The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, December 15, 1986, Image 5

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

Monday, December 15, 1986/The Battalion/Page 5 Officials: Christmas trees need extra care Decorations double as fire hazards By Elaine Gruy Reporter “Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa la la la la ... . ” But be careful with that holly around open flame or intense heat this Christmas, local fire department | officials warn. The risk of fire is greater during the Christmas holidays, they say, be- I cause people get carried away and hang too many lights as decoration, buy their Christmas trees too early and don’t pay attention to where | Christmas packages are placed. People want to get into the I Christmas spirit, College Station Fire Marshall Harry Davis says, but they need to slow clown and watch what [they’re doing. Although potential risk exists, [there is no evidence locally that [more fires occur during the holi- [days, Davis says. He adds, however, that there probably are more fires nationwide. “You can’t expect an entire nation of people who like to fix up fancy decorations to be entirely safe,” Da vis says. However, the statistics citing holi day fires can’t be blamed solely on Christmas, Bryan Fire Inspector JamesJones says. “The cold weather always seems to bring in more calls,” Jones says. “It’s the first time a lot of people start firing up their fireplaces. We get several calls each year for fires that start in people’s chimneys.” Davis, along with other fire de partment employees, says he recalls only one or two College Station fires that started specifically because of a dry Christmas tree or bad wiring. Clyde Gowen, Bryan Fire Depart ment deputy chief, says he can re member only one time when Bryan “You can’t expect an en tire nation of people who like to fix up fancy deco rations to be entirely sa fe.” — College Station Fire Marshall Harry Davis firefighters were called to put out a fire started by a tree. “It was the only call for a tree fire I ever went on,” he says, “but we put it out fairly quick. It really teaches peo ple to watch how many lights they put on their tree.” The wiring that strings lights to gether also should be checked be fore they are used, Gowen warns, because frayed wiring can be dan gerous. And, he says, although they look nice, lighted candles should never be used on trees. Jones says people who plan to use outside lighting as part of their Christmas decorations should make sure the wiring is weatherproof. “Nasty things could happen when rain or snow touch a wire that is meant to be indoors,” Jones says. Artificial trees, Gowen says, are the safest alternative to live trees. Live trees are cut early, he says, and people often don’t think to keep the tree watered. “Most of your holiday hazards stem from live trees,” Gowen says. “When you buy a tree that’s been sit ting in a lot since September, it’s not going to be real fresh.” He recommends the bottom of a live tree be cut so that fresh wood can soak up water. Another bit of advice Jones gives is to keep packages away from heat. When stringing lights on trees, peo ple should stop before they reach the lower branches. If the lights even come close to touching packages, Jones says, a problem could occur. Davis says that in an effort to keep members of the community safety conscious, the College Station Fire Department sends out a newsletter focusing on Christmas hazards dur ing December. The fire department also sponsors a program on KAMU- TV that reminds the community of potential hazards with hints on how to keep Christmas trees out of dan ger. “Maybe College Station citizens are just more conscientious than are other communities,” Davis says. “W- hatever the case, we just want to keep them that way.” Jones says that although the Bryan Fire Department has no simi lar program now, it is planning a year-round program which will pro mote fire safety. Officer shot by comrade after entering drug bust setup DQf 90 ipporiunin ;l outside oH ng envin nobody li hi,” he said '] lave is yoi vs going ii n from I to seeth; i based t of theeij of Colleg hallenge,’ ou don't I to see wtaj College I thereto | ■ to seejuill* thought fa DALLAS (AP) — An undercover po liceman who was critically wounded by an- pther officer during a drug bust may have en tered the apartment thinking a fellow xdiceman was in trouble, authorities said. Ronald Cox, 46, who underwent eight liours of surgery for gunshot wounds, was listed in critical condition Sunday at Parkland Memorial Hospital, said a hospital spokeswo man who asked not to be identified. Cox wasn’t supposed to be inside the east Dallas apartment, Dallas homicide investiga tor Lt. A.L. McAllister said. Dallas officer Darren Coleman found Cox inside pointing a pistol at someone lying on the floor in the living room and ordered Cox several times to drop his gun, Addison police chief Rick Sullivan said. Cox was wearing casual clothes, and appar ently didn’t identify himself as a police offi cer. When Cox turned toward Coleman while still holding the pistol, Coleman shot him four times, investigators said. Cox was not wearing a bulletproof vest, a violation of regulations, Sullivan said. Cox may have entered at that time, think ing the officer was in trouble, McAllister said. Red tide, drought hurt oyster crop SEABROOK (AP) — Oyster lovers will find their cherished delicacies difficult to get this holi day season because of a toxic red tide and bad weather, said a Texas seafood dealer. Emery Waite, a Galveston Bay seafood dealer with 150 oyster boats under contract, said a lengthy drought last summer that hit an area from Louisiana to Vir ginia is one factor contributing to cuts in the oyster crop this year. In addition, many prime oyster bays along the Texas Gulf Coast have been closed to commercial harvests because of heavy rainfall and red tide, which consists of po tentially toxic one-celled orga nisms that concentrate in shellf ish. Waite and owners of other boats along the Gulf Coast and Atlantic Seaboard say the short ages mean income losses for them. But the extent of the de cline is unknown because the 1986-87 oyster harvest is still un der way. The closing of Texas oyster beds is likely to affect the East Coast as well, Waite said. ‘A lot of people who think they are eating Chesapeake Bay oysters are actually eating Texas oysters,” he said. IW-abilities! UNLIMITED ^737 f 20th St Bryan T« 268-400I 25‘OFF Mipimum $lOO purchase Limit One coupon per visit No* vo*a ary o»her ntter Cara encwm 12/3D86 I I I I I 1 T NEED MONEY??? Sell your BOOKS at University Boqk Stores Northgate & Culpepper Plaza n has a ut. , me off H stai employ | i among il*/ applied iseworle^i worker Jow " e2rtS<l miless, ngtogd^ SCHULMAN THEATRES 2.50 ADMISSION 1. Any Show Before 3 PM • 2. Tuesday - All Seats 3. Mon-Wed - Local Students With Current ID’s. 4. Thurs. - KORA “Over 30 Nlte” •DENOTES DOLBY STEREO WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME TO CALL YOUR BOYFRIEND? a) When the president of Phi Gamma Delta asks you to Saturday night’s Fiji Formal. b) After raquetball class, to tell him that the instructor with the Australian accent and those blue eyes did wonders for your serve. V c) When you just feel like telling him you miss him after all. Maybe you shouldn't tell him everything that's going on. But if you still care about him, why not call and whisper some sweet things he'll never forget? Like why you call using AT&T Long Distance Service, and why you trust AT&T's high quality service and exceptional value. When you tell him that AT&T gives you immedi ate credit if you dial a wrong number, he won’t be able to get you out of his mind. And telling him you can count on AT&T for clear long distance connections will drive him crazy. All of which will proba bly inspire him to drive out for the weekend, giving you an excuse to blow off that silly frat / party after all. AT&T The right choice