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Ritter: Look out for the dangers of fall

By Geoffrey Ritter
updated: 11/3/2017 3:53 PM

Fall. It's the most wonderful time of the year, right?

Sure, bonfires, baseball and fall leaves are a bunch of fun, but those leaves are about to tumble all over the driveway. Add to that the increased danger on roadways from deer, or the fact that it's going to dark by the time you get off work next week.

Yes, the pumpkin spice phase of this whole thing is about to end.

I'm not trying to throw cold water on the changing seasons. It's already getting too cold for that. But as a regular reporter of the local traffic accidents, I easily notice the annual uptick in accidents that involve deer this time of year. Slow down out there, and stay off your phone. A little extra caution will go a long way.

Also, it's the time of year you can expect to hear more about fire safety. That's not so much because of the possible dangers from candles in jack-o-lanterns or gnarly strands of Christmas lights, but rather because the end of Daylight Saving Time provides a convenient opportunity to talk about it. You've heard the message before, but here it is again.

Fire departments nationwide recommend changing the batteries in your smoke detectors at both of the year's time changes, the next of which happens this Sunday morning. Also, simple preventative maintenance taken at the same time, including using a vacuum to clean dust an lint from the detector's casing, can go a long way toward improving the accuracy of its performance. While you're standing on a chair dealing with that, it's worth also checking the carbon monoxide detector.

The recommended lifespan for a smoke detector is about 10 years. Writing the date of purchase on the back is a simple way to keep track of this. Even if you have no idea where your detectors came from or how long they've been there, they are so inexpensive that it is simple to start from scratch. The peace of mind will be worth it.

Post-Halloween, there is so much excitement -- and stress -- to anticipate. Thanksgiving will be here in just a few short weeks, and then comes the grueling and delightful march through the Christmas season. The seasons keep moving forward.

Enjoy the beauties of fall as much as you can, but also be wary of the new dangers of the season. It is, after all, a topic far more worthy of conversation than the annual blitz of pumpkin-flavored breakfast cereals -- and it might just save your life, too.