With final exams underway and commencement and winter break around the corner, the UCF Police Department reminds you to keep your safety in mind during this busy time.

The final-examination period ends Tuesday, Dec. 9. Commencement will be held Friday, Dec. 12, and Saturday, Dec. 13. UCF will be closed for business Dec. 25 through Jan. 4, and classes will resume Monday, Jan. 12.

UCF Police officers will continue to patrol campus during the winter break.

The Safe Escort Patrol Service will run through Tuesday, Dec. 9. If you are on campus at night after that time and would like a police escort, call 407-823-5555 and an officer will be dispatched if one is available.

Read on for more ways to protect yourself and your property during the holiday season.

Secure Your Home

For students returning home for the holidays, it’s important to take valuables such as laptops, tablets, jewelry and other expensive items with you. If you’re driving, lock valuables in your trunk before you leave.

Make sure all windows are locked before you leave your home, and be sure to lock your door on the way out. Have a friend or trusted neighbor collect any mail, packages or newspapers, or ask the U.S. Postal Service to hold your mail until you return.

Also discuss your travel plans with roommates before you leave so that everyone is aware of who will be home when.

Be Safe on the Roads

The holidays are a busy travel time, and it’s important to be safe on the road.

Always buckle up. Seat belts are the best way to protect yourself from distracted or impaired drivers.

UCF Police will join agencies around the country in cracking down on impaired drivers during the holiday season. The holidays are a time for celebration, but that’s no excuse to drink and drive.

Never drink and drive or get in a car with a driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Elect a sober driver before you go out, or make plans to take a taxi.

Stay Aware of Your Surroundings

Remember that criminals look for opportunity, especially during a busy time like the holidays.

Law enforcement pays special attention to shopping centers and residential areas during this time of year, but it’s important to also remain aware of your surroundings.

If you will remain on campus during the holiday break, be aware of people or behavior that looks suspicious. Report any sketchy activity to UCF Police by calling 407-823-5555.

The UCF Police Department wishes you a successful rest of the semester and a safe, enjoyable holiday break.