When to Use Home Fire Extinguishers

man-fire-extinguisher-home-chair-590kb072910When is a fire at a point where it might still be controlled by a fire extinguisher?

Portable fire extinguishers are valuable for immediate use on small fires. They contain a limited amount of extinguishing material and need to be properly used so that this material is not wasted. For example, when a pan initially catches fire, it may be safe to turn off the burner, place a lid on the pan, and use an extinguisher. By the time the fire has spread, however, these actions will not be adequate. Only trained firefighters can safely extinguish such fires.

Use a fire extinguisher only if:

  • You have alerted other occupants and someone has called the fire department;
  • The fire is small and contained to a single object, such as a wastebasket;
  • You are safe from the toxic smoke produced by the fire;
  • You have a means of escape identified and the fire is not between you and the escape route; and
  • Your instincts tell you that it is safe to use an extinguisher.

If all of these conditions are not present, you should NOT try to use a fire extinguisher. Alert other occupants, leave the building following your home escape plan, go to the agreed upon meeting place, and call the fire department from a cell phone or a neighbor’s home.

via Home Fire Safety | Use and Maintenance of Home Fire Extinguishers.

Winter Storm Hazard: Snowblower Injuries

Each year, about 5,700 people in the United States go to the emergency room for treatment of snowblower-related injuries such as broken bones, cuts to skin and soft tissue, bruises, and sprains. About 10 percent of injuries involve amputation of the hand or fingers.

snow-blowerUntitled-1Snowblower injuries tend to happen when someone stops paying attention for even a few seconds.Even after the snowblower is turned off, tension is stored in the rotor blades. A hand or finger stuck in to remove wet snow or ice is at risk for being cut, mangled or even amputated.

To stay safe, keep your hands and fingers out of the snowblower mechanism whether the machine is running or turned off. Do not disable the safety devices built into most new snowblowers and take the time to review the key safety features in the owner’s manual.

via Winter Storm Hazard: Snowblower Injuries.

Candle Safety Tips – Holiday Survival Guide

rules_137Candles start almost half of all home fires related to decorations.  Minimize your risk with these candle safety tips:

  • Avoid using candles when possible.  Consider using battery-operated candles in place of traditional candles.
  • Never leave an open flame unattended.  Keep burning candles within sight.
  • Place lighted candles away from combustible material such as other decorations and wrapping paper.
  • Take care to place candle displays in locations where they cannot be knocked over.
  • Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other greenery.
  • Extinguish all candles before you go to sleep, leave the room, or leave the house.

via Candle Safety Tips – 2012 Holiday Survival Guide – ESFi :: Electrical Safety Foundation International.

Christmas Holiday Decoration Safety Tips

FGFguy_christmas_lightsBefore crawling up on the roof to string the Christmas lights, you need to know that every year, hospital emergency rooms treat about 12,500 people for injuries, such as falls, cuts and shocks, related to holiday lights, decorations and Christmas trees, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

In addition, warns CPSC, candles start about 11,600 each year, resulting in 150 deaths, 1,200 injuries and $173 million in property loss. Christmas trees are involved in about 300 fires annually, resulting in 10 deaths, 30 injuries and an average of more than $10 million in property loss and damage.

“Sometimes people are having such a nice time during the holidays that they forget to extinguish candles,” said CPSC Chairman Hal Stratton. “Always put out lit candles before leaving a room or going to bed. Always keep burning candles within sight. Also, make sure your holiday lights bear the mark of a recognized testing lab to show they meet safety standards.”

via Christmas Holiday Decoration Safety Tips from CPSC.

Prevent Injury at Home

157523780-20142450Many unintentional injuries and deaths are related to the home and its environment. Within the home, more than 11,000 people are estimated to die each year from preventable unintentional injuries, including falls, fires, drownings, and poisonings.

Health and Safety Tips:

Prevent falls:

  • Install grab bars in showers and tubs.
  • Use nonslip mats in bathtubs and showers.
  • Install stair rails.
  • Have good lighting.
  • Keep stairs in good repair.
  • Keep stairs free of clutter.
  • Use safety gates in homes with young children.

Prevent fire-related injuries:

  • Keep flammable objects away from the stove.
  • Make sure every bedroom has two exits in case of fire.
  • Practice your fire escape plan.
  • Install smoke alarms on every floor, including basements, and change the batteries at least once a year.

Prevent drowning:

  • Supervise young children in bathtubs.
  • Always watch young children while they are swimming or playing in or around water.
  • Teach your children to swim and about water and pool safety rules.

via CDC – Healthy Homes | Health Topics | Injury Prevention.

What You Need to Know When the Power Goes Out Unexpectedly

Here are some tips on what to do when the power goes out unexpectedly.

  • To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, use generators, pressure washers, grills, and similar items outdoors only.
  • If the power is out longer than two hours, throw away food that has a temperature higher than 40°F.
  • Check with local authorities to be sure your water is safe.
  • In hot weather, stay cool and drink plenty of fluids to prevent heat-related illness.
  • Wear layers of clothing, which help to keep in body heat.
  • Avoid power lines and use electric tools and appliances safely to prevent electrical shock.

via CDC | What You Need to Know When the Power Goes Out Unexpectedly.

Halloween Safety Tips

mom-and-kids-carving-pumpkinPumpkin carving tips:

  • Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers. Then parents can do the cutting.
  • Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin. If you do use a candle, a votive candle is safest.
  • Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and should never be left unattended.

via Halloween Safety Tips.

Learning From a Near Miss or Close Call

Near-Miss-300x243A near miss is an unplanned event that did not result in injury, illness, or damage – but had the potential to do so. Only a fortunate break in the chain of events prevented an injury, fatality or damage; in other words, a miss that was nonetheless very near. Although the label of ‘human error’ is commonly applied to an initiating event, a faulty process or system invariably permits or compounds the harm, and should be the focus of improvement. Other familiar terms for these events is a “close call”, or in the case of moving objects, “near collision” or a near hit.

via Near miss (safety) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Keep Your Kids Safe From Firearms

1141472158203459We need to take extra precautions when kids are in an environment where guns are present.

The Hard Facts

It is estimated that about one third of households with childrens ages 17 and under have a gun in the home.

Top Tips

  • Store firearms in a locked location, unloaded, out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store ammunition in a separate locked location, out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Keep the keys and combinations hidden.
  • When a gun is not in its lock box, keep it in your line of sight.
  • Make sure all firearms are equipped with effective, child-resistant gun locks.

via Your Safe Kids | Safe Kids Worldwide.

Prevent Backing Over Accidents

childsafety-260x180In the U.S. at least fifty children are being backed over by vehicles EVERY week. Forty-eight (48) are treated in hospital emergency rooms and at least two (2) children are fatally injured every WEEK.

• The predominant age of victims is one year olds. (12to23 months)

• Over 60% of backing up incidents involved a larger size vehicle. (truck, van, SUV)

• Tragically, in over 70% of these incidents, a parent or close relative is behind the wheel.

via Backovers.