||December 1, 2000
||"For Immediate Release"
||Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Sterling Ivey, 863 534-6377 or
The upcoming time of year is an opportunity for families and friends to
gather together and enjoy the spirit of the holidays. With all of the
hustle and bustle of shopping, decorating, and planning get-togethers, it
is very easy to overlook issues of safety and security. But, by keeping in
mind these tips, we can ensure that everyone remembers this holiday season
for all of the right reasons.
* Many artificial trees are fire resistant. If you decide to purchase one,
look for a label on the box specifying this protective feature.
* When purchasing a live tree, remember that fresh green trees are less of
a fire hazard than dry trees. Trim away excess branches and bark as
necessary to set the tree in a sturdy stand and maximize water absorption.
Be sure to keep the stand filled with water.
* Place the tree out of the way of traffic and away from fireplaces and
heaters. Heated rooms cause trees to dry out faster.
* Use fishing line or picture wire to secure a large tree to the walls or
Lights and Other Decorations
* Hang ornaments, lights and other decorations out of the reach of small
* Avoid using decorations that are sharp or breakable or any with small
* Only use artificial spray snow if the label indicates that it is
non-toxic. To avoid injury, follow the directions carefully.
* Never use lighted candles on a tree or near decorations and wrapping
* Turn off decorative lights both indoors and outdoors before going to bed
or leaving the house. Also, extinguish any fires or candles. Never leave
any heating device unattended.
Shopping for Gifts
* Eliminate a major target for criminals by not carrying a purse. Bring
only the cash and credit cards needed for that particular shopping trip
and carry them in your front pockets. Also, avoid carrying all of those
items in one place-distribute your cash and credit cards between one or
* Shop before dark when possible. Coordinate shopping trips with friends
and family members. Criminals will hesitate in situations where more than
one person is involved.
* Park your vehicle in a well-lit area. Ask a store clerk or security
guard to accompany you to your vehicle rather than venture out
* Do not get overloaded with packages-it makes minding your children and
staying alert more difficult.
* Secure packages in the trunk of your car. Never leave anything of value
in plain sight.
Remember, security around the holidays begins at home. Whether you are
planning a week-long trip out of town or planning a trip to the local
mall, it is important to practice common sense security measures.