State law enforcement urging safety during holiday season

State law enforcement urging safety during holiday season

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Alabama's Integrated State Law Enforcement Task Force is encouraging Alabamiams to stay safe during the holidays. Several agencies will be working together to create a highly visible law enforcement presence on roadways and waterways in the time between Saturday, Dec. 22 and Wednesday, Jan 2.

The Integrated State Law Enforcement Task Force has issued this list of reminders to help keep everyone safe:

• Avoid driving or boating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

• Restrict access and closely monitor teens to prevent under-age use of alcoholic beverages.

• Pay attention to speed limits and driving conditions on the road, and obey boating laws on the water.

• Use seat belts and child restraints in motor vehicles -- no matter how short your drive is.

• Use a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket when in boats, particularly if you will be alone. Not only will this keep you afloat, but it also will offer protection against hypothermia.

• Boaters or hunters who plan to use a boat should leave a float plan that includes a description of your boat, where you plan to launch from, where you plan to go and what time to expect you back.

• Pedestrians should be extremely cautious when walking, jogging or running near roadways, especially when it is dark. Increase visibility at night by carrying a flashlight when walking and by wearing reflective clothing to help highlight body movements. Always stop and look left, right and left again before crossing a roadway.

It also is important to follow entertaining/decorating safety guidelines to prevent the risk for fire:

• Be careful with decorations by choosing flame-resistant or flame-retardant materials; and keep lit candles away from decorations or anything that can burn.

• Replace any string of lights with broken or frayed cords or loose bulb connections and, again, read manufacturer's in¬structions for numbers of strands which may be connected. Use clips -- not nails or staples -- to hang lights so the cords remain undamaged.

• Test your smoke alarms and inform guests of your home fire escape plan.

• Keep children and pets away from lit candles, and keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.

• Before heading out or to bed, blow or snuff out all lit candles and turn off all light strings and decorations. Always keep Christmas trees or other decorations at least three feet away from such heat sources as candles, fireplaces or heaters.

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