December 1, 2023

Hoboken Public Safety Department offers safety tips for a healthy and safe holiday season

With the December holidays fast approaching, the Hoboken Public Safety Department, which is made up of the City’s Police Department, Fire Department, Office of Emergency Management, and Emergency Medical Services (EMS), reminds residents to follow best practices for a safe and healthy holiday season.

“This can be the most wonderful and joyous time of year, but it can also be very dangerous if safety isn’t at the top of your list,” said Public Safety Director Ken Ferrante. “There are many easy steps and suggestions to take, to ensure the holidays are not only merry and bright, but also healthy and safe for the whole family.”

Between black Friday, small business Saturday, and cyber-Monday, packages will be arriving on doorsteps by the minute making package theft a prime crime of opportunity. The Hoboken Police Department takes this crime seriously, and officers have made numerous arrests related to package theft, but there are precautions residents can take to help reduce the likelihood that they fall victim to package thieves, including:  

  • Never buzz in a stranger; the person you think is delivering a package could in fact be a grinch, looking to steal what has already been dropped off.
  • Set up notifications to track your packages.
  • Wait for the garage door or gates to close behind you before you leave, to make sure no one sneaks in.
  • Ask neighbors to grab packages if you aren’t home when they are delivered.
  • When traveling, do not post about it on social media.
  • Place gifts and packages where they cannot be seen from the outside.
  • Report any stolen packages and/or holiday decorations.

The Hoboken Fire Department encourages residents to take simple steps to stay fire safe this holiday season. Real Christmas trees are beautiful, but they need to be kept hydrated to ensure they do not dry out and become a fire hazard. Other tips to stay fire safe this holiday season include:  

  • Inspect electric lights before using and make sure the wiring is not damaged or frayed.
  • Consider using battery operated candles even in a Channukah menorah or Kwanzaa kinara. If you do use real candles, never leave a room with them burning.  
  • Keep wrapping paper and other flammable materials away from the fireplace and space heaters.
  • Remember kitchen safety and do not leave the room when cooking on the stovetop.

EMS calls increase during the holiday season. The Hoboken EMS and Volunteer Ambulance Corps recommends keeping the ambulance away by keeping an eye out for food allergies and food poisoning. Other tips include:  

  • Refrigerate leftovers properly.  
  • Wash surfaces touched by raw poultry and meats.  
  • Be extra careful when decorating and have a spotter when on a ladder to avoid falls.  
  • Keep small toys and parts away from the youngest revelers to avoid choking hazards.
  • Go slow and pay attention when using knives in the kitchen.

The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) recommends turning off the water supply to your home if you are traveling for a long period of time. This can prevent extensive water damage and costly repairs. Make sure your home remains heated to prevent pipes from freezing.  

Get holiday health and safety tips throughout the season by following all public safety divisions on twitter at: @HobokenPD, @HobokenFD, @HobokenOEM, and @Hoboken_EMS.