SAFETY NOTES - Officials remind Families to stay safe during fall
Story by: Garrison Safety Office
Soon the air will turn cooler and leaves will drop from the trees at Fort Riley and the surrounding communities. It's important to keep a few important fall safety tips in mind.
With proper precautions and safety awareness, your Family can enjoy that crisp autumn weather, while avoiding some of the dangers that come with the season. Below are several seasonal safety tips to help keep you and your Family safe.
When the weather turns cold, most people spend more time inside their homes using fireplaces, furnaces and heaters to keep warm. There's nothing quite as cozy as a fire, but it presents some safety hazards.
• Service your furnace. Before the cold autumn and winter weather sets in, be sure to call your heating and cooling company to service your furnace. A specialist should inspect the furnace to make sure everything is in working order and there are no leaks. Fall also is a good time to change your furnace filter.
• Use fireplaces safely. Keep a fire in its proper place by using a fireplace screen to keep sparks from flying out of the fireplace. Never leave a burning fire unattended, and make sure a fire in a fireplace is completely out before going to bed. Propane fireplaces offer efficient warmth during the fall and winter but also can cause hazards that can be fatal. Carbon monoxide and gas leaks are possible if proper safety procedures are not followed.
• Exercise caution when using candles. Candles are a great way to give a room a warm glow, but they also can cause fires. According to the National Candle Association, almost 10,000 home fires start with improper candle use. Never leave candles burning if you go out or go to sleep, and keep your candles away from pets and children.
• Change smoke alarm batteries. Change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors when you turn back your clocks for Daylight Saving Time On Nov. 23. Make sure to check the alarms with the new batteries installed. Check and replace any home fire extinguishers that have expired.
FALL DRIVING SAFETY
There's nothing more beautiful than a fall drive, but this season brings some unique hazards for drivers. Being aware of these potential dangers can help keep you and your Family safe and prevent accidents.
• Be aware of poor visibility. Falling leaves, while beautiful, can obscure your vision, as can rain or fog. Shorter days are part of the fall season, making it more difficult to see children playing or people walking and riding bicycles. Be aware of limitations in your visibility and slow down if you can't see well. Use your dimmed headlights in bad weather with decreased visibility. If possible, try not to be on the roads when it is hard to see.
• Watch for children. Children love to play in piles of leaves, so use extra caution where leaves are piled at the curbside. The school buses also will be making their rounds now that school is back in session. In addition to educating children about back-to-school safety, it's important to stay vigilant as a driver.
• Slow down on wet pavement. In many areas of the country, rain is common during the autumn. If it's raining, keep a safe distance from the car in front of you. Wet roads make it more difficult to stop. When wet leaves are on roadways, they make the pavement slippery, and it can be difficult for drivers to get good traction.
• Be prepared for bright sunlight. When sunrise occurs later in the morning, it also can present challenges for drivers. Having a pair of sunglasses in the vehicle to wear when the sun is bright is a good strategy. If it becomes too difficult to see because of bright sunlight or glare, a good strategy is for the driver to pull over until he or she can see again.
If you would like more information on autumn safety, visit www.cdc.gov.