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Safety office offers winter safety tips

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- As it gets closer to the end of the year, the winter months not only bring layers of snow and ice, there are also added driving and safety hazards.

The biggest issues seen in Colorado during winter are the icy roads and upholding safety while driving. It is important to know the hazards of winter weather and how to best combat them.

"The weather is so dangerous out here," said Gregory Walker, 460th Space Wing Safety Office ground safety manager. "It's not whether it's going to happen; it's when it's going to happen."

It's important to relax while driving in inclimate weather conditions, as well as increase your following distance, slow down and be prepared. Taking the time to be aware of surroundings, and having full visibility is crucial.

"The way you drive is very important and it affects your safety in a lot of ways," said Stephen McMillan, 460th Safety Office occupational safety and health specialist.

"You need to become more of a defensive driver rather than an aggressive driver."
An easy way to stay safe this winter is to wake up early and take the time to prepare your vehicle for the day's upcoming weather.

"Once the snow starts to come and it starts to get icy outside, you have to adjust your schedule," Walker said. "You have to do things like warm up your car and get all the ice and frost off of your vehicle. Preparing yourself and taking the few extra minutes to do those things will help tremendously."

Team Buckley members should get their vehicles serviced now before the snow arrives. Things that should be checked or replaced are the wipers, fluids, tires and battery. A winter vehicle kit is also a necessity in your car.

Items recommended to include in your winter vehicle kit are:
Snowbrush/scraper
Blankets
Non-perishable foods
Flashlight and batteries
First-aid Kit
Warning devices, such as flares or reflective triangles
Jumper cables
Tire chains
Kitty litter or sand for traction

It's not only important to keep your vehicle prepared, but it's also important to make sure your home and workspaces are ready for the cold weather.

Being prepared is the most important thing, Walker said. Make sure to check water furnaces for cracks, disconnect any water hoses, winterize sprinkler systems and inspect window and door sills.

Some of the biggest mishaps safety offices sees are slips, trips and falls. Make sure to prepare yourself. Slow down and think twice about the type of shoes worn to work. Also, take the time to clear off sidewalks and walkways to prevent injuries.

For weather warnings or inclimate weather reporting instructions, call the snow line at 720-847-SNOW, or check the Buckley Air Force Base Facebook page or Twitter.
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