As days get shorter and nights get longer, our habits begin to change.  Depending on the weather, we typically spend more time hunkering down at home and less time frolicking at the beach.  That usually means resuming favorite fall pastimes like Friday night football games and, when the weather permits, drinking hot cocoa while watching the glowing sunset.

Arriving along with the season of autumn is a host of safety hazards we didn’t have to think about over the summer, creating the need for a little extra vigilance.  As the temperatures occasionally drop and you settle in for the cold spell, consider the following pointers for ensuring you and your family stay not just warm, but also safe!


Exercise yard safety.  If you’re going to be pruning trees and shrubs, hanging Halloween decorations, raking leaves, or engaging in other yard activities, use caution: be careful on ladders, avoid power lines, and put away yard tools when you’re finished.  It gets dark much earlier in winter so make sure all of your outdoor lighting is in working order, too.


Enjoy ambiance safely.  If you use candles to add a warm glow and pleasant scent to a cold night, make sure they are safely out of reach of children, can’t be overturned by pets, and are not close to flammable items such as blankets, paper, or furniture.  If you’re known for falling asleep before heading to bed, extinguish all candles early in the night to avoid an unsafe, all-night burning situation.


Warm up carefully.  All types of heating units can be dangerous. If you use a wood-burning fireplace, secure it with a screen to prevent sparks and make sure the fire is completely out before you retire for the night.  If you resort to space heaters, make sure they are in good working order (no frayed cords) and out of the reach of children.  Try to find a space heater that has an automatic shut-off it if tips over and a timer that shuts off the unit after a set amount of time.


Be grounded.  Make sure you keep weather-friendly shoes and boots handy for the whole family.  This is the season for slippery driveways and walkways.  Without proper footwear, you can find yourself on your back or in the hospital.


At Joyner Family Insurance, we wish you a fabulous and foible-free fall season!