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(Nacogdoches,Tx)  During the holiday season, people are often busy, excited, and sometimes a bit careless. The Nacogdoches Police Department issues the following suggestions to help keep your holiday season safe and happy.
At Home:
Be sure and lock all windows and doors when you leave your house or apartment.
Don’t display holiday gifts where they can be seen from a window or doorway. Store gifts before going away on holiday trips.
If you go out for the evening, turn on a light or radio so your home appears to be occupied.
If you take a holiday trip, have some interior lights activated by an automatic timer. Have a neighbor or friend check on your home, keep the yard, and pick-up mail and newspaper deliveries.
Be wary of strangers soliciting for charitable donations. They may attempt to take advantage of people’s generosity during the holidays. Ask for identification, how donated funds are used, if contributions are tax deductible, etc.
Be careful when posting on social media about being absent from your home. Never post specific vacation plans or departure and arrival times and dates.
Immediately after the holidays, mark new gifts with your driver license number and record new serial numbers.
Test your smoke detectors.
Use only fire-resistant ornaments on your tree and make sure that electric lights are functioning properly. Don’t leave the lights on overnight or when you are away from home.
Avoid leaving boxes from purchases (TV, VCR, computer, etc) out on the curb for trash pickup. Break these boxes down, and place inside a trash bag. 
While Shopping:
Shop before dark if possible. Coordinate shopping trips with a friend. Never park in an unlit lot or area, no matter how convenient it is.
Lock your packages and gifts in your vehicle’s trunk. Keep your vehicle’s doors locked and windows closed.
Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Pay for purchases with a check, credit card, or debit card when possible.
To discourage purse-snatchers, don’t overburden yourself with packages. Have your car keys out and ready before leaving the store.
Be extra careful with purses and wallets. Carry a purse under your arm. Keep your wallet in an inside jacket pocket, not in a rear trouser pocket.
Teach children to go to a store clerk or security guard and ask for help if you become separated. They should never go into a parking lot alone.
Holiday Party Safety:
Have non-alcoholic beverages available for party guests.
Serve something to eat before serving alcoholic beverages. High protein foods stay in the stomach longer and slow the absorption of alcohol into the system.
Have alternative transportation for intoxicated persons. Never allow guests to drink and drive.

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