The gift of safety: Last-minute Christmas shopping tips

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PAWLEYS ISLAND, SC (WBTW) – For many holiday shoppers, last-minute Christmas shopping for presents or stocking stuffers continues until stores close on Christmas Eve.

Local fire rescue and hardware store employees encourage holiday shoppers to consider buying gifts that can be used year-round, serving everyday needs instead of just today’s wants. 

Gifts suggestions include escape ladders, mini car battery jumpers, chargers for vehicles, items that will enhance their everyday safety and could save their life.

“Buy some smoke alarms for your loved ones and carbon monoxide detectors. If you’re burning with fossil fuel or have a wood stove, gas logs, if you’re cooking with gas, or a gas furnishes you should have a carbon monoxide detector,” Mark Nugent, Midway Fire Rescue Division Chief said.

Nugent tells News13 if every house had a working smoke alarm, fire extinguisher, and carbon monoxide detector, so many fire injuries and deaths could be eliminated across our country every year.

This time of year generates emergency calls demanding high response involving supplemental heating, overloading of electrical appliances, and slip and fall situations. These instances may be avoided this season with a gift that delivers extra protection. 

“Everybody has so much already, I feel like the things that are useful and can save your life. You don’t realize how much you need it until you need it,” a holiday shopper tells News13.

Fire rescue teams also suggest escape ladders and fire extinguishers as gifts to consider, ranking in top priority to reduce risk in dangerous situations.

Emergency escape ladders are collapsible and easy to store while providing a safe exit strategy in an emergency. Fire rescue recommends keeping extinguishers stored in various places, including homes, boats, and back seats of vehicles.

Calls involving slips and falls generate action from several responders this time of year. Local rescue teams suggest prevention devices that are easy to install like handrails to reduce the risk of falls in showers, bathtubs, or any location where support is needed.

An extended list of recommended last-minute Christmas gifts from Midway Fire Rescue:

  • A 2 ½ or 5 pound fire extinguisher for the home, car, boat, RV 
  • Replace families aged smoke alarms with “10-Year Lithium Battery Powered” Smoke Alarms (Install the alarms for them) 
  • Bike helmets and other protective gear for bikes, skates, scooters 
  • Carbon Monoxide Detectors if they burn fossil fuels 
  • Safety Rugs and Large Gloves for the fireplace 
  • Flashlights for each bedroom and your vehicle 
  • Grab Bars to prevent falls
  • A roll of Shelf Liner to place strips under throw rugs 
  • Mini Car Battery Jumper/Charger for the vehicle 
  • Complete a Home Fire Inspection for your Family Members 

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