BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH)– Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch, Police Chief Joseph Gaudett, and Deputy Fire Chief Robert Petrucelli held a press conference Wednesday about ways to stay safe this holiday season.
Chief Gaudett offered the following tips:
- Keep items out of sight in your vehicle. Last-minute shoppers and people returning items after the holidays shouldn’t leave gifts or any items in plain view inside their vehicles. It only takes a few moments for a thief to break a window and make off with your possessions.
- However tempting, know the risks associated with warming up your car on cold days. A warm car is great, unless it isn’t there when you come outside. The exhaust fumes on a cold day are an open invitation for thieves, whether outside your house or outside a convenience store.
- Have a designated driver and DO NOT ring in the 2014 by firing your gun into the air. If you do, you could ring in the New Year in jail
Fire Chief Brian Rooney added more tips:
- Every year, check all holiday lights for broken insulation or frayed wires. It is a good idea to replace any lights after five years regardless of their condition. Electrical lighting is a cause of most Christmas tree fires.
- Don’t overload electrical outlets and don’t run extension cords under rugs, across doorways or near heaters.
- When using candles, use a tip-proof candle holder and always blow out candles when you leave the room. Unattended candles are the leading cause of candle fires.
- Make sure your Christmas tree is fresh and water it every day. If a tree dries out, it is a tremendous fire hazard.
- Fireplaces should always be used with a screen to catch sparks and embers from coming into the room. Dispose of ashes in a covered metal container and store it 10 feet away from your home. Ashes can maintain enough heat to ignite combustible items for several days.
- Always check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors regularly to ensure they are working properly.
Any Bridgeport resident without a smoke or carbon monoxide detector can call the Bridgeport Fire Department at 203-335-8835, and they will install one for free.