JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON —
The holiday season is here and with it come additional hazards. This is the time to be extra aware of surroundings while driving, paying attention while walking, brushing up on cooking safety when preparing holiday meals, and being aware of candle placement.
For members of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and residents of Alaska, learning how to safely drive in winter conditions is a must. Roads become icy and can send vehicles sprawling out of control.
“Last year we had a lot of incidents involving people backing up vehicles without knowing what was behind them,” said Curtis Wolford, safety specialist with the 673d Air Base Wing. “You should always try and have a spotter guide you, or at least walk around your vehicle to know what hazards are near.”
There are also too many ‘peep-hole’ drivers, meaning they only clear off snow from a small portion of the front windshield, Curtis added. Every window needs to be cleared of snow and ice before traveling.
Walking becomes extra hazardous too. Slips, trips, and falling incidents sky-rocket during winter; pay attention to foot placement and look for icy areas while walking.
As if driving and walking weren’t enough to worry about, the turkey fryer is knocking, and it wants to burn the house down.
According to www.nfpa.org, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,760 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving in 2015. The National Fire Protection Association discourages the use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers that immerse the turkey into hot oil.
“If you’re going to use a turkey fryer, follow the manufacturer’s instructions,” Wolford said. “If you have never used a turkey fryer before, try and get with someone that has so they can mentor you on proper use.”
Additional safety information on the use of turkey fryers can be found on the NFPA website.
Following turkey fryers, candles are a big safety issue during the holiday season. Do not place candles in close proximity to flammable material.
“A lot of people like to put candles on window sills,” Wolford said. “They don’t realize how easily curtains and decorations can go up in flames.”
Knowing about potential hazards and how to react is everyone’s responsibility. Always call 911 if an emergency arises.
For questions and concerns pertaining to safety, call 552-6850.