The holidays are a joyous time for most people, yet fires and crime are a constant threat. The Town of Wake Forest wants to help ensure that the holidays remain merry for everyone by stressing the following crime prevention and fire safety tips:
Don't carry large amounts of cash. Never display the cash you carry.
Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid dark or secluded areas where you could become a crime victim. Park in well-lit areas as close as possible to an entrance.
Put your packages in the trunk. Do not place packages on the seat or in the floor of your vehicle in view of prying eyes.
Keep your vehicle locked at all times.
Keep your purse closed and carry it securely under your arm. Never place your purse on a counter, leave it in your shopping cart or let your children carry it.
Ask a neighbor to watch your home while you are away, and to pick up mail and package deliveries. Make sure neighbors have a phone number, so they can reach you in case of an emergency.
Set automatic timers to activate your lights and other appliances to give your home an occupied look.
Be sure your home is locked and that the shades, blinds and draperies are in their normal position.
Home for the Holidays
Do not place gifts or other valuables where they can be seen by someone looking in from outside your home.
Keep doors and deadbolts locked at all times – even when someone is home.
Never let a stranger inside your home.
Do not leave notes outside to indicate that you are away from home.
Don't advertise your new microwave, stereo or TV by leaving the empty boxes at the curb. Put discarded gift boxes in trash bags.
A key chain whistle or panic alarm, and deadbolt locks make great holiday gifts.
Christmas Tree Safety
Always select a fresh Christmas tree.
Put the tree in water immediately to help prevent it from drying out too quickly.
Use the proper Christmas tree lights. Some lights are designed for outdoor use only.
All lights should be approved by an independent testing laboratory.
Never use electric lights with a metal tree.
Keep space heaters at least three feet away from furniture, bedding, walls, clothing and other items that can burn.
Always use the proper fuel for liquid-fueled heaters. Be sure they are vented properly and refill them only in a well-ventilated area when they are cool.
Make sure the type of heater you are using is legal in your area and bears the seal of an independent testing laboratory.
Never use extension cords with electric space heaters.
Be careful when emptying fireplace ashes. Place them in a nonflammable container away from your residence.
Do not burn the wrappings from holiday packages in your fireplace.
Have your chimney inspected by a professional at least once a year and have it cleaned if necessary.
Always use a fire screen.
Never use candles or any type of open flame near Christmas trees, wreaths, curtains, combustible decorations or displays.
Don't leave candles burning unattended or within the reach of small children.
Keep all matches and lighters out of the reach of small children. Use only child resistant lighters, keep matches in a locked cabinet and teach children to stay away from candles, fireplaces and space heaters.
Safe Holiday Parties
Use only flame retardant materials for costumes and decorations.
Check your home thoroughly after holiday parties where guests have been smoking. If dropped under furniture or behind upholstery cushions, a cigarette can smolder for hours before catching fire.
Use deep, non-tipping ashtrays and keep a close watch on anyone who is drinking alcohol and smoking.
When buying children's presents, avoid toys made from highly flammable materials.
Make sure all electrical toys bear the label of an independent testing laboratory.
Smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers make great holiday gifts.