By Jim Buell, 2nd Assistant Chief, Shelburne Fire Department
The holiday season is in full swing. The days are short, and our calendars are full with all of the special occasions that the holiday season brings: shopping, decorating, attending parties and concerts, etc. There always seems like too many things to do and to take care of and not enough time to do them all. As you are busy going from place to place and taking care of all those items on your list, we ask that you take a moment to be safe in all that you do. Safety starts at home with each and every of us. If we begin with ourselves and pass along that gift to others, then we all will enjoy this holiday season much more.
Keep in mind to not overload your electrical outlets when putting up the brightly-colored lights which we all enjoy. This goes for outdoors as well as indoors.
- Keep candles in sturdy, non-tipping containers. When you leave the house, make sure candles have been extinguished, your lights have been turned off, and the fireplace is protected with a screen.
- When you bring that tree inside, remember to water it, water it, and water it again!
- Rushing from one room to another while wrapping gifts, remember to hold those scissors in your hand with the points down.
- Don’t drink and drive – appoint a designated driver to get everyone home safely. Hang up the phone! Don’t text either – just drive. Distracted driving leads to accidents. We all want you home to enjoy the holiday, not in the hospital, or worse.
- Consider buying your house a gift of a smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector, and fresh batteries for each.
- Take a few minutes to ensure that all combustible materials have been pulled away from your wood stove or fireplace.
- Keep matches and any fire lighting equipment in a safe place.
- Is your car or truck ready for the winter driving season? Check your tires. Put a flashlight in your car with fresh batteries. Is your snowbrush in your car? How about a blanket in case you get stranded and need to stay in your car?
- Have you and your family developed your home escape plan and have you practiced it? Better yet, let family and friends who are staying with you know about it and where your family meeting place is.
If we just stop for a moment and think through what we are doing, we should be able to process that task or take that trip safely. Safety begins with each and every one of us. Let us all enjoy the holidays and the winter season together.
We (Shelburne’s Emergency Services – Police, Fire, EMS and Dispatch) would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday, and remember…
Fire Prevention/Safety isn’t just one week of the year, but all 52!