Holiday Safety Tips from the Biloxi Police Department

The Biloxi Police Department reminds you to keep these safety tips in mind.


Safety at Home

Lock doors and windows when you leave home, even if you plan on being gone for a short time.

Have a neighbor or family member watch your home and collect your newspapers and mail if you’re going to be away overnight.

Indoor and outdoor lights should be on an automatic timer.

Leave a radio or television on so the house looks and sounds occupied.

Large displays of holiday gifts should not be visible through the windows and doors of your home.

Do not place boxes or shipping containers from recent purchases by the roadway for trash collection. Place evidence of new purchases in trash cans or plastic bags thus making it difficult for would be thieves to shop from your neighborhood street. 

When setting up a Christmas tree or other holiday displays, make sure doors and passageways are clear inside your home.

Be sure your Christmas tree is mounted on a sturdy base so children, elderly persons or family pets cannot pull it over on themselves.

If you use lights on your Christmas tree ensure the wiring is not damaged or frayed. Frayed or damaged wiring can cause a fire.

Place your Christmas tree in water or wet sand to keep it green.

Never place wrapping paper in your fireplace.


Safety In Your Vehicle

Avoid driving alone or at night.

Keep all car doors locked and windows closed while in or out of your car. Set your alarm or use an anti-theft device.

If you must shop at night, park in a well-lighted area.

Avoid parking next to vans, trucks with camper shells, or cars with tinted windows.

Park as close as you can to your destination and take notice of where you parked.

Never leave your vehicle unoccupied with the motor running or with children inside.

Do not leave packages or valuables on the seat of your vehicle. This creates temptation for thieves. If you must leave something in the vehicle, lock it in the trunk or put it out of sight.

Be sure to locate your keys prior to going to your vehicle. Do not activate remote access until you are close enough to enter.

Keep a secure hold on your purse, handbag and parcels. Do not put them down or on top of the vehicle in order to open the door.

When approaching or leaving your vehicle, be aware of your surroundings.

Do not approach your vehicle alone if there are suspicious people in the area.

If necessary, ask mall or store security for an escort before leaving your shopping location.


Automated Teller Machines (ATMs)

If you must use an ATM, choose one that is located inside a well-lighted occupied area like a mall, convenience store or police station. Withdraw only the amount of cash you need.

Protect your PIN by shielding the ATM keypad from anyone who is standing near you.

When using a drive through ATM leave your vehicle in drive with your foot on the brake while completing your transaction.

Do not throw your ATM receipt away at the ATM location.



Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member.

Dress casually and comfortably.

Avoid wearing expensive jewelry.

Do not carry a purse or wallet, if possible.

Even though you are rushed and thinking about a thousand things, stay alert to your surroundings.

Pay for purchases with a check or credit card and avoid carrying large amounts of cash when possible.

Keep cash in your front pocket.

Notify the credit card issuer immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen or misused.

Keep a record of all of your credit card numbers in a safe place at home.

Membership in a credit card monitoring service is strongly recommended especially during the holiday season.

Be extra careful if you do carry a wallet or purse. They are the prime targets of criminals in crowded areas.

Avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion.

Do not make multiple trips to load your vehicle with multiple packages. This could draw the attention of criminals.

During the holiday season “con-artists” are working overtime and may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings. Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason.


Shopping and Children

If possible, leave small children at home with a trusted babysitter.

Teach your child to go to a store clerk and ask for help in case your child is separated from you.

Teach children to stay close to you at all times while shopping.

Never allow children to make unaccompanied trips to the restroom.

Children should never be allowed to go to the car alone and they should never be left alone in the car.

Teach children their full name, address and telephone number to give to police officers or mall security. Teach children to immediately inform you if a stranger is bothering them.


Strangers at Your Door

Be aware that criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts.

It is not uncommon for criminals to take advantage of the generosity of people during the holiday season by soliciting donations door-to-door for charitable causes although no charity is involved.

Ask for their identification, and find out how the donated funds will be used. If you are not satisfied, do not donate.

Donate to a recognized charitable organization.


Hosting a Party

Have non-alcoholic beverages available for party guests.

Find alternative transportation for intoxicated guests.

Arrange for an official designated driver for your party who will not drink at all.


Attending a Party

Have something to eat before consuming alcoholic beverages.

Eat high protein foods that will stay in your stomach longer and slow the absorption of alcohol into your system.

Remember only time will eliminate the alcohol from your body.

Know your safe limit.

Never drink and drive.


The following recommendations may deter property-related crime and assist the Biloxi Police Department in their efforts to find and return stolen or lost property to its rightful owner.

Mark gifts with your Mississippi Driver License or Identification Card number. Do not use your Social Security Number.

For items that cannot be marked with an engraver, photograph or videotape the items.
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