Prevent Fires from Alternative Heat

Fire_houseFireMore than 3,400 Americans die each year in fires and approximately 17,500 are injured. An overwhelming number of fires occur in the home. Many are started by alternative heaters. Here are a few tips to keep you and your family safe.

  • Portable heaters need their space. Keep anything combustible at least three feet away.
  • Keep fire in the fireplace. Use fire screens and have your chimney cleaned annually. The creosote buildup can ignite a chimney fire that could easily spread.
  • Kerosene heaters should be used only where approved by authorities. Never use gasoline or camp-stove fuel. Refuel outside and only after the heater has cooled.

via Home Fire Prevention and Safety Tips.

Minimizing the Risk of Ladder Falls

ladder-fallFalls are the leading cause of nonfatal, unintentional injuries, affecting nearly 8 million individuals in 2005, according to the National Safety Council’s “Injury Facts.” Many of these falls involve ladders. Because a ladder is considered a basic tool, some people may discount the dangerous nature of them. However, if proper safety precautions are not taken, ladder users can easily fall and suffer serious injuries or even death. According to the Chicago-based American Ladder Institute, the safest way to climb a ladder to avoid slips or falls is to maintain three points of contact. This means that during both ascent and descent, a climber should have either a hand and two feet, or two hands and one foot, in contact with the ladder at all times. This way, if one hand or foot slips, the climber will still be secure.

The following tips can also help minimize the risk of a fall:

  • Unless the ladder is specifically designed for such a purpose, do not allow more than one climber on a ladder at one time.
  • Never jump or slide down a ladder more than one rung at a time.
  • Regularly clean the soles of shoes to maximize traction.
  • Use towlines, a tool belt or an assistant to supply materials and tools.
  • Climb ladders slowly and deliberately, avoiding sudden movements.
  • Climbers should keep the center of the stomach between the ladder side rails when climbing.
  • Do not overreach or lean to the side while working, as this could cause the ladder to tip.

via Safety Tip Minimizing the risk of ladder falls.

Prevent Medication Poisoning in Children

babymedsafetypillsEach year more than 60,000 children are treated in emergency departments due to accidental medication poisoning. That’s about 165 kids – or roughly four school busloads of children – per day.

Parents, grandparents and caregivers can prevent unintentional medication poisoning in children by being vigilant about safe storage and safe dosing of medications.

via Medication Safety Guide.

Danger – Falling Ice

falling_ice_signRight now in our area there are huge problems with ice forming on the eaves of buildings.  These ice monstrosities are formed when the roof warms up from the sun or from heat loss inside the living space.  Then water runs down and cools at the overhangs, or eaves.  The water freezes and forms an ice dam.  This backs up water that may be running down the roof, thus providing potential water leakage and damage to the interior of the building. It can be very dangerous to remove these hanging ice sickles or even walk underneath them.  They can be extremely heavy and falling from the height of a building can injure or even kill people below.

Safety Tips: New Year’s Eve

New YearsIf you are hosting a New Year’s Eve party, following a few simple rules could prevent a tragedy:

  • Plan ahead by naming a “designated driver.” Make this your responsibility as the host.
  • Contact a local cab company to provide rides for your guests.
  • Serve non-alcoholic beverages as an option to your guests.
  • Stop serving alcohol to your guests several hours before the party ends.
  • Provide your guests with a place to stay overnight in your home.
  • If you are attending New Year’s Eve parties and celebrations:
  • If you drink, don’t drive.
  • Plan ahead and always designate a sober driver before the party or celebration begins.
  • If you are impaired, call a taxi, use mass transit, or get a sober friend or family member to come pick you up.
  • Or, stay where you are until you are sober.
  • Take the keys from someone if you think he/she is too impaired to drive.

via Safety Tips: New Year’s Eve.

Home Safety: Prevent Poisoning

poisonAbout 90% of poison exposures happen at home, making it the second leading cause of accidental death in the home.

Nonfatal poisonings are most common among children under 5 years old. The most common causes of these poisonings are:

  • Cleaning and household products
  • Personal care and beauty products
  • Medicines (especially dangerous are those with iron)
  • Vitamins
  • Plants
  • Lead and carbon monoxide

Try these strategies:

  • Know your poisons. It would be easier if every bottle that contained poison was marked with a skull and crossbones, as they are in cartoons.  Poisons come in many forms: cosmetics, garden products such as fertilizer, furniture polish, dishwasher detergent, and carbon monoxide from burning fuel.
  • Buy wisely. Purchase products with child safety lids, whenever you can.
  • Store safely. Put any product with a warning label up high and in a locked cabinet. Don’t keep medicines in your purse, pockets, or drawers. Keep products in their original containers. Do not use food containers for storage.
  • Watch your children. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, most child poisonings occur when parents are cooking dinner or not watching their children closely for other reasons.
  • Follow directions on chemical products. Open a window when you are using them. Never mix household cleaning products together — bleach and ammonia mixed together create a toxic gas, for example.
  • Keep carbon monoxide outside. Have heaters, stoves, and fireplaces checked by a professional every year. Carbon monoxide can also enter the house through an adjoining garage. Never run an engine or car motor or use a barbecue in a garage.
  • Stay on top of medicines. Follow directions and measure carefully, keep track of when medicines are taken, and put them away right after use. Get rid of expired medicine by crushing or dissolving medications and adding them to old coffee grounds, then place them in a sealed plastic bag in the garbage can. Don’t flush them down the toilet unless the instructions say to do so. Monitor use of medicines prescribed for teens.

Post the poison control telephone number. Have it near every phone and store it in your cell phone: (800) 222-1222.

via Home Safety: Preventing Burns, Cuts, and More.

Gasoline and Fire a Dangerous Combination

Gasoline safety tips

  • Never use gas to start a fire: Parents who mix gas and fire put themselves – and anyone near them – at risk of injury or death. Kids learn by example.
  • Talk to your kids about gasoline: Teenager Austin Bailiff nearly died in a gas fire. Share his video with your child at
  • Keep gas out of the reach of children: Out of sight isn’t enough, for any age. Store your gasoline where children cannot access it. Many parents keep gasoline in a locked location.
  • Use a proper container: Never use old soda bottles or other makeshift containers to store gas; someone might think it’s a beverage and drink it. And even a small cup of gasoline can emit vapors and may ignite.
  • Store gasoline in a well-ventilated area: Such as outside your vehicle and living space. Consider putting it in a detached garage or outdoor storage shed.
  • Keep gas away from any source of heat, spark or flame: Even common household appliances like water heaters and clothes dryers can ignite gas vapors.
  • Read the warning label on your gas can: A list of safety precautions is imprinted on every approved portable gasoline container. Make sure you read the warnings if you store gasoline at home.

via Gasoline and fire a dangerous combination | Tulsa World.

Preventing the Top 5 Most Fatal Home Accidents

We like to think of our “home sweet home” as our haven of safety and security. However, home accidents are responsible for more fatal injuries than any other cause except motor vehicle accidents. Although home accidents are often caused by human error and typically can be prevented, they amount to 18,000 deaths and nearly 13 million injuries a year.

The 5 leading causes of death from home accidents are:

  • Falls
  • Poisonings
  • Fires
  • Suffocation and choking
  • Drowning

While children and older adults are most vulnerable to home injuries, everyone can benefit from knowing how to stay safer at home. To learn more click on the link below.

via Preventing the Top 5 Most Fatal Home Accidents.