Tag Archives: safety

Hurricane Sandy Storm Safety

Hurricane SandyWith Hurricane Sandy barreling down on us, I thought I’d keep today’s post short and sweet. No one can say what havoc Sandy is going to bring, but in an effort to ride out this storm as safely and comfortably as possible, here a a few preparedness tips.

 

  • Have enough water for each person in the house for 3 days. Best estimate is one gallon of water per person per day.
  • Have a three day supply of non-perishable foods.
  • Have enough pet care supplies for three days
  • Have flashlights and batteries for them
  • Have a battery operated radio
  • Have  first aid kit
  • Have emergency blankets

During the storm:

  • Go to an interior room and stay away from windows and doors even if they’re covered
  • Don’t go outside including when the eye of the storm is passing.

For additional hurricane preparedness and safety tips or to prepare for any other type of storm, you can visit the American Red Cross’s Disaster and Safety Library.

Hang in there all. Sandy is going to give us a heck of a bumpy ride.  So stay safe and dry.

~Rayna

Cooking Safety

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! I’m sure everyone is already busy getting ready to visit with  family or already in the kitchen beginning prep for today’s meal. I hope your travels are safe and your day full of joy. Since today is a particularly big cooking and baking day I thought I’d share a few cooking safety tips to keep this holiday happy and accident free. Today’s tips are courtesy of the USFA Cooking Fire Safety Webpage.

Watch What You Heat

  • The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking.
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.
  • Stay alert! To prevent cooking fires, you have to be alert. You won’t be if you are sleepy, have been drinking alcohol, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy.

Keep Things That Can Catch Fire and Heat Sources Apart

  • Keep anything that can catch fire – potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels, or curtains – away from your stovetop.
  • Keep the stovetop, burners, and oven clean.
  • Keep pets off cooking surfaces and nearby countertops to prevent them from knocking things onto the burner.
  • Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. Loose clothing can dangle onto stove burners and catch fire if it comes into contact with a gas flame or electric burner.

If Your Clothes Catch Fire

If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop, and roll. Stop immediately, drop to the ground, and cover face with hands. Roll over and over or back and forth to put out the fire. Immediately cool the burn with cool water for 3 to 5 minutes and then seek emergency medical care.

Prevent Scalds and Burns

  • To prevent spills due to overturn of appliances containing hot food or liquids, use the back burner when possible and/or turn pot handles away from the stove’s edge. All appliance cords need to be kept coiled and away from counter edges.
  • Use oven mitts or potholders when moving hot food from ovens, microwave ovens, or stovetops. Never use wet oven mitts or potholders as they can cause scald burns.
  • Replace old or worn oven mitts.
  • Young children are at high risk of being burned by hot food and liquids. Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a “kid-free zone” of 3 feet (1 meter) around the stove.
  • Keep young children at least 3 feet (1 meter) away from any place where hot food or drink is being prepared or carried. Keep hot foods and liquids away from table and counter edges.
  • When young children are present, use the stove’s back burners whenever possible.
  • Never hold a child while cooking, drinking, or carrying hot foods or liquids.
  • Teach children that hot things burn.
  • When children are old enough, teach them to cook safely. Supervise them closely.
  • Treat a burn right away, putting it in cool water. Cool the burn for 3 to 5 minutes. If the burn is bigger than your fist or if you have any questions about how to treat it, seek medical attention right away.

How and When to Fight Cooking Fires

  • When in doubt, just get out. When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
  • If you do try to fight the fire, be sure others are already getting out and you have a clear path to the exit.
  • Always keep an oven mitt and a lid nearby when you are cooking. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan (make sure you are wearing the oven mitt). Turn off the burner. Do not move the pan. To keep the fire from restarting, leave the lid on until the pan is completely cool.
  • In case of an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you or your clothing.
  • If you have a fire in your microwave oven, turn it off immediately and keep the door closed. Never open the door until the fire is completely out. Unplug the appliance if you can safely reach the outlet.
  • After a fire, both ovens and microwaves should be checked and/or serviced before being used again.

 

Safe and Happy Thanksgiving to All!

~Rayna

 

Using Public Transportation Safely

Many people rely on trains and buses for transportation.  Unfortunately,  predators of all sorts troll these areas as well.   The following tips can help make your trip a safe one.

When riding on a bus or train, have your ticket or change ready so you do not have to get your wallet out.  Always wait in a well-lit area for your bus or train and wait near other people.  If possible, meet a friend there to wait with you, or even better, travel together.  A lone traveler is always more of a target than a group.  There’s safety in numbers.  If you do end up on the bus or train alone, sit close to the driver.   Don’t fall asleep.  Stay awake and alert at all times.  Don’t get so caught up in texting a friend or reading a book that you fail to notice who gets on and off.  You don’t need to stare to know who is around you and what they are doing.  Sit in an aisle seat so you won’t be blocked in. Keep your belongings on your person, with your purse strap over your shoulder and larger bags between your feet.

When you reach your destination, pay attention to who gets off at your stop.  If you think you are being followed, use the go-to-people principal.  Let the person know you see him and know where he is at all times.  If possible, have someone waiting for you, especially if your stop is isolated or dark.   If you’re going out with friends, make a pact that you will all leave together and make sure no one gets left behind.

Talk A Walk On The Safe Side

Photo Courtesy of Flickr and Nick Harris1

As the weather turns warmer (at least for some parts of the country. I’m still waiting for Spring in NJ), more people will be heading out doors.  Here are some safety tips on walking from certified women’s self-defense instructor, Kathleen Kuck.


-Avoid walking and talking/texting on a cell phone when in public.

-Back up to a wall if you must take a call.

-Always carry a cell phone for emergencies.

-Avoid ear buds or headphones while walking or jogging in public.

-Walk with a purpose. Head up, look around.  Eyes forward.

-Avoid walking/jogging/running alone whenever possible.

-Stay on paths that have people and traffic.

-Avoid shortcuts through alleys, fields, wooded areas, and secluded locations.

-Keep a grip on purse if over a shoulder.

-It is harder to escape if wearing heels.  Avoid scarves or long thick necklaces.

-Keep hands as free as possible.

-If attacked, don’t let anyone take you away to a secondary location. Your chance of returning are slim to nonexistent.  Fight back right where you are.

-Walk against traffic.

-Avoid walking next to bushes, walls, fences.  Anywhere a bad guy can hide.

-Take corners wide.  Same reason as above.

-Carry pepper spray if possible.

-If you don’t like pepper spray carry a personal alarm.  They cost very little money.

-A walking/hiking stick may also do the trick.

-Walking with a dog is also a great deterrent.

-Don’t walk up to a car if asked for directions or the time.

-If something goes wrong RUN RUN RUN to where people are; a store, a business, a group of people in the park.

-Make noise.  Suspects do not want witnesses and are looking for speed and ease.

-Keep as much distance as possible between you and a bad guy.

-If a friend is dropping you off, ask them to wait until you are safely inside the building.

-If you think you are being followed, change to the other side of the street.  Pick up your pace, start heading toward people, businesses, other people walking, etc.

-Try taking a few turns or pause inside of a business to see if you are being followed.

Thanks, Kathleen, for the great tips. If anyone has another, please share it in the comments section. If you don’t have a tip, then tell me your favorite place to walk. My favorite place is hiking in the woods.  :)

Stay Safe!

~K.M. Fawcett

Safety Tip of the Week: Winter Car Safety

Image courtesy of Wisconsin Engineer and Flickr

For many of us, winter means snow, sleet and icy road conditions.  It’s a perfect time to stay home and snuggle by the fire.  If you must travel out in bad weather, however, be sure you and your car are prepared for a winter emergency.

Get your vehicle tuned up, keep the gas tank full and be sure you have the following in your car.

  • Cell phone and charger
  • Reflective triangles or flares
  • Spare tire, wheel wrench and a jack
  • Jumper cables
  • Tool kit
  • Shovel
  • Ice scraper and brush
  • Bag of salt, sand or cat litter for traction
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit – be sure to include medications and baby items (formula, diapers, etc.) if needed.
  • Exterior windshield cleaner
  • Extra clothes – hats, gloves, coats, boots
  • Blankets or sleeping bag to keep warm inside the vehicle
  • Non-perishable, high-energy foods like energy bars, candy bars, dried fruits and nuts.
  • Water

Remember, if you are stranded, put on your flashers, call for help and stay in your car until help arrives.  If I missed something in the above list, please add it in the comments section.  Travel Safe!

~KM Fawcett

Safety Tip of The Week: Blow the Whistle on The Bad Guy

What is the one thing that an attacker doesn’t want?  Attention.  So why not keep a safety whistle with you?  If someone is getting too close for comfort in the parking lot or you feel you are in danger, blow your safety whistle.  Heads will turn.  Maybe even more effectively than yelling “fire”.  Let’s face it, humans are curious and a whistle blow will garner quick attention.  It may also scare off an attacker who is looking for an easy target.

A safety whistle is also a great thing to bring with you when camping, hiking, biking, or exercising anywhere outdoors.  If you get lost or injured, blowing your safety whistle will let others know you need assistance.  It requires less energy to blow a whistle than to yell.  Therefore, it won’t exhaust you or make you lose your voice like yelling does.  A whistle can also be heard longer distances than your voice.

Melinda, Rayna and I will be attending the RWA National conference in Orlando.  We will have an Attacking the Page display in the goody room stocked with free safety whistles.  Stop by the goody room and get yours while supplies last.  Or find me at the conference, mention the Attacking the Page blog and I’ll give you one.

~KM Fawcett

Travel safety, part 2

Adding on to last week’s post, here are some more ideas for safe and fun travel.

  • If traveling abroad make sure you have a signed, valid passport, and a visa, if required, and fill in the emergency information page of your passport.
  • Leave copies of your itinerary, passport data page and visas with family or friends, so you can be contacted in case of an emergency or in case your documents are lost or stolen.
  • Ask your medical insurance company if your policy applies at your destination. If it does not, consider supplemental insurance.
  • Do not pack valuables in your suitcase.  Bags must be unlocked or locked with approved padlocks. If they are locked with an unapproved lock, screeners will break the lock to gain access.
  • Learn important fact about your destination that could affect your health (high altitude or pollution, types of medical facilities, required immunizations, availability of required pharmaceuticals, etc.). Key health information can be found at the Travelers’ Health page of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website at http://www.cdc.gov/travel.
  • If you wear eyeglasses, take an extra pair with you.
  • Pack medicines and extra eyeglasses in your hand luggage so they will be available in case your checked luggage is lost.
  • If you have allergies, reactions to certain medications, foods, or insect bites, or other unique medical problems, consider wearing a “medical alert” bracelet.
  • Don’t pack so much that you will end up lugging around heavy suitcases.
  • Include a change of clothing in your carry-on luggage.

Enjoy your trip!

Safety Tip of the Week: Pool Safety

Photo by Debs1986 courtesy of Flickr

Summer is officially here!  It’s the perfect time to discuss Pool Safety.  As I was searching the web for good information, I came across these safety tips for children from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Source: http://www.aap.org/family/tipppool.htm

  • Install a fence at least four-feet high around all four sides of the pool.  The fence should not have openings or protrusions that a young child could use to get over, under, or through.
  • Make sure pool gates open out from the pool, and self-close and self-latch at a height children can’t reach.
  • If the house serves as the fourth side of a fence surrounding a pool, install an alarm on the exit door to the yard and the pool.
  • Never leave children alone in or near the pool or spa, even for a moment.
  • Keep rescue equipment (a shepherd’s hook – a long pole with a hook on the end – and life preserver) and a portable telephone near the pool. Choose a shepherd’s hook and other rescue equipment made of fiberglass or other materials that do not conduct electricity.
  • 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.
  • Children age 4 and older should be taught to swim. Parents may choose to start swimming lessons before age 4 if their children are developmentally ready, but swim programs should never be seen as “drown proofing” a child of any age.
  • Whenever infants or toddlers are in or around water, an adult should be within arm’s length, providing “touch supervision.”
  • Avoid Entrapment: Suction from pool and spa drains can trap an adult underwater.  Do not use a pool or spa if there are broken or missing drain covers.  Ask your pool operator if your pool or spa’s drains are compliant with the Pool and Spa Safety Act.
  • Large inflatable above-ground pools have become increasingly popular for backyard use. Children may fall in if they lean against the soft side of an inflatable pool. Although such pools are often exempt from local pool fencing requirements, it is essential that they be surrounded by an appropriate fence just as a permanent pool would be so that children cannot gain unsupervised access.

~KM Fawcett

“Purse”onal Safety

Keep your purse and wallet safe from theft!

Courtesy of Flickr & Quilts With Love

Don’t leave your purse or wallet in your car, in your shopping cart or in your coat when using a coat check or a coat rack.  When trying on clothes or testing products, never leave or set down your purse. When dining, keep your purse on your lap or on the ground between your feet.

Avoid carrying large purses, as they are easier to snatch.

Avoid keeping your wallet in your back pocket, especially in crowds.

Keep your purse held tightly against your body with the flap facing toward you.  Keep it zipped closed.  If you can’t close your purse, it’s time to clean it out.

Carry as little cash as possible. If you must carry a large amount of money, be careful not to let others see it.

You may want to carry a diversionary money fold with several singles covered by one larger bill, such as a twenty.  If someone tries to rob you, throw your diversionary money in one direction and run the other way (toward people if possible).

Feel free to add your own “purse“onal safety tip in the comments section.

~KM Fawcett

Safety Tip of the Week: Using Public Transportation

Many people rely on trains and buses for transportation.  Unfortunately,  predators of all sorts troll these areas as well.   The following tips can help make your trip a safe one.

When riding on a bus or train, have your ticket or change ready so you do not have to get your wallet out.  Always wait in a well-lit area for your bus or train and wait near other people.  If possible, meet a friend there to wait with you, or even better, travel together.  A lone traveler is always more of a target than a group.  There’s safety in numbers.  If you do end up on the bus or train alone, sit close to the driver.   Don’t fall asleep.  Stay awake and alert at all times.  Don’t get so caught up in texting a friend or reading a book that you fail to notice who gets on and off.  You don’t need to stare to know who is around you and what they are doing.  Sit in an aisle seat so you won’t be blocked in. Keep your belongings on your person, with your purse strap over your shoulder and larger bags between your feet.

When you reach your destination, pay attention to who gets off at your stop.  If you think you are being followed, use the go-to-people principal.  Let the person know you see him and know where he is at all times.  If possible, have someone waiting for you, especially if your stop is isolated or dark.   If you’re going out with friends, make a pact that you will all leave together and make sure no one gets left behind.