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NEWS | Dec. 11, 2019

Navigate this holiday season safely

By Senior Airman Tristan Biese 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

As the holidays roll around, people become busy decorating, shopping or traveling and with the increased amount of activities, proper safety practices may be some of the last things on their minds.

To encourage Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, personnel to recognize possible safety hazards that may affect them, the 633rd Air Base Wing Safety office has the following tips to keep their families safe and accountable this holiday season.

Holiday Trees

  • Keep the holiday trees watered. Avoid placing it near a heat sources such as a fireplace, radiator or vent that may dry it out quickly, posing a fire hazard.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher near the tree in the case of a fire emergency.
  • Do not use lighted candles on or near trees and do not hang light strands on aluminum trees.
  • If using an artificial tree, it should be labeled fire resistant. If the tree has pre-attached lights, ensure there is an Underwriters Laboratory label, meaning it has been tested for safety.


  • Decorations should be nonflammable or flame-retardant and should not be placed near heating vents or fireplaces. 
  • Check lights for broken sockets, frayed, bare or loose connections  
  • Do not overload electrical outlets or leave lights unattended. Also, ensure lights have been certified by the Underwriters Laboratory.
  • Use indoor lights inside and outdoor lights outside (green label is for indoor and red label is for outdoor).
  • Turn lights off when going to sleep or leaving the house.

Holiday cooking

  • Never leave the kitchen unattended while cooking on a stove top.
  • Turn pot and pan handles inward to prevent them from being knocked off the stove or small children from grabbing them.
  • Make sure the kitchen is well-ventilated to prevent the build up of carbon monoxide from gas cooking appliances.


  • Ensure vehicles are prepared for the colder weather before getting on the road by having a winter tune-up, adding antifreeze, checking tires and switching to winter weight oil.
  • Keep up-to-date with the National Weather Service forecast for travel advisories and prepare or anticipate for trips to be postponed due to inclement weather. 
  • Keep gas tanks over half full and have supplies including a cell phone, food, water, flashlight, first-aid kit, blankets, a shovel and flares in the case of an emergency.
  • If stranded or stuck on the side of the road during a snow storm, the best course of action is to stay in the vehicle.
  • Do not drive if you are tired or have been drinking.

For more information on holiday safety, call the 633rd ABW Safety office at (757) 764-5057 or (757) 501-8224; or visit U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website at