Safety is key in making this holiday one to remember

  • Published
  • By 307th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
  • 307th Bomb Wing

The holiday season can be one filled with family gatherings, parties and gift-giving.  Amid all the hustle and bustle it is easy to forget the safety practices that can be the difference between creating a holiday season that rejuvenates and renews or one that creates long-term problems.

In an open letter to all Airmen, Barbara Barrett, Secretary of the Air Force, and Gen. David Goldfein, Air Force Chief of Staff, said more than 35 Airmen lost their lives during the past decade in holiday-related accidents.

According to the letter, 251 Airmen were injured in preventable accidents last winter, resulting in a cost to readiness of nearly 11 work years.

“Your health and safety is our priority and requires all of us do our part to take care of each other,” they stated in the letter. “We urge you to take advantage of the long weekends and holiday periods, enjoy your hard-earned leave, and do it safely with a focus on returning to duty healthy and recharged.

Following these simple guidelines can help to keep Airmen and their families safer this holiday season.  


Louisiana is notorious for fluctuating weather conditions during the winter.  The on-going cycle of warm spells punctuated by short bouts of near freezing conditions make it difficult to adjust temperatures in the home. 

Consequently, space heaters are popular because of their quick heating time and portability.  However, they can present a significant fire hazard if not used correctly.

Senior Master Sgt. Landon Holloway, 307th Bomb Wing safety and occupational health specialist, said space heater safety actually starts at the time of purchase.

“You want to get a model that will automatically turn off if it accidentally tips over,” he explained.


The sudden changes in Louisiana weather can bring unexpected travel hazards, as well.  Sudden freezes can create ice on bridges and warmer weather can bring dense fog, limiting visibility.  

Of course, inclement weather is not specific to Louisiana.  Travelers should keep a close eye on weather forecast and build in added time to their plans regardless of their destination.

Drivers should also be aware of their surroundings, especially other vehicles whose operators may be intoxicated.   If planning to drink, ensure there is a designated driver and backup plan to get home in case the original plan falls through.

Outside activities 

Airmen should exercise caution when working or exercising in winter weather.  Ensure ladders are secure and have a spotter.   Be sure to warm-up before any strenuous activities; cold muscles are prone to injuries that can last for weeks or even months.

More Resources

Check 3 GPS (Gear, Plan and Skills) is a simple and fast method to determine potential hazards for an off-duty activity or event and plan to mitigate any issues. Learn more at

The Air Force Safety Center’s winter safety page is a wealth of advice for holiday safety, including tips on food safety, decorating safety, and child and pet safety.  Learn more at