“Holiday decorations pose safety risk for aircraft pilots”

Holiday decorations pose safety risk for aircraft pilots

We know we usually cover locksmith news here, but we thought we’d share this story since the holidays are upon us and most of us are affected by the safety risks of holiday decorations.

Your holiday decor could be a safety hazard … for pilots.

Consumers who purchased “Star Shower,” a plug-in laser light projector, should probably read the product’s directions. The decoration may help you “illuminate your house in a matter of seconds,” but it can also be a blinding hazard to pilots, according to an NBC affiliate.

“You experience what’s called a flash blindness,” Sgt. Morrie Zager, a helicopter pilot for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, told NBC. “Everything goes away except green. The worst part about it is the pain. It can cause anything from a mild distraction to a complete incapacitation of the pilot resulting in the aircraft crashing.”

The Star Shower device, produced by Telebrands, meets FDA regulations and Consumer Product Safety standards. It also carries a warning for users not to point the device directly at the sky and not to activate it within 10 nautical miles of an airport — several incidents have been reported in recent months.

Most notably, on Nov. 18, a Star Shower projector shined into the cockpit of a C-130 Coast Guard plane as it flew over Sacramento, California. While no one was harmed or charged in this incident, pointing a laser at a plane or chopper is considered a crime and could result in prison time and upward of $250,000 in fines.

Star Shower makers told the NBC affiliate that its product is compliant with FAA regulations for lasers — but emphasized the decoration should be pointed directly at your home, never directly into the sky.

Originally posted on CNBC.com

More Holiday Shopping Tips

If you still need to do some holiday shopping, here are a  few more tips to keep in mind from the Jackson Sun. These include:

Tips to remember while shopping during the holidays

•Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member.

•Dress casually and comfortably, and avoid wearing expensive jewelry.

•Only carry your driver’s license or identification along with necessary cash, checks or a credit card you expect to use.

•Keep cash in your front pocket.

•Use Bluetooth headsets.


In parking lots

•Report suspicious people loitering in parking lots and around entrances.

•Remember where you parked your car. Being unable to locate your car can cause you undue confusion and stress that may present you as a better target to a criminal.

•Have your keys in hand when approaching your vehicle.

•Check in and around the car before getting in.

•Be prepared to use emergency button on your key fob.

•After dark, park in well-lit areas.

•Plan ahead. If your shopping is going to continue until after dark, park in an area that will be well lit.

•If you enter a mall through a store, know when that store closes and exit before it locks up to prevent a long, exposed walk to get back to your vehicle.


In stores

•Remain vigilant

•Don’t leave purses unattended in shopping carts or wear them slung to the back. Don’t leave children unattended, either

•Do not buy more than you can carry. Plan ahead by taking a friend with you or ask a store employee to help you carry your packages to the car.


With children

•If you are shopping with children, make a plan in case you are separated from each other. Select a central meeting place.

•Teach them how to recognize mall and store personnel, security employees, and police officers if they need help.

•Notify store employees immediately of a missing child. Most stores have a procedure in place to secure exits and search for the missing child.


To prevent identity theft

•Keep your card in sight.

•Notify the credit card issuer immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen or misused. This is especially true for debit cards, which draw directly from your account.

•Report theft to police, and contact credit-reporting services like Equifax, Experian or Transunion to put a fraud alert on your account.

•Keep a record of all of your credit card numbers and company contact numbers in a safe place at home.