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Posted on November 29, 2023 by in Training

Holiday Safety Tips

CCW Safe’s Top 11 Holiday Safety Tips

We are once again in the midst of the busiest time of the year for many people, especially for burglars and robbers. With the hustle and bustle of shopping, chauffeuring kids and attending festive holiday events, robberies, smash-and-grabs, scams and front porch pirate incidents are unfortunately on the rise. Because CCW Safe is dedicated to keeping your home, property, and family safe, we wanted to share some basic holiday safety tips. Read on to learn 11 of our favorite safety recommendations for personal safety – as well as for those who carry concealed firearms.

#1: Prepare Your Home for the Holidays

Pay attention to the details of your house and its surroundings. Trimmed landscaping and good exterior lighting during the long winter nights will make your home less appealing to burglars. Do a quick door and window check: make sure that they are all locked and working properly. Make sure ladders and tools are not left outside or are otherwise easily accessible to others. Set your alarm. If you don’t have one, get one. If you can’t get one, implement interior lights on timers. If you’re going to be traveling during the holiday season, have a friend or trusted neighbor check your mail and pick up newspapers.

#2: Carry Your Firearm Consistently

One of the most common mistakes in concealed carrying is only carrying when you “think you might need it.” Remember, there is no predicting where or when something bad is going to happen. Always be prepared.

#3: Be Consistent with Your Type of Carry

If you carry on your hip or back, be consistent with your carrying position. It’s OK to sometimes modify your weapon’s placement due to clothing or circumstances. When your firearm is needed, however, you don’t want to make the mistake of drawing and having your weapon not be there.

#4: Practice Drawing Your Weapon

Practice your draw. This is especially important if you have a new holster or if you change to a different kind (or level) of retention holster. Make sure that your gun is unloaded and practice often. Also, practice drawing your firearm while wearing winter clothing. Make sure you can get a good draw when you’re wearing bulky sweaters and coats. It will be necessary to clear the layers of clothing that are concealing your firearm to get the draw.

#5: Keep Your Gun Hand Free

Keep your gun hand free, particularly during the holiday season. This can be especially challenging during the holidays when you’re trying to make it to the car while carrying four bags, holding two boxes, attempting to locate your keys and answering your phone – all at the same time. Find your keys BEFORE you leave the store. Keep your eyes and ears attentive to your surroundings.

#6: Situational Awareness

When you are stopping in traffic, pulling into a convenience store, pumping gas, or walking into a grocery store, continually scan the areas around you. Try to make it a habit of keeping a good distance between you and other cars while stopped in traffic. Frequently perform visual scans. When pulling into a parking lot, scan the parking lot for any potential problems or dangers. Park where there is easy exit access. Visual scans also apply when walking into a grocery store, a convenience store, or any place with crowds of people. There’s probably no danger lurking around each and every corner, but performing a quick scan may keep you safe if there is something potentially dangerous there. Mobile phones are huge distractions. So, keep your heads up – not buried in your phone – while shopping.

#7: Visualize Scenarios

Visualizing scenarios will help to take our situational awareness safety tips a step further. Visualization is a key component for police officers who deal with potentially dangerous calls daily. If you pull into a convenience store parking lot, scan the lot and assess the people both inside and outside of the store. Take a quick second to visualize what exactly you would do if there was a threat inside or as you exited your car. When visualizing scenarios, always win. Your mind will try to visualize complex, no-win situations. Rewind that thought and think it through.

#8: Sit Facing the Door

This is an easy one. When you go out to eat, always sit where you can see the front door. While you’re waiting on your food, you can perform a couple of quick visualization and mental scenario techniques as well.

#9: Location, Location, Location

Try to make it a habit to note your location and the street names when driving. Look at the street signs on each corner and know where you are at all times. If something serious does happen, you need to know how to articulate exactly where you are so you can get help on the way quickly and accurately. Whether it is a car wreck, a carjacking or an attack, explaining your location to emergency services by naming off landmarks can be tough (and confusing) and can affect response times. Time is critical in any incident that involves emergency response action.

#10: Stay Up-to-Date

If you will be traveling with your firearms this holiday season, keep up-to-date with the laws wherever you are. Laws can vary greatly from state to state. Legal Heat is a great smartphone app. It will check for the most up-to-date state firearm laws and can help keep you from spending your Christmas Eve in a county lock up. Also, check out the apps available in your area to stay current with any news that pertains to your safety or the safety of your family. Another great resource we recommend is

#11: Store Firearms Safely During Festivities

The holidays are some of the busiest times of the year with family and friends. When hosting holiday parties and events in your home, make sure your firearms and other weapons are safely stored in a gun safe and are inaccessible to guests. Too many tragedies occur when curious children stumble across guns. Unload your guns and lock them up before guests arrive, especially if you will be hosting small children whose curiosity and wandering hands can turn a festive holiday party into a traumatizing, preventable event. A bedroom drawer or a closet shelf are not secure places; make sure you have a dedicated, locked safe in a low-traffic area.

We wish you a safe and happy holiday season!

-Your Expert Self-Defense Support Team