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'Tis the season to be careful...

Updated on November 17, 2009
Battery-operated Candle
Battery-operated Candle

It is the season to celebrate, and also the one to be careful.

A gentle reminder to you shoppers out there - don't let thieves ruin your Christmas. if you buy gifts, don't leave them in your car. Take them with you if you can.

Handling stolen goods

If someone in the pub offers you a deal on electronic gadgets or similar valuables in the run up to Christmas, it's probably a good deal that's too good to be true. Think twice before buying cheap MP3 players or games consoles. If you buy stolen goods you could be fuelling burglary. Anyone who has been a victim of this knows how distressing it can be.

Are you a dumper?

After you've hit the New Year sales, don't fly tip your unwanted televisions, games consoles and fridges. Fly tipping can cost you up to £50,000 -and if you pay someone else to get rid of your larger items, and you don't check that they're licensed to taketaway your waste, and they tip it illegally, you should still end up with a fine of up to £5,000! So, tip your waste responsibly and legitimately. Take them to the local Recycling Centre. Of course charge may be payable.

Know your limits

During the festive season we all like to enjoy ourselves and for many this includes a few drinks. But when is this too much? More than 30% of us regularly drink more than the sensible drinking guidelines. The system of counting drink units can be confusing but, put simply:

  • Women should not regularly drink more than two to three units a day.
  • Men should not regularly drink more than three to four units a day.

There is also help and advice on cutting back if you're drinking too much, and some great tips on surviving the festive season, such as pacing yourself and getting home safely.

Don't drink and drive!

The legal limit is very difficult to judge, so it's never worth the risk - even one unit of alcohol, such as half a lager or a small glass of wine, could push you over the limit, even though you might feel unaffected.

If found guilty of drink driving you could lose your licence, get a £5,000 fine, get up to six months in prison, and have to pay heavily for your insurance.

Use fireworks legally and safely

Did you know that it is against the law to set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am?

There are some exceptions to this:

  • On Bonfire Night fireworks can be let off up until midnight.
  • On New year's Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year, fireworks can be let off until 1am the following day.

It is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to carry fireworks and for anyone to throw or set off fireworks in the street.

Domestic and Sexual Violence

Christmas can be a time when domestic and sexual violence incidents increase. Relationships come under the spotlight and alcohol is often flowing freely.

Don't Gamble with a Candle

Don't gamble with a candle this festive period. People can reduce the risk of fire in their own home by using battery-operated candles instead.

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