Stay safe this Christmas

Winter is fast approaching and with it comes dark evenings and festive events. Here are some useful tips to help you enjoy yourself and remain safe.

At Home

  • Don’t leave presents visible from windows or doors, especially under the Christmas tree!
  • Don’t advertise on social media that your house is empty – even if it’s just for one evening.
  • Avoid keeping large amounts of cash at home.
  • Make sure you keep your doors and windows locked at all times.
  • Keys should always be kept out of sight and not left in doors or in view of windows.
  • Make your house look occupied, consider leaving lights on when you leave the house
  • Don’t open the door to anybody you don’t recognise including doorstep traders. Not sure? Don’t open the door!

Shopping

  • Keep valuables in inside pockets of clothing or bags.
  • Only carry the cash and cards that you need.
  • Always shield the PIN pad when entering your PIN. Park in an open, well-lit area. Visit North Somerset Council’s car park map here
  • If you have to keep presents in the car, make sure they are out of view in the boot, the car is locked, and keep the receipts with you. Avoid going back to your car to leave your shopping part-way through your trip.
  • Never leave your bag unattended in your trolley whilst shopping and don’t leave it in your vehicle unattended

Out for the evening

  • NEVER leave your valuables unattended.
  • Don’t advertise on social media that your house is empty – even if it’s just for one evening.
  • Make sure someone knows where you are going and when you’ll be home.
  • Avoid walking home alone or with a stranger
  • Drink responsibly, never drink and drive and arrange for a member of your group to be a designated driver
  • Check your taxi drivers ID and never get into an unlicensed taxi

Advice from Trading Standards

  • Check the device: things to look out for include the shape of the plug – the first unsafe products identified often had a clover-shaped plug. Also check the device for markings or traceable information, such as the name and contact details of the manufacturer and / or importer.
  • If buying online, check the website before you hit the ‘buy’ button: Try searching for reviews of the product or the seller – do these seem genuine?
  • Are there lots of spelling or grammar mistakes or poor graphics like logos on the site? This can be a clue that a business is not professionally run
  • Do they have a landline number you can call if there are any problems? If the company is based abroad, it can be more difficult to get a complaint dealt with or return a faulty product.
  • Read the small print – notice if anything seems odd, repetitive or in incorrect English.
  • Is there a padlock symbol in the address bar? This means the website is using an encrypted system that keeps your details more secure
  • Don’t be dazzled by a bargain: Are the prices incredibly low? If they look too good to be true, they probably are – particularly if some of your other checks have put doubts in your mind.
  • Criminals exploit high demand: When items like hover boards start to sell out at well-known retailers, criminals fill the void by producing poor quality imitations that can put people in danger. Don’t ‘panic buy’ from the first website you find – do your usual common-sense checks.

North Somerset Trading Standards

Web: www.n-somerset.gov.uk/tradingstandards

Tel: 01934 888 802