Hazards of fall season

  • Published
  • By Bob Todd
  • 66th Air Base Group Safety Office
With the fall season upon us, Airmen face several hazards that are unique to the season. Listed are many common issues and suggestions for how to prepare for them.

Fires can start in several places during the fall. Be careful while burning leaves outside. Never burn in windy conditions and always contact your local fire department prior to outdoor burning. Also, make sure your home's heating unit, fireplace or wood-burning stove are working properly. A chimney sweep is cheap insurance to ensure a good draft up the flue and to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

For the most part, we're now driving to work in the dark and we'll be driving home in the dark. When daylight hours become shorter, drivers should pay attention to children playing outside when it's dark. With wet leaves on the road, skidding accidents become more common. Give yourself a little extra stopping distance. This is also the season of increased deer activity. Be alert for deer and, yes, even moose crossing the road during hours of darkness.

Because it is getting dark earlier, carry a flashlight and wear bright colored or reflective clothing while out walking. Airmen should also be careful while walking through leaves, especially when they are wet. Wet leaves are a major cause of slips and falls. As it gets later in the season, make sure your walkway is clear of snow and ice.

In order to be most comfortable during an inconvenience such as a power outage, homeowners should have a few flashlights and an ample supply of batteries. Candles are handy in an emergency, but they require tending to and should only be used when flashlights are not available. Matches and nonperishable food items are essential. In the event of a power outage, portable or stand-by generators are handy. Make certain they are properly located and in a well-ventilated area to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Make certain a generator is properly wired into the home. Do not back-feed generators through wall outlets.

For traveling, you should store a blanket, an extra set of warm clothes, and an emergency kit in your car. The kit should consist of a reflective alert triangle, flashlight, batteries, a first aid kit and non-perishable food items.

Fall is a wonderful time of year when Mother Nature displays all her beauty in vivid color. Taking the time to be safe will allow you the time to enjoy it. Be safe, and enjoy the fall season!

For further information on fall safety, contact the Safety Office at 781-225-5584.