Clear the snow, lock your doors and don’t leave the turkey in the oven alone. Holiday safety tips from the City of Kelowna

Shovel or find an angel

The City of Kelowna is offering some safety tips for the holidays and a reminder that snow has to be shovelled off your sidewalks, walkways and driveways within 24 hours of fresh snowfall.

“Beyond the reason that it’s a City bylaw, it’s also a great opportunity to get outside for some exercise while doing your part to keep the community safe,” said Bylaw Services Manager Kevin Mead. “And don’t forget to nominate your helpful neighbour as a Snow Angel!

If you are lucky enough to have a friend, family member or neighbour who shovels for you, register online and the city will send a toque and card you can share with them. Nominees will also be entered into a monthly draw to win two tickets to a Kelowna Rockets game and pre-game dinner.

Mead said when you clear your walkways and driveway, don't push the snow onto city property, it can create hazards for pedestrians and motorists, and you could be fined. Also, when shovelling your driveway, place snow on the left side, when facing your home, to prevent plows from pushing it back onto your driveway.

Some of the winter driver safety tips include a reminder to fully clear off your vehicle, so you’re not throwing snowballs at other motorists as you drive down the road.

During the busy shopping season, make sure to Grinch-proof your car by locking the doors and not leaving anything of value in plain sight.

“When gifts and valuables are left in plain view or vehicle doors are unlocked, these can result in crimes of opportunity,” said Colleen Cornock, Crime Prevention Supervisor with the City of Kelowna. “By taking a few easy preventative steps, residents can help deter criminal behaviour and reduce the risk of becoming an easy target.”

Household safety should also be at the forefront right now.

“The holidays are a time for celebrations, coming together with family and friends and reflecting on the year,” said Kyle Jacobson, Fire and Life Safety Educator/Inspector with the Kelowna Fire Department. “However, it’s also a time that we historically have seen an increase in Kelowna fire dispatch calls related to vehicle accidents, kitchen or electrical house fires and snow-related injuries.”

Keep candles out of reach of kids and pets and away from your Christmas tree, or even better, use LED candles and bulbs. Also check your string of lights, because some are only for indoor or outdoor use.

Cooks, keep your eye on the prize and supervise the turkey. Don’t leave it unattended in the kitchen where you might forget about it until it’s a lot more crispy than you want. Cooking-related incidents are a leading cause of fires during the holidays.

And drivers, don’t forget Kelowna RCMP launched their CounterAttack campaign on Dec.1, which will run throughout December.

If you will be imbibing at a Christmas party, plan for a safe ride by giving your keys to your host, taking transit or calling a cab.

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