The holiday season is here in Navy Region Singapore (NRS) but unlike most U.S. Armed Forces commands worldwide, the climate won’t be changing much. Instead of snow fall preparations, there are plenty of other safety tips to follow this year as citizens of the Sembawang military community prepare for the year-end festivities.
It can be easy to go overboard on decorations while getting ready for the holiday season. Take a moment to make sure electrical sockets are not overloaded with too many devices or festive lights plugged into one electrical outlet. Doing so can cause blow outs on these devices or potentially fires can occur in the home. Make sure to unplug all lights and decorations during thunderstorms to help prevent these disasters from occurring.
"The holidays are a time to celebrate with loved ones, but they are also a time of increased risk," said Lt. Todd Covington, Commander Logistics Group Western Pacific Safety Representative. “People can tend to get complacent and that’s when accidents can happen. Risk management can make the difference between coming back to work safely after the New Year or winding up as a statistic."
If you decide to purchase a holiday tree this year, there are plenty of venues available in Singapore to choose from. When selecting your tree, look for a freshly chopped tree with thick green branches. Dry trees with brown patches are more of a fire hazard in homes, especially when decorated with lights that are capable of reaching high temperatures. Water the tree regularly to keep it fresh longer and to keep it from drying out and becoming a hazard.
Setting up holiday decorations can be a fun activity for the entire family. When arranging decorations, try to keep chords and displays from becoming trip hazards in the home. This includes lights on a holiday tree or seasonal displays. Also remember proper ladder safety when setting decorations in high places. It only takes one wrong step to lead to a nasty fall.
“Singapore weather gets to be about 90 degrees every day, and November through February is no exception.” -Lt. Todd Covington
Singapore offers a unique environment where families can enjoy summer activities all year round. “Even though it’s the winter holidays here at NRS, we need to remember our summer safety tips as well,” said Covington. “Singapore weather gets to be about 90 degrees every day, and November through February is no exception.”
With the stereotypically hot Singapore weather, it’s always the season to take a dip in the pool. This season, parents can help to prevent injuries in the pool and other water recreation by always monitoring children while they're in the pool or water and never be more than an arm's length away from them. Remember, a lifeguard is not a babysitter.
If you choose to use a grill this holiday season, don’t forget about grilling safety tips. Before lighting your grill, check your gas tank and hose for leaks. It's also important not to wear loose, frayed or combustible clothing around open flames. Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors, away from homes, deck railings and out from under overhangs and branches. Keep children and pets clear of the area and always let coals cool completely in a metal bucket away from the house after use.
“It’s very important to remain aware and safe this holiday season,” said Covington. “It doesn’t take more than an extra few seconds to make sure you grabbed the sunscreen, that the holiday lights aren’t too hot, that the chords are out of the way. Those few extra seconds could prevent a potential disaster.”
For more seasonal safety tips, visit www.safetycenter.navy.mil. For safe grilling tips, visit the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) Web site at www.nfpa.org/grilling.