Safety office issues fall safety tips

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Thomas Northcutt
  • 81st Training wing Safety Office
The leaves are changing colors, the weather is cooling down and football season is in its prime -- it's finally fall. With the changing of the season, we need to take certain precautions to ensure we stay safe while doing the things we love. So let's look into fall and see what we can do to be safe. October is Fire Prevention Month, many hunters are gearing up for turkey and deer seasons, and Halloween will be here very soon.

Fall Fire Safety

As we enter into the fall months, we kick off with October being Fire Prevention Month. As the temperatures begin to cool down, there are some precautions you should take to ensure the safety of yourself and your family.

· Ensure all of your smoke alarms are in working condition.
· Be careful when using alternate heaters. Before using, make sure there is a three-foot clearance around the heater.
· Clean the vents in your dryer. This is another item that is often overlooked. It's good practice to clean the exhaust duct and check for lint buildup twice a year.
· Beware of decorations that can become fire hazards. Ensure combustible decorations are far enough from heat producing devices that they don't pose a threat. Also be careful of not blocking an exit path with large decorations.
· Finally make sure you have an escape plan. Have your family learn it, and conduct fire drills so everyone knows what to do in the event of a fire.

Hunting Safety

If you're anything like me, you've been looking forward to this time of year for quite some time. We are entering into turkey and deer hunting season. With the season comes safety precautions with which we must be proactive.

· Wear Florescent Orange when required. Every year we hear of reports of fellow hunters being mistaken for deer and being shot all because they failed to wear the proper colors.
· Wear a harness if hunting in tree stands.
· Treat every firearm as if it is loaded.
· Never climb a tree stand or fence with a loaded weapon.
· Be certain of your target and what's around it.

Halloween Safety

As a little kid, Halloween was my favorite holiday of the year. It meant dressing up and being someone/something else for a day. It meant fun parties and games at school. Most of all, it meant going from house to house collecting a stash of candy that would last for the next few weeks or months. I still remember the three principle rules my mother would tell me before going out for my trick-or-treat adventures. They were: never enter a stranger's house, always watch where you are going and never walk into the street alone. These tips still ring true today. However there are still many other precautions to take for your trick-or-treaters.

Use the SAFE acronym as a checklist for your little trick-or-treaters:

· Swords, knives and similar costume accessories should be short, soft and flexible.
· Avoid trick-or-treating alone.
· Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.
· Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.
· Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them.

Halloween Drunk Driving

We are all aware that Halloween fun isn't just for the kids. Many of us will be attending Halloween festivities to let loose a bit. While there are many options to consider such as what to be, where to go and how late to stay out, drunk driving is something that should never be considered an option -- just don't do it. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 41 percent of all highway fatalities throughout the nation during the Halloween period in 2010 (6 p.m. Oct. 29 to 5:59 a.m. Nov. 1) involved a driver or a motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 grams per deciliter or higher.

To keep safe this Halloween, the 81st Training Wing Safety Office staff recommend you follow these simple tips:
· Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.
· Before drinking, designate a sober driver and all others leave their car keys at home.
· If you're impaired and your plan falls through, take a taxi, call a sober friend or family member or use public transportation to get home safely.
· If all else fails, call Airmen Against Drunk Driving at 228-377-SAVE (7283).
· If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact your local law enforcement.

Whatever your favorite activity may be this fall, please take the time to consider any and all safety precautions that may apply. The health and wellness of your family and yourself are the 81st Training Wing Safety Office's top priorities. So take this time to be safe, enjoy yourself and have a happy Halloween.