BRIDGEPORT – Mayor Bill Finch today urged all City residents to celebrate safely and act responsibly while enjoying the festivities of this New Year’s holiday weekend.
“We want everyone to enjoy their New Year’s Eve, but it’s important for everyone to be respectful of others and obey the law,” said Mayor Finch. “I would urge everyone to celebrate safely and act responsibly while observing the holiday. Be aware of the penalties and dangers of illegal and reckless activities often associated with New Year’s Eve like driving while drunk, celebratory gunfire and illegal use of fireworks.” said Mayor Finch.
New Year’s Eve is often marked with celebratory gunfire, but unlawful use of a firearm is a crime and anyone caught doing so will be arrested, according to Police Chief Joseph Gaudett. Chief Gaudett asks the public to report anyone seen firing their gun by calling 9-1-1.
Chief Gaudett also cautioned New Year’s revelers to drink responsibly. “Our police officers will be out in force keeping the streets safe throughout the long weekend, and we will be on the lookout for drunk drivers. If you plan to go out, please be sure to have a designated driver,” he added.
Fire Chief Brian Rooney reminds the public that while the sale of caps, sparklers and showering fountains are legal in the state of Connecticut, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 16 to buy or use these types of fireworks. “If you [as an adult] hand a sparkler to a child under the age of 16, you are breaking the law.”
Residents are also reminded to keep their Christmas trees watered, and to dispose of the tree as soon as it begins to drop its needles. Keep the tree away from radiators, fireplaces and other heat sources. When using a fireplace, the Fire Chief reminds residents to “put fireplace ashes in a metal container and place it outside, well away from the house.” The Fire Chief also advises residents to install and maintain smoke alarms on every floor and outside sleeping areas. Residents in need of a smoke alarm can call 203.335.8835 for a free alarm and installation.
Fire safety guidelines outlined by the Bridgeport Fire Department:
Kitchen Safety – Never leave pots on the stove unattended.
Space Heaters – Keep all space heaters at least 3 feet away from combustible items.
Matches and Lighters – Store matches and lighters locked up high, away from children.
Electrical Cords – Keep out of traffic areas and don’t risk breaking the wires by pinching them behind or under furniture.
Candles – Keep candles away from anything that will burn. Blow candles out when you leave the room or go to bed.
Plan your escape – Make a home escape plan with the family and practice it.
Christmas Trees – Always make sure that trees have plenty of water.
Smoke Detectors – A smoke detector is required on every floor and outside of sleeping areas.
Call 203.335.8835 for free 10-year smoke alarm with free installation.