Police encouraging safety over the holidays

The holiday season is in full swing, and RCMP detachments across the province are warning citizens to be safe.

Officers say people need to keep fire and safety hazards in the back of their minds at all times.

Below is a list of ways to keep safe over the holidays.

For more safety tips, visit the B.C. RCMP’s website by clicking here.

When your fireplace is lit:
– Don’t burn gift wrappings, boxes, carton, or other types of packaging
– Don’t use gasoline or any other flammable liquids to start a fire.
– Always use a screen.
– Remove stockings from mantels when fireplaces are in use.

Christmas Tree tips:
– Buy a bright green and fragrant freshly cut tree. The high moisture content makes it less of a fire hazard; just make sure you always keep the trunk immersed in water.
– Use a tree stand with wide legs for stability.
– Keep the tree away from heat sources (fireplaces, radiators, TV’s, heating ducts, etc.) and ensure it does not block any windows or doors.
– Remove the tree in 10-14 days.

When you are shopping at a store:
– Keep an eye on anyone who handles your debit or credit card.
– Be sure a cashier only swipes your card once
– identity criminals sometimes use small devices that look like store equipment to copy your card information and then use it fraudulently.
– Get your card back promptly and shred all credit card receipts.
– Don’t leave valuables unattended in your vehicle while shopping.

Avoid charity scams:
Fraudsters can take advantage of the holiday season by creating bogus fundraising operations. Ensure your donations are going to legitimate charities by logging onto the Better Business Bureau of British Columbia. The web site has information on charities and businesses in the province.

If a crime has occurred, do NOT enter your home:
– Use your cell or a neighbour’s phone to call the police.
– Do NOT touch anything or clean up until the police have inspected for evidence.
– Note the license plate number of any suspicious vehicles.
– Note the description of any suspicious person(s).

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