The Christmas season is a time for countless parties, family reunions and exchanges of presents. However, this is also a time when several incidents of fire due to faulty Christmas lights and crimes such as robbery holdup occur.

“It is said that the Philippines has the longest Christmas celebration in the world. It starts from the onset of ‘ber’ months until the Epiphany in January. That means, our heightened alertness for any untoward incident during the Christmas season lasts for about five months,” said Philippine Red Cross Chairman Richard Gordon.

Stay safe while keeping the festive mood alive during the Yuletide season by following these reminders:

At Home

1. Examine your Christmas decors like Christmas lights and lanterns. Make sure that these were inspected by the Department of Trade and Industry.
2. Put up your Christmas tree and decorations away from curtains and other combustible materials.
3. Avoid leaving Christmas lights turned on overnight to avoid fire or overheating.
4. Avoid octopus lines to minimize overloading of electrical system.
5. Never place appliance cords or extension cords under a carpet.
6. Do not leave infants or children alone in places where they are in danger of falling or near electrical outlets or gadgets and candles.
7. Always position appliances (TV, computer, sound system, heating appliances, etc.) in a spacious area to prevent overheating.
8. Repair faulty functioning appliances.
9. Use appliances at a specified voltage only.
10. Unplug appliances by grasping the plug, not by yanking the cord, when not in use and when leaving the house.

To Avoid Incidents of Holdup/Snatching

1. Avoid wearing jewelries, talking over the phone and texting in a crowded area.
2. When waiting for a public utility vehicle, do not stay in a dark area.
3. It is best to call for a company taxi in case you will go home at midnight or early in the morning. Lock all doors once inside to prevent “bukas kotse gang” from declaring hold up. Do not sleep inside the taxi. Make sure to get the plate number of the taxi and give it to a friend in case something happens.



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