Friday the 13th – 13 Hidden Safety Risks December 6, 2019 Many people are afraid of or superstitious of black cats, broken mirrors and walking under ladders around Friday the 13th, which will take place this December. However, what’s even more cause for caution is all the hidden safety risks that can be present in daily life. Check out these top 13 risks to be aware of: Eating while driving Next to texting and driving, eating while driving is one of the most common forms of distracted driving. Reaction time drops by nearly 50% while eating. Next time you pick up food, make sure to wait until arrival before eating. Car maintenance Without proper vehicle maintenance, driving a car can pose some risks. Change the oil in the vehicle as recommended, get tires checked regularly and make sure to have roadside assistance as part of your insurance policy. Lightning While not extremely common, lightning can strike your car or home and cause damage that may require repairs. Make sure your insurance plan covers damage caused by lightning and help prevent damage by installing a lightning rod or other protection. Cyber security As the internet increasingly becomes part of the daily routine, cyber security is a necessity. Take steps to protect your information online from hackers or data breaches, including using complex passwords and being aware of email phishing scams. Texting Texting while doing other things is a huge distraction. Whether walking across the street or driving down the road, avoid texting and pay better attention to surroundings. Home security Make sure to lock all doors and windows when leaving and consider installing an alarm system. If you’re an OKFB member, you may be eligible for a discount for installing a home security system. Fire It’s nice to have the fireplace crackling or a candle burning to provide warmth and comfort, but make sure to take the proper safety precautions. Always extinguish candles and fires before leaving a room, and make sure to keep them out of reach of children. Food storage Improper food storage can result in spoiled foods, and if these foods are consumed they can result in illness. Hold cold foods at 40°F or below, and keep hot foods at 140°F or above. Regularly monitor your refrigerator and freezer to ensure they are at the right temperature. Carbon monoxide Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless flammable gas that can be deadly. CO can accumulate wherever fuel is burned, whether by a kitchen stove or a car in the garage. Help avoid CO poisoning by installing carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Appliances Appliances, especially those in the kitchen can pose some safety risks. Stay nearby appliances when cooking and always check that appliances are off before leaving the kitchen. Screens Staring at a screen all day, whether via a phone or a computer, can pose some health risks. Excessive use can result in a decrease in vision abilities, and it can also lead to back pain, joint pain and headaches. If possible, try reducing daily screen time. Going to work From farming to construction, some jobs require working with dangerous equipment or substances. Make sure to be aware of and follow workplace safety guidelines to help prevent accident and injury. Showering Slippery floors in the shower can lead to injury or even death. Showers can especially be safety risks for the elderly and children, who often require help to enter and exit the shower safely. Install a support bar, clean up wet floors and be extra vigilant in the bathroom.