|SOME HOLIDAY DECORATING ADVICE
FROM THE EXPERTS
The West Chester Fire Department offers advice for holiday decorating. An estimated 250 home fires nationwide involving Christmas trees and another 170 home fires involving holiday lights and other decorative lighting occur each year. Together, these fires resulted in 21 deaths and 43 injuries.
Most of these tragedies can be prevented by following a few safety guidelines and being prepared. Smoke detectors should be checked often to ensure they are operable. Make a family emergency plan and practice it until everyone knows exactly what to do. During the holidays, make sure the decorations do not block entrance and exit routes from the home or business.
Christmas Trees: If a natural tree is used in decorating, the most important advice of all is – “keep the tree watered.” Christmas trees account for hundreds of fires each year typically set off by shorts in electrical lights or open flames from candles, lighters or matches. Well-watered trees are not a problem, but a dry and neglected tree can be.
Needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull back from the branches, and the needles should not break if the tree has been freshly cut. The trunk should be sticky to the touch. Old trees can be identified by bouncing the tree trunk on the ground. If many needles fall off, the tree has been cut too long, has probably dried out, and could be a fire hazard.
Do not place a natural tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks. Be careful not to drop or flick cigarette ashes near a tree. Do not put a live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.
When disposing of a natural tree, never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood-burning stove. When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly. West Chester accepts Christmas trees for recycling through the end of January. Locations will be announced at www.WestChesterOH.org.
Holiday Lights: Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up. Use only lighting listed by an approved testing laboratory. Do not leave holiday lights on unattended!
Do not link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it is safe. Connect strings of lights to a power strip before plugging the power strip into the outlet. Make sure to periodically check the wires – they should not be warm to the touch.
Holiday Decorations: All decorations should be nonflammable or flame-retardant and placed away from heat vents. If using a metallic or artificial tree, make sure it is flame retardant.
Never Put Wrapping Paper in the Fireplace: Wrapping paper in the fireplace can result in a very large fire, throwing off dangerous sparks and embers that may result in a chimney fire.
Candle Care: When using candles as part of your holiday decorations, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked down. Never leave the house with candles burning.
HOLIDAY SHOPPING SAFETY TIPS
As the holiday season approaches, we begin preparing for our family gatherings, festivities and holiday shopping. One thing that is far from our minds is the person who lingers in the parking lot waiting for us to go into the next store giving them time to break into our car and steal our newly purchased gifts. In order to keep our holiday’s holly and jolly, the West Chester Police Department asks you to please keep these safety tips in mind.
1) Don't leave anything of value visible in the car. Put shopping bags in the trunk if going from one store to another. If the vehicle doesn’t have a trunk, bring a dark colored blanket and lay it over the bags in the back. With the tinted windows, this makes it a little harder to see items.
2) Keep your purse attached to you. Don't put purses in the shopping cart or set it down somewhere. When taking a break to go grab a bite to eat, don't put your purse on the back of the chair. Keep it on your lap or hook it over your knee. Thieves are stealthy. They can steal items from the purse on the back of a chair without anyone knowing it!
3) Don’t leave purchased items in a vehicle once holiday shopping is complete. Even when parked in the driveway or the garage, thieves will break into cars and steal holiday gifts. They will even enter garages and steal items from your vehicle when left attended for just a few minutes.
By taking a little extra time to follow a few safety tips, the holidays will most certainly be happy.
For more information on holiday safety, please contact West Chester Police Public Affairs Officer Michelle Berling by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WEST CHESTER COMMUNITY SERVICES DEPARTMENT IS PREPARED
FOR SNOW REMOVAL
The West Chester Roads Division is prepared to clear roads for the travelling public from first snowfall to last. Salt bins are filled, trucks have been maintenanced, and road crews are prepared with specific snow routes.
West Chester’s salt bins are filled to the brim; much of the material is remaining after last year’s less-than-impressive snow season. In addition to the salt in the bins, West Chester has additional salt on order and ready for delivery if needed. The West Chester road crews are responsible for approximately 230 miles of roadway and more than 600 cul-de-sacs. Additional road mileage within the Township is cleared by Butler County and The Ohio Department of Transportation.
Road clearing is prioritized based upon the degree to which the roads are travelled. The most heavily travelled roads, such as LeSourdesville-West Chester, Cox Road south of Tylersville, Dimmick Road, Beckett Ridge Boulevard and other heavily trekked roads are the first to be cleared. Collector streets such as Eagle Ridge, Smith, Barret, Kennesaw and Fountains Boulevard are the next to be cleared. Neighborhood streets and cul-de-sacs are cleared last and cul-de-sacs are typically cleared by sub-contractors and Township personnel in smaller trucks.
West Chester is divided into snow routes with one truck assigned to each route. Salting one route takes 3 to 4 hours and plowing one route takes approximately 6 to 7 hours. West Chester roads are pre-treated with brine when weather reports indicate snow is coming. The brine helps melt the initial snowfall and provides additional time for the plows to get out on the street.
Township road crews work around the clock when needed and can be called in on weekends to manage snow removal and make roadways safe. Snowfalls over multiple days may require additional on-call plow operators to supplement West Chester’s professional crews. The on-call operators are all trained and have Commercial Driver’s Licenses. Many of them are also school bus drivers.
For more information on West Chester snow removal efforts, visit www.WestChesterOH.org/Snow Removal.cfm. Concerns about snow removal during a snow event can be reported using Action Line, found at www.WestChesterOH.org. As the first snow of the year occurs, keep in mind that West Chester Township will be working around the clock to provide safe roads for the community and will do everything possible to make sure all roadways are cleared.
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December Calendar of Events & Meetings
A PIONEER CHRISTMAS CELEBRATED AT THE “CABIN IN THE CLEARING”
Take a step back in time to experience the traditional ways of a pioneer Christmas. This historical holiday favorite will be hosted by West Chester Township from 1 until 4 p.m., Sunday, December 15th at the “Cabin in the Clearing” located in Keehner Park.
Santa will be on site to visit with the children while all are invited to sample some traditional pioneer fare featuring wild game. Bring a camera along to take pictures as the family gets a feel for what the holidays would have been like in a one-room cabin in the woods.
SHOP LOCAL FOR UNIQUE HOLIDAY GIFTS AT THE WINTER FARMERS' MARKET
West Chester is home to nearly 3,000 businesses, many of them offering unique shopping opportunities this holiday season. For a real touch of homemade and homegrown, shoppers may even consider a basket of fresh produce or homemade jams, bread, or soaps as gifts for families and friends.
The West Chester Winter Farmers' Market will be open once more this holiday season, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on December 21st at the Muhlhauser Barn in Beckett Park, directly off of Beckett Road near the Union Centre and Beckett Road intersection.
The West Chester Winter Farmers' Market will also be open from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on the following dates: January 18, February 15, and March 15. Take advantage of these dates to come visit the Muhlhauser Barn; learn more about the historic facility while supporting local producers.
For more information about the West Chester Farmers' Market presented by First Financial Bank, please visit www.WestChestersFarmersMarket.com.
WEST CHESTER SEEKS A QUALIFIED CANDIDATE TO MANAGE, OPERATE FARMERS' MARKET
West Chester Township is seeking a qualified entity to program, manage and operate the West Chester Farmers' Market presented by First Financial Bank on The Square @ Union Centre. The markets are offered weekly on Saturdays from May through October and monthly from November through April.
The responsibilities include coordinating authentication of individual vendors, establishing guidelines to meet state requirements for growers and cottage industries with regard to weight and measures. As well as operational details such as weekly set-up and tear-down, vendor management, and communication among all involved parties.
The weekly Farmers' Market on The Square and the monthly winter Farmers' Market have become popular community gatherings and create opportunities for local cottage industry and agribusiness to engage in commerce and interact with the general public.
The Market not only features vendors, but also offers small performances by local musicians and artists, informational displays and more.
A qualified candidate may be either 501 (c) 3 or LLC with a general liability insurance policy or policies in standard form issued by reliable companies licensed to sell insurance in the State of Ohio.
Deadline for submittal is December 13th at 4:00 p.m. Detailed Request for Qualifications.