Town Crier Articles

Safety During the Holiday Season
Posted on December 1, 2019 7:00 AM by Tom Nichols, Chair, Preparedness
Categories: Life in New Town
We all look forward to the Holiday Season to be with families and friends. We will be attending Parties, Dinners, Local Events plus seeing the Decorations in New Town and on Duke of Gloucester street in Williamsburg. We have been fortunate that we have had no disasters in our area that affected New Town this year. Even with no area disasters, we need to be prepared for personal disasters.
Weather and Personal Disasters
We have just entered the Freeze Season with ice, snow and freezing pipes (as some can attest with freezing back flow piping). We need to pay attention to things that could lead to personal disasters and try to prevent them: home fires, falls on ice (home steps, walkways, parking lots), vehicle accidents on ice and snow covered roads, break-ins at home and in your car, and theft of a wallet or purse plus robberies. 
Staying Safe
These are some of the ideas to help you enjoy the Holidays and prevent Personal Disasters:
Fire-Cooking - Stay with Food being Cooked. Do not leave items on a stove that will burn (boxes, candles, papers). Do not wear loose clothing while cooking to prevent the danger of clothing catching on fire. 
Candles-Control use of candles. Know where they are burning, keep away from Children/curtains/combustibles and pets, use only in one room at a time which you monitor.
Electric Wiring - Keep all decorating wiring, tree lights and power strips maintained (throw out questionable items) do not overload a circuit. Do not run wires under a rug. Do not use extension cords with Portable heaters (cord could overheat)
Fireplaces - Please cut it off if not being used, keep it maintained (have checked yearly), keep combustibles away from them like live Christmas trees. Make certain that your home has functioning Carbon Monoxide Detectors (one each floor)
Christmas trees - Real trees can catch fire easily and burn out a room in 2 minutes or less, keep trees fresh, watered, and when getting brittle or browning, Throw them away. NOTE: if a tree catches fire, CALL the Fire Department, use a proper ABC fire extinguisher on it if YOU KNOW how and at the start of a fire. A real tree can burn up in 45 seconds; Artificial trees burn slower.
Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors - Change batteries yearly and test every month. Smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors should be REPLACED every 10 years since they lose sensitivity and could be slow in sounding an ALARM which could be deadly.
Falls on Ice- Keep walks clear of snow, use ice melt on sidewalks/steps (only use ice melt that will not damage concrete or wood steps), use Kitty Litter or Sand on steps as a back-up (does make a mess). Wear winter boots/shoes.
Driving-Review Winter Driving Safety. Keep Kitty litter or sand in the car to use to help you get un-stuck from ice/packed snow, have a small shovel on hand in your car. Have your CELL PHONE available, DO NOT TALK ON CELL PHONE WHILE DRIVING. 
Break-ins- Keep doors locked (use dead bolt locks, have pins in windows, keep curtains and shades drawn at night, keep porch lights on as needed. Do not open a front door to a stranger
Car thefts and personal theft- Keep packages covered in a visible trunk of a SUV or back seat. Park and walk in lighted areas where you feel safe, if you sense danger, stay away. Use purses with a long strap around your body to prevent a purse snatch, use caution with wallets when you visit in crowed areas (put wallet in a safe zippered area of a coat or in the front pocket of your slacks). Stop mail and papers if away.
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