Stay safe this season

Published 8:54 pm Monday, December 22, 2008

As Troy residents gear up for the holidays this week, local law enforcement send out a reminder to keep safety first.

“Be prepared and have a plan during the busy time that comes along with the Christmas and New Years Holidays,” said Troy Police Chief Anthony Everage.

Troy Police Spokesman Sgt. Benny Scarbrough said whether residents are traveling, shopping or just staying home this holiday season, there are important ways to keep safe.

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Scarbrough said last-minute shoppers need to prepare themselves ahead of time for large crowds.

“Know what you are going to purchase,” Scarbrough said. “It will be easier if you make yourself a list and purchase only those items because the stores will be crowded with shoppers having to get that last minute gift for a friend or relative.”

Traffic will be heavy whether residents are staying in town or headed to visit relatives, so Scarbrough said it’s vital to use caution.

“Some live across town while others may live several hours away,” Scarbrough said. “Remember there are many others sharing the road with you, so be extra cautious.”

Scarbrough said residents should take their time when traveling this season, above all else.

Also during the holiday season celebrations, Scarbrough said to use caution when out drinking.

“Do not ruin the holiday season by driving after consuming alcohol,” Scarbrough said. “If you are under the influence of alcohol, do not get behind the wheel of an automobile.”

Scarbrough said Troy Police will be out patrolling the streets this season to protect visitors and drivers from drivers under the influence of alcohol and anyone who may be robbing or burglarizing homes or businesses.

In addition to being safe on the road, Scarbrough said it’s important to secure homes while residents are away.

Scarbrough said to make sure all doors and windows are locked, and keep personal items secured and out of plain view.

Another important safety factor is to be careful of house fires.

Troy Fire Chief Thomas Outlaw said house fires are common this time of year.

“The main thing is the Christmas trees will dry out, and you don’t need to leave the lights on when there’s no one around,” Outlaw said.

Another common cause of house fires is with cooking, so Outlaw said residents should use caution when preparing holiday dishes this year.

And, as people prepare to ring in the new year, Outlaw said it’s important to avoid using fireworks.

“They are illegal in this area but people often use them and get burns,” Outlaw said.

But above all, law enforcement said they wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.