The end of the year marks all types of festivities, from the gift giving and religious holidays to the New Year’s celebrations. The end of one year marks the beginning of another. Many people take time to consider the events that have happened, and think about things that are yet to be. One tradition is the New Year’s resolution. People either select goals to accomplish, or bad habits to give up in the coming year.

Another tradition is the singing of Auld Lang Syne. Although those words as written may not be all that familiar to many people, the first verse is guaranteed to spark recognition. As adapted from a poem by Rabbie Burns, the first verse is “Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And auld lang syne?”

Auld lang syne translates roughly as “times gone by”. The song reminds us of the importance of the good old days, and the not so good old days. As we wrap up the year 2009 in fun and festivities, let’s take a look at some of our times gone by from this year, and resolve to prevent accidents in 2010.

In the business world, this is called being proactive. Your fire department works daily at being proactive at all levels in the community-whether it’s child safety seat installations, condominium fire safety talks, or having our Fire Inspector check businesses for code compliance. As the New Year approaches, let’s take a moment to resolve to be proactive as individuals, for the sake of our families and us. When you’re in a building, take a moment to find a second exit in the event of a problem-include your workplace here. Check your smoke detectors one more time; watch traffic a little more closely at intersections. If you see someone doing something they shouldn’t, whether it’s under-aged drinking or playing with lighters…make the call. Anonymously or not, a quiet word to the right person can stop an accident before it happens.

We tend to recall our old times when seeing others do things. This world is not the one that we enjoyed when we were younger, however. Our having avoided an accident is no indication that someone else will. So I ask all of you to make a New Year’s resolution for fire and life safety, so we can all sit back one day and talk of auld lang syne!