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News > Feature - 'Twas the night before Christmas, is all safe?
'Twas the night before Christmas, is all safe?

Posted 12/13/2012   Updated 12/13/2012 Email story   Print story


by Tech. Sgt. Michael Martin
325th Fighter Wing Ground Safety

12/13/2012 - TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The winter holiday season is fast approaching and to most families, this means fun-filled holiday parties, finding the biggest tree and maybe driving to grandmother's house.

All of these events have risks involved, but with a little planning and following some safety tips, this holiday can be a joyful success.

With holiday parties about to swing into full gear, be prepared to be a responsible host. Follow these tips to ensure the party is a hit and all guests make it safely home.
· Have a plan to prevent drinking and driving.
· Ensure an opportunity to assess their condition before they leave the party.
· Encourage a designated drivers program by offering gifts to those who volunteer.
· Lastly, be a good WINGMAN because NO ONE can afford a DUI!!

With any good party, one needs great decorations. However, according to a National Fire Protection Association article, "Home Christmas Tree and Holiday Light Fires", from 2006 to 2010, 230 homes fires began with Christmas trees. Christmas tree fires caused an average of four deaths, 21 injuries and 17.3 million dollars in property damage per year. Just by following a few tips one can ensure Christmas won't go up in smoke.
· Keep live trees watered; a six foot tree will consume one gallon of water in a week.
· Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant materials to decorate a tree.
· Follow manufactures' recommendation when plugging in multiple lights.
· Do NOT run electrical cords under rugs (Foot traffic can degrade the insulation and cause the wires to overheat).

After a weekend of hosting holiday parties, it is time to drive to grandmother's house. Even the roads over the river and through the woods can be hazardous, or especially if these roads consist of driving across the country, it is important to be cautious and prepared.
· Before starting the trip, have the vehicle inspected (tires, brakes, lights, and etc.)
· Ensure everyone is properly buckled up.
· Avoid driving late at night or in the early morning hours. This is when crashes often occur due to fatigued drivers or drivers under the influence of alcohol.
· Lastly, be flexible with driving plans. Take plenty of breaks and do not push to meet an unrealistic schedule.
· It is also important to have a plan if the weather becomes inclement. It is better to reschedule with family or friends then never to arrive.

The 325th Fighter Wing Safety office wants everyone to enjoy the holidays without becoming a statistic.

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