2013-10-11 / Viewpoint

Fall safety: No time to get complacent

By David Pickerell
Installation Safety Office

Falls is here, and while summer is typically the most dangerous time of the year, the coming months pose unique hazards. Fall is the start of cold and flu season, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human service recommends everyone six months and older get vaccinated against the flu. It’s also the time when colds begin circulating through families, and individuals can follow these basic tips to help prevent a cold:

• Wash your hands

• Don’t cover your sneezes and coughs with your hands (use a tissue or the inside of your elbow)

• Don’t touch your face

• Do aerobic exercise regularly

• Eat your fruits and vegetables

• Don’t smoke

• Cut alcohol consumption

• Relax

Fall is a good time to put attention to the house. The furnace will be running and the windows will be closed, ensure to have a carbon monoxide detector near bedrooms. Have a qualified HVAC technician check the furnace to ensure it is operating correctly, and change the filters. Make sure the furnace chimney is not clogged, and have fireplaces inspected by a qualified chimney sweep. When using a space heater, make sure to follow the manufactures directions.

Clean up fallen leaves. Wet leaves can create slip and fall hazards for pedestrians. Have driveways and sidewalks clear of falling leaves. Homeowners should mulch leaves or dispose of them according to local ordinances. During clean-up, protect your hands by wearing gloves. Some people may not be used to the exertion of raking leaves, it’s important for people to pace themselves.

People should avoid overhead power lines when hanging decorations and observe basic ladder safety. Use all ladders as they are intended and ensure they are placed on a level, stable surface. Damaged ladders should be disposed of. As it becomes darker early in the day, have additional lighting available when needed. Dress appropriately and have warm clothing as the weather changes quickly during this time of the year.

Return to top