Strathcona County Crime Watch Association -

                                "The Eyes and Ears of Your Community"
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Holiday Safety

Here are some safety tips to help keep you and your family happy, healthy and safe this holiday season.

Holiday Parties:

  1. Plan for enough time to make it to your party destination on time and safely, keeping in mind posted speed limits, roads conditions and an increase in traffic during the holiday season.
  2. Plan for a safe way home: a designated driver, a taxi or perhaps a nearby hotel room.
  3. PLEASE DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE. Remember that if you have been out drinking all night and into the wee hours of the morning that you may still be too intoxicated to drive safely the morning after the big party.

Christmas Decorating:

  1. If purchasing an artificial tree, look for one with a "fire resistant" label. This labels indicates that if the tree will resist burning and if it should catch fire, should extinguish quickly.
  2. If purchasing a real tree, check for freshness. If a live tree is fresh the pine needles should be flexible and should not be falling off or have the ability to break when bent between your fingers.
  3. To keep a live tree from drying out and becoming a potential fire hazard, avoid setting up the tree close to a fireplace or radiator; keep water in the tree stand; and cut a few inches off the trunk of the tree, this exposes fresh wood that allows for better water absorption.
  4. Only use non-combustible decorations to decorate your tree. Be sure to keep sharp, breakable or otherwise potentially hazardous decorations out of the reach of pets and small children.
  5. When using candles be sure to keep them out of reach of pets and small children.
  6. Buy Christmas lights that have been tested for safety.
  7. Check lights each year before using for broken bulbs, cracked sockets and frayed wires and dispose of any damages sets that cannot be safely repaired.
  8. Be careful not to overload extension cords or power bars.
  9. Turn off all lights and other decorations that require electricity before you go to bed or leave the house.

Traveling over the holidays:

  1. Be sure that alll of your doors and windows are closed tightly and locked.
  2. If your home has an alarm system turn it on.
  3. Ask someone you trust to check on your house while you are away, they can
  4. Lock all gates, sheds and garages. Anything you leave outside should be secured and any items that a potential criminal could use to break into your house should be out of sight and under lock and key.
  5. Arrange for snow removal and mail/newspaper pickup to give the impression that someone is still home.
  6. Ensure that the exterior of your home is well lit.
  7. Cancel deliveries.
  8. Arrange for a reliable house sitting service or a trusted neighbor to check on your house inorder to maintain your insurance coverage inyour absence.
  9. Don't advertise your absence in places were strangers might overhear you.