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Staying safe for the holidays

The holidays are here and this holiday season, the Office of Emergency Management reminds you to keep safety in mind as you decorate your home, shop for gifts, and travel. As you gather around with family and friends to celebrate, keep the following safety tips in mind to have safe and happy holidays.

Holiday Shopping Safety

• Always park in a well-lit area and remember to lock your vehicle.
• Don’t leave money or valuables visible.
• Keep packages locked in the trunk while shopping.
• When you return to your vehicle, have your keys readily available.
• Keep your cell phone with you at all times.
• Stay alert! Be aware of your surroundings and people around you. Trust your instincts.
• Don’t overburden yourself with packages while shopping.
• Don’t carry large amounts of cash or extra, unnecessary, credit cards.
• Only make online purchases from trusted, secure websites. Look for “https” in the web address to verify security.
• Don’t respond to unsolicited emails that ask you for information.
• Don’t click on attachments from email senders you don’t know.

Holiday Decorating and Fire Safety

• Most residential fires occur during the nighttime. Unplug holiday lights when leaving your home or going to bed.
• Do not overload electrical outlets and extension cords. A maximum of three strands of lights should be connected.
• Replace any holiday string lights with worn or fraying cords or loose or broken bulbs.
• Never leave burning candles unattended. Place them in a sturdy candleholder that won’t tip over and keep them away from other decorations and things that can burn.
• Ensure your Christmas tree is properly secured and can’t be tipped over by a child or pet.
• Water your Christmas tree regularly. A dry tree can ignite into a blazing fire in a matter of seconds.
• Ensure that your smoke alarms are working by pushing the test button.

Holiday Traveling Safety

• If you’re traveling for the holidays, ask a neighbor to watch your house and remember to notify SPD so house checks can be conducted.
• Put timers on different lights throughout the interior and exterior of the house.
• Have newspapers, mail, and deliveries held or picked up by someone you trust.
• Avoid posting about your travel plans on social media.
• Get your car serviced before going on a road trip. Have your fluids, lights, tires and wipers checked before hitting the road.
• Keep blankets and an emergency kit in your car for any unexpected surprises along the way.• Don’t drive if you’ve been drinking or are feeling tired.


This content was submitted by the Office of Emergency Management. 

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