Fire, police departments offer holiday safety, tips

By R. Scott Lohman

The DeKalb Fire and Police Departments and the University Police have some ideas on how to keep your place safe at Christmas time.

If you’ll be staying around here for the holidays, the DeKalb Fire Department said their motto is “Help Us Keep the Wreath Red.”

The fire department has placed a wreath which has red lights in it at each of the two fire stations. From Nov. 27 to Jan. 2, if the fire department should encounter an emergency which is related to the holiday season, a red light will be removed and a white light will replace it, fire officials said.

The officials also said “the purpose of this ‘Red Wreath Program’ is to draw the attention of the general public to the inherent dangers of the holiday season. It is hoped that through our efforts, the citizens of DeKalb will enjoy a safer and happier holiday season.”

Here are some safety tips the fire department suggests:

‘Only use lights that have been tested for safety.

‘Discard light sets with broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires and loose connections.

‘Never use indoor lights outside.

‘Don’t use more than three sets of lights per single extension.

‘Always turn off tree lights and lights on other decorations when you go to sleep or leave your residence. Short circuits could cause a fire.

‘Never use electric lights on a metallic tree.

‘Keep children away from light sets and electrical decorations.

‘Always dispose of wrappings immediately after opening.

‘Artificial trees should bear the UL label or another authorized testing laboratory’s label.

^’Live trees should be fresh because they will be less of a fire hazard than a dry tree.

‘Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens.

The police departments also said that if you “go home for the holidays,” you should secure your residence and take items of value home with you.