The holiday season is often associated with family, food, shopping, decorations, and colder weather. As Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years approach, people find their calendars as full as their stomachs. Unfortunately, this time of year also poses serious safety concerns: an increase in crime rate and serious injuries.

To help keep yourself and your loved ones safe from both personal injury and crime this upcoming holiday season, follow these easy 25 tips to help ensure you thrive:

  1. Always lock your doors
    1. Whether your car or your home, always double check doors are locked to help deter break-ins. The holidays mark a time where many people travel and are away from their homes and cars for long periods of time.
  2. Do not store anything valuable in your car
    1. Valuable objects sitting in plain sight can attract opportunistic crimes. If you must keep valuables in your car, store items out of sight, either hidden in the trunk or locked in your center console or glove compartment.
  3. Buy a fire extinguisher
    1. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are more than three times as many cooking fires on Thanksgiving day as there are on any other typical day of the year.
  4. Make an emergency kit
    1. You never know when a natural disaster may strike.
  5. Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking
    1. It’s easy to want to leave items in the oven while you run errands during this busy time, but unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths around Thanksgiving.
  6. Leave the lights on
    1. Leaving an outside and inside light on may help deter thieves from approaching your home as they may believe someone is inside. Consider a timer to be eco-conscious!
  7. Distance decorations
    1. Keep decorations, such as Christmas trees, away from heat sources, like a vent or fireplace to reduce the chance of a home fire.
  8. Wait to post on social media
    1. While being “live” and relevant on social media has its perks, it may cost your safety. Wait until after your trip to post when you will be away from your home as this can make your home a target.
  9. Check the door
    1. Be cautious when answering and talking to unfamiliar people at your door. It is possible criminals may be casing the neighborhood. If you don’t feel comfortable answering the door, you don’t have to.
  10. Learn CPR
    1. More than 70% of heart attacks occur at home or other private setting!
  11. Report anything suspicious
    1. If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe by suspicious behavior, report to your local police department and community watch group. Apps, like Nextdoor, are also helpful for keeping the community informed.
  12. Don’t be a pedtextrian
    1. With an increase of drivers on the road as well as scooter and bike rentals during the holidays, walking deserves your full attention. Fatal pedestrian accidents often occur when a pedestrian is crossing between intersections or jaywalking. Put the phone down and pay attention to your surroundings.
  13. Check smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries
    1. Detectors are necessary to protect from unseen threats.
  14. Park by the light
    1. If you are running errands in a large mall or shopping center, park by the light. It may help increase visibility and deter criminals.
  15. Assess yourself before driving
    1. Have you had one too many drinks? Are you feeling emotional? Are you susceptible to road rage? Emotional driving can lead to car accidents.
  16. Drive defensively
    1. Driving defensively could spare you the trouble and pain of getting in a serious car accident. According to these San Jose car accident lawyers, many car crashes are preventable: don’t drive distracted, keep a safe distance, obey the speed limit, avoid drowsy driving, and never drive under the influence.
  17. Check your ladder
    1. Hanging up decorations and grabbing sweaters in storage often call for the use of a ladder. If you need to use a ladder, check the ladder’s stability before you climb. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimated there were 15,000 injuries involving holiday decorating between November and December of 2012 that required emergency care.
  18. Store flashlights around your home
    1. Winter weather can mean power outages. Store flashlights around your home with extra batteries to prevent slip and falls in case your home experience an outage!
  19. Put away medications correctly
    1. Chances are you will be hosting people at home. If you have a large influx of guests expected, especially young children, store your medications in a hard to reach area out of public view.
  20. Call an inspector
    1. The risk of a house fire increases during winter and fall, so consider hiring a professional to inspect your home appliances to ensure they are in good working order. Don’t forget about space heaters!

While crime and injuries do occur during the holiday season at an elevated rate, you can mitigate the chances of being a victim by implementing these 20 safety tips. Remember to always trust your instincts and enjoy the holidays, wherever you may be!