The Malibu / Lost Hills Sheriff station has put out the following safety tip reminders for the holidays…

With the Christmas and holiday celebration season in full swing, Malibu / Lost Hills Station would like to provide some safety tip reminders that will help all of our citizens have a safe and enjoyable holiday season.
With the increased demands on our time and attention this time of year, we are more vulnerable to crime and accidents. Take a few moments to review the following tips before you head out shopping and celebrating, confident that you are prepared.

Parking Lots:
* When walking through parking lots, be aware of your surroundings.
* Always park where there is plenty of light between your car and the store.
* Keep your car locked and have your keys in hand before you go to your car.
* Before leaving your vehicle, make sure there isn’t anything of value in sight, including cell phones, GPS units or holiday purchases.

* Shop with a friend or relatives; there is safety in numbers.
* Don’t leave your purse unattended (even for a few seconds) in your cart.
* Don’t carry large amounts of money; keep money in a front pocket.
* Only carry one or two credit cards, and make sure you secure them after use.

Shopping with Children:
* Always supervise your children in public places; accompany young children to the restroom.
* Teach young children to go for help if they get separated from you; teach them to look for a cashier or uniformed security guard.
* If you must allow your teenage children to shop without you, have them take a friend, check in with you on a regular basis and have a set time and place to pick them up.

Shopping Online:
* Making purchases online is a way to avoid the crowded shopping centers, but use caution; only shop at sites that begin with “https.” That designates the site as secure.
* Stick with established retailers and retailers from our local community with a presence online; shopping locally is good for the local economy and more secure.
* If you are shopping with an unfamiliar retailer, look them up on the Better Business Bureau website or do a Google search for complaints regarding the retailer.
* Keep tabs on your account online; check off receipts and watch for any unauthorized activity.

At Home:
* Don’t display your gifts where they can be seen from a window or doorway.
* Lock doors and windows when you leave the house.
* Use only UL-listed extension cords, lights and Christmas ornaments; don’t overload outlets or electrical boxes.

* When celebrating away from home, don’t drink and drive.
* Choose a designated driver before heading out.
* If hosting a party, provide refreshments for designated drivers and arrange transportation for guests who should not drive home.
* If possible, avoid driving during the early and late evening hours on Christmas and New Year’s.
* Protect yourself and passengers by wearing a safety belt at all times, in case of a crash.

If we all follow these common-sense tips, we can enjoy a safe and merry Christmas and a happy holiday season.