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Sun Times Feature Story

Ideas To Keep Your Family Safe During The Holiday Season

   HOLLYWOOD - The holidays are a festive time of year for celebrating and spending time with family and friends.  Hollywood Fire Rescue and Beach Safety and the Hollywood Police Department have suggestions to keep your family safe during the holiday season.

If you are hitting the roads:
   Aggressive driving and speeding are the top causes of fatal traffic crashes along with drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
   Do not drink and drive. If you are celebrating, appoint a friend or family member as the sober designated driver to get everyone home safely.
   Pack your patience. Traffic is more congested during the holiday season especially around attractions and shopping destinations. If you see someone driving aggressively or not paying attention; drop back to a safe distance.  If you’re feeling anxious, take a deep breath and count to ten.  It’s better to get there late then not get there at all.
   Be cautious of distracted pedestrians.  Shoppers may be hurrying from store to store and forget to use crosswalks.  Look both ways before you drive through intersections, especially in high pedestrian-traffic areas.
   Avoid peak travel times.  If you can, avoid traveling at peak hours and days. The day before a major holiday and the Sunday afternoon after are always the busiest.
   Rest up.  The hectic pace of the holidays can leave anyone feeling fatigued. Fatigue decreases reaction time and awareness and can lead to accidents.

Keeping your home and family safe from fire:
   When choosing holiday decorations be sure to select items that are flame resistant or have been treated with a flame retardant.
   Replace strings of lights that may be worn or have broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini light sets together and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in type fixtures.  ollow the manufacturer’s instructions for the maximum number of LED strands that can be safely connected together.
   Do not block doors or windows with decorations and be sure to turn off all light strings before leaving your home or going to bed.
   Add water to the Christmas tree stand daily.
   Battery operated candles are safer than real candles and look just like the real thing.  If you use real candles use a sturdy holder and keep a safe distance of at least 12 inches from anything that could burn such as drapes, bedding or furniture.  Never leave a child alone in a room with a burning candle and blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed.
   In the kitchen, keep oven mitts and towels away from the stovetop. If you have a small grease fire, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner.  In the oven, turn it off and keep the door closed. When in doubt, get out of your house and call 911 immediately.

Important Information for City of Hollywood Utility Customers
   HOLLYWOOD - From Wednesday, December 23 to Monday, January 5, the City of Hollywood Department of Public Utilities Customer Service Center will be operating in a limited capacity to allow for the transition to a new and improved utility billing system.

    Beginning December 26th, the new Customer Service Center phone number will be: 954.921.3938