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Holiday Safety Shopping Hacks

by Lisa Bray

Holiday Safety Shopping Hacks

In the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping and sales, it’s easy to get a little lax with our personal security. Besides; who’d ever try to steal from us during such a wonderful time of giving? But unfortunately, this is the time of year where criminals are at their peak. According to the Arizona Division of Public Safety report, November has the highest rate of "pick pocketing" of any month of the year, while shoplifting crimes are highest in December. That being said, here are some essential holiday safety shopping hacks.

  • Stay alert to your surroundings when you’re out and about shopping. Thieves typically target people who look lost in thought or are struggling to carry shopping bags and seem distracted so avoid overloading yourself with packages. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps.
  • Never leave packages or valuables on the seat of your car. This creates a temptation for thieves. If you must leave something in the car, lock it in the trunk or put it out of sight.
  • Keep all car doors locked and windows closed while in or out of your car, even if you’ll only be away for a minute. A quick thief needs a mere sixty seconds to make off with your car.
  • Always protect your PIN by shielding the ATM keypad or pin pad inside the store from anyone who is standing near you. All it takes is a peak, a quick distraction, and sleight of hand before your wallet is gone and your bank account has been drained.
  • Obviously if you’re traveling and away from home over the holidays you should lock your doors and windows. But also take additional precautions by having a neighbor or family member watch your house and pick up your newspapers and mail. Want an extra level of safety? Leave your lights on an automatic timer.

Don’t be a target for dishonest criminals this holiday season, and don’t be afraid of being paranoid. You can never be too safe while you’re shopping for the season, and you can’t afford to be careless. Please share these tips with your loved ones and shop safe this holiday season.

Lisa Bray

RE/MAX Professionals

www.LisaBray.com

602-762-3691
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Have a Safe and Happy Halloween!

by Lisa Bray

Have a Safe and Happy Halloween!

I love to see trick-or-treaters bustling through the neighborhood on Halloween night. The evening is always crisp and the streets are festive with Halloween decoration and giggles. Most importantly, I’d like to see all my neighbors have a safe and happy Halloween. Here are just a few tips to remember before you head out for the evening:

  • Children should avoid trick-or-treating alone, and walk in groups or with a trusted adult.
  • Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them.
  • Only walk on sidewalks or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.
  • Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.
  • If attending an adult party, please don’t drink and drive. Select a designated driver or call a taxi.
  • Drivers remember to watch out for trick-or-treaters and to drive safely.
  • Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
  • Try to ration treats for the days following Halloween.

To trick-or-treat is much more sweet when we’re being safe, so be aware of your surroundings and have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Lisa Bray

RE/MAX Professionals

www.LisaBray.com

602-762-3691

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Surprise Police Warn Against IRS Phone Scam

by Lisa Bray

Surprise Police Warn Against IRS Phone Scam 

Today the Surprise Police Department warned the community about the recent Internal Revenue Service warning sent to taxpayers about a surge in automated phone scams. According to the Department of the Treasury, in early August the IRS warned taxpayers to stay cautious against a rise of IRS impersonation phone scams.

Unfortunately, these returning automated scammers are utilizing some new tactics to demand tax payments on iTunes and other gift cards. To protect yourself from these IRS Scammers please note that the IRS will never demand immediate payment over the phone, call to verify identity by asking for personal or financial information, or require a person to use a specific payment method for taxes such as a prepaid debit card or gift card.

If you have additional questions or want to speak with someone about these scams you may contact the Treasury’s Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484. For helpful information on reporting these scams go to TIGTA’s webpage. Please remember and share this information with others to help prevent fraudulent tax scams.

Lisa Bray
RE/MAX Professionals
www.lisabray.com

602-762-3691
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Tips for Safe Summer Hiking in Arizona

by Lisa Bray

Tips for Safe Summer Hiking in Arizona 

Now with temperatures in the triple digits, the mountains are all the more dangerous for hikers and emergency crews. Six people died during one weekend in June on mountains around Arizona as the heat hit record highs, proving the trails can turn deadly for even the most avid hikers if they’re not prepared, especially during the summer months.

Most people who end up needing to be rescued have hiked farther than their ability — older people with medical issues, visitors from out of town or even young, fit hikers who weren’t prepared.

“I think people underestimate the weather and overestimate their ability, and it gets a lot of people in trouble,” Buckeye Fire Engineer William Burnett said.

“Please use extra caution and use trails at dawn or dusk when there is more shade and less intense heat,” the advisory states. “During the day, full sun temperatures can be more than 20 degrees warmer than official shade temperature, making it dangerous for trail users. Even if you are hydrated, you can still suffer from heat-related illness.”

Experts recommend hikers remember these tips for safe summer hiking in Arizona:

  • About to try a new trail? Keep in mind trail difficulty ratings increase by one level when temperatures are above 90 degrees, so those rated easy become moderate and moderate becomes difficult.
  • Hikers planning to hit the trails should start preparing early by hydrating with water (not coffee, soda, and energy drinks) the day before.
  • Hikers should take plenty of water on their hikes, wear sunscreen and a hat, go in pairs and let someone know where they’ll be hiking and when they expect to return.
  • Once you’re at half your water supply, hikers are advised to return back.
  • When hiking a new trail, people should break it up by only going part of the way the first time so they don’t reach overexertion, he said. The next time, they can go a little farther as they become more familiar with the trail.
  • Watch for signs you’re over exhausted or dehydrated: clammy skin, weakness, blurry vision, cramps, fatigue, dizziness, dragging your feet, tripping and headaches. Listen to your body and head back as soon as possible. It’s not worth the risk to keep pushing forward!

For more tips on safe summer hiking in Arizona or if you’d like to learn more about the best hiking locations in the West Valley, please contact Lisa Bray.

Lisa Bray
RE/MAX Professionals
www.lisabray.com
602-762-3691
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Top 4 Fourth of July Safety Tips

by Lisa Bray

Top 4 Fourth of July Safety Tips

Fireworks and Fourth of July BBQ’s go hand and hand. So whether you’re planning on traveling for the fourth or enjoying various outdoor activities like boating, cooking out, camping and picnics, safety is the most important factor to remember during this fantastic holiday. Here are the top 4 Fourth of July safety tips to help you enjoy your Independence Day.   

1.) Travel: Fourth of July is statistically the most dangerous holiday to be driving on the road. According to The Advertiser, 410 people were killed nationally in motor vehicle crashes during the Fourth of July weekend in 2009 and forty percent of those deaths were related to alcohol-impaired and/or sleep deprived drivers. Please remember to not drive intoxicated, get plenty of sleep before driving, and always wear your seatbelt.

2.) Fireworks: Nearly 10,000 Americans are injured by fireworks each year, according to the United States Fire Administration. Arizona legal fireworks include: Snappers, devices with cylindrical and cone foundations, illuminating torches, ground spinners, sparkling wheels, snap caps, glow worms, snakes, party poppers, toy smoke devices and sparklers are all allowed. Not sure if the fireworks you have are legal? Click here to find out. If you plan to enjoy legal fireworks this Fourth of July, always have a bucket or water or a fire extinguisher nearby.

3.) BBQ’s: The Fourth of July is one of the top holidays for outdoor BBQ’s and cookouts. In regards to fire safety, never use gasoline to start BBQ grills. For food safety, bring separate plates and cutting boards for raw and cooked foods so that juices from raw meat don’t contaminate meat that’s ready to be eaten. Also bring cleaning items with you to keep hands, utensils and surfaces clean.

4.) Camping: If you are camping, be sure to check the regulations on fires. Many areas may be closed to all fires (including charcoal grills) due to extreme dry conditions. If campfires are allowed never leave a fire unattended, and always be sure it is dead out when you leave.

Regardless of how you choose to enjoy your Fourth of July holiday, please make it a safe one. Happy Independence Day! -Lisa

Lisa Bray

RE/MAX Professionals
www.lisabray.com

602-762-3691
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Surprise police alert residents of jury duty scam

by Lisa Bray

Surprise police alert residents of jury duty scam

Let’s face it. There aren’t many people that are excited to receive a jury duty summons in the mail. And we all know someone who either casually tosses a jury duty request in the trash or lets it fall to the bottom of the mail pile without giving it a second thought. But what would you do if you received a phone call alerting you that you had a warrant for your request for not appearing for jury duty needed to pay a bond to prevent getting arrested? Well, before you whip out your checkbook, check to make sure you’re not being scammed first!

The Surprise Police are alerting the public on a “jury duty” scam being attempted in Surprise. This scam has been attempted several times on multiple victims here in the community. According to one of the victims, they recently received a phone call from an unknown suspect who identified himself as a deputy with the Surprise City Court’s Warrant Division. The suspect informed the victim they failed to appear for jury duty and/or respond to a jury summons.

As a result for failing to appear, the suspect advised the victim that a warrant was issued for their arrest and if they failed to pay the bond, sometimes up to $4,000, it would result in an officer being dispatched to their residence to take them into custody. Additionally, the victim also reported the suspect as hostile and very threatening on the phone.

The Surprise Police advise Surprise residents to not pay the “bond” to avoid going to jail. If you received a call from a person claiming to be law enforcement and/or threatening law enforcement action as part of this fraudulent scheme, please contact the Surprise Police Department at 623-222-4000 to report the incident. Also, if you have any information leading to the identity of the suspects involved in this scam please contact the police at 623-222-TIPS (8477), or if you wish to remain anonymous you can also email your tip to crimetips@surpriseaz.gov. Please share this information with friends and families and help prevent others from this jury duty scam.

Lisa Bray

RE/MAX Professionals

www.lisabray.com

602-762-3691
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5 Tips to “Bee” Safe this Summer

by Lisa Bray

5 Tips to “Bee” Safe this Summer

Local Arizona news has been abuzz with stories about bee attacks and hive recoveries all over the valley lately. And Arizona locals know that as the temperature starts to rise unfortunately so does the number of bee encounters around the Valley of the SunEl Mirage Fire Department officials say they are ready and equipped to perform rescues and provide emergency treatment due to a bee attack.

But the only reason the fire department would “foam the bees” is for rescue purposes, officials said. Any other situation such as having bees in a tree is not considered a bee emergency and may require a professional bee control company, they said.

The El Mirage Firefighters offer these 5 tips to “bee” safe this summer:

1.) Run for shelter: If bees get riled up, the most important thing to do is run away as fast as possible and find shelter as soon as possible. Take refuge in a house, tent, or a car with the windows and doors closed.

2.) Don’t be a fool: Bees are smarter than they look. Do not try to stand still in an attempt to fool the bees. Do not try to fight the bees.

3.) Avoid water: If you’re enjoying one of the many beautiful Arizona lakes, please know that they will not provide refuge from a bee attack. Although it may be tempting, do not jump into water. Bees will wait above the water until the person comes up for air.

4.) Cover up: If you’re a victim of a bee attack, grab a towel, blanket or shirt to cover your face. The stings on the chest and abdomen are far less serious than those to the facial area.

5.) Seek help immediately: Once away from the bees, evaluate the situation. If stung more than fifteen times, or if there are any symptoms other than local pain and swelling, seek medical attention immediately. If there are other people being stung or you think others are in danger, call 9-1-1 immediately.

For more information, visit www.cityofelmirage.org or call the El Mirage Fire Department at 623-583-7968. Please stay safe this summer and always “bee” aware of your surroundings. - Lisa

www.LisaBray.com

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Stay Safe this New Year’s Eve

by Lisa Bray

Stay Safe this New Year’s Eve

When I think about New Year’s Eve, I think of celebrating the good times with the people I love. Champagne glasses clinking, laughter in the air, and a sense of warm optimism for a fresh new start. So as we toast and cheer for a brand New Year, let’s not forget to be safe while enjoying the festivities.

Some freezing rainy weather is expected throughout Phoenix and the west valley today so in addition to practicing defensive driving and watching for pedestrians, please use caution on the road if it’s dark, cold, and storming. If you’re heading out for the evening and plan on drinking, please plan ahead for a designated driver or call a taxi service. And if you’re hosting a party in your home, offer guests a place to stay to keep them from driving home impaired or stop serving alcohol early.

However you choose to ring in the New Year, whether it’s a solo Netflix binge or a roaring 1920s soiree, stay safe and have fun as you celebrate another year. Here’s to a happy and prosperous New Year! –Lisa

www.LisaBray.com

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Displaying blog entries 1-8 of 8