With the holiday travel season upon us, I’d like to remind you of some tips to help ensure you travel safely over the next several days and return home to a safe and sound house.

Get your car road worthy – Your mechanic can perform a quick check of your engine, fluids and tires. Being prepared with a car emergency kit is also important. Your car emergency kit should include, at a minimum, jumper cables, a tire gauge, a flashlight, a tool kit with wrenches and screwdrivers, duct tape, rags and an emergency stop sign.

Handle your car safely – Losing your focus while driving and getting behind the wheel after drinking are major factors in traffic accidents. If your plans include drinking, make sure your plans also include a sober designated driver. Lexington County deputies will be joining with the South Carolina Highway Patrol and other agencies to make sure drivers aren’t endangering themselves or others by operating a vehicle in an unsafe manner.

Secure your home – When you leave home, close your curtains or blinds. Checking your window latches periodically is also a good idea. Keeping your windows and doors locked is the best barrier between your loved ones’ holiday gifts and the bad guys. If they can’t see or easily get to the presents, the average crook will simply move on to an easier target.

Light your home – Leave some lights on both inside and outside your home. Crooks do everything they can to stay hidden from light, so making lots of it lessens the likelihood that they’ll find your home appealing.

And finally, make sure you tell a friendly neighbor or a relative who lives in town when you’ll be gone and when you expect to return. Then, if your neighbors see any suspicious activity around your home, they’ll know to call us and request a property check.