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For many, Autumn is the favorite season - colorful foilage (for most, anyway), cooler weather, college football, Homecoming, Halloween, Thanksgiving and more. It also means going back to normal Standard Time - shorter periods of daylight hours - which can create some food for thought.

1) Children will be traveling to & from school in less daylight: Dress them approriately in lighter-colored garments & outerwear for visibility walking and standing at the bus stop * Walk well off the roadway, in groups and on sidewalks perferrably and near street lighting is best * Never get into a stranger's car or accept a ride with someone unknown or questionable * Watch out for potentially "distracted" drivers (Nav& other display screens, texting, etc.) swerving off the roadway near them * Encourage walking in groups as much as possible and near street lights as much as possible.

2) Longer darkness attracts unwanted ghouls & goblins. too (a.k.a. burglars, thieves, etc.) - Have your home ready for all-season security with extra outdoor lighting, motion sensors, interior lighting & radio timers and a working monitored alarm system (with CCTV is the best) * Keep your doors locked even when home (invasions occur more frequently in occupied homes) and ensure sliding patio doors have pins in ALL panes, not just the sliders * With the increase in online buying/home delivery, don't open the door unless you can verify the person's identity & purpose - feel free to thank them and ask them to just leave the package on the doorstep, especially if it's after dark; reinforce this with your children, too.

3) Autumn also is a season form sprucing up the house for holiday company - it's best to have someone helping you vs. a solo effort jsut for safety's sake: Watch out for dead limbs when pruning trees - the ladder against one isn't going to stay put, and/or movement of other branches could cause one to crack and fall on you * Painting the house and cleaning the gutters can be hazardous, too - lean the ladder on the siding or roof edge, not againt the gutter; be careful not to overreach, causing the ladder to slide and loss of balance * Raking leaves and mowing near a pond, canal or lake can surprise snakes - wear high heavy rubber or leather boots to protect your ankies & legs from a bite * Working on the roof needs extra special caution - wear work shoes with knobby soles for grip, tie a rope around the chimney as a lifeline is always a good idea * When using power tools, always wear safety hats, goggles and gloves - and watch out for cutting the cord (and standing in water) if it's electrical; take your time, use the tool safely and only for what it was designed * Remember, shorter daylight - budget your chores accordingly!

Takjing a few extra precautions in Autum ensures you'll be around to enjoy the upcoming Winter holidays and breeze into a new year!

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