This Columbus Day Holiday weekend presents many of our Soldiers, Civilians, and Families an opportunity to travel and/or take part in seasonal recreational endeavors. This holiday not only provides us with an opportunity to celebrate Columbus's discovery of the new world, but also a time to enjoy the autumn season and its activities. As you embark on your long weekend, please exercise caution and emphasize safety when taking part in recreational activities. Avoid driving under the influence as it impairs your driving skills, reaction time, and judgment. Speeding, especially when it is dark, reduces reaction time and increases risk. If you are travelling out of town for the weekend, get plenty of rest before driving, ensure your vehicle is in good operating condition, and ensure everyone wears their seat belts at all times.

October is also National Fire Prevention Month. Last year, I reminded you of the following: 1. Review, update, and practice using your home's fire escape plan. 2. Clean or change your furnace filter. 3. Have your heating system inspected or serviced for safety, longer system life, and better performance. 4. Test/Replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms per manufacturer instructions. Unfortunately, many people become complacent about fire safety; however, National Fire Prevention Month is the perfect time to reaffirm the commitment to protecting our families.

As the outside temperatures are falling, the leaves changing, and the days getting shorter, autumn presents many opportunities to prevent safety hazards in and around your home and keep your family safe. Slips, trips, and falls continue to be among the most frequently cited reason for visits to the Emergency Room this time of year. Before you get out there and rake those leaves, clean gutters, and mow your lawn, take the time to plan your activity with an eye toward minimizing hazards and risks. Choose the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the chore and remember to warm up, cool down, and take frequent rest breaks to include drinking water.

As you enjoy the Columbus Day weekend and change in seasons, keep these important Fall safety tips in mind. By doing so, you can ensure you are doing everything you can to protect yourself and your family from this season's hazards.

Thank you all for your hard work in support of the AMC team! Let's have a safe and restful Columbus Day weekend.

AMC Safe is Army Strong!