Posted 1 month ago

Dorm Safety

This time of the year, means moving back into college dorms. Sept and Oct are peak months for college dorm fires. While everyone is getting settled into their new living quarters. So we thought we would give you some tips on how to be safe.

1) The number of reported fires on campuses and in dorms has dramatically increased since 1980.

2) Fires are more common during the evening hours. Between 5-11 pm and on the weekends.

3) Cooking equipment involved is involved in 84% of dorm fires.

4) Campus fires cause an annual average of 2 civilian deaths, 30 civilian fire injuries and $9.4 million in property damage.

5) Only 7% of campus fires begin in the bedroom but these fires account for more than one-quarter of injuries.

6) Keep candles 12 inches away from anything that can burn.

7) Do not leave the kitchen when cooking.

8 ) Test all smoke alarms at least once per month.

How To Stay Safe In The Dorms:
1) Read the dorm rules: -Whether you’re living on or off campus, look into the rules and regulations of your home away from home before you leave. Make sure you do not bring anything that is not permitted.
2) Lock your door: -Dormitories may seem like a fun, safe environment, but it is important to make sure to lock your door whenever you leave your room in order to protect your belongings and keep your dorm room safe.
3) Get insurance for your belongings: -If you are bringing any items of high value to school, such as musical instruments or jewelry, consider having them insured against theft or damage before you arrive.
4) Never abandon your laptop: -Never abandon your laptop in a library. It only takes a few moments for someone to walk by and swipe it. If you must leave it temporarily, invest in a laptop lock to act as a deterrent.
5) Get tenant’s insurance: -If you’re renting a room or an apartment in a building, you may be required to have tenant’s insurance, which protects you and your belongings if your property is stolen or damaged.
6) Check your auto insurance: -When you take a car out of state, remember to check with your auto insurance company to see if you are covered while away and contact the local transportation department to see if you need to change your license plates.
7) Don’t leave valuables in the dorm parking lot: -Don’t leave anything valuable in your car, especially in plain sight. Put any high-value items in the trunk or glove compartment where they can’t be seen.
8 ) Watch your laundry: -Keep an eye on your laundry if you’re doing it at a laundromat to avoid having your belongings stolen. Bring homework or a book with you to help pass the time.
9) Check the guest policy: -How safe is your dormitory building? Look into the guest policy for your dormitory and see what kind of dorm security procedures they have in place. If you feel unsafe, speak to a dormitory representative or an administrator about creating a secure environment.
10) Hang on to your ID cards: -These days, many student cards act as more than identification. If you have a meal plan or library account associated with yours, report your card loss immediately if it goes missing.

College students living away from home should take a few minutes to make sure they are living in a fire-safe environment. Educating students on what they can do to stay safe during the school year is important and often overlooked.
1) Look for fully sprinkler housing when choosing a dorm or off-campus housing.
2) Make sure your dormitory or apartment has smoke alarms inside each bedroom, outside every sleeping area and on each level. For the best protection, all smoke alarms should be interconnected so that when one sounds they all sound.
3) Test all smoke alarms at least monthly.
4) Never remove batteries or disable the alarm.
5) Learn your building’s evacuation plan and practice all drills as if they were the real thing.
6) If you live off campus, have a fire escape plan with two ways out of every room.
7) When the smoke alarm or fire alarm sounds, get out of the building quickly and stay out.
8 ) During a power outage, use a flashlight.
9) Cook only where it is permitted.
10) Stay in the kitchen when cooking.
11) Cook only when you are alert, not sleepy or drowsy from medicine or alcohol.
12) Check with your local fire department for any restrictions before using a barbeque grill, fire pit, or chimenea.
13) Check your school’s rules before using electrical appliances in your room.
14) Use a surge protector for your computer and plug the protector directly into an outlet.

Dorm Room Fire Safety:
As you move in:
1) Remember to continue to practice being fire safe.
2) Recognize building egress points, and where your closest fire extinguisher is.
3) Make sure you know at least two ways out of the building.
4) Ensure that your dorm room has a smoke detector and a sprinkler.
5) Make sure you know what the policies / procedures are in the event that a fire occurs. If you are unsure, ask your RA; they will be happy to help.

In The Event of a Fire:
1) If the alarm sounds, get out and stay out.
2) Make sure you grab your room key, and proceed to the door.
3) Check the door before you open it.
4) If the door is not hot, proceed to open it slowly.
5) Once you are out of the room, close your door and stay low.
6) Proceed to your nearest exit or those designated by the person in charge.
7) Remain outside until you are given instruction to go back inside.
8 ) If when you check your door it is extremely hot, do not open the door. Instead CALL 9-1-1 and give the call taker all of your information. Next, place a towel at the opening under the door in order to prevent smoke from coming into your room. Wait for rescue personnel to arrive.

Posted 3 months ago

Pets and Natural Disasters

If you are like millions of animal owners nationwide, your pet is an important member of your household. Unfortunately, animals are also affected by disaster.

The likelihood that you and your animals will survive an emergency such as a fire or flood, tornado or terrorist attack depends largely on emergency planning done today. Some of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling an animal emergency supply kit and developing a pet care buddy system, are the same for any emergency. Whether you decide to stay put in an emergency or evacuate to a safer location, you will need to make plans in advance for your pets. Keep in mind that what’s best for you is typically what’s best for your animals.

If you evacuate your home, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND! Pets most likely cannot survive on their own and if by some remote chance they do, you may not be able to find them when you return.

If you are going to a public shelter, it is important to understand that animals may not be allowed inside. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets; consider loved ones or friends outside of your immediate area who would be willing to host you and your pets in an emergency.

Plan for pet needs during a disaster by:

1) Identifying shelter. For public health reasons, many emergency shelters cannot accept pets. Find out which motels and hotels in the area you plan to evacuate to allow pets well in advance of needing them. There are also a number of guides that list hotels/motels that permit pets and could serve as a starting point.

2) Include your local animal shelter’s number in your list of emergency numbers. They might be able to provide information concerning pets during a disaster.

3) Take pet food, bottled water, medications, veterinary records, cat litter/pan, manual can opener, food dishes, first aid kit and other supplies with you in case they’re not available later. Before you find yourself in an emergency situation, consider packing a “pet survival” kit which could be easily deployed if disaster hits.

4) Make sure identification tags are up-to-date and securely fastened to your pet’s collar. If possible, attach the address and/or phone number of your evacuation site. If your pet gets lost, his tag is his ticket home.

5) Make sure you have a current photo of your pet for identification purposes.

6) Make sure you have a secure pet carrier, leash or harness for your pet so that if he panics, he can’t escape.

To Prepare Shelter For Your Pet:

1) Call your local emergency management office, animal shelter or animal control office to get advice and information.

2) If you are unable to return to your home right away, you may need to board your pet. Find out where pet boarding facilities are located. Be sure to research some outside your local area in case local facilities close.

3) Most boarding kennels, veterinarians and animal shelters will need your pet’s medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current. Include copies in your “pet survival” kit along with a photo of your pet.

4) Some animal shelters will provide temporary foster care for owned pets in times of disaster but this should be considered only as a last resort.

5) If you have no alternative but to leave your pet at home, there are some precautions you must take, but remember that leaving your pet at home alone can place your animal in great danger! Confine your pet to a safe area inside - NEVER leave your pet chained outside!

6) Leave them loose inside your home with food and plenty of water. Remove the toilet tank lid, raise the seat and brace the bathroom door open so they can drink.

7) Place a notice outside in a visible area, advising what pets are in the house and where they are located.

8 ) Provide a phone number where you or a contact can be reached as well as the name and number of your vet.

How To Protect Your Pet During A Disaster:

1) Bring your pets inside immediately.

2) Have newspapers on hand for sanitary purposes. Feed the animals moist or canned food so they will need less water to drink.
Animals have instincts about severe weather changes and will often isolate themselves if they are afraid. Bringing them inside early can stop them from running away. Never leave a pet outside or tied up during a storm.

3) Separate dogs and cats. Even if your dogs and cats normally get along, the anxiety of an emergency situation can cause pets to act irrationally. Keep small pets away from cats and dogs.
In an emergency, you may have to take your birds with you.

4) Talk with your veterinarian or local pet store about special food dispensers that regulate the amount of food a bird is given.

5) Make sure that the bird is caged and the cage is covered by a thin cloth or sheet to provide security and filtered light.

Caring For Your Pet After A Disaster:

1) If after a disaster you have to leave town, take your pets with you. Pets are unlikely to survive on their own.

2) In the first few days after the disaster, leash your pets when they go outside. Always maintain close contact. Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and your pet may become confused and lost.

3) Also, snakes and other dangerous animals may be brought into the area with flood areas. Downed power lines are a hazard.

4) The behavior of your pets may change after an emergency. Normally quiet and friendly pets may become aggressive or defensive. Watch animals closely. Leash dogs and place them in a fenced yard with access to shelter and water.

Guidelines for Large Animals:

If you have large animals such as horses, cattle, sheep, goats or pigs on your property, be sure to prepare before a disaster.

1) Ensure all animals have some form of identification.

2) Evacuate animals whenever possible. Map out primary and secondary routes in advance.

3) Make available vehicles and trailers needed for transporting and supporting each type of animal. Also make available experienced handlers and drivers. Note: It is best to allow animals a chance to become accustomed to vehicular travel so they are less frightened and easier to move.

4) Ensure destinations have food, water, veterinary care and handling equipment.

5) If evacuation is not possible, animal owners must decide whether to move large animals to shelter or turn them outside.

Posted 3 months ago

Workers and Heat Stress

Workers should avoid exposure to extreme heat, sun exposure, and high humidity when possible.
When these exposures cannot be avoided, workers should take the following steps to prevent heat stress:
1) Wear light-colored, loose-fitting, breathable clothing such as cotton.
2) Avoid non-breathing synthetic clothing.
3) Gradually build up to heavy work.
4) Schedule heavy work during the coolest parts of day.
5) Take more breaks in extreme heat and humidity.
6) Take breaks in the shade or a cool area when possible.
7) Drink water frequently. Drink enough water that you never become thirsty. Approximately 1 cup every 15-20 minutes.
8 ) Avoid alcohol, and drinks with large amounts of caffeine or sugar.
9) Be aware that protective clothing or personal protective equipment may increase the risk of heat stress.
10) Monitor your physical condition and that of your coworkers.

Posted 3 months ago

Heat Stress In The Workplace

Tips For Heat Stress In The Workplace:

Employers should take the following steps to protect workers from heat stress:

1) Schedule maintenance and repair jobs in hot areas for cooler months.

2) Schedule hot jobs for the cooler part of the day.

3) Acclimatize workers by exposing them for progressively longer periods to hot work environments.

4) Reduce the physical demands of workers.

5) Use relief workers or assign extra workers for physically demanding jobs.

6) Provide cool water or liquids to workers.

7) Avoid alcohol, and drinks with large amounts of caffeine or sugar.

8 ) Provide rest periods with water breaks.

9) Provide cool areas for use during break periods.

10) Monitor workers who are at risk of heat stress.

Provide heat stress training that includes information about:

1) Worker risk

2) Prevention

3) Symptoms

4) The importance of monitoring yourself and coworkers for symptoms

5) Treatment

6) Personal protective equipment

Posted 3 months ago

Heat Stress

With some extreme heat around the country and with temps expected to rise close to home. I thought it would be time to discuss what we like to call heat stress. Also tips to tackle each situation.

Heat Stroke:

It’s the most serious heat-related disorder. It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature. The body’s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. When heat stroke occurs, the body temperature can rise to 106 degrees Fahrenheit or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not given.


1) Hot, dry skin or profuse sweating

2) Hallucinations

3) Chills

4) Throbbing headache

5) High body temperature

6) Confusion/dizziness

7) Slurred speech

8 ) First Aid

Take the following steps to treat someone with heat stroke:

1) Call 911 

2) Move the sick person to a cool shaded area.

Cool the person using methods such as:

1) Soaking their clothes with water.

2) Spraying, sponging, or showering them with water.

3) Fanning their body.

Heat exhaustion is the body’s response to an excessive loss of the water and salt, usually through excessive sweating. The population most prone to heat exhaustion are those that are elderly, have high blood pressure, and those working in a hot environment.


1) Heavy sweating

2) Extreme weakness or fatigue

3) Dizziness, confusion

4) Nausea

5) Clammy, moist skin

6) Pale or flushed complexion

7) Muscle cramps

8 ) Slightly elevated body temperature

9) Fast and shallow breathing

First Aid:

Treat a person suffering from heat exhaustion with the following:

1) Have them rest in a cool, shaded or air-conditioned area.

2) Have them drink plenty of water or other cool, nonalcoholic beverages.

3) Have them take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath.

Heat syncope is a fainting (syncope) episode or dizziness that usually occurs with prolonged standing or sudden rising from a sitting or lying position. Factors that may contribute to heat syncope include dehydration and lack of acclimatization.


1) Light-headedness

2) Dizziness

3) Fainting

First Aid:

People with heat syncope should:

1) Sit or lie down in a cool place when they begin to feel symptoms.

2) Slowly drink water, clear juice, or a sports beverage.

Heat cramps usually affect people who sweat a lot during strenuous activity. This sweating depletes the body’s salt and moisture levels. Low salt levels in muscles causes painful cramps. Heat cramps may also be a symptom of heat exhaustion.


1) Muscle pain or spasms usually in the abdomen, arms, or legs.

First Aid:

People with heat cramps should:

1) Stop all activity, and sit in a cool place.

2) Drink clear juice or a sports beverage.

3) Do not return to strenuous work for a few hours after the cramps subside because further exertion may lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Seek medical attention if any of the following apply:

1) The person has heart problems.

2) The person is on a low-sodium diet.

3) The cramps do not subside within one hour.

Heat rash is a skin irritation caused by excessive sweating during hot, humid weather.


1) Heat rash looks like a red cluster of pimples or small blisters.

2) It is more likely to occur on the neck and upper chest, in the groin, under the breasts, and in elbow creases.

First Aid:

People experiencing heat rash should:

1) Try to work in a cooler, less humid environment when possible.

2) Keep the affected area dry.

3) Dusting powder may be used to increase comfort.

Posted 3 months ago

Summer Safety Tips

Summer safety tips, everything to keep you safe this summer!! Covering every topic.

Firework Safety:

-Fireworks can result in severe burns, scars and disfigurement that can last a lifetime.

-Fireworks that are often thought to be safe, such as sparklers, can reach temperatures above 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, and can burn users and bystanders.

-Families should attend community fireworks displays run by professionals rather than using fireworks at home.

Bug Safety:

-Don’t use scented soaps, perfumes or hair sprays on your child.

-Avoid areas where insects nest or congregate, such as stagnant pools of water, uncovered foods and gardens where flowers are in bloom.

-Avoid dressing your child in clothing with bright colors or flowery prints.

-To remove a visible stinger from skin, gently back it out by scraping it with a credit card or your fingernail.

-Combination sunscreen/insect repellent products should be avoided because sunscreen needs to be reapplied every two hours, but the insect repellent should not be reapplied.

-Use insect repellents containing DEET when needed to prevent insect-related diseases. Ticks can transmit Lyme Disease, and mosquitoes can transmit West Nile Virus and other viruses.

-The CDC recommendation for children older than 2 months of age is to use 10% to 30% DEET. DEET should not be used on children younger than 2 months of age.

-The effectiveness is similar for 10% to 30% DEET but the duration of effect varies. Ten percent DEET provides protection for about 2 hours, and 30% protects for about 5 hours. Choose the lowest concentration that will provide the required length of coverage.

-When outside in the evenings or other times when there are a lot of mosquitoes present, cover up with long sleeved shirts, pants and socks to prevent bites.

Playground Safety:

-The playground should have safety-tested mats or loose-fill materials (shredded rubber, sand, wood chips, or bark) maintained to a depth of at least 9 inches (6 inches for shredded rubber). The protective surface should be installed at least 6 feet (more for swings and slides) in all directions from the equipment.

-Equipment should be carefully maintained. Open “S” hooks or protruding bolt ends can be hazardous.

-Swing seats should be made of soft materials such as rubber, plastic or canvas.

-Make sure children cannot reach any moving parts that might pinch or trap any body part.

-Never attach—or allow children to attach—ropes, jump ropes, leashes, or similar items to play equipment; children can strangle on these. If you see something tied to the playground, remove it or call the playground operator to remove it.

-Make sure your children remove helmets and anything looped around their necks.

-Metal, rubber and plastic products can get very hot in the summer, especially under direct sun.

-Make sure slides are cool to prevent children’s legs from getting burned.

-Do not allow children to play barefoot on the playground.

-Parents should supervise children on play equipment to make sure they are safe.

-Parents should never purchase a home trampoline or allow children to use a home trampoline because of the risk of serious injury even when supervised.

-Surrounding netting offers a false sense of security and does not prevent many trampoline-related injuries.

-If children are jumping on a trampoline, they should be supervised by a responsible adult, and only one child should be on the trampoline at a time; 75% of trampoline injuries occur when more than one person is jumping at a time.

Bicycle Safety:

-A helmet protects your child from serious injury, and should always be worn. And remember, wearing a helmet at all times helps children develop the helmet habit.

-Your child needs to wear a helmet on every bike ride, no matter how short or how close to home. Many injuries happen in driveways, on sidewalks, and on bike paths, not just on streets.

-Children learn best by observing you. Set the example: Whenever you ride, put on your helmet.

-When purchasing a helmet, look for a label or sticker that says the helmet meets the CPSC safety standard.

-A helmet should be worn so that it is level on the head and covers the forehead, not tipped forward or backwards. The strap should be securely fastened with about 2 fingers able to fit between chin and strap. The helmet should be snug on the head, but not overly tight. Skin should move with the helmet when moved side to side. If needed, the helmet’s sizing pads can help improve the fit.

-Do not push your child to ride a 2-wheeled bike without training wheels until he or she is ready. Consider the child’s coordination and desire to learn to ride. Stick with coaster (foot) brakes until your child is older and more experienced for hand brakes. Consider a balance bike with no pedals for young children to learn riding skills.

-Take your child with you when you shop for the bike, so that he or she can try it out. The value of a properly fitted bike far outweighs the value of surprising your child with a new one. Buy a bike that is the right size, not one your child has to “grow into.” Oversized bikes are especially dangerous.

Skateboard, Scooter, In-Line Skating Safety:

-All skateboarders and scooter-riders should wear protective gear; helmets are particularly important for preventing and minimizing head injuries. Riders should wear helmets that meet ASTM or other approved safety standards, and that are specifically designed to reduce the effects of skating hazards.

-Communities should continue to develop skateboard parks, which are more likely to be monitored for safety than ramps and jumps constructed by children at home.

-While in-line skating or using Heelys, only skate on designated paths or rinks and not in the street.

-Most injuries occur due to falls. Inexperienced riders should only ride as fast as they can comfortably slow down, and they should practice falling on grass or other soft surfaces. Before riding, skateboarders should survey the riding terrain for obstacles such as potholes, rocks, or any debris. Protective wrist, elbow and knee pads should be worn.

-Children should never ride skateboards or scooters in or near moving traffic.

-Riders should never skate alone. Children under the age of eight should be closely supervised at all times.

All-Terrain Vehicle Safety:

-Children who are too young to have a driver’s license should not be allowed to operate or ride off-road vehicles. Children are involved in about 30 percent of all ATV-related deaths and emergency room-treated injuries.

-Because their nervous systems and judgment have not fully developed, off-road vehicles are particularly dangerous for children younger than 16 years.

-Don’t ride double. Passengers are frequently injured when riding ATVs. Most ATVs are designed to carry only one person: the driver. Passengers can make ATVs unstable and difficult to control.
All ATV riders should take a hands-on safety training course.
All riders should wear helmets, eye protection, sturdy shoes (no flip-flops), and protective, reflective clothing. Appropriate helmets are those designed for motorcycle (not bicycle) use, and should include safety visors/face shields for eye protection. Wearing a helmet may prevent or reduce the severity of these injuries.

-ATVs lack the common safety equipment found on all cars and trucks that are designed for street use. ATV tires are not designed to grip on pavement, so operators should not ride on paved roads.

-Parents should never permit nighttime riding or street use of off-road vehicles.

-Flags, reflectors and lights should be used to make vehicles more visible.

-Drivers of recreational vehicles should not drive while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or even some prescription medicines.

-Parents should set an example for their children in this regard.

-Young drivers should be discouraged from on-road riding of any 2-wheeled motorized cycle, even when they are able to be licensed to do so, because they are inherently more dangerous than passenger cars.

Lawn Mower Safety:

-Only use a mower with a control that stops the mower blade from moving if the handle is let go.

-Children younger than 16 years should not be allowed to use ride-on mowers. Children younger than 12 years should not use walk-behind mowers.

-Make sure that sturdy shoes are worn while mowing.

-Prevent injuries from flying objects, such as stones or toys, by picking up objects from the lawn before mowing begins. Have anyone who uses a mower wear hearing and eye protection.

-Do not pull the mower backward or mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary, and carefully look for children behind you when you mow in reverse.

-Always turn off the mower and wait for the blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute, or crossing gravel paths, roads, or other areas.

-Do not allow children to ride as passengers on ride-on mowers.

-Keep children out of the yard while mowing.

-Drive up and down slopes, not across to prevent mower rollover.

-Keep guards, shields, switches, and safety devices in proper working order at all times.

-If children must be in the vicinity of running lawnmowers, they should wear poly-carbonate protective eye wear at all times.

Posted 4 months ago

How To Keep Safe While You’re Away

Each year, there are more than 2.15 million burglaries, over 65 percent of which are residential break-ins, with the majority occurring in the peak vacation months of July and August.

The average dollar loss per burglary is over $1,700. Losses from burglary can also directly affect the cost of your homeowners or renter’s insurance, so it is wise to prepare your home for your absence ahead of time to save you money and headaches later.

The best way to keep your home safe in your absence is to make it appear you are home, leaving absolutely no clue you’re actually away. Light, time and noise are your greatest weapons to accomplish this. Follow these tips along to ready your home and keep it safe:

1) Ask someone you know and trust to keep an eye on your house.

2) Stop delivery of your mail and newspapers—or have a friend or neighbor pick them up for you.

3) Keep bushes and shrubs near your home’s entrance and walkway well trimmed. Overgrown shrubs provide easy camouflage for burglars.

5) Use timers on lights, televisions and radios to provide sound and illuminate the inside of your home.

6) Keep shades up and blinds and curtains open to make it appear you’re home.

7) Keep the outside of your home well lit. Burglars won’t go where they can be seen.

8 ) Arrange to have your lawn mowed.

9) Ask a neighbor to park in your driveway, occasionally moving his or her car indicate your coming and going.

10) Leave the air conditioner on. A silent compressor on a hot day is a good indication you aren’t home.

11) Change the setting on your answering machine so it picks up on the first or second ring—or just turn down the ringer. A constantly ringing phone is also a good sign no one is home.

Protecting your home from electrical mishaps, fire and flooding while you’re gone is also important:

1) Unplug everything but the refrigerator, freezer, and the lights and radios you have set on timers.

2) Check to be sure the oven and stove, as well as small heat-generating appliances such as hair dryers and curling irons, are turned off.

If you’ll be away a week or more:

3) Turn off the water to your sinks, toilets, dishwasher and washing machine.

4) Setting your hot water heater on the lowest heat setting possible will keep it functioning at a minimum level, while saving you money on your energy bills.

1) Consider hiring a house sitter or pet sitter : The best way to make sure your house is safe while you’re gone is to have someone you trust still living in it. If not, there are services you can use for house-sitting and pet-sitting while you’re away. This can be a pricey option, but it’s a solution that touches all the bases.

2) Hold Your Mail : When you’re leaving for more than a couple of days, call your local post office to stop mail delivery until you get back. They can hold mail from three to 30 days.

3) Stop Newspaper Delivery : A pile of yellowing newspapers on the doorstep is a sign a home is unoccupied. Stopping the newspaper when you leave town for a while is an easy detail to forget and one that will make you a sure target.

4) Keep Eyes On Your Property : Even if you stop newspaper delivery and mail service, there are still some signs that can make it obvious that you’re not around. How about those fliers that peddlers leave on your doorknob, or those periodic yellow page book deliveries? Because you can’t plan for every contingency, have someone in the area check your house periodically. Whether it’s a neighbor or relative, nothing beats having a person check the premises every day or two while you’re gone.

5) Make Your Home Look Lived In : An occupied home looks lived in. Lights go on and off, and cars come and go. When you’re away, everything stops. To help create the illusion that the residence is still occupied, invest in timers that turn on the interior lights for a few hours every evening. If you can get a neighbor to take out your garbage and put the cans back after the garbage pickup, it’s another way to send the message that everything is proceeding normally at your house.

6) Keep The Landscape Trimmed : If you’re a diligent homeowner who mows his lawn every week, and things start to look overgrown and neglected, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that you’re not around. If you plan on being away for an extended period of time, hire someone to take care of the landscaping chores in your absence.

7) Lock Up : This seems so obvious, but hey, it’s easy to forget. If you keep a window unlocked to allow the cat easy access, or never bother to turn the deadbolt on the kitchen door, now’s the time to clean up your act. Locking your home makes it less attractive to opportunistic burglars. If you don’t make it easy, there’s a better chance that when you get home, your house will be in the same condition as when you left it.

8 ) Don’t Announce Your Trip : Show some caution when you talk about your trip. Being aware of who’s around when you discuss your trip in restaurants and even at work isn’t a bad idea either. Make sure that your children are discreet, too. No one is saying that you should be suspicious of everyone you meet, but even a chance remark has the potential to lead to unintended and unfortunate consequences. The less information you put out there, the less likely it is to reach the wrong ears and eyes.

9) Pull The Plug On Electronics : Disconnecting the power to some of your electronics, like your desktop computer, coffee pot and television can save you money while you’re gone and eliminate the worry that you’ve accidentally left them on by mistake. Turning off your garage door is also an effective way to keep thieves from opening it with a universal remote. Oh, and don’t leave a portable GPS in your car when you use long-term parking at the airport. It’ll alert thieves that you’re not home and give them a convenient map to your house.

10) Install Added Security Features: Installing a home security system or even just exterior lights that run on timers is a good way to ramp up security around the old homestead and make your house safer whether you’re around or not. One of the nice things about these features is that they’re working when you’re awake, asleep, on vacation or hosting an outdoor barbecue. They fade into the background as far as you’re concerned, but still make your property less attractive to opportunistic thieves.

Additional Tips To Keep You and Your Home Safe:

1) Make sure it appears you are home while you’re away. Light and moderate noise may deter burglars.

2) Use light switched timers to realistically simulate occupancy.

3) Leave shades and blinds as you usually do.

4) Light up the porch and yard with a time controller.

5) Connect an old, analog type television or radio (modern, electronic ones come on in standby mode — not in playing mode), or burglar deterrent CD recordings with a schedule-able player with timers.

6) Have lawns mowed, sidewalks swept, hedges clipped on schedule.

7) Lock all exterior doors securely — such as, using thick cylinder locks on outside entrances. If you are worried about someone picking or forcing the lock — which is generally easy to do — use more secure locks including ones considered pick-resistant.

8 ) Realize that ordinary windows are easily smashed, but still use safety latches on the windows to keep below-average crooks honest and preschoolers in-/out-side. Try keeping screens fastened from within, but it is “child’s-play” to slit them open before pushing window glass in with a pad of some kind.

9) Form a neighborhood crime watch with the assistance of your local police department. Team work, cooperation, common sense can help make or break a neighborhood. Report anything suspicious.

10) Ask a trusted neighbor to watch your property when you are away. Do the same for them.

11) Check all nearby streetlights to be sure they are functional. If not, contact your electricity company to request a repair. Would-be intruders are not as fond of well-lit areas.

12) Arrange to have a neighbor pick up your mail, circulars and newspapers when you are on vacation. If that isn’t possible, cancel all deliveries, including newspapers. Arrange with your post office to hold your mail or leave it with a neighbor.

13) Never advertise your departure. This may be easier said then done, especially for those who often share personal information on social networking sites (such as Facebook and Twitter).

14) Replace any exterior hollow doors with solid ones.

15) Install locks that wedge and bolt in sliding doors and double hung windows.

16) Invest in a good alarm system. At the very least, buy one of those alarm company signs.

17) Check with your police department, you may be able to have a direct connection from your house to the police, but false alarms may cost you a fine.

Posted 4 months ago

Summer Safety Tips

Now that the warm weather is here that means pools are open and we are outside ALOT more. So today I thought I would give some outdoor safety tips.

Pool Safety Tips:

1) Never leave children alone in or near the pool, even for a moment.

2) Make sure adults watching young children in the pool know CPR and can rescue a child if necessary.

3) Surround your pool - on all four sides - with a sturdy five-foot fence.

4) Make sure the gates self-close and self-latch at a height children can’t reach.

5) Keep rescue equipment (a shepherd’s hook - a long pole with a hook on the end - and life preserver) and a telephone near the pool.

6) Avoid inflatable swimming aids such as “floaties”. They are not a substitute for approved life vests and can give children a false sense of security.

7) Children are not developmentally ready for swim lessons until after their fourth birthday. Swim programs for children under the age of 4 should not be seen as a way to decrease the risk of drowning.

8 ) Whenever infants or toddlers are in or around water, an adult should be within arm’s length, providing “touch supervision.”

9) Don’t swim when you have diarrhea. This is especially important for children and infants in diapers. You can spread germs into the water and make other people sick.

10) Don’t swallow pool water. In fact, try to avoid getting any pool water in your mouth.

11) Wash your hands with soap and water after using the toilet or changing diapers. You can protect others by being aware that germs on your body end up in the water.

How To Have Safe Fun in the Sun:

1) Babies under 6 months of age should be kept out of the direct sunlight. Move your baby to the shade or under a tree, umbrella, or the stroller canopy.

2) Dress babies in lightweight clothing that covers the arms and legs and use brimmed hats.

3) Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outside, and use sunscreen even on cloudy days.

4) The sun protection factor (SPF) should be at least SPF 15.

5) Try to keep children out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., that’s when the sun’s rays are strongest.

Bug Safety:

1) Don’t use scented soaps, perfumes or hair sprays on your child as these products may attract stinging insects.

2) Avoid areas where insects nest or congregate, such as stagnant pools of water, uncovered foods and gardens where flowers are in bloom.

3) Avoid dressing your child in clothing with bright colors or flowery prints as the bright colors attract stinging insects such as bees and wasps.

4) To remove a visible insect stinger from skin, gently scrape it off horizontally with a credit card or your fingernail. You can also remove a stinger by pinching it out with a pair of tweezers or your fingers.

Playground Safety:

1) Carefully maintain all equipment.

2) Swings should be made of soft materials such as rubber, plastic, or canvas.

3)Make sure children cannot reach any moving parts that might pinch or trap any body part.

4) Make sure metal slides are cool to prevent childrens’ legs from getting burned.

Dog Bites:

1) Teach your child some basic safety precautions for dealing with dogs outside your home, such as not surprising or scaring a dog or never approaching an unfamiliar dog.

2) Instruct your child to stand still if approached or chased by a strange dog.

3) Tell your child not to run, kick or make threatening gestures. Your child should face the dog and back away slowly until he or she is out of reach.

4) Contact your pediatrician whenever your child receives an animal bite that breaks the skin, no matter how minor the injury appears. The doctor will need to check whether your child has been adequately immunized against tetanus.

Posted 4 months ago

How To Be Prepared For Hurricane Season

We love to keep our followers informed and prepared way ahead of a disaster. So we are in the midst of June, which is the beginning of hurricane season. We want you to be 1000% prepared and ready way ahead of the storm, if and when it would happen.

Steps To Take Before The Storm:

- Find and identify alternative ways of transportation and alternative routes for critical personnel. Which includes medical, suppliers, contractors.

-Also key is to establish and maintain relationships with a lot of these people. When a disaster strikes, everyone needs to band together and take control of the situation.

Building and Structures:

-Review the structural integrity of each building and structure, including rotted wood, rusted metal, physical

-Replace or repair all damaged, missing or compromised components.

-Inspect roof coverings,gutters, drains, ventilators and other roof-mounted equipment.

-Inspect exterior wall coverings for attachment, damage and weather tightness.

Fire Protection:

-Fire water tanks should be inspected for
structural integrity.

-Ensure that all fire protection equipment is serviced
and operational.

Emergency Equipment:

-Make arrangements for several forms of emergency

When A Storm Is Coming:

-Assemble a hurricane emergency response team. Then have the supplies and equipment at a safe location. Make sure every person on your team knows the exact location of these supplies.

Supplies You Should Have On Hand:

-Emergency lighting
-Lumber and nails
-Portable pumps and hoses
-Emergency generators
-Roofing paper
-Caulking compound
-Tarps and rope
-Manual and power tools
-Shovels, axes, etc.
-Saws and chain saws
-Emergency telephone list(s)
-Tape for windows, doors and other openings

-Protect important paper records from wind,rain,flooding and debris.

-Back up important computer data and records in a safe location.

-Release non-essential staff to a safe location.

Building And Structures:

-Fill all above ground tanks with product to improve stability and minimize damage from wind.

-Anchor and tie down all structures, equipment, and storage in the yard including small buildings and sheds, trailers,mobile equipment, lumber, process equipment, etc. Move smaller objects inside if possible.

-When possible, move important equipment and stock if subject to potential wind, collapse, water or other weather
exposure. If equipment or stock cannot be relocated consider additional protection with lumber, tarps, ropes, etc.

-Board up windows, operate shutters, tie down equipment, etc. as needed.

Fire Protection:

-Ensure all fuel tanks are full and all outside fire
protection equipment is secured.

-Verify all fire water tanks and reservoirs are full.

Emergency Equipment:

-Ensure emergency generators, water pumps, etc., are
operational and fuel tanks are full.

-Clean all catch basins, drains, and drainage ditches. Lower
the levels of retention ponds.

- Ensure all sump pumps are operational and connected to emergency power.

Posted 4 months ago

Hurricane Season Checklist

Now that hurricane season is upon us, it’s time to be prepared. One can never be over prepared. One strong storm can disrupt businesses, impact the infrastructure and displace hundreds of residents.

Start with an inspection of outside spaces:

-Make sure that gutters and downspouts are clear of debris and drain away from the structure.

-Landscaping should not allow water to collect next to the foundation of the building. Remove any damaged or low-hanging branches.

-Check low-lying areas that are vulnerable to water and ensure that they drain away from any basements or foundations.
Inspect the seals of windows and doors along the frames to check for cracks and ensure they are not compromised in any way.

-Look for items that can become projectiles during heavy winds and move them to a protected area or secure them in some manner.

Companies can take a number of steps to minimize business interruption and protect important records:

-Back-up all records and store the back-ups off site.

-Have mops, buckets, tarps and a wet/dry vacuum on hand in case of leaks or flooding. Placing tarps over computers and other electronics can minimize damage later.

-Store all paper records off of the floor. In the case of a flood or water leak, they can become instant casualties.

-Walk through the basement or any offices on a lower level to see what furniture, records or electronics could be compromised or damaged during any flooding, and move them to a higher location or place them in protective containers.

-Take a video inventory of each office and its contents for insurance purposes.

It’s easy to become complacent when storms haven’t been a recent threat. In addition to the recommendations above, homeowners should also prepare for hurricanes and summer storms by:

-Doing a full inventory of their home(s) and contents – Going room by room with a video camera and taking photos with a digital camera provides a quick inventory of collectibles, works of art, antiques and other irreplaceable items. The inventory should be stored somewhere other than the home.

-Collecting insurance policies pertaining to the home and being familiar with what they do and do not cover. Insurance agents can do a review of policy limits and exclusions.

-Preparing supplies in case of a power outage or evacuation – stock up on essentials like batteries, bottled water, canned goods, flashlights, etc.

-Identifying areas vulnerable to water in and around the house, and clearing all drains.

-Planning ahead to move boats, water craft, motorcycles, bicycles, all-terrain vehicles and other modes of transportation in the event of a flood.