TALKING PUBLIC SAFETY -- Before you pack the kids into the family roadster to travel over the river and through the woods to grandmothers house, take a few minutes and make sure both you and your car are ready for this trip.

While I am not sure where the past 11 months went, we are starting to defrost the turkeys and Christmas lights are going up. Below is an article submitted several years ago regarding holiday safety with a few new tips for you to consider.

The next two months will bring some of the busiest traveling days we see each year. Thanksgiving and Christmas, more so than any other time of year, bring families together to celebrate.

Before you pack the kids into the family roadster to travel over the river and through the woods to grandmothers house, take a few minutes and make sure both you and your car are ready for this trip.

AAA recommends the following at a minimum for cold weather conditions:

• Clean any corrosion from battery posts and cable connections.

• Have any engine problems corrected; symptoms like hard starts, rough idling, or stalling could signal a problem that may be worsened by cold weather.

• Replace worn windshield-wiper blades, also cold-weather windshield washer solvent and carry an ice-scraper.

• Inspect all lights and bulbs and replace burned out bulbs.

• Examine tires for correct tread depth and uneven wear. Check tire pressures once a month when tires are cold or before driving for any distance.

• Carry a winter survival kit in the event you become disabled or stuck on the side of a road.

• Remember that in many rural sections of the country cell phone coverage can be nonexistent. Tell those expecting you when you are leaving, the route you will take and your expected arrival time.

Fire Departments across the country have seen an increase in fires on Thanksgiving due to the craze of deep frying a turkey.

Following some simple steps will help keep your family safe:

• Never use a fryer on a wooden surface such as a deck, under a patio cover, in a garage or enclosed space.

• Do not overfill the fryer.

• Never leave the fryer unattended because, without thermostat controls, the oil will continue to heat until it ignites.

• Never let children or pets near the fryer.

• Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts and wear long sleeves and safety goggles to protect from hot grease splatter.

• Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and patted dry before it is placed in a fryer; water and grease when mixed can be volatile.

• Keep all-purpose fire extinguishers nearby

Christmas brings us twinkling lights, scented candles and decorated trees, but it also brings an increase in home fires. Use these safety tips to make sure your Christmas is safe for you and your family.

• Make sure if you utilize a real tree that the tree is fresh. Needles that easily fall off or break is an indication that the tree is not fresh. This lack of moisture is an extreme fire Hazard.

• Trim off a couple inches of the trunk to insure better water absorption helping the tree stay fresh. Keep the base full of water at all times.

• Place tree away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. Heated rooms dry out tress quickly creating fire hazards.

• Use no more than three strands of lights per single extension cord

• Check each strand of lights for cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires.

• Consider electric candles over actual candles, candles are the top source of fires in the Holiday season.

Help keep your family safe over this Holiday Season. From our family to yours, have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.