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NEWS | Nov. 14, 2012

Tis the Season, the Holiday Season!

By 628th Air Base Wing Safety Office

The official Air Force Holiday/Winter Safety Campaign runs from Nov. 16, 2012, to Jan. 2, 2013, focusing on travel and seasonal activities commonly associated with this time of year.

This year, the Air Force's theme is "SAFE-n-SOUND, All Year Round."

Are you ready? Fall has arrived marking the beginning of the holiday season. Holidays are a time for families and friends to get together, relax and enjoy each other's company. During the rush of the holiday season, safety often gets pushed aside. We need to remember safety is crucial during this time of the year, not only at work, but also during our off time. The 628th Air Base Wing Safety Office is here to remind you of a few things to keep in mind during the holidays.

Cooking. A lot of cooking takes place during the holiday season; there are many opportunities for burns and scalding. Be mindful of those around you. Keep pot handles turned away from the front of the stove and always keep the oven door closed. Be especially careful with deep fat fryers and related stands, as they are notoriously unstable and prone to grease fires and splatter should unthawed meat be used. They should be located on stable ground in an area outside of general walkways and not easily accessed by small children.

Decorations. Inspect all electric lights and decorations for damage or wear. Cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires and loose connections may pose a fire or shock hazard. Always unplug light strings before replacing bulbs or fuses. Be sure to check the rating on extension cords and do not plug in more than the recommended wattage. Use lights and decorations in accordance with manufacturer's instructions. Use step stools or ladders instead of furniture when hanging decorations indoors. If you're planning to decorate outdoors, make sure that you use lights and decorations rated for outdoor use. Putting indoor-only products outside in the weather can result in electric shock and fire hazards. If hanging lights outdoors, reduce the risk of electric shock by passing up metal ladders in favor of ladders made of non-conductive materials like wood or fiberglass-reinforced plastic.

Candles. Always blow out unattended candles and teach children to stay away from lit candles or fireplaces.

Travel Safety. Regardless of which means of transportation you choose, the holiday season sees a significant increase in all transportation modes and related mishaps. Vehicle mishaps are the number one killer of our military family. Below are a few things to keep in mind to makes sure you arrive at your destinations safely.

· Don't drink and drive, and don't let someone else drink and drive.
· Wear a seat belt every time you drive, whether you're traveling across town or across the United States, always buckle up.
· Besides the typical holiday gifts, be sure to have an emergency kit in the vehicle.
· Plan your trip ahead of time - whether you're using a GPS system or a traditional map, plan your travel route in advance and let friends and family know the route and your anticipated time of arrival.
· Before starting your trip, make sure your vehicle is tuned up and in good shape for travel.
· Be flexible with you travel plans. Take plenty of breaks and do not push yourself to meet an unrealistic schedule. Stay fresh and alert when driving. If you get tired, pull off the road into a rest area or business and get out of the car for some fresh air.
· Keep your speed down. Give yourself plenty of time and distance to react to traffic around you.