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CHRISTMAS SURVIVAL TIPS

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Don't let the Grinch Steal Your Christmas!
By Frank Fourchalk

What is it about Christmas that sends many of us in an orbit of nebulous confusion? Our minds become overloaded with thoughts of" Christmas Preparation Panic". Business functions, family functions, baking and of course those dreaded shopping malls.

Unless you're one of those systematic organizers, who puts their feet up during the month of December, you could make a thief's target list. Making the list is not difficult, especially when your head is pre-occupied with seasonal thoughts.

Don't loose focus of good security practices during the holiday season. Letting your guard down could prove to be a costly mistake. Burglars or Grinches as I like to call them at this time of year swing into high gear when gifts and money are more accessible.

There are thieves who specialize in something called, "frosting". This occurs when homeowners leave their unattended vehicle running in their driveway with the intention of heating the vehicle and melting the frost off the windshield. These specialized thieves lurk in the shadows waiting to make their move.

Leaving gifts for friends or family outside their home will qualify a visit from the Grinch as well. These robbers will be checking under mats and flower pots for house keys or money envelopes. The Grinch loves darkness, so if you leave your home in darkness while you are out, be forewarned you might be missing a few things when you return.

Want a visit from the Grinch this year? Why not leave your house drapes open while you are at the in-laws for Christmas dinner. Thieves love open drapes, especially at night because they turn your windows into a one-way mirror for the bad guys.

Keep your Christmas presents out of sight until Christmas morning. For many of us the Christmas decorations are not complete until we place the gifts under the tree. But keep in mind, in most cases presents can be seen through the window by a passing thief. The one thing you don't want to do is entice an opportunist with expensive gifts.

If you have an alarm system but don't have the codes or don't know how to use it, now is the time to call your alarm professional for help. All alarm systems should be up and running during the holiday season. There is no excuse for owning an alarm system and not using it.

One of the Grinch's favorite hangouts this time of year is the local ATM machine. If you have intentions of withdrawing money from an ATM, make sure you wait until all suspicious looking people are out of the area. And don't forget to protect your pin number by shielding the keypad with your hand.

It only takes one quick slip-up for a sneaky Grinch to steal your Christmas, so try and stay focused on important security issues this Christmas.

Frank Fourchalk is widely recognized for his sustained commitment to education in Home and Business security throughout North America as a result of his syndicated newspaper columns. Mr. Fourchalk has written for The Toronto Star, The Vancouver Province, and several other daily newspapsers including the New York Post. For more information on your home security check out http://www.yourhomesecurity.ca


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