Fall Safety Tips


School is back in full swing which means more traffic on the roads in the morning and late afternoon. Daylight saving time ends in November so it will get dark earlier. Depth perception, color recognition and peripheral vision can be compromised in the dark.

Autumn leaves can pose a hazard – leaves can be very slippery when they get wet which is a trigger for slips and falls. Keep your sidewalks and driveways clear of leaves.

Get your fire safety up to speed. Make sure your heating systems are serviced regularly and working well. This is a good time to have your fireplace inspected as well.

Use caution with space heaters as the temperature drops.  Keep 3 feet of empty space around space heaters.

Many people break out candles in the fall. Be to extinguish candles before you leave a room (when you go out – blow out) and never leave an open flame unattended. Watch where you place candles as low coffee tables can be unsafe when you have small children and pets.

When you change the clock, change your smoke alarm batteries.  This is a good time to look at the underside of the alarm to look for the manufacturer date.  If it is more than 10 years old, replace the entire alarm.  The effectiveness of the sensors that sense smoke and flames will start to diminish after 10 years.

Fall is a good time for yard clean up. Ensure that your tools are in good working order.

There is no time like the changing of the season to clean up and clear out unnecessary clutter in your garage which tends to be one of those places we accumulate a lot of stuff! Stacks of old magazines and newspapers are fire hazards. Recycle what you can and store any others in a plastic or metal storage bin (not a cardboard box) away from heaters or heat producing appliances. Leftover chemicals also tend to pile up in the garage.  Find out the proper way to dispose of hazardous chemicals like pesticides, fuels and cleaning supplies. Many times there is information on the container itself.

Happy fall and enjoy this time of year.

Cinda Seamon

Fire & Life Safety Educator, Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue