The RCMP gives some handy holiday tips

The Kitimat RCMP has provided a few guidelines that will keep you and your family safe this festive season.

Having a party?

If you’re staying home and having a party, follow these tips to ensure your party is a hit and your guests make it home safe.

* Never serve alcohol to minors.

* Post a standard drinks guide on the fridge or near the food and drink areas so guests are aware.

* Have a plan to prevent drinking and driving.

* Encourage guests to name designated drivers or leave vehicles at home and take taxis or walk.

* Either don’t drink or limit your own drinking of alcohol so you can be aware of how much your guests are drinking.

* Know your guests. It makes it much easier to monitor changes in behaviour.

* Monitor and supervise the serving of alcohol or designate a responsible adult bartender.

* Stop serving alcohol at least one hour before the party ends.

* See guests in and out. Greeting everyone gives you the opportunity to assess their condition.

* Keep cash and the number for the taxi company handy.

* Keep the focus off alcohol.

* Serve food with protein and fat. Salt makes people drink more and sugar does not mix well with alcohol.

* Have lots of non-alcoholic choices.

What to do if a guest is drunk

* Encourage them to give you their car keys. Teaming up with a buddy can help.

* Inform them a cab has been called. Asking them if you can call them a cab gives them the opportunity to refuse.

* If they are very drunk keep them with you until they have sobered up or can be left with another sober, responsible adult.

* Remember that only time, and not food or drink, sobers someone. Be prepared to offer a spare bed.

* If the person insists on driving call the police. This could be the difference between an upset friend and far more tragic consequences.

Driving Home

Remember, drinking and driving kills. The choice to drive or not to drive is yours. Please be a responsible adult and make the right choice. You could be saving a life and it might be yours.

Avoid making a mistake that could harm yourself and others, and instead give to those in need. Talk about getting into the holiday spirit!

Around the house

Before taking off on that holiday in a sunny place, plan well ahead to avoid arriving home to find you’ve had uninvited guests while you were gone.

* If you’ll be away, let Canada Post hold your mail until you return.

* Remove snow and ice, and put sand or salt on walkways and driveways. Arrange to have this done even when you are away.

* Carefully discard packaging from big-ticket items, bundling cardboard boxes to conceal the nature of their contents.

* Keep a record of your valuables. Identify property by engraving an identifying mark.

* Install timers in different areas of your house to turn lights and radios on and off at different times.

* Wait before posting those fab holiday pics on Facebook. Broadcasting you are on vacation through social media, such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, is generally not a good idea, even if you have a high privacy setting.

Going on a road trip?

There are a few simple guidelines which some vehicle owners forget to follow, often leaving them stranded at the side of the road waiting for help, or worse involved in a collision that ends their holiday.

* Wear your seatbelt correctly. Lap belts should be low and snug over the hips, while shoulder belts should be worn across the chest.

* Use a restraint system that is appropriate for your child’s height and weight. Remember, the safest place for children 12 and under is at the back of your vehicle.

* Install four identical snow tires.

* Clear all snow and ice from all windows, hood, roof, and lights before driving.

* Make sure you have lots of windshield fluid.

* Keep an emergency kit and warm blankets in the trunk.

* Let someone know your travel plans before you leave and be aware of travel and road conditions.

Vehicle maintenance

* Replace your windshield wipers. They get brittle in long dry spells and won’t be able to get the water, dirt and oil off your windshield.

* Check your tires for tread depth and inflation. The deeper the tread, the less likely you will skid or hydroplane. And make sure tires are inflated to manufacturer specifications. Hint: look on the fuel lid, in the glove box or check your owner’s manual to confirm specs for your vehicle.

* Make sure your windows are clean. Clean the inside of your windows and make sure your demisting/defogging equipment works.

Wet weather road safety tips

* Use your headlights but avoid using your high beams. Headlights help make you visible to other drivers and pedestrians but high beams can reflect back and reduce your ability to see other road users.

* Don’t use cruise control in the rain. If you hydroplane in cruise control your wheels can reach an excessive speed while they’re not in contact with the road, which means you’ll be jolted forward once the wheels make contact again.

* Leave extra space between you and the vehicle in front. The three-second rule applies in good weather but you should double it to six seconds for light rain/fog and triple it to nine seconds for heavy rain/fog. If the vehicle in front of you is a commercial vehicle or a bus, leave even more room.

* Slow down. Posted speed limits assume good road and weather conditions so go below the limit to stay safe in wet weather and low visibility.

* Beware of other vehicles around you. Larger vehicles such as trucks, buses and trailers are especially affected by heavy rain.

* Adjust your planned travel time to include sufficient time to fully demist/defog all your windows.

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