Fall safety tips

  • Published
  • By Anthony Wilson
  • 99th Air Base Wing Safety Office
With cooler temperatures quickly approaching, there are things we all need to do to prepare ourselves, our families and our homes for the fall season.

First of all, everyone should check and replace batteries in smoke detectors prior to turning on the heater, furnace, or using the fireplace for the first time of the season. In addition, it's a good idea to have a carbon monoxide detector installed in your home.

Before using the fireplace, ensure the dampers are open and keep protection screens closed to keep all sparks and hot ambers enclosed within the fireplace. Never use gasoline to start the fire or leave a burning fire unattended.

If using an electric space heater to heat your home, ensure it is equipped with automatic shut-off tip-over protection. Keep space heaters away from upholstered furniture, clothing, curtains or other materials that can easily catch fire.

To help save on energy costs as the temperature gets cooler, find and seal leaks that could be letting heat escape. Check around window and door frames, utility entrances and unfinished spaces in the home. Add caulk or weather stripping around the areas to seal them and help keep power bills manageable.

The change of seasons also brings daylight saving time. With the time change, comes later sunrises and earlier hours of darkness. During the morning while driving, the sun is likely to be in your eyes, so keep a pair of sun glasses in the vehicle. Just the opposite in the evenings, it's likely to already be dark when most leave work at the end of the duty day. Therefore at all times while driving, slow down, watch for children, pedestrians, cyclists, and most of all, avoid distracted driving. 

Some may decide to hang lights or decorations inside and outside their home in preparation for the upcoming holiday season. In doing so, make sure you only use Underwriters Laboratories, or UL, listed lights and electrical cords suitable for indoor or outdoor use as applicable. While placing decorations on the home make sure you use an appropriately sized ladder to reach without leaning or using the top rung of the ladder. Ensure the ladder is in good condition, stable and placed on a flat surface prior to and during use.

This is not an exhaustive list of safety precautions to take during the fall and winter; however, following these tips can help set you up for a safe season.