UT Police offer holiday safety tips

The UT Health San Antonio Police Department urges UT Health faculty, employees, students and visitors to keep safety a top priority both on and off the job during the holidays. The busy holiday season is full of “to-do” lists for both home and work. Hazardous travel, crowded stores, dangerous home décor and holiday parties all come with heightened stress, which can lead to accidents and injuries.

Here are some suggestions on how to enjoy a safe and happy holiday.

Christmas tree

  • Keep tree away from heat sources (vents, fireplace)
  • Place tree in a low traffic area
  • Dispose of tree outside soon after the holiday
  • Wash and store artificial trees in plastic bags
  • Carefully choose a tree that is not too dry – one without loose needles. Check a branch near the base
  • Bend to make sure they do not break
  • Preserve tree freshness by cutting a one- or two-inch diagonal slice off the bottom
  • Place tree in a sturdy stand and check water level daily


  • Examine holiday lights before hanging them. Replace any missing bulbs or broken parts Check lights by setting them on a nonflammable surface and plugging them in for 10-15 minutes. Look for signs of melting or smoking
  • Keep lights away from curtains or flammable materials
  • Make sure cords and plugs do not come in contact with water
  • To prevent overheating, pinching and fraying, do not run cords under carpet, rugs, or behind furniture
  • Never connect more than three sets of lights to an extension cord
  • Unplug all lights before you leave the house or office or go to bed

 Workplace decorations

  • Keep garlands and fragile glass ornaments out of reach of children
  • Check older ornaments to ensure they are free of toxic materials such as lead paint

 Holiday food

  • Keep hands and work areas clean and free of contaminants
  • Keep hot foods hot and cool foods cool
  • Cook food thoroughly and store properly to avoid food poisoning


  • Always use a fire screen.
  • Do not burn trash in fireplace
  • Do not wear loose clothing or synthetic materials that are prone to melting when tending a fire
  • Keep flue open until all embers have burned out
  • Dispose of ashes in a metal container
  • Make sure fire is out before leaving or going to bed
  • Keep candles away from curtains and out of reach of children
  • Never place lit candles on or near a Christmas tree
  • Check smoke detectors once a month

Holiday traveling

  • Winterize your vehicle
  • Carry a winter survival kit that includes warm gear, nonperishable foods and first aid items

UT Health San Antonio Police Department

7703 Floyd Curl Drive

San Antonio, TX 78229


Campus phone 911

Cell phone 210-567-8911


Campus Phone 72800, option 3

Cell Phone 210-567-2800, option 3


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