Tip # 1
Slips, Trips & Falls:
Falls account for almost 400,000 workplace injuries each year. In more than half of these, the victims slipped, tripped or fell right on the same level where they were walking. Maybe it’s a slick surface, a tool left on the floor or a ladder with a broken step. Maybe you created the hazard. Maybe someone else did. It doesn’t matter. Preventing slips, trips and falls takes a team effort: Watch for hazards.
- Keep a safety-first attitude.
- Take action before someone gets hurt.
Slips, Trips & Falls
Tip # 2
Loss of traction causes most slips. To prevent slips: Wear slip-resistant shoes or boots when wet surfaces are likely.
- When walking, keep your center of balance under you.
- Take smaller steps and make wider turns.
- Fix leaky equipment and use drip pans to catch ongoing leaks.
- Clean up spills immediately.
- Mark or barricade slick areas until they are cleaned up.
When you take action to prevent and correct slip hazards, you help everyone keep both feet on the floor.
Tip # 3
Most trips happen when feet encounter something that shouldn’t be on the floor. To avoid trips:
- Keep pathways and work areas clean.
- Properly store tools that aren’t in use.
- Never use a stairwell as a storage room.
- Put trash in the trash bins.
A clean work site is a safe one. And it all begins with a little simple housekeeping………
TIP # 4
WATCH YOUR STEP
- Tools & Clutter?
- Wet Floors?
- Uneven Surfaces?
- Cables & Cords?
- Unguarded Floor Openings?
- Wobbly Ladders?
- Think Safety First!
- Choose Teamwork!
- Good Housekeeping Creates An Organized & Safe Work Site.
- Watch Out!
- Clean Your Work Area
- Make Sure Ladders Are Safe.
- Use Fall Protection
- Cover Floor Openings.
Tip # 5
Slips, Trips & Falls
Good Housekeeping means you work to create an organized and safe environment.
- Keep walkways free from clutter, including purses and briefcases.
- Close file cabinets and drawers.
- Securely attach rugs and runners to the floor.
- Hold down cables and cords with rubber coverings or reroute them.
- Tape down and mark temporary cords and cables.
A safety-first attitude and safety-minded actions are great. But don’t forget to stay alert………
Tip # 6
A GCC employee was ticketed recently for not wearing their seat belt. I thought this was a good time to bring up something personal that might convince everyone to wear their seat belts. In 1989, my oldest son, Chris was in a car accident. He was in the back of a Ford Escort hatchback with no seat belt on. The car was going over 60 miles an hour when it went around a sharp curve. Chris was ejected when the driver lost control and hit a tree. He was airlifted to the Washington Hospital Center in extremely critical condition. Thirty-two days later he came out of his coma and was moved to Mount Vernon Hospital where he spent the next six months. Chris is much better but will always have a head injury. He is married now and has given me my first grandchild. If Chris had been wearing his seat belt he would have probably survived this crash without even a scratch. How do I know this? There were three other boys in the car and they were not injured. So, please wear your seat belt. It does save lives! PS: If any of you remember the Rescue 911 show, you might remember seeing us on it. They re-created the accident in 1990. Tip # 7 Slips, Trips & Falls WATCH OUT Regardless of how careful you are, you must be ready to deal with unexpected hazards.
- Don’t carry a load that blocks your vision.
- Look for uneven surfaces, like when getting on and off elevators.
- Make sure you can see where you are going.
- Turn on lights before you enter an area.
- Replace used bulbs and repair faulty switches.
- If you must enter a dark area, use a flashlight and walk slowly.
- Stick to proven pathways and don’t take shortcuts.
Quicker is not always better, especially where safety is concerned. Remember, it’s not the slip or trip that hurts you, it’s the fall……. Tip # 8 Falls Using ladders improperly or using makeshift ladders is the number one cause of falls at work. Never use boxes, shelves or chairs to reach a height. Get a ladder or proper climbing equipment. Climbing to reach something without proper equipment is one of the most dangerous things you can do. You also must know how to use a ladder properly… When using a ladder:
- Lock the legs into position.
- Make sure the legs are stable.
- Check for loose or broken rungs and rails.
- Make sure it is tall enough.
- Never use the top two steps or rungs.
- Place the base of an extension ladder one foot from the wall for ever four feet of height.
- Get a coworker to hold the base or tie of the top to secure it.
Before working on a ladder in a doorway, lock the door or prop it open so no one will open the door and knock you over. Ladders are the best way to reach high places, but they are not the only places for falls…….. Next week you will learn about heights. Tip # 9 Heights Scaffolds, rooftops, catwalks and building floors under construction can really put you up in the air. Anytime you work at heights greater than six feet, OSHA and good safety practice require you to use fall protection equipment such as a fall arrest system or other form of anchorage. But falls don’t just happen when you climb up. You can also fall through an opening in the floor… Floor Openings Be alert for openings in the floor, and mark or cover any openings that you create. Stay aware and take action to control fall hazards, including a very serious one…. Stairs Every year, 2,500,000 people are injured walking up or down stairs.
- Take steps one at a time.
- Make sure you forward foot is firmly planted before you shift your weight.
- Always use the handrail.
- Never use stairs to store things.
- Keep stairways free of clutter.
Stairs are there for a reason. Don’t jump when you can use the stairs. It’s part of being aware and watching your step. It’s about making choices before you act…. Tip # 10 Test your knowledge Steve and Joy are in situations where they must make choices. You need to help them with these important decisions. Situation 1 Steve discovers a spill. What is the first thing he should do?
- Clean it up – action.
- Call for help – awareness and action.
- Mark off the spill – awareness, attitude and action.
Situation 2 Joy is in the middle of a project for Garland when it’s time to meet Cathie for lunch. What should she do with the materials she has spread all over the place?
- Leave the mess until she gets back.
- Straighten up the mess before she goes.
- Eat lunch in her office.
Situation 3 Steve needs a few tools from the storage room but the lights don’t work. What should he do?
- Get a flashlight.
- Find out why the lights don’t work.
- Get the light fixed.
Answers: Situation 1: C. Steve should mark off the spill so no one slips on it before it is cleaned up. Awareness means Steve sees the potential hazard. Awareness and Action mean Steve gets the spill cleaned up. But the three A’s—Awareness, Attitude and action—mean that Steve makes choices that get the mess cleaned up and that assure the safety of everyone. Situation 2: B or C. Joy chooses to protect her coworkers while she is gone or to forego her lunch plans. Leaving the mess would put other people at risk and show a bad safety attitude. Situation 3: A,B and C. Safety is teamwork. Again it’s the three A’s. Never leave the real problem to someone else. If you spot a problem, remove it or make sure that it is reported and repaired. Tip # 11 Lifting Back injuries are a leading safety problem both on and of the job. Use the simple tips in this safety message to protect your back and stay healthy. Clear the path:
- Make sure you have plenty of room to lift the object properly.
- Check to see that nothing blocks the path to your destination.
- Prop doors open or ask someone to hold them.
- Avoid slippery or uneven surfaces.
- Find a different route.
Size up the load: Push the object lightly or lift a corner to get a sense of its weight. If it’s too heavy, break it down into smaller loads, get help or use a hand truck, pushcart or forklift. Make sure the contents won’t shift. Get help for awkward loads or those that will block your vision. Make the lift:
- Stand as close to the load as possible. Face it squarely.
- Bend your knees, not your waist. Keep your back as straight as possible.
- Lift slowly and steadily, using your legs, not your back.
- Avoid twisting as you lift. Keep your head up.
Carry the load:
- Hold the load close to your body, between your shoulders and waist.
- Keep your back straight or slightly arched.
- Walk slowly and maintain firm footing.
- Use your feet to change directions. Avoid twisting at the waist.
Set it down:
- Move as close as possible to where you want to place the object.
- Use your legs to squat down to lower an object.
- Avoid twisting and bending at the waist. Keep your head up.
Tip # 12 Parking Lot Safety If you’re on the College campus, at the local mall or around home, keep these safety tips in mind while walking in a parking lot.
- Walk in parking lots in pairs or in groups. Follow the crowd out of a store or movie theatre.
- Know the parking lot that you’re parking in. If you’re unfamiliar with the parking lot, drive around and find the best place for you to park. If you feel uncomfortable with the parking lot, find a different lot to park in.
- Park in a well lit area, right next to a light pole if you can.
- Be aware of everything and everybody around you.
- Before you enter your vehicle, take a look inside. Make sure there’s no one in the vehicle. When you get into the vehicle, immediately lock your doors and turn on your headlights. This will allow you to see around your vehicle and make it more difficult for someone to see into your vehicle.
- Have your keys in your hand before you reach your vehicle or before you walk out of the building. This is so you don’t have to search for them when you reach your vehicle.
If at any time you feel insecure about a college parking lot, stop by Campus Security. The parking lot is under constant surveillance and we’d be happy to walk you to your car. Tip # 13 Crime Prevention From the moment you walk on campus you should always be smart and be safe with yourself and with your possessions. These are safety tips that you should follow while on campus or anywhere you will be.
- Wherever you are, stay alert and tuned in to your surroundings. Don’t daydream.
- Never leave your personal property unattended even if you’re going to be gone for just a minute.
- Always lock your car.
- Never give your keys or your id/keycard to anyone.
- Familiarize yourself with the location of emergency telephones, both indoor and outdoor. Locations of some of the phones include emergency call boxes. Press the button and talk into the speaker. A security guard will respond.
- Stick to well-lighted and buy areas. Stay on the part of the sidewalk that is farthest away from shrubs, dark doorways and alleys where people can hide.
Tip # 14 Crime Prevention
- Avoid displaying large amounts of cash or other tempting targets such as jewelry or expensive clothing.
- Follow what your instincts tell you. If you’re walking on campus or at the mall and just have a strange feeling that something’s wrong, then something may be wrong. Change directions to a well traveled, well lit area and head toward a campus emergency phone or to a security guard.
- Remember to place valuables left in your car under your seat, in your trunk, or somewhere else out of sight. To leave CDs or a portable CD player on your seat invites someone to break a window from your car and grab them. As you know, CDs are expensive and having just 10 stolen is over a $150.00 loss. Never leave your purse or wallet in plain view.
- Close and lock all office doors when you leave, open doors invites theft.
Tip # 15 Internet Safety The internet has quickly evolved to be an everyday part of our lives. Without the internet, we do not have a quick and inexpensive form of communications to loved ones and friends that we left behind at home. It is sometimes impossible for telephone calls to be placed out of the country, and when they can be placed, they cost a small fortune. Sitting down and writing a letter via regular postal services is always an option, however it may take weeks for a letter to arrive. The internet seems to be the only viable option for most students, faculty and staff. While on the internet, keep these in mind for a safe and fun time:
- Don’t give out any personal information such as your telephone number, your home or college address, where you work, where you’re from, etc. Most importantly, never give your credit card information over the internet.
- Don’t use your real name as your screen name.
- Don’t set up meeting or telephone conversations with anyone that you meet over the internet.
- If you do speak over the telephone, make sure that your telephone has caller ID blocked so they cannot get your telephone number.
Tip # 16 Internet Safety
- Never give your passwords out for any reason! Internet service providers should have your password on file if they’d ever need it.
- Change your password frequently. There are hacker programs that will steal your password, thereby allowing them access to your account. By changing your password frequently, you lesson the chances of anyone gaining access to your account.
- Don’t reply to any email messages if you feel that they are offensive, strange, mean or upsetting to you.
- Watch out for anonymous re-mailers. There’s a reason why someone doesn’t want to be known.
- Be wary of mail sent to you by someone you don’t know. Viruses can be attached to email and if you open and run an attachment, you run a risk of getting a virus. If you don’t know the person sending you mail, it’s best to delete it, especially if it contains an attachment.
- Never send scanned pictures of yourself, your family or friends.
Tip # 17 Safe Driving Checklist Obey the Law
- Observe speed limits.
- Obey traffic signs and signals.
- Pass other vehicles only on the left; signal your intention before changing lanes.
- Never pass a stopped school bus.
- Yield to drivers who have the right of way.
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Use your seat belt.
Drive Sensibly and Defensively
- Correctly position mirrors and seat before you start.
- Never tailgate; stay at least three car distances behind the driver ahead of you.
- Don’t insist on the right-of-way if the other driver will not yield it.
- Dim your headlights for oncoming cars and those ahead.
- Be aware of what’s happening several vehicle lengths ahead and behind you.
Expect the Unexpected
- Reckless behavior from other drivers
- People, or animals, darting into the road
- Swerving cyclists
- Potholes or debris in the roadway
Take Bad Weather Precautions Improve visibility:
- Use wipers, defroster, and headlights.
- Counter glare from sun or snow with sunglasses.
- Clear snow from hood, roof, and all windows.
When visibility is poor or roadways are slick:
- Reduce speed.
- Increase distance between you and the car ahead.
- Brake gently.
- Watch out for puddles, icy patches, and sudden pockets of fog.
- If you skid, steer gently into the turn. Do not use brakes or step on the gas.
Maintain Your Vehicle
- Conduct pre-driving inspection every time.
- Be sure that scheduled maintenance checks are carried out in time.
- Be alert to below-par performance of any equipment; have it attended to promptly.
- Don’t abuse your vehicle by driving too fast over bumpy terrain.
- Don’t make unnecessarily sharp turns or sudden stops and starts.
Tip # 18 Lead-The Cumulative Killer Lead poisoning is one of the oldest known occupational diseases in the world, yet it continues to affect workers today. Lead is a highly toxic element that can cause permanent and deadly damage to the human body. For many years, lead was an important ingredient in paint. Although it is rarely used in paint now, except for special purposes, there are plenty of items in the workplace still covered with lead-based paint, including window and door frames, pipes, girders, and metal objects of all kinds. Scraping, sanding, sand-blasting, or even flaking of lead-based paint creates a dust that can be easily breathed in. Of course, paint isn’t the only source of lead. Various types of construction materials, including bricks and mortar, roofing material, insulation, pipes, and solder, can all contain lead. Lead is a cumulative poison, meaning once it enters the body, it accumulates in areas such as the blood, kidneys, liver and brain. Signs of Poisoning Inhaling lead dust or fumes is the most common way lead poisoning occurs. Inhaling or swallowing lead (often due to contaminated hands touching food or the face) can introduce lead into the body. The symptoms of lead poisoning can be different with different individuals. A low level of lead in the blood can cause flu-like symptoms, weakness and numbness in the arms and legs, poor circulation, forgetfulness, or anemia (low blood count). Other signs of poisoning include tiredness, insomnia, stomach problems, constipation, and headaches. It can also cause reproductive problems. Higher levels of lead in the blood can lead to kidney damage, problems with the brain such as seizures and coma, and even death. Tip # 19 Get the Lead Out Since lead is so highly toxic, the ideal situation would be to eliminate it from the workplace and substitute materials that do not contain lead. However, this is not always possible. Levels of lead can be brought down by ventilation and workplace changes. So if you know you work with lead-containing materials:
- Follow the safety practices given to you by your supervisor.
- Check the material safety data sheets and chemical labels on materials you come into contact with at the job site.
- Read warning signs and any printed material that your employer has posted in the work area concerning exposure to lead.
- Rotate jobs or duties if instructed to do so by your employer.
- Cooperate with any medical surveillance measures taken by your employer, such as blood tests and physical exams.
Tip # 20 Get The Lead Out-Good Hygiene Can Help If you understand how dangerous lead can be, then you know that following safety procedures involving lead is very important to your health-and the health of your family!
- Use any personal protective equipment, such as gloves, face shields, or respirators, as instructed by your employer.
- Keep the work area as free as possible from lead contamination by regular cleaning with a toxic-dust HEPA filtered vacuum or with safe wet-mopping methods. Don’t use compressed air, a shovel brush, or dry sweeping.
- Try not to touch your face, hair, or other parts of your body when you are working with lead-containing materials.
- Wash your hands and face thoroughly before lunch breaks or any break when you will be eating, drinking, smoking, applying makeup, or touching contact lenses, even if you have been wearing gloves.
- Don’t keep your lunch box, purse, snacks, cigarettes, or makeup near your work area.
- Take showers at the end of your shift. You must change clothing before leaving work.
- Don’t bring your work clothes home! This will bring lead contamination back to your house and your family.
Children of workers who bring home lead dust on their bodies and clothing may be affected from very low levels of exposure. Such exposure can result in behavioral disorders and even mental retardation. WARNING If your job exposes you to lead, immediately report symptoms such as:
- A metallic taste in the mouth.
- Tremors, convulsions, or numbness.
- Vomiting, nausea, or other flu-like symptoms.
- Tiredness, weaknesses, headaches, or nervous irritability.
- Chronic sleep problems.
- Poor memory or a general feeling of mental dullness.
If you do not work with lead, but a family member does, please share these valuable tips with them. Tip # 21 Preparing for Emergency Evacuations BE PREPARED! AN EMERGENCY IS NO TIME TO HESITATE OR PANIC
- Know how to recognize-and turn in-emergency alarms
- Know your responsibilities under the emergency response plan.
- Act quickly when you hear an alarm.
- Turn off equipment you’re using.
- Close windows or doors not needed for escape.
- Alert other employees to the emergency.
- Assist any disabled employees who need help escaping.
- Leave the area by your assigned exit-or the closes safe exit if yours can’t be used.
- Go to your assigned “safe place.” (That would be the call boxes in the front parking lot.)
- Don’t block the path of emergency response crews or vehicles.
- Stay in your assigned place so no one fears you’re left behind, in danger.
- Follow instructions about where to go-and when.
Tip # 22 Vacation Security Tips Most burglaries are opportunist and happen when owners are away. Unfortunately it is necessary to be especially careful at vacation time, as homes are more often empty. While enjoying your vacation, please don’t overlook your home security. Taking a few simple precautions will help to deter all but the most determined burglar.
- Close and lock all doors and windows – burglars don’t like to smash glass.
- Don’t “hide” keys outside your home, nor leave them in an obvious place near doors or windows.
- Make sure your valuables, including televisions and stereo systems cannot be seen from the outside.
- Make you home look occupied when you’re away by using timers on radios and lights.
- When you buy new items like DVD players or video recorders, don’t advertise by leaving the empty boxes out for recycling. Turn boxes inside out and fold them down.
- Hide or lock away passports and official documents-identity fraud is on the rise.
- Don’t leave car keys near doors or windows-car theft through burglary is also on the rise.
- Consider engraving your property-this puts thieves off because it makes it harder to re-sell.
- Ensure you have an up to date list and photographs of your valuables and keep copies in a safe place.
- Consider leaving our pets at home. Having a friend or neighbor come by to feed your pet will provide you with the best security system-a barking dog.
- Stay in your assigned place so no one fears you’re left behind, in danger.
Tip # 23 Vacation Security Tips – Continued Homes with good security are much less likely to be burgled than those without.
- Deadlocks make it harder for burglars to get out with your goods if they got in through a window. Don’t forget to put a deadlock on the internal access door between the garage and the house.
- Window locks deter burglars because smashing glass attracts attention and can leave forensic evidence.
- Visible burglar alarms are a great deterrent – though it’s courteous to your neighbors to ensure that they shut off after a few minutes.
- Security lighting is also a good deterrent, but should be placed carefully near entry points so as not to disturb neighbors.
- Timers on radios and lights make it look like you’re there when you’re not.
- Spy holes and chains on doors let you see who’s there without opening up.
When you go on vacation
- Use timers on radios and lights.
- Cancel newspapers and mail deliveries.
- If you decided to have a neighbor pick up your mail, have them open and close your curtains.
- Make sure your neighbors know where they can contact you in an emergency and when you will be home.
- Invite neighbors to use your driveway to make it look like someone is home.
- Lock away garden tools and ladders that could be used by a would-be thief to gain access to your house.
- Make arrangements for family pets to be looked after.
- If you are away for more than 2 weeks, arrange for your lawns to be mowed.
- Consider inviting a relative or friend to house sit for you.
- Whatever you do, don’t leave a message on your answering machine that you are away. Instead, clear the messages yourself or arrange to have a friend check them regularly for you.
Tip # 24 Prevent Back Injuries Learn to Lift & Carry Correctly
- Squat by bending at the hips and knees. Keep your head, shoulders, and hips in a straight line. Feet should be shoulder-width apart and turned out.
- Don’t bend your back. Maintain its natural curves.
- Let your legs do the lifting.
Lifting, carrying, and unloading safely means:
- Stand close to the load.
- Keep a wide stance, and make sure your footing is solid.
- Tighten the stomach muscles.
- Assume the Safe lifting position.
- Pull the load close to the body.
- Move slowly, with small steps.
- Don’t twist the body when carrying.
- When unloading, lower the load slowly using your legs, not your back.
REMEMBER: DON’T TRY TO LIFT ANYTHING TOO HEAVY FOR YOU TO HANDLE. GET HELP OR USE MECHANICAL AIDES. Tip # 25 A Healthy Back Needs A Healthy Body Staying in good shape and not being overweight are keys to preventing back injuries. Try these simple exercises to strengthen back and stomach muscles: Semi Sit-up Lie on your back with your knees bent. Reach toward your knees until your shoulders are off the floor. Hold for 5 seconds. Slowly lower your shoulders back to the floor. Gut Sucker Slowly tighten stomach and buttock muscles. Hold for 5 seconds, then slowly relax. This can be done any time while sitting, standing, or lying down. Fitness Prevents Back Injuries! Regular exercise helps you strengthen your muscles and lose weight. Try walking for 30 minutes a day or start a regular fitness program with aerobics, bicycling, or equipment such as treadmill or stair climber. (Your back will thank you.) As always, check with your physician before starting any exercise program. Tip # 26 Lawn & Garden Safety As the weather becomes warmer and days are longer, we spend as much time as we can outdoors enjoying our back yards. Many of us tackle do-it-yourself projects and others are happy just being outside. But, to be safe, it is important to remember the following tips when frolicking in the yard, especially if you have children.
- Keep children inside the house or well away from the area you are mowing.
- Prepare your lawn by walking over it, checking for broken sticks, stones, toys and anything else that could shoot out from under the mower or damage the blade.
- Before you start your lawn mower for the first time, check to make sure that all guards are in place.
- Don’t let people stand or sit anywhere near where you are mowing. Be especially careful to keep small children away.
- Never reach under the mower unless it is turned off and the blade has completely stopped turning.
- Only refuel the mower after it has completed cooled down.
- Store pesticides and herbicides on high shelves or inside locked cabinets, out of reach of children.
- When using a chain saw, make certain it is equipped with an anti-kickback chain that is well sharpened.
- Garden tools such as rakes, spades, forks, pruning clippers, files and metal plant stakes should not be left lying around when not in use.
- Wear proper eye protection when using any power tool.
- Don’t wear any loose or dangling clothing that could be caught in moving parts.
Tip # 27 According to the U.S. Consumer Products Commission (CPSC), there were nearly 47,000 injuries on home playgrounds to children under age 15 in the latest year studied. The report also finds that over a ten-year period, more deaths to children occurred on backyard playgrounds than on public playgrounds. Adopt the following safety guidelines with playground equipment in your home, and also use the following guidelines to inspect any equipment in your neighborhood or school before your child plays there:
- Cover areas under and around play equipment with soft materials such as hardwood chips, mulch, pea gravel and sand (materials should be nine to 12 inches deep and extend six feet from all sides of play equipment.
- Do not suspend more than two swing seats in the same section of a swing support structure.
- Check equipment for signs of deterioration or corrosion, including rust, chipped paint, splitting or cracked plastic components or loose splinters.
- Avoid putting play equipment close together. For example, stationary climbing equipment should have an uncluttered fall zone of at least six feet in all directions of equipment.
- Slides and platforms for climbing equipment should not exceed heights of six feet for school-age children or four feet for pre-school children.
- Beware of entrapment or entanglement hazards. A child’s head can be trapped in openings between 3.5 and nine inches wide.
- Avoid elevated platforms, walkways, or ramps that lack adequate guardrails or other barriers (to help prevent children from falling).
- Watch for possible tripping hazards such as rocks and roots. Clear this debris from your child’s play area.
- Always supervise children when they are using playground equipment.
Tip # 28 This week’s tip was suppose to be about grilling safety but Jacque Hirsch sent this along and it was too good not to send out immediately. Thanks Jacque! (also Susan-thanks) IN CASE OF EMERGENCY (ICE) Paramedics will turn to a victim’s cell phone for clues to that person’s identity. You can make their job much easier with a simple idea that they are trying to get everyone to adopt: ICE ICE stands for In Case of Emergency. If you add an entry in the contacts list in our cell phone under ICE, with the name and phone number of the person that the emergency services should call on your behalf, you can save them a lot of time and have your loved ones contacted quickly. It only takes a few minutes of your time to d. Paramedics know what ICE means and they look for it immediately. ICE your cell phone NOW! Tip # 29 Grilling Safety According to the NFPA, gas and charcoal grills caused an average of 1,500 structure fires and 4,800 outdoor fires in or on home properties in 1999. To make sure your next barbeque doesn’t go up in flames, the Home Safety Council recommends the following:
- Designate the grilling area a “No Play Zone” keeping kids and pets well away until grill equipment is completely cool.
- Before using, position your grill at least 3 feet away from other objects, including the house and any any shrubs or bushes.
- Only use starter fluid made for barbeque grills when starting a fire in a charcoal grill.
- Before using a gas grill, check the connection between the propane tank and the fuel line to be sure it is working properly and not leaking.
- Never use a match to check for leaks. If you detect a leak, immediately turn off the gas and don’t attempt to light the grill again until the leak is fixed.
- Never bring a barbeque grill indoors, or into any unventilated space. This is both a fire and carbon monoxide poisoning hazard.
Tip # 30 Outdoor Chemicals & Poison Hazards According to the State of Home Safety in America, household chemicals caused more than 45,000 emergency room visits in a single year. Many families store chemicals and cleaning supplies in a garage or basement, and while those may not be high traffic areas for family members, it is important to store and handle chemicals correctly wherever the area. The Home Safety Council recommends the following guidelines when storing and handling dangerous products, including gasoline, pool chemicals and pesticides:
- Use child-resistant caps on dangerous products, including those stored in the garage, such as pesticides, automotive fluids, charcoal lighter, paint thinner, antifreeze, and turpentine. A locked cabinet would be ideal. Spilled antifreeze tastes sweet tot your pet and is deadly. Clean up spills immediately.
- Store all products in their original containers and in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- When using harsh products, follow safety recommendations, such as wearing gloves and masks. Do not mix products together because their contents could react together with dangerous results.
- Never transfer poisonous or caustic products to drinking glasses, pop bottles, or other food containers which could be mistaken and the contents consumed.
- Store only a small amount of gasoline in a garage or shed and always in an approved, vented container designed and labeled for gasoline. Gas should never be stored indoors.
- Mix insect sprays outdoors, away from areas used by your family and pets.
- Store and use pool chemicals according to the manufacturer’s directions, always in tightly covered original containers, in a dry place. Keep these away from other chemicals and products.
Tip # 31 Backyard Safety Checklist
- Keep all garden tools out of children’s reach and store them with tines, blades or spikes.
- Put ladders away promptly after use and store them in a shed or garage where they cannot be reached by children or used by burglars.
- Keep five gallon and other large buckets stored up high and turned upside down to prevent a toddler from drowning.
- Use soft protective surfacing such as wood chips or mulch under all outdoor playground equipment.
- Clear sidewalks and pathways of toys and clutter and repair broken or chipped surfaces.
- Designate your grilling area as a “Kid Free Zone” until the grill equipment is completely cool.
- Keep grills at least 3 feet away from other objects, including the house and any shrubs or bushes.
- Wear protective goggles and ear protection while using outdoor machinery, including lawn mowers, blowers and power tools.
- Keep children inside the home while mowing the lawn or using other dangerous tools.
- Fill the mower with gasoline before starting the job and only refuel after it has completely cooled down.
- Be careful to only refuel gasoline-powered equipment outside, away from cigarettes and other sparks and flames.
- Clean up spills promptly.
- Store automotive fluids and pesticides outside in their original containers and out of reach of children (preferably in a locked cabinet).
- Use gasoline as a motor fuel only.
- Use gasoline outside and only store small amounts in an approved container.
- Wear a respirator whenever pesticides, chlorine-based pool products or other dangerous chemicals are mixed, used or applied.
- Read package labels carefully and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe and effective use and storage of pesticides, pool products and other chemicals.
Tip #32 Bathroom Safety Tips
- Install grab bars in bath and shower stalls. Don’t use towel racks or wall-mounted soap dishes as grab bars; they can easily come loose, causing a fall.
- Use a non-slip mat or install adhesive safety strips or decals in bathtubs and showers.
- Keep the bathroom floor clean and promptly wipe up all spills.
- If you use a bath mat on the floor, choose one that has a non-skid bottom.
- Avoid using cleaning supplies that may leave a slippery residue.
- Use nightlight’s to help light hallways and bathrooms during night time hours.
- Make sure that medications, including vitamins, prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs, have child-resistant caps.
- Lock medicines, cosmetics and cleaning supplies in a secure cabinet.
- Keep medicines and cleaning products in their original containers with the original labels intact.
- Never leave children unattended near standing water.
- If you have toddlers, use toilet seat locks and keep bathroom doors closed.
- Always stay within touch supervision of young children – within an arm’s reach – during bath time. never allow older children to supervise.
- Never touch an electrical appliance when you are bathing.
- Make sure all bathrooms are protected by ground fault circuit interrupters. (GFCI’s)
- Keep small electrical appliances such as hair dryers, curling irons, and razors away from water and unplugged and stored when not in use.
Tip # 33 Halloween Safety Halloween represents a time of fun and festivity. Candy corn, costumed kids and carved pumpkins set the scene. follow these simple tips provided by the Home Safety Council to make sure your Cinderella or Frankenstein does not get spooked by holiday dangers:
- Only permit trick-or-treating at the homes of friends and neighbors you know well.
- Walk with your children.
- When purchasing costumes and accessories, buy only those marked “flame retardant” or “flame resistant.
- Avoid costumes made of long, flowing material and accessories that can move or blow over open flames.
- Choose costumes that are light, bright and clearly visible. Apply reflective tape to the front and back of costumes to help motorists see your child.
- Avoid costumes that block your child’s vision and increase the risk of a fall.
- Be sure that costume accessories, such as knives and swords, are made of soft, flexible material.
- To keep vision clear, consider using face paint instead of a mask.
- Give your child a flashlight to light the way and signal drivers of his or her presence. Never carry candles, torches or other open flames as part of a costume.
- Examine all treats thoroughly before allowing children to eat them.
- Throw away open treats, those not in their original wrapping and homemade goodies from unknown sources.
- Slice open fruit to check for foreign objects.
- Contact the Poison Control Center Hotline if your believe your child has consumed anything hazardous. The national hotline number is 1-800-222-1222. Notify local police of any suspicious candy.
- Young children should never help carve a pumpkin. As an alternative, decorate pumpkins with markers, paint or stickers.
When hosting trick-or-treaters at your home, keep these safety tips in mind:
- Do not use candles when decorating porches to prevent costumes from catching fire. Light jack-o-lanterns with small flashlights instead of candles.
- Provide bright walkway and porch lighting to help prevent falls.
- Offer treats wrapped in their original packages.
- If you decorate your home with candles, keep them well away form crepe paper, leaves and other flammable objects. Extinguish all candles when leaving the room.
Tip #34 Recognizing a Stroke A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke…totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed and getting to the patient within 3 hours which is tough. Recognizing a Stroke – A true Story Susie is recouping at an incredible pace for someone with a massive stroke all because Sherry saw Susie stumble — that is the key that isn’t mentioned below – and then she asked Susie the 3 questions. So simple — this literally saved Susie’s life. Susie failed all three so 9-1-1 was called. Even though she could converse to some extent with the paramedics, they took her to the hospital right away. Thank goodness for the sense to remember the “3” steps. Read and Learn! Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:
- Ask the individual to SMILE.
- Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS
- Ask the person to SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (coherently) (ie, It is sunny out today) If he or she has trouble with any of these tasks, call 9-1-1 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.
After discovering that a group of non-medical volunteers could identify facial weakness, arm weakness and speech problems, researchers urged the general public to learn the three questions. They presented their conclusions at the American Stroke Association’s annual meeting last February. Widespread use of this test could result in prompt diagnosis and treatment of the stroke and prevent brain damage.