The City of Long Beach wants everyone to enjoy the holidays. The Holiday Season is a time for parties and celebrations, and the City encourages everyone to celebrate safely to avoid injuring yourself or others.
It is especially important to note the importance of not driving under the influence. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 781 people lost their lives in DUI-related crashes in December of 2016 alone.
Make a plan and designate a driver before attending holiday festivities. Remember that driving under the influence is more than drunk driving: it includes marijuana and some prescription and over the counter drugs in addition to alcohol and illegal drugs.
The City also urges drivers to pre-plan their routes and to refrain from texting or otherwise using their cell phone while driving.
- Celebrate the Festival of Light by practicing candle safety.
- Don’t leave menorahs unattended.
- Put menorahs on a non-flammable surface like marble or stone; or place aluminum foil under the menorah.
- Keep menorahs out of the reach of young children and pets.
- Use caution when frying.
- Keep the handles of your pots and pans facing the inside of the stove.
- Use oil with a high smoke point, like canola, and monitor food closely.
- Always keep children away from hot stoves.
- In case of a grease fire, turn off the flame and use a kitchen fire extinguisher to put out the fire.
- Christmas trees and holiday decorations can cause fires.
- According to the NFPA, Christmas trees are responsible for about 200 house fires across the U.S. every year.
- A dry tree can catch fire and burn faster than newspaper; keep fresh trees watered daily.
- Inspect electrical decorations for cracked or damaged sockets, loose or bare wires and loose connections.
- Never connect more than three strings of incandescent bulbs.
- Keep combustible items, such as stockings, at least three feet away from heat sources.
- Turn off, unplug and extinguish all decorations when going to sleep or leaving the house.
- Never burn anything other than logs in a fireplace.
- Holiday decorations can be safety hazards for pets.
- Holly, mistletoe, and poinsettias are toxic to dogs and cats.
- A single strand of tinsel, if ingested by a pet, can cause serious damage.
- Securely anchor Christmas trees to prevent tipping.
- Keep wires, batteries, and ornaments out of the reach of your pet.
- Avoid fire hazards for a joyous Kwanzaa.
- Keep the Kinara on a flat, fire-resistant surface.
- Make sure all flammable items are at a safe distance from the Mishumaa Saba (Seven Candles).
- Opt for flameless candles, such as electric candles.
- Don’t leave flames unattended.
- Guns and New Year’s Eve do not mix.
- A bullet fired into the air can climb two miles into the air and remain in flight for more than a minute. As it falls, the bullet reaches a velocity of 300 to 700 feet per second—more than double the velocity it takes to penetrate the human skull.
- Discharging a firearm into the air is a felony, punishable by up to three years in prison.
- If a person is killed by celebratory gunfire, the person who fired the gun can be charged with murder.
- Leave fireworks to the pros.
- All personal fireworks, even those deemed “safe and sane,” are illegal in Long Beach.
- Amateur fireworks, including sparklers, cause tens of millions of dollars annually in property damage and result in many injuries, the majority of which are suffered by children.
- Fireworks set off in residential neighborhoods, particularly those that the neighborhood isn’t anticipating, can trigger flashbacks for veterans and gun violence survivors experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Anyone cited or arrested for fireworks violations may be faced with a $1,000 fine, sentenced to jail for six months, or both.
- Start the New Year on the right foot: don’t drive under the influence.
- Designate a “sober driver” before any drinking begins
- If you do drink, use a ride-sharing service or public transportation, or ask a sober friend for a ride home
- Long Beach Transit will offer free rides starting at 5 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. The service will also be extended with routes leaving the Transit Gallery on First Street between Long Beach Boulevard and Pine Avenue as late as 2:35 a.m. on New Year’s Day.
The community is encouraged to call the Long Beach Police Department to report dangerous or illegal activities. Every call matters. For non-emergency calls, please dial (562) 435-6711. For emergencies, dial 9-1-1. All calls for service provide data to the City that is helpful in communicating safety messages to the community every year.