As days get shorter and nights get longer, our habits begin to change. Most of us typically spend more time hunkering down at home and less time frolicking at the beach. That usually means resuming favorite fall pastimes like huddling through football games on Friday nights and drinking hot cocoa on the sidelines of our little ones’ soccer games.
Arriving along with the season of autumn is a host of safety hazards we didn’t have to think about over the summer, creating the need for a little extra vigilance. As the temperatures drop and you settle in for the approaching cold spell, consider the following pointers for ensuring you and your family stay not just warm, but also safe!
Warm up carefully. All types of heating units can be dangerous. If you use a wood-burning fireplace, secure it with a screen to prevent sparks, and make sure the fire is completely out before you retire for the night. If you depend on your home’s furnace, make sure it has been inspected before you start to use it again. And, if you resort to space heaters, make sure they are in good working order (no frayed cords) and out of the reach of children.
Enjoy ambiance safely. If you use candles to add a warm glow to a cold night, make sure they are safely out of reach of children, can’t be overturned by pets, and are not close to flammable items such as blankets, paper or other furniture. If you’re known for falling asleep before heading to bed, extinguish all candles early in the night to avoid an unsafe, all-night burning situation.
Exercise yard safety. If you’re going to be pruning trees and shrubs, hanging Halloween decorations, raking leaves, or engaging in other yard activities, use caution: be careful on ladders, avoid power lines, and put away yard tools when you’re finished.
Be grounded. Make sure you make weather-friendly shoes and boots handy for the whole family. This is the season for slippery driveways and walkways. Without proper footwear, you can find yourself on your back or in the hospital.