Health & Safety

December 13, 2013

Keep holidays happy with safety in mind

Judy Fuqua, spouse of Rusty Fuqua, retired Navy Chief Petty Officer, looks at Christmas ornaments Monday at the Luke Air Force Base Exchange. The purchase of a fresh tree can help prevent house fires during the holidays.

For many, the holidays are made up of the smell of pine trees, warm eggnog, hot chocolate, Christmas lights, decorations, traveling long distances and being in the company of family and friends. It may be easy to forget how dangerous they can be if safety precautions aren’t taken.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, between 2006 and 2011 U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 230 home fires started by Christmas trees. Electrical problems accounted for one-third of them and about one of every 40 fires that began with a Christmas tree resulted in a death.

Buying a fresh Christmas tree is essential to preventing house fires.

“The best way to determine if the tree is fresh is by bending the needles, and if they are flexible, you know it’s fresh,” said Ben Bruce, 56th Fighter Wing ground safety manager. “You also want to ask whoever is working at the tree nursery to cut the base of the tree a few times so it will absorb water easily when it’s set in the stand.”

In addition, it is important to place the Christmas tree away from heat sources, electrical components, pets and main walkways, so it’s not a tripping hazard, said Staff Sgt. Jason DeJesus, 56th FW ground safety technician. When decorating the tree, place glass ornaments higher to keep children safe as well as using lights that are Underwriter Laboratory-approved.

“The biggest concern we have is when the tree gets dry a couple days after Christmas,” Bruce said. “Dry trees can become a fire hazard with all the lights and ornaments being on there as well, so remember to water your tree once a day.”

It is also important to take safety precautions when putting Christmas lights on the home’s exterior.

“Putting up lights outside is always a two-man job,” Bruce said. “Never do it alone. One person should hold the ladder while the other puts up the lights.”

Lights should be placed where they are not obstructing the path to enter or exit the house, Bruce said. Bulbs should be appropriately tacked, stapled, nailed or hooked being careful not to puncture through the wiring.

“I suggest purchasing items that are Underwriter Laboratory-approved because we know they’ve been tested for safety,” Bruce said. “This will minimize the possibility of electrical shorts and other dangers.”

If travelling to an area where there may be snow, it is best to drive for the conditions, Bruce said.

“One’s following distance should be increased from two to three seconds or at least 300 feet, in case of black ice or anything that may lessen the vehicle’s traction on the road,” he said.

DeJesus recommends packing an emergency kit for the drive consisting of survival essentials such as water, canned food, a first-aid kit, and blankets, and if driving in the snow, snow chains, cat litter or saw dust.

For those who plan to drink or attend a holiday party, Bruce advocates following the 0-0-1-3 rule which is zero underage drinking, zero driving under the influence, one drink per hour and three drinks maximum.

“I want all our Airmen, NCOs and officers to stay safe and not overindulge, but still enjoy the holiday,” Bruce said. “And if you know an Airman who may not have family in the area or anywhere to go on Christmas, I encourage all our senior NCOs and officers to open up their homes so no one has to experience the holiday blues.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Fly, fight & win! Luke plays unique role in AF mission

The mission of the Air Force is to fly, fight and win. The Air Force’s “motto,” as it was originally called, was adopted October 2010. Capt. Gregroy Bollrud of Hurlburt Field Florida, wrote, “It succinctly captures what our Air Force has been renowned for ever since its creation in 1947. Also, the specific choice of...
 
 

Wingman for life

“I look after my wingman. He looks after me. We work together. We fight together.” — Col. Gabby Gabriski, WWII ace Having a wingman has been an essential part of combat flying since the beginning. A wingman is able to watch your “6,” provide support and can offer a different perspective on a situation. These...
 

 
141119-F-HT977-165

Chiefs announced

Senior master sergeants selected for promotion to chief master sergeant at Luke Air Force Base posed in front of the static F-16 Fighting Falcon in front of the wing headquarters building. They are, from left, Kelbey Norton, 56...
 
 

Enlisted promotion system changes continue

WASHINGTON — This January, changes to the Weighted Airman Promotion System will continue with adjustments to the scoring model for promotions to technical sergeant and below, all designed to help ensure job performance is the most important factor when evaluating and identifying Airmen for promotion. The current WAPS enlisted performance report calculation model for technical...
 
 

News Briefs November 21, 2014

Kachina Gate closure The Kachina Gate will be closed to inbound traffic Dec. 8 through 19 for gas valve repair. Outbound traffic will not be affected. For more information, call 623-856-7051. Kids cooking class Kids Kamp Cooking Class is 4 to 6 p.m. for ages 8 to 12 and 7 to 9 p.m. for ages...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin