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Safety tips for holiday travelers

Nov. 17, 2010

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University is reminding students, faculty and staff to take precautions with their personal property before leaving Kalamazoo for the long Thanksgiving weekend.

In the past, public safety officers have reported an increased number of break-ins during holiday weekends. Police reports show that many of these incidents could have been prevented if the residents had made sure doors and windows were secured and locked.

"Leaving items of value in plain sight is an invitation for home and vehicle break-ins," says WMU Deputy Police Chief Blaine Kalafut, who offers several tips to keep yourself and your belongings safe.

Secure your home

  • Secure sliding doors and windows by placing a bar or rod in the track.
  • Close and lock doors and windows, even when you are home.
  • Never leave valuables where they can be seen from windows.
  • Light the inside of your home to give the impression it is occupied.
  • Temporarily discontinue mail and newspaper services when you are away for more than a couple of days.
  • Ask a trusted neighbor to check on your place while you are gone.
  • Take laptops, iPods and other valuables with you when you leave for the holiday.
  • Use a security marker or engraver to mark your belongings. Compile a list of serial numbers for your property and keep the list in a safe place.
  • Call 911 immediately if you see suspicious people or activity in your neighborhood.

Secure your vehicle

  • Park in a well-lit, high-traffic area.
  • Roll up the windows and lock the doors when leaving your vehicle. Also keep your doors locked when you are in your vehicle.
  • Never leave your car running while unattended.
  • Never leave property in plain sight, even if your vehicle is locked.
  • Never leave personal identification documents, credit cards or checks in your vehicle, even if they are concealed from view.
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Media contact: Tonya Durlach, (269) 387-8400, tonya.durlach@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400