Keep your Christmas merry and your New Year happy with a few holiday safety tips.
City of Lenoir Fire Chief Ken Hair said the holidays are always a good time to remind everyone of important fire safety tips.
“According to the National Fire Protection Association, 44% of holiday home fires start when decorations are placed too close to a heat source,” Chief Hair said. "We want everyone to have fun decorating for the holidays, but we also want everyone to stay safe. Following these safety tips will help ensure everyone has a safe and Merry Christmas and a happy holidays throughout winter months."
Chief Hair provided the following tips:
- If using a live Christmas tree, keep it watered so it doesn't dry out. Purchase a Christmas tree preservative to keep the tree fresh and help the tree keep it's needles. A dry tree can catch on fire easily.
- Make sure your Christmas tree does not block exits or walkways in your home. Ensure that the tree is secure and will not tip over.
- Inspect the condition of decoration electrical cords, Christmas lights, and extension cords. Throw away any light strands or cords with frayed or pinched wires.
- Don’t link more than three strands of holiday lights, and don't plug too many lights or other cords into one outlet. That can cause a circuit overload or cause cords to heat up and start a fire.
- Consider using battery-operated flameless candles, which can look, smell and feel like real candles.
- If you do use lit candles, make sure they are in stable holders. Keep them away from any combustible materials, and never leave lit candles unattended.
- As always with cold weather, keep combustible items at least three (3) feet from any portable heaters, fireplaces, or furnaces. Always turn portable heaters off when leaving the room they are in and before going to bed.
- Most importantly, ensure you have properly functioning smoke detectors (and carbon monoxide detectors if you utilize and gas fired appliances). Test them often too ensure your family will be alerted if you have a fire or a carbon monoxide leak.
For folks who still have some Christmas shopping to do, Police Chief Brent Phelps shared the following safety tips:
- When out shopping, don’t leave packages visible in your car. Put them in your trunk, or cover them with blankets so passers-by can't see the items.
- Always lock your vehicles, even when parked at your home, and even when parked inside your garage.
- Don't leave purses or bags unattended inside a store.
- Park in well-lit, well-trafficked areas.
- When walking to your vehicle, have your keys ready.
- If you are shopping online, try to have someone home when packages arrive, or ask a neighbor to pick them up. Don't leave packages outside your home for extended periods of time.
- if you see suspicious activity such as people walking around and looking in cars, call 911.
Chief Phelps said that the City of Lenoir is a very safe place to live and shop, but residents should never let their guard down
"We are blessed to live in a very safe community, and we don’t experience the type of crime that occurs in larger cities." Chief Phelps said. "But that can cause us to let our guards down. It's important that we remind ourselves to pay attention when we are out and about, because crime can always happen here, too."
Chief Phelps said the City of Lenoir Police Department strives to work in partnership with the community to all residents and visitors safe.
"Never hesitate to call us if you need help or see suspicious activity," Phelps said.
City staff also encourages everyone to follow the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 safety recommendations which can be found online at https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/.
The Hope Shines Brightly Holiday Light Show runs from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. nightly in Downtown Lenoir. Before or after the show, visit one of our downtown restaurants or shops for a bite to each or to get some Christmas shopping done early! And be sure to check out the City's supersized Christmas tree in front of City Hall!