There are many things to consider with the changing of the seasons. Here are a few things to check off your list.
Are you prepared to keep you and your family protected from the sun? Take this Sunscreen Quiz provided by the link below:
Are you prepared in case of a storm? Be sure to prepare ahead of time by using the following guidelines provided by http://semredcrossblog.org/2010/04/14/spring-safety-tips-stay-safe-during-storms/ :
- Pick a safe place in your home to gather during a thunderstorm – away from windows, skylights and glass doors.
- Get trained in first aid and learn how to respond to emergencies.
- Listen to the local news for emergency updates, and watch for signs of a storm – like darkening skies, lightning flashes or increasing wind.
- Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are likely to occur.
- Avoid electrical equipment and telephones. Use battery-powered TVs and radios instead.
- Do not take a bath, shower or use plumbing.
When severe thunderstorm warning is issued, take shelter in a substantial building or in a vehicle with the windows closed. Get out of mobile homes that can blow over in high winds.
If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be in danger from lightning. Avoid touching anything outside that’s made of metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity, such as moving metal yard furniture during thunderstorms. Remember – safety first!
If you can’t go indoors during a story – avoid these:
- Water, and high ground.
- Metal objects such as benches or bleachers.
- Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds.
- If driving, try to safely exit the roadway and park. Stay inside the car and turn on the emergency flashers.
Be able to recognize and prevent heat related emergencies. Listed below are some quick tips to help you out.
Red Cross Heat Safety Tips: (the following information provided by: www.redcross.org)
- Dress for the heat. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflect away some of the sun's energy. It is also a good idea to wear hats or to use an umbrella.
- Drink water. Carry water or juice with you and drink continuously even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which dehydrate the body. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
- Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid high-protein foods, which increase metabolic heat.
- Slow down. Avoid strenuous activity. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4 and 7 a.m.
- Stay indoors when possible. If air-conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine. Remember that electric fans do not cool, they simply circulate the air.
- Be a good neighbor. During heat waves, check in on elderly residents in your neighborhood and those who do not have air conditioning.
- Learn Red Cross first aid and CPR.
General Care for Heat Emergencies:
- Heat cramps or heat exhaustion: Get the person to a cooler place and have him or her rest in a comfortable position. If the person is fully awake and alert, give half a glass of cool water every 15 minutes. Do not let him or her drink too quickly. Do not give liquids that contain alcohol or caffeine. Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet cloths, such as towels or sheets. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number if the person refuses water, vomits or loses consciousness.
- Heat stroke: Heat stroke is a life-threatening situation! Help is needed fast. Call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number. Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the body. Immerse victim in a cool bath, or wrap wet sheets around the body and fan it. Watch for signals of breathing problems. Keep the person lying down and continue to cool the body any way you can. If the victim refuses water or is vomiting or there are changes in the level of consciousness, do not give anything to eat or drink.
Fall Fire Safety Tips provided by http://www.safetyed.org/fallfiresafetytips.html
Winterizing a home is an important step in the fall. Clearing water from sprinkler systems, getting the furnace fixed, repairing damaged windows, and other things like this help to keep a home running through the winter months. But many people don't realize that homes are at a greater risk of fire in the winter months. Fall fire safety tips can help home owners prepare their home and protect their families.
These types of tips are usually based around common sense. One tip is to change the battery in smoke detectors when they change their clocks during Daylight Savings. Changing the batteries every six months prevents detectors from going dead. Another suggestion is to clean the chimney. Creosote is a deposit from smoke that can build up in a chimney. If it gets too thick, it can start on fire and destroy the house. It is recommended to clean the chimney each year before using the fireplace. Space heaters can also be a fire hazard,and it is recommended to create a safe area around the heater. Any furniture should be at least three feet away.
Another tip involves creating a defensible space around the house, to protect from nearby fires. Trees should be a minimum of 30 feet away from the house and branches and leaves should be cleaned up to limit fuel for a fire. These safety points even help homeowners prepare for holidays. Homeowners are encouraged to use battery powered lights in Halloween Jack o'Lanterns to prevent accidents. Christmas tree lights should also be inspected before use and monitored carefully, especially on real trees.
Driving is a very common factor contributing to vehicle accidents. Use the following information provided by http://www.roadandtravel.com/safetyandsecurity/winterdrivingtips.htm to prevent you from being a victim of the weather conditions.
Prepare your vehicle for winter driving; use this checklist:
1. Check windshield wiper blades to make sure they work properly. In some areas, snow blades are an effective alternative to conventional wiper blades.
2. Have your mechanic test the anti-freeze/coolant to provide the correct level of protection required in your driving area.
3. Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Underinflation can reduce the gripping action of tires because the tread will not meet the road surface as it was designed to do. Overinflation has the same effect.
4. If you live in areas where snow and ice are certainties of winter, don't depend on all-season tires. Instead, install snow tires. Snow tires are made of softer components and have a unique tread design that provide better traction and road-gripping abilities.
5. Keep your gas tank at least half-full. The extra volume can help reduce moisture problems within your fuel system. It also adds helpful weight to your vehicle.
6. In rear-wheel drive vehicles, extra weight in the trunk may be helpful. Use care-- unsecured weight can shift while you are moving or if you have to stop suddenly. Bags of sand can provide weight and, if sprinkled on the ice, sand helps provide traction.
- Keep your vehicle stocked with simple emergency equipment in case you do get stalled or have an accident. Consider keeping these items in your vehicle:
- blanket or extra clothes
- candle with matches
- beverages (never alcohol)
- C. B. radio, cellular phone or ham radio
- a small shovel
- windshield scraping device
- tow rope
- bag of sand or cat litter for traction
- long jumper cables
Home Heating Fires – A Burning Issue
The high cost of home heating and utilities has caused many of us to turn to alternative heating sources such as space heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves. While these alternative methods of heating may be acceptable, they are also a major contributing factor in residential fires. Over one-quarter of heating fires result from improper maintenance of equipment, specifically the failure to clean the equipment.
“Working smoke alarms provide early notification to the presence of smoke. They can alert you and your family to danger,” says State Fire Marshal Charles Duffy. “By frequently practicing a home escape plan, household members will be more familiar with exit strategies.”
Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is another danger when using fuel burning heating equipment, and occurs most often when equipment is not vented properly. CO is known as the “silent killer” because you cannot see it, smell it or taste it. At lower levels of exposure, CO causes mild effects that are often mistaken for the flu. These symptoms include headaches, dizziness, disorientation, nausea, and fatigue. The effects of CO exposure can vary greatly from person to person depending on age, overall health, and the concentration and length of exposure.
Preventing Home Heating Fires:
Fireplaces and Wood Stoves –
- Be sure the fireplace or stove is installed properly. Wood stoves should have adequate clearance (3 feet) from combustible surfaces as well as proper floor support and protection. Have your chimney inspected annually and cleaned, if necessary.
- Keep a glass or metal screen in front of the fireplace opening to prevent embers or sparks from jumping out and unwanted material from going in. Keep flammable or combustible materials away from your fireplace mantel.
- Never close your damper with hot ashes in the fireplace. Allow ashes to cool and dispose of them in a metal container.
Space Heaters –
- Be sure your heater is in good working condition. Inspect for cracked, frayed or broken plugs or loose connections and exhaust parts for carbon buildup. Be sure the heater has an emergency shut off in case it is tipped over.
- Space heaters need space. Keep all things that can burn, such as paper, bedding or furniture, at least 3 feet away from heating equipment.
- Never use fuel burning appliances without proper room venting, burning fuel can produce deadly fumes. Use ONLY the fuel recommended by the heater manufacturer.
- Plug power cords only into outlets with sufficient capacity and never into an extension cord.
Carbon Monoxide Safety:
·Have a trained professional inspect, clean and tune-up your home’s central heating system and repair leaks or other problems. Fireplaces and woodstoves should also be inspected each year and cleaned or repaired as needed.
·Never use an oven or range to heat your home and never use a gas or charcoal grill inside your home or in a closed garage.
·Do not run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Normal circulation will not provide enough fresh air to reliably prevent a dangerous buildup of CO.
Protect Your Home:
- Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. For the best protection, interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home - when one sounds, they all sound. Test smoke alarms at least once a month.
- Install a carbon monoxide alarm in a central location outside each sleeping area. CO alarms measure levels of the gas over time and are designed to sound an alarm before an average, healthy adult would experience symptoms.
The Office of the State Fire Marshal is a Bureau of the Washington State Patrol, providing fire and life safety services to the citizens of Washington State including inspections of state licensed facilities, plan review of school construction projects, licensing of fire sprinkler contractors and pyrotechnic operators, training Washington State’s firefighters, and collecting emergency response data