As we prepare for Thanksgiving next week and all the holiday fun that comes after, it is sometimes easy to forget about the things that can keep us safe as we cook more, shop more, gather more, travel more and just more more. So it seemed like a great time to provide some timely reminders from our first responders so they don’t have to spend as much time in people’s homes throughout the holidays. While they always work to ensure our safety, I would love it if they had a nice relaxing Thanksgiving, 12 quiet Days of Christmas and a generally boring New Year’s Eve. That’s why I spoke with our Fire and Police Departments to gather some safety reminders to share with you as you celebrate these upcoming holidays.
Cooking is a big part of our holiday traditions, and the Meridian Fire Department would like to remind residents of the importance of avoiding distractions while cooking. In the case of a small cooking related fire, individuals should:
1. Turn off the heat source.
2. Smother the fire with an object such as a pot lid or cookie sheets.
3. If it is unsafe to put out the fire, contact 911 immediately.
Never put water on a cooking fire and keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case a fire does occur. Keep your family and neighbors safe by keeping a watchful eye in the kitchen.
Another thing we do this time of year is we like to get out lights, put them on our trees, houses and just about anywhere we can reach. It is important to use extension cords carefully, and not overload outlets. Inspect your holiday lighting for damage and replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. And, always turn off holiday lights before leaving your home or going to bed.
This time of year we are all out on the roads more, especially visiting our favorite shopping areas and the Meridian Police have information they want you to know. First, slow down and pay extra attention while traveling to and from. There are a lot more cars on the roads this time of year, and if we all pay a little more attention, we can help each other. When shopping, it is important to keep an eye on purses, cell phones and other valuables when in stores to prevent thieves from making off with our valuables while shopping for others. Here are some other holiday safety tips:
-Survey your surrounding when walking to or from your car.
-Place gifts out of sight in your car while shopping.
-Do not leave your delivered packages on your front porch, in plain sight.
-Get to know your neighbors and look out for one another.
-When warming up your vehicle, don’t leave it unattended.
In addition to these, we all want to urge residents to always make plans for a ride home if there are plans to drink at holiday events. Do not put yourself or others at risk! And if you are hosting a holiday party, please consider taking car keys and making sure your guests make it home safely.
The Meridian Police and Fire Departments are going above and beyond, not only over the holidays, but year round. Let’s do our part to help them enjoy the holidays by doing our part to keep them in the fire stations or their patrol cars.
As we move past Thanksgiving next week and into Christmas music, if you are looking for something different on the radio I encourage you to tune into the #myMERIDIAN podcast. Recently we released an episode that included Meridian Fire Chief Kris Blume, discussing goals for our growing Fire Department. Today, the final episode in the City 101 series has been released where I interviewed Police Chief Basterrechea about the public safety initiatives our great men and women in blue are working on. Take a break from your normal commute time routine and learn a bit more about our first responders by listening to one of the podcast episodes. You can listen to all the latest episodes, located our webpage, Spotify, and on Apple Podcasts.
Whether you are traveling or hosting during this holiday season, be safe, happy, and let’s give our first responders some down time this holiday season!