Consumer Column

Attorney General Jeff Landry Offers Tips to Keep Families Safe during the Holidays

BATON ROUGE, LA – Whether setting up Christmas decorations, shopping for presents, or attending parties – consumers can become distracted and forget to keep safety first. Attorney General Jeff Landry reminds Louisiana citizens to stay safe and exercise caution during the holidays.

“It is the time of year when reports of fires, injuries, thefts, and scams increase,” said Attorney General Landry. “So, I urge Louisiana consumers to be extra vigilant and secure as they spread Christmas cheer.”

Attorney General Landry offers the following easy tips to help keep families safe during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season:

Handle decorations carefully. 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.

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.

Exercise caution while shopping. Shop during daylight hours, if possible. If shopping at night is necessary, again 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 of bags or packages. Beware of strangers approaching as con artists may try various methods of distraction with the intention of stealing. Ask for a security escort if anything or anyone looks suspicious.

Protect your home. Remember to lock all doors and windows. Keep the exterior of home well-lit. Do not leave gifts where they can be seen from outside the residence. Open doors only to people you know and never allow any unknown person inside your home. 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 tips, call Attorney General Landry’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-351-4889.

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