JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. --
As the fall season arrives, new hazards come with it. The change in weather can increase driving risks, health concerns like the flu, fireplace mishaps and hunting accidents.
The 50th Space Wing would like community members to remain safe this autumn to enjoy what the season offers:
Fall driving safety:
- Drive slowly and avoid hard braking through leaves, especially when wet. Wet leaves can be as slippery as ice.
- Fog on cold fall mornings can limit driving visibility and perception of distance. Do not use high beams in foggy conditions as it worsen visibility. Instead, stay alert and drive slow.
- Be sure to clear frost from windows to ensure visibility and response time on the road.
- Watch for wildlife, especially in the early morning and evening hours. Fall season brings an increase in deer activity because the season is their time for mating and migrating.
- Check tire pressure often. With rapidly changing temperatures, tire pressure often expands and contracts, leading to a loss of pressure.
- The Center for Disease Control recommends anyone age six months and older to get a yearly flu vaccine to decrease the chances of contracting the virus.
- Vaccination of high-risk individuals is important to decrease chances of severe flu-illness risks.
- Young children, pregnant women, people age 65 years and older and those with certain chronic health conditions are at a higher risk of serious flu complications.
- To limit the spread of germs, be sure to wash hands with soap and water. Cover nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.
Fireplace and furnace safety:
- All chimneys should be inspected and cleaned by a professional at least once a year. Cracks or damages should be repaired by a professional mason.
- Clear away any tree limbs encroaching on the chimney.
- The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency suggests checking furnaces before the cold weather arrives. Replacing the air filter monthly and upgrading to a pleated filter, HEPA filter or electrostatic filter will increase energy efficiency and allow warm air to flow unimpeded.
- Clean air vents and ducts and keep the areas free of clutter.
Smoke and carbon monoxide detector safety:
- According to the National Fire Protection Association, three out of every fire home-fire deaths result from homes without smoke alarms.
- Smoke alarms and carbon-monoxide detectors should be tested monthly and batteries should be replaced once a year.
- Smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors can be interconnected wirelessly to sound off all together.
- Hunting season is not the only time to practice firearm safety; it should be practiced year-round.
- Keep firearms unloaded and stored in a locked box until use.
- Treat every firearm as if it is loaded, and always be sure of the target and what is beyond it.
- Never leave a firearm unattended in an unlocked car or around children.
For more information, contact the 50th SW Safety Office at 567-2847.