Autumn Safety Tips

Here are some autumn safety tips for your family and home for a safe and enjoyable fall season.

Personal

  • Get a flu shot. Even though you could still get sick after getting the shot, the vaccine can provide protection against severe complications from the flu.
  • Wash your hands. One of the best ways to avoid getting sick is to wash them regularly and thoroughly. Use hot water, plenty of soap, and wash for at least 30 seconds.
  • If you’re a workaholic and get sick, avoid going to work and spreading it to your team. Your boss and coworkers will thank you because group productivity won’t be at risk. It’s easier to deal with one person away from the office than several, all because you coughed on them.
  • When you’re outside and it’s chilly, wear a jacket. It sounds pretty basic, but you’d be surprised how many people think they’re “tough guys” walking around in a t-shirt when it’s 40 degrees out.
  • Raking leaves? Prevent back injuries by standing upright while raking and pull from your arms and legs. Don’t overfill leaf bags, and when picking them up, bend at the knee and use your legs, not your back, for support.
  • If you use a leaf blower, shield yourself. Wear appropriate clothing, eye protection, and work boots to prevent injury.
  • Do not allow children to play in leaf piles near the curb. The piles can obstruct the view of drivers and put your child at risk for getting hit, especially since it gets dark outside earlier.

Home

  • Every month should be fire prevention month, but we tend to plug in a lot more devices in the fall and winter. It’s important to test all smoke alarms and have a family fire drill. Remember to replace used and expired fire extinguishers as well.
  • Turn your heater on before the temperatures really plummet so you can ensure it works. Contact a technician to inspect that it’s operating properly if you suspect it needs servicing.
  • Keep all flammable materials away from your furnace. This includes, clothing, paint products, toxic materials, cardboard and more.
  • If you use a portable or space heater, keep it away from clothing, bedding, drapery and furniture. Remember to shut them off if you leave the house and don’t leave them unattended if you have children or pets.
  • Do not use your space heater as a dryer for hats, gloves and other articles of clothing.
  • If you have a fireplace, inspect the chimney to confirm it is free of debris, creosote buildup, and is unobstructed so combustibles can vent. Make sure the bricks, mortar and liner are in good condition.
  • Do not warm your kitchen with a gas range or an open oven door, as this can lead to toxic air that is not safe to breathe.
  • Keep matches, lighters and candles out of the reach of children and pets.
  • When burning a candle, don’t leave them unattended, burning near other flammable items or on an unsteady surface.
  • Doing laundry? Avoid fires by cleaning filters after each load of wash and removing lint that collects in dryer vents.
  • Do a quick check for areas that may need repair before extreme weather hits: unsteady roof shingles, warped windowsills and concrete that might be sloping toward the house.
  • Check all outdoor lighting fixtures to make sure they are working properly. This can safeguard you against falls and neighborhood crime.
  • Clean your gutters by removing all debris and leaves.
  • Before burning leaves, check your city’s regulations, as it may be illegal where you live. If you burn them, do so away from the house and use proper containers.