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Fall Safety Tips

Tips to keep you and your family safe this fall

Summer is coming to an end, children are returning to school, and the harvest season has begun. Fall can be a great time of year for you and your family with opportunities for fall hikes, enjoying the color of the trees, and hay rides.

Here are some simple tips to keep you safe while enjoying the change to cooler weather

Fall leaves

The fall foliage can be a beautiful sight to experience. With the falling of those leaves comes some hazards that may put your or your family at risk. Some of those hazards include:

  • Leaf piles that can cause puncture wounds to eyes and soft tissue
  • Wet leaves on roadways and sidewalks that can cause slip and fall injuries
  • Leaves that appear to be small animals scattering cross the road causing accidents

School traffic

With the return of children to schools, there is a lot more traffic on the roads in the mornings and afternoons. Plan for longer trips to work and be mindful of your surroundings.

With cooler weather, be alert to foggy mornings and lower visibility. Flashing lights can be more difficult to see in dense fog.

Fire Safety

With the coming of fall comes cooler weather and the opportunity for back yard camp/bon fires. Follow these safety tips to protect your family and property from fire hazards:

Before holding your bon fire, check the weather. If winds are expected, reschedule. A single burning ember can start an unplanned fire.
Keep a close eye on the bonfire as well as children nearby.
Do not burn aerosols, canisters or anything containing foam or paint. These may explode and cause injury, cause the fire to spread, and emit toxic fumes.
Once the fire is done, turn over the charred materials with metal shovels and rakes, and douse the area with water.
Keep a source of water near, bucket, hose, etc., in the event the fire begins to spread.
Ensure wood you are burning is dry and seasoned. Do not use railroad ties or any coated/treated woods such as stained painted wood or furniture.
The pile should never be bigger than 5' x 5' to keep the flames containable.

Slip and fall risks

Falling leaves, cooler weather and more rain, increase your risk of slipping and falling on wet leaves and debris. Reduce your risk by wearing appropriate shoes, be aware of your surroundings and clean up loose debris and leaves from porches, side walks and parking areas.

Unexpected cold weather

With fall comes the colder weather. Here in Kentucky, it can be pleasant and warm during the day, and temperatures drop significantly after sunset. Be prepared by keeping an extra jacket, gloves, hat and or scarf with you in the event you are out and the temperature drops quickly. 

This is a great time to get your winter car emergency kit prepared and updated if needed. 

Flu Season

With the start of flu season in October alongside a global pandemic, it is important to protect your family from the risks of the flu virus. You can follow these simple steps to help protect you and your family.

  • Get vaccinated. Flu vaccines are the single most effective means we have to prevent flu and/or severe illness. With hospitals severely burdened from the pandemic, you want to avoid flu related hospitalizations.
  • Avoid close contact with persons who are sick and limit your contact with others if you are sick.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze then throw the tissue away.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs can easily enter and exit your body through these routes.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated.

Batteries

With the change of seasons, it is a great time to check and replace batteries, and update your emergency kits.

  • Smoke detectors: Replace batteries in smoke detectors to ensure proper working order There should be a smoke detector in each bedroom, as well as in living spaces according to regulation and recommendations. A good time to schedule your battery changes is with the change in time in the fall and spring. Always replace with new batteries.
  • Carbon monoxide detectors: If you use gas for heat, make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector and replace batteries with new ones.
  • Emergency kits: Fall is a good time to update the batteries in your emergency kits, including radios, flashlights, and other battery operated electronics.
  • Car batteries: With cooler weather comes more frequent car battery issues. Stop by your local mechanics office to have your battery tested to be sure you aren’t caught off guard and stranded. Replace if recommended.

Walking at night

Regardless of the season, if you are walking after dark, you should always wear reflective clothing. Reflective wear is available on shoes, pants, shirts, hats, etc. Protect yourself.