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Fall back into safe habits this autumn

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --

.— Pumpkin spice lattes. Corn mazes. Cooler weather. There are many reasons to fall in love with autumn, and just like every other season, there are plenty of ways to prepare and plan in order to stay safe and comfortable this season.

As school begins to take full effect, it’s important that drivers understand where to practice especially slow driving. School zones are marked by flashing yellow lights and are accompanied by slower speed limits during school hours.

These school zones are not the only place children will be present during the school day. Always be on the lookout for bus stops and large groups of kids around these areas. Also, be prepared to make sudden stops. Especially in inclement weather, hitting the brakes may not immediately stop your car.

It’s not just your driving skills that could keep you and others safe. According to Maj. Steven Shultz, 27th Special Operations Wing Chief of Safety, your vehicle should be prepared for inclement weather and other extreme situations.

“People should have a small emergency kit inside their car,” Shultz said. “This should include jumper cables, road flares, emergency blankets, water and snacks, charged USB cell phone charger, an ice or snow remover, a first aid kit and more.”

Just like vehicles, homes need to be regularly maintained as the weather changes in order to fully function, as well as cut costs. Servicing the furnace and ensuring there aren’t exposed uninsulated water pipes or hoses with water in them are just a few examples.

During the fall, homes need to be maintained and inspected. Checking water heaters for mineral deposits built up inside will prevent hot water from going out during the colder times of the season. Chimneys and fireplaces also need to be checked for any blockage that could become hazardous. Finally, check doors and windows to make sure that their seals are effectively keeping outside weather from entering the home.

When you’re leaving home, always dress appropriately and stay up-to-date on weather forecasts. The 27 SOW safety office suggests to always be prepared for the worst weather during these unpredictable months of the year, regardless of where you are or what you’re doing.

 “The bottom line for this would be to think about what you’re going to do, have the right gear for it and warm up before doing it,” Shultz explained.

For more information and guidance on fall safety, contact your unit safety representative or the wing safety office at 575-784-4472.