News Column

Police, Firefighters Offer Tips for a Safe Holiday

Dec. 23, 2012

The Barstow Police and Fire departments unveiled their tips for a safe holiday season at the most recent City Council meeting.

At home:

-- Avoid displaying gifts where they can be seen from a window or doorway.

-- Don't leave ordered packages on porches or doorsteps. Instead, arrange to have packages delivered to your neighbor's house or to your local post office for pick-up.

-- Always lock your home doors and windows, even if you're only going to be gone for a few minutes.

-- When going out of town, have a trusted friend or neighbor take care of your home.

-- For extended absences, contact the Police Department and request a vacation watch for your residence.

When shopping:

-- Shop with a partner.

-- Park in a well lit area and as close as possible to the store.

-- Always lock your car and close the windows.

-- Lock all of your packages in the trunk of your vehicle or cover them inside your vehicle.

-- Have keys in hand when returning to vehicle.

-- Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.

-- Stay alert to your surroundings.

-- Report suspicious people.

For Christmas trees:

-- For natural trees, keep them watered. Dry trees can catch fire.

-- Do not place tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent.

-- Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood-burning stove.

-- Dispose of tree by taking it to a recycling center or having it hauled away by a community pick-up service.

For holiday lights:

-- Inspect lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets and excessive kinking or wear.

-- Do not overload electrical outlets.

-- Do not leave holiday lights on unattended.

For holiday decorations:

-- Use only nonflammable decorations.

-- Don't block exits.

-- Never put wrapping paper in the fireplace.

For candles:

-- Never leave a burning candle unattended.

-- Make sure candles are in stable holders and place them where they can't be easily knocked down.

-- Never put lit candles on a tree.

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Distributed by MCT Information Services



Source: (c) 2012 the Desert Dispatch (Barstow, Calif.)