Consumer Column

Keep Your Families and Homes Safe During the Holidays

BATON ROUGE, LA – ‘Tis the season for decking the halls and hitting the malls; and in the midst of all the holiday cheer – Attorney General Jeff Landry reminds Louisiana citizens that reports of fires, injuries, thefts, and scams increase during this busy time of year.

“The first line of defense is to reduce your own vulnerability and do what you can to minimize risk,” said General Landry. “So as consumers gear up for the holidays, I urge them to take some basic precautions to ensure that their families remain safe and injury-free throughout the Christmas Season.”

General Landry offers the following safety tips to help keep the holidays merry and bright:

Decorations
Treat decorations with care.
Do not place Christmas trees near a heat source, like a fireplace or heat vent. Natural trees should be watered daily and removed from the home or business as soon as they become dry. Christmas lights should be inspected for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive wear. Do not overload outlets or connect strings of lights into extension cords. Make sure candles are in stable holders and placed where they cannot easily be knocked over. Never leave Christmas lights on or candles burning when leaving the house or going to bed.

Vehicles
Secure your vehicle.
Keep all car doors locked and windows closed while in or out of your car. Do not leave packages or valuables in plain sight. If something must be left in car, lock it in the trunk. Park in well-lit areas and be aware of surroundings when approaching or exiting the car.

Driving
Remain vigilant and focused. Never drink and drive; use a designated driver. Ensure everyone in car wears their seatbelts. Properly maintain vehicle and check tire pressure. Be prepared for heavy traffic and unusually long drive times. Check the weather and conditions. Stick to the speed limit. Do not drive when tired.

Shopping
Minimize your risk while shopping. Shop during daylight hours, if possible. If shopping at night is necessary, park in a well-lit area. Dress comfortably and avoid wearing expensive jewelry. Do not carry large amounts of cash. Keep purses and wallets secure at all times. Avoid overloading bags or packages. Beware of strangers approaching as con artists may try various methods of distraction. Ask for a security escort if anything or anyone looks suspicious.

Homes
Safeguard your home. Remember to lock all doors and windows. Keep the exterior of homes well-lit. Do not leave gifts where they can be seen from outside the residence. Open doors only to familiar people and never allow any unknown person inside. If on vacation, have the post office hold delivery or have a trusted neighbor pick up all newspapers, mail, and packages daily.

For more consumer safety tips and information, visit www.AGJeffLandry.com or call General Landry’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-351-4889.



Coming soon, the attorney's general office seeks to provide a mechanism by which to take online payments for collections.