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December 9, 2022

Holiday Safety Tips from the Bryan Fire and Police Departments

Don’t get your tinsel in a tangle! Avoid extra stress this holiday season, and a potential disaster, by following these safety tips.

Photo of the back of a fire truck

Fire Safety

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, more than one-third of home decoration fires are started by candles. More than two of every five decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source.

  • Keep lit candles away from decorations.
  • Keep decorations away from windows and doors.
  • Before leaving home or going to bed, blow out lit candles and turn off all light strings and decorations.
  • Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays.

Live Christmas Trees

Don’t let your Christmas tree dry out! Dried-out trees are a fire hazard and should not be left in the home or garage. Once you’re ready to dispose of the tree, remove all of the decorations along with the metal/plastic stands and place it at the curb on your regularly scheduled brush and bulky day. Bryan Public Works will collect and dispose of it for you at no charge.

Stay Warm and Safe

Half of home heating fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February according to the National Fire Prevention Association.

  • Keep anything that can catch fire at least 3 feet away from heat source, like a furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month.
  • Don’t forget about your outdoor pets. If you’re cold, they probably are, too. If the temperature drops, bring them indoors or create a warm place for them outdoors.

Cooking during the holidays? Check out these cooking safety tips.

Photo of Bryan Police Officers with children at an event.

Crime Prevention

Avoid package theft – Doing your holiday shopping online? Ensure your packages are not unattended for long periods of time by checking tracking/delivery information, requesting signatures upon delivery, asking someone you trust to grab it, having items delivered to the post office or store they were ordered from.

Don’t fall for scams – The holidays bring out generosity that scammers try to take advantage of. If you receive a call, text, or email about something that sounds too good to be true or demands a payment, it’s likely a scam. Any legitimate organization, including Bryan Texas Utilities, will never demand immediate payment or else. When in doubt, hang up and directly call the organization and ask.

Protect your property – Lock your doors and windows, and don’t leave your garage door up, to protect your property. When you are not at home, consider leaving outdoor lights on and a light on inside to make it appear someone is home. If you get large, expensive items, break down the boxes for your container or brush/bulk collection. Don’t advertise to criminals what you have brand new inside. Also, make sure you can’t see gifts under the Christmas tree from the outside through a window.

Don’t drink and drive – Before heading to that holiday party, make sure you plan a sober ride to get back home.

Lock, take, hide – Before exiting your vehicle, make sure to take or hide anything valuable inside and always lock the doors after exiting. Utilize the trunk or cover items of value so burglars can’t see them.

Report suspicious activity – If you see something, say something! Report it to the Bryan Police Department at 979.361.3888.

 
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