Purim Safety Tips
Boro Park Shomrim - Purim Safety Tips
Purim is here again! It’s a wonderful holiday – but one where tragedy can strike before you know it. The Brooklyn South Safety Patrol/Boro Park Shomrim wants to advise community residents to use caution and play it safe to keep the joyous laughter from suddenly turning to tears.
STRANGERS: Strangers may show up at your door – and may be wearing masks or other costumes. If you let someone you don’t know into your house, be alert and keep your eyes open. Make sure you keep your doors closed and locked, so that the only people coming into your home are those whom you specifically let in – not people who just “wander in”. If you are giving money to tzedakah collectors, keep your money or your checkbook on your person – not laying around where anybody who walks in can pocket it when you’re not looking and walk out with it. You may have a camera or camcorder out to take pictures of friends who come in, but do not leave it carelessly laying around so that someone can walk off with it. Other valuables, such as watches, jewelry, etc., should of course be guarded with the same care. If you wish to give a collector or someone else you don’t know a drink, have the wine or liquor already out and on the table. Don’t leave a stranger alone while you go rummaging in the next room for it. Walk a stranger into your house and walk him or her out again – and do not allow anyone you don’t know to wander around your house (say to the bathroom) unwatched or unescorted.
CHILDREN: If a child is going out to collect tzedakah, – even, and especially, a teenager – make sure you know when he or she is leaving, where they are going, with whom, by what route, and what time they expect to come back. Give your child a fully charged cell phone and have him or her call to check in with you at established times. Children under 12 years old should not go out by themselves to collect, or even just to enjoy the holiday, but should go in a group, preferably under adult supervision. Since Purim falls on erev Shabbos this year, let your children know in advance what time they should be home to begin preparing for Shabbos. With people coming in and out of your house, be sure you know the whereabouts of your younger children, and make sure they do not inadvertently wander off when the door is open. The same is true if you live with elderly family members as well. Shomrim members would like to enjoy Purim with our families as well and hope we don’t have to be called out to search for a child (or, Alzheimer’s patient or other elderly adult) who has gone missing through carelessness.
ALCOHOL: Please be advised that it is absolutely illegal for anyone under 21 years old to possess or use alcoholic beverages, and illegal for an older person to give them any. It is also absolutely illegal to drink and drive. Anyone who does so endangers his own life (thus, violating a Torah commandment), endangers the lives of any passengers, and also those of pedestrians in the street and other motorists, and he creates a great chillul Hashem as well. Nobody who has been drinking, even a little, should drive a car, even if you think you “can handle it” (you probably can’t). Instead, give your keys to someone who has not been drinking, and let them drive. The police will have roadblocks up throughout Boro Park and Kensington. If you are stopped and you refuse to take the drunk-driving test, you can automatically lose your license. Drunk drivers are also subject to arrest, jail, fines, and even having their vehicles permanently confiscated by the police – so it’s just not worth it to drive after you’ve had a l’chayim or two or three!
TRUCKS: Be advised that the police will be cracking down on the dangerous practice of having a bunch of bachurim collecting for tzedakah riding around in a pickup truck or any other kind of open-backed truck. In the past, boys have fallen off such trucks and have been badly hurt.
TO COLLECTORS: If you are collecting for tzedakah, let a family member know where you are going before you go and when you expect to be back, carry identification, and always identify yourself if you go to a home – especially if you are wearing a mask or costume – so people will know you are legitimate. If someone offers to give you a large check – with you giving them back some cash as change – don’t accept the check, and don’t give back change. If someone gives you a large bill, such as $50 or $100, always check it, even if you know the giver (the same holds true for someone giving tzedakah in cash and receiving a large bill as change), as it might be a counterfeit bill, and the giver doesn’t realize it. Before you leave a house, secure any money or cash on your person and don’t casually flash it around.
SUSPICIOUS CHARACTERS OR OTHER PROBLEMS: If you see anything out of the ordinary or suspicious, – whether on Purim or at any other time – don’t hesitate to call the Boro Park Shomrim on the Emergency Hotline.
The Boro Park Shomrim –The Brooklyn South Safety Patrol - wish everyone a Happy Purim – AND A SAFE ONE AS WELL.
24 hours a day , seven days a week. We are on the highest alert and are ready to respond.
Boro Park Shomrim Emergency # 718-871-6666