A Safer Naper

December - Seasonal Safety

In January 2018, this department resolved to help our community to become “A Safer Naper” by focusing on new safety topics and tips each month to educate residents on how to prevent crime and enhance their safety. Thanks to everyone’s continuous efforts, Naperville was recently named the 2nd Safest City in the United States by 24/7 Wall Street.

In honor of our 24th consecutive month of the “A Safer Naper” campaign, we will be featuring 24 Days of Safety starting December 1. Check back daily or follow us on Facebook or Twitter to keep up with the daily holiday-related safety tips.

24 days of safety image

Day 8 – Winter Driving Tips

Stay Alert

  • Keep your gas tank close to full.
  • If road conditions are hazardous, avoid driving if possible.
  • On longer trips, plan enough time to stop to stretch, get something to eat, return calls or text messages, and change drivers or rest if you feel drowsy.

Avoid Risky Driving Behaviors

  • Do not text or engage in any activities that may distract you while driving.
  • Obey all posted speed limits, but drive even slower if necessary for weather conditions.
  • Drive sober. Alcohol and drugs impair perception, judgment, motor skills, and memory – the skills critical for safe and responsible driving.

Driving in Winter Conditions

  • Drive slowly. It’s harder to control or stop your vehicle on a slick or snow-covered surface.
  • On the road, increase your following distance enough so that you’ll have plenty of time to stop for vehicles ahead of you.
  • Know whether your vehicle has an antilock brake system and learn how to use it properly. Antilock brake systems prevent your wheels from locking up during braking. If you have antilock brakes, apply firm, continuous pressure to the brake pedal. If you don’t have antilock brakes, you may need to pump your brakes if you feel your wheels starting to lockup.

Learn more here.

Day 7 - Securing Your Purse/Wallet

Busy stores with distracted shoppers are prime targets for purse and wallet snatchers. Protect your valuables:

  • Always keep your purse closed/zipped.
  • Never leave your purse unattended or open in a shopping cart.
  • Place your purse on your lap in restaurants, not hung over the back of the chair.
  • Invest in a crossbody bag that you can wear in front of you.
  • Keep your wallet in your front pocket, not the back.

Day 6 - Cold Weather Cons

As the temperature starts to dip, scammers are taking advantage of the cold weather by trying to swindle you out of your money.

  • The City of Naperville will never call you and threaten to deactivate your heat or electric service due to a past due bill. Scammers are using the idea of being without heat or electric in the cold as a scare tactic.
  • If you are overdue on your utility account, the City of Naperville will send you a correspondence in the mail. In most cases, multiple notifications will be sent. No solicitation of payment is done over the phone.
  • Beware of “Spoofing Software” that may falsely display the name and phone number of your utility company on your caller ID.
  • Scammers use scare tactics such as intimidation and threats to request payment via hard-to-trace prepaid debit cards (green dot) or ask for your credit card information.

Day 5 - You Drink, You Drive, You Lose

Every day, almost 30 people in the U.S. die in drunk-driving crashes. That’s one person every 48 minutes and more than 10,000 lives each year (NHTSA). Here are some tips to protect yourself and others:

  • Plan your safe ride home before you start the party, choose a non-drinking friend as a designated driver.
  • If someone you know has been drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel. Take their keys and help them arrange a sober ride home.
  • If you drink, do not drive for any reason. Call a taxi, a ride-hailing service, or a sober friend.
  • If you’re hosting a party where alcohol will be served, make sure all guests leave with a sober driver.
  • Always wear your seat belt—it’s your best defense against impaired drivers.

Day 4 - Securing Packages 

Prevent thieves from stealing your packages by following these simple tips:

  • Schedule packages to arrive when you’re home.
  • Require signature for delivery – This is particularly helpful when you want to be sure important or valuable items are not left unattended.
  • Install security cameras – Be sure it is visible and in working order. Cameras only deter criminals if they know one is present.
  • Sign up for delivery alerts – Most major shipping companies offer this service. So, if you are not home, you can contact a friend or family member to retrieve the package as soon as it’s delivered.
  • Have packages delivered to another location, like a trusted neighbor’s house, your work (if allowed) or a smart locker.
  • Leave delivery instructions – Request your packages be placed in a less conspicuous spot, such as a side or back door, behind a planter or in another location not visible from the street.

Day 3 - Safe Decorating

Trees

  • When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label “Fire Resistant.”
  • When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness! Also, cut a few inches off the truck to expose fresh wood to allow for better water absorption, and keep the stand filled with water!

Candles

  • Never leave a burning candle unattended.
  • Place candles out of reach of children and pets.
  • Keep wicks trimmed to one-quarter inch.
  • Make sure you have working smoke alarms.

Lights

  • Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights.
  • Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use.
  • Before using lights, make sure there are no frayed wires, broken sockets or loose connections.
  • Turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave the house.

Click here for more helpful decorating safety tips (PDF).

Day 2 - Internet Shopping Safety

  • Keep current with your software and virus protection.
  • Create strong passwords.
  • Ignore emails from senders you don't know.
  • Use your pop-up blocker.
  • Download files only from sites you know.
  • Sign up for email/text "transaction alerts" from your bank to keep track of your purchases.

Day 1 - Lock It or Lose It

  • Don't leave vehicles unattended with the doors unlocked, windows down or the keys in them, even in your garage or driveway.
  • Always take your car keys with you and lock your car doors.
  • Take valuables with you or keep them out of sight by placing them in the trunk or using stow-and-go seating, preferably before arriving at your destination.
  • Park in well-lit areas.