Tips to Ring In the Year 2020 Safely!

Columbia Richland firefighters want to STRONGLY encourage area residents to practice safety and due caution while welcoming a NEW decade to the Central Midlands. For the safety of you, your loved ones and others please adhere to the following guidelines during the New Year Holiday!



  • Plan your safe ride home before you start the party, choose a non-drinking friend as a designated driver.
  • If someone you know has been drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel. Take their keys and help them arrange a sober ride home. 
  • If you drink, do not drive for any reason. Call a taxi, a ride-hailing service, or a sober friend. 
  • If you’re hosting a party where alcohol will be served, make sure all guests leave with a sober driver.
  • Always wear your seat belt — it’s your best defense against impaired drivers.
  • If you see an impaired driver on the road, dial *HP to report it. Your actions could help save someone’s life!       



  • When Using Ride-Share Services & Taxis:
    • Confirm your ride by checking the license plate.

      • Before getting into a ride-hailing vehicle, make sure the car and license plate match what you booked through the app. Many of these cars can look alike. You should also look at the driver and ask them their name, to confirm it matches the name and photo in the app.
    • Find a safe spot to be picked up.

      • Pickup locations for ride-hailing services aren’t usually centralized. You should pick a location where you can wait inside until the driver arrives. If that’s not possible, choose an area to wait that’s away from the roadway, well lit, and where your driver can safely stop. Request that your driver drop you off in a safe spot too.
      • Don’t step into the road to flag down a ride. Go to a taxi stand, call for a cab or request someone call a ride for you. It’s never a good idea to accept a ride from a stranger who may stop after seeing you looking for a ride.
    • Wear a seat belt.

      • Even if it’s a quick ride and you’re in the back seat, you should always buckle up, and make sure that your driver wears their seat belt, too.
  • Don’t Ride a Bike or Scooter After Drinking Alcohol or Using Drugs.

  • Avoid Walking Home If You’ve Been Drinking or Using Drugs. 
  • Be Vigilant if Using Public Transportation
    • be aware of your surroundings, especially if you’re traveling alone
    • choose a seat near the driver or operator
    • don’t sleep on a train or bus
    • look to see if there is an emergency call button should you need it


  • Be safe. If you want to see fireworks, go to a public show put on by experts.
  • Keep a close eye on children at events where fireworks are used.
  • Always read and follow directions on each firework.
  • Only use fireworks outdoors, away from homes, dry grass, and trees.
  • Keep a bucket of water, a fire extinguisher or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Always have an adult present when shooting fireworks.
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.
  • Never re-ignite malfunctioning fireworks.
  • Wear protective eye glasses and gloves.
  • Never hold a lit firework item in your hand.
  • Adults should always handle fireworks and not children.

The entire staff at Columbia Richland Fire wishes everyone a happy and safe new year!