking thieves. Invest in an alarm. An alarm system controls access points to your home and lets you know if someone has invaded your space. If your alarm system is monitored by an alarm company, let the company know you will be away so in the event of an alarm, they will call the police FIRST and not you!
  3. 3. n If you are going to be leaving for an extended period, provide a key to a trusted neighbor or family member to get into the house in the event of an emergency; tell your alarm company the name of this person so they can call them in the event of a fire or security alarm. And before you leave your home, conduct an inspection to make sure: • All lights are out • All perimeter doors are secured • All windows are secured • All faucets are closed • If it’s going to be cold while you are away, shut off all outside faucets to prevent burst pipes and expensive water damage; so check the long-range weather forecast • All light timers are set to go off at various times • The alarm system is set and you have notified the alarm company • You have packed all prescription medication (and that you have enough to get you through your trip) “To Grandmother’s House We Go!” Nearly 90 million motorists are expected to travel over 50 miles or more during November and December. That’s a lot of trips to Grandmother’s house! Here are some very basic but many times overlooked steps you can do to make sure you arrive at grandma’s house (or other favorite destinations) safely: n Prepare your vehicle for long distance travel: Check your wipers Be aware of changes in weather: Weather conditions across the U.S. will be changing especially during early mornings and evenings with the cold. Watch for ice, snow and other weather related obstacles. and fluids. Have your radiator and cooling system serviced. Check tires and brakes. Make sure you have jumper cables with you in the event your battery dies. n Plan ahead: Before you get on a highway, know your exit by name and number, and watch the signs as you near the off-ramp. Drivers making unexpected lane changes to exit often cause accidents. n Check your emergency kit: Contents should include: battery powered radio, high intensity flashlight (that works!), blanket, jumper cables, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, bottled water, non perishable foods, maps, tire repair kit and flares. n Keep your eyes on the road: Distracted driving is a major cause of traffic accidents. Even just two seconds of distraction time doubles the chances of an accident. Use your cell phone when stopped and never, ever, ever text while driving! Did you know that when a driver texts, they are 23 times likely to be involved in a crash!
  4. 4. Be aware of truck blindspots: When sharing the road with large trucks, be aware of their blind spots. If you can’t see the truck driver in his or her mirrors, then the truck driver can’t see you. n Never cut in front of large trucks: Remember that trucks are heavier and take longer to make a complete n n n n n n n n stop, so avoid cutting quickly in front of them. Leave early and avoid risks: Leave early so you won’t be anxious about arriving late and to accommodate delays. Road conditions may change due to inclement weather or traffic congestion. Avoid extreme weather conditions: Ice, hail and snow make roads difficult to travel. Try to avoid driving through extreme weather conditions, and travel during daylight. Remove ice and snow from your vehicle: Clear your windows and roof of snow to insure you have maximum visibility and avoid creating a hazard for the vehicle behind you. Don’t allow ice and snow to create additional blindspots on your vehicle. Never drive until your defroster has cleared all windows – front, sides, rear. Be aware of the vehicle in front of you: Leave extra room (a “space cushion”) between you and the vehicle in front so you can avoid snow and ice blowing onto your windshield or maneuver around patches of ice. Pack your vehicle smart: With luggage, sports equipment and gifts be sure to pack your vehicle so that you can see out of all of your windows and mirrors. Slow Down: With the extra highway congestion due to Holiday travel, speeding becomes even more dangerous. Allow plenty of a space cushion and reduce your speed. Buckle up: Safety belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 45 percent and are a simple way to increase your safety on the road.
  5. 5. Vehicle Security Our loyal readers know that each year, we publish a SecurAlert that deals exclusively with vehicle and parking lot security. Here are some refresher tips to follow during your holiday travels: n Always lock your car doors even when you are driving and n n n Never pick up hitchhikers or stop to help “stranded motorists.” If you see someone who looks like they need help, call 911. n n especially at stop lights and out-of-the way areas. Keep valuables out of sight, preferably in the trunk of your car – store these BEFORE you get to your destination so the bad guys don’t see what you have! Park in well-lighted areas that are close to your hotel entrance or destination. Don’t stop alongside the road unless it is an emergency. If your car is bumped from behind or if someone indicates there is something wrong with your car, go to a service station or a well-lighted, populated area and call for help. Fill your vehicle’s gas tank before dark; lock your car doors and roll up your windows if you step away from the car for any reason. Look around your vehicle before re-entering it. Once in, lock the doors! On behalf of the SecurAmerica family, Happy Thanksgiving! We wish you a wonderful holiday with loved ones and friends. We also thank our customers and other readers for your continued support and loyalty!
  6. 6. Flying with the Reindeers! If you are flying during the holidays, here are some tips to make sure you and Santa’s reindeers arrive without an antler scratch! n Properly label your luggage. It’s always best to put your office n n n n address on your luggage tags rather than your home address. If your home address did get in the hands of the wrong person, they would know where you live and potentially target your home for a burglary or other crime. Also, put luggage tags on the outside AND inside of your luggage. If the outside tag happens to come loose and fall off, your information can still be found inside. Make sure you are aware of the TSA and airline luggage requirements in terms of size and quantity of fluids and other materials. Never put needed medication or valuable jewelry and other expensive items in checked luggage; place these in carry-on bags. Keep cell phones, keys, wallets and I-pads inside carry-on luggage – place these inside your bag BEFORE the TSA checkpoint line; many travelers get these items stolen or forgotten when placed in a plastic bowl. Destination: Piece of Mind Many travelers check into hotels near relatives or destination sites. November and December are prime months when criminals target hotels and motels; so, follow some very basic guidelines to help you and your loved ones from unexpectedly giving the criminal an early holiday present! Use all hotel locks and other security devices, even when you’re in your room. Make sure the throw bolt or chain is engaged. Store valuables in the room safe. Don’t tell strangers the name of your hotel, your room number, or other personal information. Guard your room keys. Don’t leave them unattended or visible at restaurants, the pool, or clubs. Don’t prop open your door or open your door to strangers. Use the peep hole before opening the door. If you need to verify a maintenance or housekeeping person coming at an odd time, call the front desk – DON’T open the door n When you leave your room, leave the television on and make sure the door closes firmly behind you – test that the door is secured before you head toward the lobby or elevator. n Don’t leave your purse or bags unattended at hotel buffets or lounges. n n n n n n n