Safety Tips

Fire Prevention Tips

   • Smoking Habits 
   • Electrical Hazards 
   • Housekeeping 
   • Chimney’s, Fireplaces, Ovens and Stoves 
   • Heating and Cooking 
   • Smoke Detectors 
   • Stop, Drop and Roll 
   • Fire Escape Plan 
   • Using Candles 
   • Using Space Heaters

Emergency Medical Tips

   • How to Prevent Falls
   •
 When You Hear a Siren 
   • Carbon Monoxide 
   • Think Healthy, Think Safe

Disaster Preparedness Tips

   • How to Prepare for Disaster

Fire Prevention Tips

Smoking Habits

     1. Keep all matches and lighters out of children’s reach. 
     2. Do not smoke in bed, lying down or when drowsy. 
     3. Do not empty ashtrays into trash cans. 
     4. If you smoke, provide multiple large ashtrays throughout the house. 
     5. Periodically check for smoldering cigarette butts in the furniture.

Electrical Hazards

     1. Check appliances periodically for good operating condition. 
     2. Do not run extension cords under rugs or over hooks or nails. 
     3. When using extension cords, ensure that the gauge of both cords matches in size.

Housekeeping

     1. Keep attics, garages and yards clear of debris
     2. Keep paint in a tightly closed container.
     3. Store flammable liquids in safety cans and keep away from heat and children.
     4. Never use flammable liquids for either cleaning clothes or starting fires.
     5. Keep oily rags in a tightly sealed container(s).
     6. Remove all dried grass cuttings, tree trimmings, and weeds from your property.

Chimney’s, Fireplaces, Ovens and Stoves

     1. Always keep the screen placed in front of any fireplaces. 
     2. Change the filter and clean the venting of any forced air heaters. 
     3. Keep wood burning stoves in good repair and locate them away from combustible walls and ceilings. 
     4. Check and clean any fireplace chimneys regularly. 
     5. Never store combustibles near the stove, heater or fireplace. 
     6. Always keep children a safe distance from flame and heat sources. 
     7. Install a “spark arrester” or a spark catching cover on your chimney.

Heating and Cooking

     1. Wear tight-fitting or rolled up sleeves when cooking.
     2. Use oven mitts to handle hot pans.
     3. Never leave cooking unattended.
     4. If a pan of food catches fire, slide a lid over it and turn off the burner.
     5. Do not cook if you are drowsy from alcohol or medication.

For Thanksgiving Cooking Tips, click here.

Smoke Detectors

     1. Install a smoke detector within each sleeping area and on each floor.
     2. Put smoke detectors in a central location of the house/room.
     3. Check your smoke detector every month.
     4. Change your smoke detector battery at least twice per year.  (Change your clock, change your battery).
     5. Change battery if detector makes a “chirping” sound.
     6. Never paint a smoke detector.
     7. Dry dust your smoke detector once per year to remove dust which may impair the detector’s sensitivity.

If Alarm Sounds:

     1. Do not try to fight fire yourself.
     2. Get out of the house as quickly as possible.
     3. Call 9-1-1 as soon as your are out of the house.

Stop, Drop and Roll

     1. If your clothing catches fire: Stop (don’t run), drop gently to the ground, cover your face with your hands
          and roll over and over to smother the flames.
     2. If you cannot do that, smother the flames with a towel or blanket.
     3. Immerse burns in cool water for 10 to 15 minutes.
     4. If burns are severe, get medical help immediately.

Fire Escape Plan
     1. Prepare a fire escape plan for your family.
     2. Post your fire escape plan in a visible area and practice it regularly.
     3. Know at least two ways out of each room in your home.
     4. Make sure that windows and doors open easily.
     5. Ensure that all family members know how to properly use 9-1-1.
     6. Show your babysitter your fire escape plan.
     7. In the event of an emergency: Get everyone out fast, do NOT go back inside. Dial 9-1-1 from either a
          cell phone or a neighbor’s phone.
     8. Have a telephone in your bedroom so that you may call for help in the event that you are trapped by fire.

Using Candles

     1. Never leave a burning candle unattended. 
     2. Always burn candles on heat resistant surfaces. 
     3. Never burn candles near combustibles such as curtains or decorations. 
     4. Never put candles near window or exits. 
     5. Never leave candles within reach of small children or pets. 
     6. Extinguish candles before leaving room or falling asleep. 
     7. Keep candle wick neatly trimmed to ¼ inch.  Trimming the wick keeps the candle burning slower with 
          less smoke. 
     8. When a candle’s flame gets too high, burn it out, let it cool, trim it again to ¼”, and then relight.

Using Space Heaters

     1. Keep them at least three feet (one meter) away from anything than can burn, including you. 
     2. Unplug heaters when you shut them off, leave home or go to bed.

Emergency Medical Tips

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the leading cause of death from unintentional injury in the home.  The following tips may help you prevent from becoming a statistic.

Preventing Falls

     1. Exercise regularly to build strength and improve your balance and coordination. 
     2. Ask your doctor or other health care provider about the best physical exercise for you. 
     3. Take your time and try to avoid being rushed or distracted to decrease your chances of falling. 
     4. Get out of chairs slowly. 
     5. Sit a moment before you get out of bed. 
     6. Stand and get your balance before you walk. 
     7. Keep stairs and walking areas free of electrical cords, shoes, clothing, books, magazine and other
          clutter. 
     8. See an eye specialist once a year, since poor vision can increase your chance of falling. 
     9. Use night lights to light the path between your bedroom and bathroom. 
     10. Turn on the lights before using the stairs. 
     11. Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors. 
     12. Install grab bars on the wall next to the bathtub, shower and toilet. 
     13. Wipe up spilled liquids immediately. 
     14. Use only throw rugs with rubber, non-skid backing. 
     15. Always smooth out folds and wrinkles in carpeting. 
     16. Have easy-to-grip handrails installed along the full length of both sides of the stairs.
     17. Wear sturdy, well-fitted, low heeled shoes with non-slip soles, which are safer than high heels, 
             thick-soled athletic shoes, slippers or stockings alone.

When you Hear a Siren
In order to help firefighters and paramedics get to an emergency more quickly, keep the noise down in your vehicle so you can hear sirens.  When you do hear a siren, remember:

     1. Look in all directions for emergency vehicles to plan your next move – be aware there may be more than
          one responding crew. 
     2. If you are at a green traffic light – look for emergency vehicles before proceeding through the intersection. 
     3. Do not slam on brakes. 
     4. Do not pull over suddenly. 
     5. Use your blinker to show emergency crews the direction you are moving. 
     6. On the freeway, carefully move out of the lane used by the emergency crews, again, use your blinker. 
     7. Do not try to outrun the emergency vehicle. 
     8. Do not follow emergency vehicles too closely. 
     9. Do not stop in a place where the emergency vehicle cannot get around you. 
     10. After the crew passes, carefully merge back into traffic.

Carbon Monoxide
Carbon Monoxide is known as the silent killer.  This hazard is hard to detect because it is odorless, tasteless and colorless.  Here are some tips to help you thwart this deadly killer.

     1. Have a qualified technician inspect all fuel-burning appliances (e.g. hot water heaters, stoves, etc.)  
           at least once each year

     2. Be alert to danger signs that signal a CO problem: streaks of carbon or soot around the service door 
           of your fuel-burning appliances; the absence of a draft in your chimney; excessive rusting on flue
           pipes or appliance jackets; moisture collecting on the windows and wall of furnace rooms; fallen
           soot from the fireplace; small amounts of water leaking from the base of the chimney, vent or flue
           pipe; damaged or discolored bricks at the top of your chimney and rust on the portion of the vent
           pipe visible from outside of your home.

     3. Be aware that CO poisoning may be the cause of flu-like symptoms such as headaches, tightness
           of chest, dizziness, fatigue, confusion and breathing difficulties, a rise in blood pressure, or a pink
           or red cast on the skin.

     4. Install a CO detector outside of sleeping areas.

     5. Install the detector lower as opposed to higher, as CO does not rise very high.

     6. Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before installing a CO detector.  Do not place detector
          within five feet of household chemicals.

     7. Test the detector monthly and change once per year.

     8. Avoid placing the detector directly on top or directly across from fuel-burning appliances.

     9. Never use charcoal grills inside a home, tent, camper or unventilated garage.

     10. Do not leave vehicles running within an enclosed garage, even to “warm-up” your car on a cold morning.

     11. Know how to respond to a CO detector alarm. If your alarm sounds, immediately open windows and
            doors for ventilation. If anyone in the home is experiencing symptoms of CO poisoning -- headache,
            dizziness or other flu-like symptoms -- immediately evacuate the house and call the fire department. 
            If no one is experiencing these symptoms, continue to ventilate, turn off fuel-burning appliances and
            call a qualified technician to inspect your heating system and appliances as soon as possible. 
            Because you have provided ventilation, the CO buildup may have dissipated by the time help responds
            and your problem may appear to be temporarily solved. Do not operate any fuel-burning appliances
            until you have clearly identified the source of the problem. A CO detector alarm indicates elevated levels
            of CO in the home. Never ignore the alarm.

Think Healthy, Think Safe
Living a healthy and safe lifestyle is the best way to avoid both medical emergencies and health crises.
The following information is a start to living a healthier lifestyle

Drive Smart, Walk Safe and Bike with Care.
With the seemingly growing number of vehicles on the road today, it is essential that everyone takes time to travel safely. Don't drive aggressively and use your seatbelts. When riding your bike, wear your bike helmet and look both ways when crossing the street. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has excellent tips for careful travel.

Health and Fitness
The US Department of Health and Human Services has a "Healthfinder" website to help you explore health, fitness and prevention issues.

Heart Healthy
Learn more about being heart healthy with the American Heart Association. This site also contains vital information on Strokes or "Brain Attacks."

Sun Safety
Not just in summertime, but all year long, it is important to be sun smart. The American Academy of Dermatology has information on being safe under the sun.

Disaster Preparedness Tips

For information on preparing for a disaster, see the Emergency Management Agency section. (This site)