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Cops, firefighters offer tips for a safe holiday

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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