Safety doesn’t take a holiday

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Rebecca R. Imwalle
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
During the holidays, many Airmen spend more time in the kitchen preparing their favorite dishes or on the road to visit family and friends.

While holiday plans vary, the one thing that remains the same is the importance of safety in all preparations and events.

"Low temperatures and ice can change even a simple activity into something that requires more preparation and cause for concern," said Master Sgt. Allen Minner, 28th Bomb Wing Staff first sergeant. That's why it's important for everyone who plans on traveling during the holidays to be prepared for everything."

To do this, Minner said Airmen should always pack and maintain an emergency kit in their vehicles, especially if they plan to travel during inclement weather.

"That means packing everything from first aid kits to flashlights and blankets," Minner said. "Also, Airmen should let their supervisors know where they plan to go and when they will be back."

Staff Sgt. Barbara Joseph, 28th BW Safety Office ground safety technician, said keeping track of weather updates and notifications is essential to preventing accidents while traveling.

"A lot of people are on the road for the holidays," Joseph emphasized. "Airmen should make sure they are aware of their surroundings. Limit driving to eight hours a day, and make sure to set time aside for road closures and bad weather."

In addition to preparing for road trips, Joseph said keeping safety in mind while preparing food during this holiday season is just as important.

"At the end of the year, we usually have more parties, invite guests, cook and even drink alcohol," Minner noted. "That often means we have more on our minds. When Airmen are preparing meals and entertaining their guests, they should be mindful of the location of children. Don't forget to turn all of your pan handles away from tiny hands while cooking. Have a good plan and parties can still be fun and safe."

Joseph said that another thing to consider is cleanliness of the kitchen, adding that leaving loose items near a stove top or oven can lead to a house fire.

"We also encourage everyone to be careful with their alcohol consumption," said Minner. "Alcohol has a way of taking a very well devised plan and destroying it. If Airmen decide to drink, it is imperative that a wingman be present. That will ensure all risk is minimized."

Joseph added that the wingman concept is even more crucial during this time of the year.

In addition to preparing and including safety in all activities, Joseph said not to overlook the importance of looking out for each other.

"Holidays can be a tough time for people away from their families," Joseph said. "Think about each other and make sure everyone has someone to share the holiday season with. Don't let the holidays end in tragedy. Remember, safety always comes first."