Plan for safety this holiday, winter season

  • Published
  • By Lia Scandola
  • 31 Fighter Wing Safety Office
As a time for celebration with loved ones, the holidays can be a joyous time of year.
With holiday stress adding to distractions, your celebration could become a recipe for disaster.

To keep your loved ones, and yourself, safe from holiday mishaps plan ahead.
Plan a healthy holiday party. Festive times are for giving and sharing, but sharing doesn't include food borne illnesses. To avoid sharing food borne illnesses, wash your hands often, keep utensils clean and cook foods thoroughly. Keep hot foods hot, and cold foods cold, and food should never sit at room temperature for more than two hours.

If alcohol is involved in your feast, plan for guests who may overindulge. Make sure guests have a safe way to get home and if for some reason their plan fails, prepare your home for additional overnight guests.

To stem having guests over-indulge in alcohol, keep non-alcoholic beverages available such as coffee and water.

Not everyone will be a host this holiday season; some will travel to their holiday celebration.

Those traveling should plan their trip accordingly. You should know where you are going, when you plan on returning and your route. It's also best to let someone know your travel plans and leave a phone number with them just in case.

Before hitting the road, you should inspect your vehicle. Your tires are very important, especially during the winter months when you could be driving on wet roads, black ice or snow. If you don't have winter tires, make sure you keep a set of snow chains in the trunk. Snow chains can be a necessity if you find yourself encountering snow. Chains are also an Italian traffic code requirement.

Before you leave, you should also check your car battery, windshield wipers, and all car fluids, including windshield wiper fluid. Also make sure you have all the required safety items including a traffic vest, triangle and, just in case your windshield gets icy, an ice scraper.

Above all your preparation, the one thing to remember as you operate your vehicle, is Piano! Don't be in a rush to get to where you need to go; slow down and be cautious so you won't get hurt on hazardous roads.

The holiday season is a time for family and friends to come together and rejoice. Taking unnecessary risks is just not worth jeopardizing your health, career or family. We all have a chance to make choices, make the right one, and choose to make safety a part of your holiday season.