Be a less inviting holiday host as we leave the Lab for the year-end shutdown.
• Keep snacks and earthquake supplies in a closed gnawing-proof container, not in a desk drawer or backpack.
• Empty your under-desk trash can of food scraps.
• Don’t leave perishables in breakroom refrigerators. Bacteria and mold won’t be taking a holiday!
• Wipe down surfaces. A mere crumb to us is a feast to a creature the size of a mouse, never mind an ant.
• Be sure that the last of the trash bags go to outside dumpsters.

At work

• Secure tempting property items (laptops, phones, cameras) from theft.
• Promptly report any storm damage or water leaks in your work areas to your Building Manager.
• Check connections for leaks on any equipment that is connected to a water source.
• Check and turn off any electrical equipment that does not need to remain energized during the break. Unplug space heaters.
• Check that chemicals are properly stored with secondary containment. An empty Satellite Accumulation Area is a safe SAA — submit waste pick-up requisitions.

At home

Christmas tree on fire

Not a happy celebration

• Practice ladder safety when installing or removing decorations. Don’t work alone.
• Don’t daisy-chain electrical cords or overload circuits. Be sure outdoor cords and decorations are rated for outdoor use and plugged into GFCI circuits.
• Keep flammable materials (trees, wrapping paper, etc.) away from sources of ignition like candles and heaters.
• Be sure fire extinguishers, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and GFCIs on electrical circuits are in good working order.

Wherever we go

COVID-19 visualization courtesy CDC

Visit to learn how to avoid this

Many of us are taking advantage of the Lab’s holiday shutdown to reconnect with friends and family. But now we have a “triple-demic” of COVID, RSV and flu, as well as the common cold. Presumably we have all taken the most basic precaution of getting COVID and flu vaccines. Some further tips:

• Give your regrets on gatherings if you have symptoms of illness.
• Although not required by regulations, face coverings can help protect you in crowded situations in addition to protecting others.
• If weather permits, outdoor or well-ventilated gatherings pose lower risks.

Additional tips to keep easily prevented accidents from spoiling the festivities are available from the National Safety Council and the US Fire Administration.