Wed Dec 19 14:51:24 2001 
To: ABCD Distribution  
From: NMSU Police Department  

Subject: Holiday Safety 

Please Post and/or Distribute

As everyone prepares for the holiday break, we would like to take the time to share some tips that will help ensure we see everyone return from the break safe and sound without any unpleasant surprises.

Secure office valuables before leaving.  If there are easily moveable valuables within your office, consider putting them in a secure location to reduce the likelihood of theft.

Avoid leaving valuables in vehicles.  Criminals do a lot of "shopping" during the holiday season, also.  Don't leave items inside of vehicles where they can be seen or reached.  It takes less than a second to break a window and reach into a vehicle.  Hatchbacks, trucks, and sport utility vehicles are especially vulnerable, as they do not have trunks.

Use seat belts while in vehicles. The number of vehicle crashes increases around the holidays, in part because drivers are preoccupied.  Since you can't control how other drivers act, take the extra time to buckle up (both yourself and your family).

Don't drink and drive, or ride with someone who has. If you find you have consumed too much rum cake, egg nog (with those special holiday spirits added), or other intoxicating beverages, call a friend or take advantage of one of the special holiday ride services available.  AAA offers service (for anybody) by calling 1-800-AAA-HELP.  In addition, local restaurants and bars have teamed together with Alert Cab to offer free taxi rides from those establishments to your home (just ask the bartender if they are participating to arrange for the ride - a list of participating entities can be found in the Las Cruces Sun News, 12/17/2001, Business Section, page 5).

Avoid fire hazards, and use smoke detectors.  The holiday season brings with it beautiful lights and sights, but some of these can present a danger of fire.  Make sure no more than 3 strings of lights are connected to each other, keep trees and wreaths far from any candles or fireplaces, make sure chimneys do not have built-up soot, and have smoke detectors around the house (make sure the batteries are good, also).

We hope everyone has a happy holiday season, and look forward to seeing you again in January.  If you have questions about other measures you might take, please feel free to contact the NMSU Police Department at 646-3311.

Prepared By:  NMSU Police Department - Public Information Office