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Safety Tips

Shopping Safety Tips

Shopping is a time to take extra precautions to avoid becoming a crime statistic. The good news this year is that auto theft and crimes against persons at the Plymouth Meeting Mall and the Metroplex complex are down from last year. The bad news is that there are still thefts from vehicle and persons.

There is a huge demand among criminals for your credit cards, checkbook, ID and cellular phone.

Here are a few suggestions that may prevent you from becoming a victim.

Remember - criminals are opportunists. If you do not provide them with the
opportunity to commit a crime, they will move on to an easier target.

    * The Parking Lot
    * Your Vehicle
    * Shop, carefully!

The Parking Lot

   1. Become familiar with the layout. Exits and store locations.
   2. Note where you have parked. Section, aisle or pole number.
   3. Walk "purposefully" and be aware of your surroundings!
   4. Take note of:
          * Persons wandering aimlessly.
          * Suspicious vehicles.
          * Questions and directions.
   5. Don't overburden yourself with packages, children, etc.

Your Vehicle

   1. Always lock the doors and roll the windows all the way up.
   2. Never store a valet key in the car.
   3. Keep registration and insurance cards with you --- not in the car.
   4. If you have a security device --- USE IT.
   5. Keep all valuables stored in your vehicle out of sight!
   6. Secure cell phones, purses, presents etc. in the trunk or covered area.
   7. Whenever possible ---remove unnecessary valuables before you go shopping.  directions

Shop, carefully!

   1. Be aware of your purse or wallet at all times.
   2. Carry your purse with the flap facing you and hold it close to your body.
   3. Don't place the strap across your body.
   4. Carry your wallet next to your skin, not in you coat pocket.
   5. Be alert for pickpockets and thieves.
          * If somebody bumps you, check your wallet or purse.
          * Many pickpockets work in teams, one will distract you while the
            other steals your money or credit cards.
          * Be wary of people setting their shopping bags down next to yours.
   6. When dining, ladies, remember to keep your purse on the floor between your feet.
      Never hang you purse from the back of your chair.
   7. Never carry large sums of money. If you must, don't "flash" it around
   8. Credit Card Safety
          * ALWAYS SIGN YOUR CREDIT CARDS
          * Remember to retrieve your cards after a transaction.
          * Know where the receipts/carbon copies for the purchase are after the transaction.
          * If cards are lost or stolen report them immediately to your bank or card company.
          * Do not put credit card numbers on checks (You are not required by law to do this).
          * Scrutinize monthly statements for purchases you did not make.
   9. If it sound too good to be true, it probably is!

From all of us at Plymouth Township, have a happy, safe and crime-free
shopping experience!

Vacation Crime Prevention Tips

Vacation is a time for relaxation and enjoyment. It can also be the time for crime victimization if appropriate crime prevention measures are not followed. The following crime prevention tips or recommendations are designed to allow the vacationer to enjoy a safe and secure trip and to return to a secure residence.

    * Before Leaving... Secure Your Residence
    * On the Road
    * Car Security
    * Hotel and Motel Security
    * Sight-Seeing
    * Camping Tips

Before Leaving ... Secure Your Residence

    * Have good locks on all doors and windows and use them.
    * Make sure your residence looks lived in, not empty.
    * Leave shades and blinds in a normal position.
    * Ask a neighbor to watch your residence while you are away. Leave your vacation address and telephone number with a neighbor so you can be reached in case of an emergency.
    * Test your smoke and burglar alarms.
    * Stop all deliveries, arrange for a neighbor to pick up your mail, newspaper and packages.
    * Arrange for someone to mow your lawn, rake leaves and maintain the yard to give the home a lived-in look.
    * " Have a neighbor place garbage cans at the curb on your normal pickup day(s) and return them after the garbage pickup is made
    * Plug in timers to turn lights and a radio or television on and off at appropriate times.
    * Turn the bell or ringer on your telephone down low. If a burglar is around, he won't be alerted to your absence by a ringing telephone.
    * If you have call forwarding on your telephone, forward your calls to a trusted friend or relative.
    * Don't announce your absence on answering machine messages; leave your normal message on the machine.
    * Engrave your valuables with your driver's license number and post Operation Identification decals on entry doors and windows.
    * Close and lock garage doors and windows. Ask a neighbor to occasionally park in your driveway. If you leave your car at home, park it as you normally would. Vehicles parked outside should be moved occasionally to appear that they are being used.
    * Consider taking valuables to a bank safety deposit box.
    * Ask local police to place your home on their vacation check list.

On The Road

    * Never carry large amounts of cash; use travelers checks. If you must carry large sums of money, do not display it openly.
    * Keep a record of traveler's check numbers and your credit card numbers in a safe place. Have the telephone numbers to call in case your checks or credit cards are stolen or lost.
    * Be aware of your surroundings and never advertise your plans to strangers; this includes travel routes and the amount of cash you are carrying.
    * Do not stop to offer help to a stranded motorist. Go to the nearest telephone and call for assistance.
    * If you suspect someone is following you, drive to the nearest service station, restaurant or business and call the police or sheriff's department. If you believe it is unsafe for you to get out of your car, sound your horn and flash your lights to draw attention.
    * If your car breaks down, raise the hood and attach a white flag to the antenna or door handle. If someone stops to help, it is advisable that you stay in your locked car and ask him or her to call the police or a garage. If you must abandon your car, keep all passengers together.
    * Do not carry your airplane tickets or passport in open view.
    * Be very careful with bus, train or airplane tickets. They are as good as cash.
    * Males are advised to carry their wallets in an inside pocket or front trouser pocket.
    * Females are advised to carry their purse under their arm.
    * Take a picture of your suitcases and keep the picture(s) with you. The picture(s) may be helpful in identifying your luggage if it is lost by an airline.
    * While traveling, be sure your luggage is locked.
    * Label each piece of luggage with your name and business address.

Car Security

    * Always lock your car after entering or leaving it.
    * Park in well-lighted areas.
    * Check the back seat before entering your car.
    * Mark your car radio and other removable car equipment with your driver's license number.
    * Always lock valuables out of sight, preferably in the trunk. Always carry wallet, checkbooks and purses with you.
    * Do not advertise that you are a tourist. Place maps and travel brochures in your vehicle's glove compartment.

Hotel and Motel Security

    * If you are staying in a hotel or motel, take all of your luggage and valuables to your room.
    * Never leave money, checks, credit cards, car keys or valuables in the room. Take them with you.
    * Determine the most direct route to and from your room, to the fire escapes, elevators and nearest telephone.
    * When occupying or leaving your room, use all auxiliary locking devices on doors and windows. (You may want to purchase a portable door lock for traveling).
    * Keep a daily check of your belongings.
    * Place extra cash, expensive jewelry or other valuables in the hotel/motel safe.
    * Use the door viewer to identify anyone requesting entry. Open the door only if you are certain the person has a legitimate reason to enter your room. If in doubt, call the hotel/motel office.
    * Unpack and place belongings in the closet and dresser. Arrange your things so you'll know if anything is missing.
    * Consider locking any electrical appliances (blow dryers, electric shavers, etc.) in your luggage. Suitcases should always be locked so they cannot be used to carry your property out of your room.
    * Report any lost or stolen items to the hotel/motel management and to the police.
    * Report to the management any suspicious movements in the corridors or rooms.

Sight-Seeing

    * Ask for directions at a hotel/motel on how to get to those attractions you want to visit.
    * If you are going out in an unfamiliar area, ask the hotel clerk if there are areas you should avoid.
    * Select tour guides carefully.
    * Don't advertise you are a tourist. Don't look lost or vulnerable. Walk with a purpose and stay alert to what's happening around you. If you get lost, find an open business and ask for directions.
    * Only carry with you the cash you will need, and only in small denominations.
    * If older children go off separately, be sure they understand the importance of keeping track of time and returning promptly at appointed hours.

Camping Tips

    * Avoid camping alone in isolated areas.
    * Park your vehicle so it cannot be blocked by another vehicle in case of an emergency.
    * Mark all your belongings and camping equipment with your driver's license number and keep a record of equipment.
    * Mark your tent, sleeping bags and clothing with indelible ink
    * Engrave your foot locker, thermos, coolers, lamps and flashlights, fishing gear, backpacks, barbecue grills, etc.
    * Familiarize yourself with local emergency locations and phone numbers in case of accidents or crimes.
    * Avoid leaving your camping gear (cook stove, ice chest, chairs, etc.) out in the open unattended.
    * Get to know your neighbors and help protect each other's belongings.
    * Avoid walking alone at night.
    * Carry a spare lock so you can use storage containers available at many parks.
    * Use a chain and lock to secure propane tanks, portable generators, spare tires, bicycles, etc.
    * Always lock your camping trailer when you leave the vicinity.
    * Install a locking device on the trailer towing hitch, so your trailer cannot be towed away.
    * Report any suspicious activities and all crimes to the proper authorities.

Following these safety tips can make your summer vacation safer and more relaxed. Please, have a safe and happy vacation.

 
Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween can be an enjoyable holiday and an entertaining experience for children of every age. It can also be a time of crime victimization or injury if appropriate safety measures are not followed. The following safety tips and recommendations are designed to allow trick-or-treaters to enjoy a safe and rewarding experience.

    * Before Halloween
    * Before Nightfall on Halloween
    * Before Trick-or-Treating
    * After Trick-or-Treating

Before Halloween

    * Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
    * Add reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.
    * Secure emergency identification (name, address, phone number) discreetly within Halloween attire or on a bracelet.
    * Because a mask can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic and hypoallergenic makeup or a decorative hat as a safe alternative.
    * When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories purchase only those with a label indicating they are flame resistant.
    * Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
    * Plan ahead to use only battery powered lanterns or chemical lightsticks in place of candles in decorations
    * This is also a great time to buy fresh batteries for your home Smoke Alarms.
    * Teach children their home phone number and how to call 9-1-1 if they have an emergency or become lost. Remind them that 9-1-1 can be dialed free from any phone.
    * Review with your children the principle of "Stop-Drop-Roll," should their clothes catch on fire.
    * Learn or review CPR skills to aid someone who is choking.
    * Take extra effort to eliminate tripping hazards on your porch and walkway. Check around your property for flowerpots, low tree limbs, support wires or garden hoses that may prove hazardous to young children rushing from house to house.
    * Replace burned out light bulbs outside the home to make sure your residence is well lit.

Before Nightfall on Halloween

    * A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats. Treating your kids to a spooky Halloween dinner will make them less likely to eat the candy they collect before you have a chance to check it for them.
    * Consider fire safety when decorating. Do not overload electrical outlets with holiday lighting or special effects, and do not block exit doors.
    * While children can help with the fun of designing a Jack O' Lantern, leave the carving to adults.
    * Always keep Jack O' Lanterns and hot electric lamps far away from drapes, decorations, flammable materials or areas where children and pets will be standing or walking.
    * Plan and review with your children the route and behavior that is acceptable to you.
    * Do not permit children to bicycle, roller-blade or skateboard.
    * Agree on a specific time when revelers must return home. Older children and escorts should wear a wristwatch and carry coins for non-emergency phone calls.
    * Confine, segregate or otherwise prepare household pets for an evening of frightful sights and sounds. Be sure that all dogs and cats are wearing collars and proper identification tags. Consult your veterinarian for further advice.
    * Remind all household drivers to remain cautious and drive slowly throughout the community.

Before Trick-or-Treating

    * A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.

Remind Trick-or-Treaters To

    * Use a flashlight so they can see and be seen by others.
    * Stay in a group, walk slowly and communicate where you are going.
    * Only trick-or-treat in well-known neighborhoods at homes that have a porch light on.
    * Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
    * If no sidewalk is available, walk at the farthest edge of the roadway facing traffic.
    * Never cut across yards or use alleys.
    * Never enter a stranger's home or car for a treat.
    * Always walk. Never run across a street.
    * Remove any mask or item that will limit eyesight before crossing a street, driveway or alley.
    * Don't assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble-seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn't mean others will.
    * Never consume unwrapped food items or open beverages that may be offered.
    * No treats are to be eaten until they are thoroughly checked by an adult at home.

After Trick-or-Treating

    * Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
    * Although sharing is encouraged, make sure items that can cause choking (such as hard candies), are given only to those of an appropriate age.

Following these safety tips can make your trick-or-treating experience safer and more relaxed. Please, have a safe and happy holiday.