Preparing for a Fun and Safe Fall Season
Home and Indoors
- We tend to plug in a lot more devices in the fall and winter increasing potential risk. Test all smoke alarms and have a family fire drill. Replace expired fire extinguishers and store them in handy places throughout the house.
- Turn your heat on before the temperatures really plummet and be sure it is working correctly. Call a technician if necessary for a professional evaluation.
- Do not store flammable items near your furnace. This includes clothes, paint products, toxic materials, cardboard etc.
- If you use a portable or space heater, allow at least three feet of empty space around the heater. Turn it off when you leave home and never leave it unattended if you have children or pets. Do not use your space heater as a dryer for hats, gloves or anything else.
- Have your chimneys inspected and cleaned.
- Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
- Candles create great ambiance but be sure to place them well out of reach of children and pets and always extinguish them when you retire for the evening.
Yard and Outdoors
- Do a quick check for areas that may need repair before extreme weather hits such as an unsteady roof, loose shingles, warped windowsills or concrete that might be sloping toward the house.
- Use extra caution when cleaning your gutters. Shoes may become wet causing you to slip while climbing a ladder. Make sure the ladder is at the correct angle and on solid ground.
- If you plan are burning leaves, call your local fired department to learn about outdoor burning regulations in your area. Never burn in windy conditions.
- When raking leaves, prevent back injury by standing upright while raking and pull using your arms and legs. Don’t overfill leaf bags. Pick them up by bending at the knee and use your legs, with spine straight, while lifting.
- If using a leaf blower, shield yourself by wearing appropriate clothing, boots and eye wear to prevent potential injury from debris.
- Never allow children to play in leaf piles in the street, near the curb or in a driveway.
Autumn Driving Precautions
- During the fall season, deer activity increases, so be alert. Drive slowly in wooded areas. It is best not to swerve around deer in the road. Instead, brake firmly with both hands on the wheel and come to a controlled stop.
- Wet leaves on the road can be very slippery, so use caution.
- Defrost or scrape your windshield before driving. Allow extra time in the morning or during your day for this important precaution.
- Frost and black ice can form on the road without being visible. Be extra cautious and drive slowly in wooded areas, bridges and overpasses, where ice can develop quickly.
- Keep a warm blanket and an emergency kit in your back seat. It should include a flashlight, first-aid kit, jumper cables, windshield washer fluid and basic tools.
- Remember to turn your lights on at dusk.
- Use extra caution while driving through leaves by the curb. Children playing may not be visible.
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