Soon the summer heat will make way for cool fall breezes. Autumn ushers in colorful foliage and cozy evenings, perfect for entertaining company or enjoying a good book. To ensure this fall is enjoyable, check out these ten safety tips.
- Prevent the flu. Fall marks the start of flu season, so take advantage of flu shots offered at Patient First and lessen the chance of missing time from the flu!
- Practice ladder safety. Whether using a ladder at work or cleaning gutters at home, choose the right ladder for the job and inspect the ladder before use. Always face the ladder, use both hands to climb and descend, and keep three limbs on the ladder at all times. Carry tools in a tool belt and plan ahead so you won’t need to reach too far to the sides or to the rear.
- Clean up fallen leaves. Leaf piles are fun to jump in, but they are also an ideal habitat for ticks. Wear long sleeves and pants when raking or handling leaves, and always check for ticks when returning indoors. Mulching or bagging leaves promptly can prevent ticks and also help keep mold growth down. Prevent slips and falls by clearing walkways of leaves, which can become slick after rain.
- Prepare vehicles for severe weather. Replace wiper blades, check tires and fluid levels, and restock your car’s emergency kit with water, snacks, a blanket, emergency flares or triangles, a first aid kit, and non-clumping cat litter for traction.
- Be alert to autumn road hazards. Rain, fog, deer, fallen leaves, and slow drivers admiring fall foliage are common hazards. With school back in session, be on the lookout for children and school buses.
- Make time for mental health. Seasonal changes can be difficult for many people. Be mindful of stress and signs of mental illness. If you or a co-worker need support, ask about resources offered through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
- Improve indoor air quality. Stay home if you are sick, follow the company’s smoking policy, and notify a manager if you suspect air quality issues at work. At home, air out your house by opening windows, use a HEPA filter, change the air filter on your HVAC system, and clean the air supply and return vents. Have your chimney inspected and cleaned to keep smoke out of the house and lessen the chance of a chimney fire.
- Inspect smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, and first aid kits. A small amount of effort now will ensure these are functional in the event of an emergency. Fall is traditionally the time for changing the batteries in smoke alarms; be sure to clean out any dust or spiderwebs when you change the battery too!
- Use caution with candles. Candlelight creates a cozy atmosphere, but it can also be a fire hazard. Keep lit candles away from pets and children. Be mindful of long hair and sleeves around open flames. Do not leave lit candles unattended and always extinguish before going to bed.
- Use space heaters responsibly. Always inspect cords for damage before use. Keep heaters at least three feet away from furniture, bedding, and curtains. Taller heaters may need to be further away from furniture and other objects. Don’t use a heater near paint, gas cans, or matches. Turn it off when leaving the room or going bed.
We are here when you need us! Patient First is able to evaluate and treat a wide range of illnesses and injuries. You can visit any Patient First center from 8am to 8pm, every day of the year – no appointment is needed.
ARTICLE BY MCKAY GORSE