Turn Fire Safety Into a Family Fun Activity!

family-safety-fb-shutterstock_123020254Create A Family Escape Plan

Creating a family fire escape plan is essential to safety. Take a few minutes to draw a diagram of your home (you can download one here. Identify at least two exits from each room as well as a family meeting place away from the house. Remind your children that if they see or smell smoke, they should “go low” and crawl to the exit.

Walk with your kids into each room and ask, “How could you get out?” “Now imagine this door is locked shut, how could you get out?” “Imagine the window was locked how could you get out?” Make the game more fun by adding in some playful and silly examples that make them think of alternative exits, e.g., “A giant llama is blocking the door. How could you get out? An elephant is in the front hall. How else could you go?”

Race to the family meeting area and review the fact that the first thing they should always do in case of a fire is get out of the house and never go back inside for any reason.

*An important reminder for parents – In a real fire, you shouldn’t rely on your children to escape safely on their own. Part of your family escape plan should include an adult going to each child’s room and getting everyone out safely.

Get Out

Creating a family fire escape plan is essential to safety. Take a few minutes to draw a diagram of your home (you can download one here. Identify at least two exits from each room as well as a family meeting place away from the house. Remind your children that if they see or smell smoke, they should “go low” and crawl to the exit.

Walk with your kids into each room and ask, “How could you get out?” “Now imagine this door is locked shut, how could you get out?” “Imagine the window was locked how could you get out?” Make the game more fun by adding in some playful and silly examples that make them think of alternative exits, e.g., “A giant llama is blocking the door. How could you get out? An elephant is in the front hall. How else could you go?”

Race to the family meeting area and review the fact that the first thing they should always do in case of a fire is get out of the house and never go back inside for any reason.

*An important reminder for parents – In a real fire, you shouldn’t rely on your children to escape safely on their own. Part of your family escape plan should include an adult going to each child’s room and getting everyone out safely.

The above is an excerpt from the article, “It’s Safety Time! Safety Games and Activities for Your Family.” For more information, please visit www.safetyatohome.com.

Protect Yourself from the Sun and Drink Plenty of Fluids!

drink-fb-shutterstock_206076931Protect Yourself from the Sun
A typical round of golf means four hours of exposure to the harsh effects of the sun. More on a slow day, or on a day when you play more than 18 holes. More when you factor in time on the practice putting green ordriving range.

In short, golfers have a large exposure to the potentially dangerous effects of the sun. Protect your skin by always using a strong sunscreen.

Also, wear a wide-brimmed cap to keep the sun off your face. Better yet, get yourself a straw hat or other full-brimmed hat that will also help keep the sun off the back of your neck.

Add Fluids … the Right Kind of Fluids
If you’re playing golf under the sun on a hot day, you’ll be sweating off a lot of body fluids. Even if the sun is nowhere to be seen, and it’s a cool day, you’ll be working up a thirst.

Quench that thirst the right way. Drink plenty of water. If you buy a beverage, make it a sports drink such as Gatorade.

Of course, there are those golfers who play simply as an excuse to drink beer. It’s important to avoid beer (at least until after the round) on hot days. Because alcohol, along with the sun, also dehydrates the human body. And we all know about alcohol’s disorienting effect on people. The odds of an accident ocurring go way up with each beer.

The above is an excerpt from the article, “Simple Safety Guidelines for Golfers.” For more information, please visit www.about.com.

Home Fire Escape Plan

asian-family-fb-home-shutterstock_100365059Home Fire Escape Plan

FACT: Most of the families who have fire escape plans do not practice them. Consider that it takes just a few minutes, sometimes only seconds, for a fire to spread out of control. Then consider the difference that a well-rehearsed fire escape plan can make. Children as young as 3 can follow a fire escape plan that they have practiced often, and it can mean the difference between life and death.

What you can do:

■ Draw a basic diagram of your home, marking all windows and doors, and plan two routes out of each room.

■ Consider various fire scenarios, from easiest to most difficult. Imagine a fire starting and spreading from your kitchen, from the basement, and from the hallway outside your bedroom. Develop your escape plan with options for a safe escape in each scenario.

■ If you are escaping smoke, crawl low under the smoke. Touch doors to see if they are hot before opening. If so, use the alternative escape route.

Designate a safe meeting point outdoors and teach your children never to go back inside the house.

■ Practice your fire escape plans regularly— at least twice a year, more often is better. Include a strategy for times when one parent is out of the home.

■ When practicing the fire escape plan, show children how to cover their nose and mouth to reduce smoke inhalation.

■ Keep exits clear of debris or toys.

■ When you have babies and toddlers in the home, these extra escape options are necessary:

  • Keep a baby harness by the crib in case of emergencies. The harness, worn like a body brace, allows you to comfortably carry your baby and leave your hands free to escape the home.
  • Keep your child’s bedroom door closed. If a hallway fire occurs, a closed door will hinder smoke from overpowering your baby or toddler, giving firefighters extra time for rescue.
  • Teach toddlers not to hide from firefighters. Uniforms can be scary in times of crisis. Teach children that firefighters are there to help in an emergency.

■ If you have older children too, have them practice crawling, touching doors, or going to the window, according to your escape plan.

The above is an excerpt from the article, “A Fact Sheet On Fire Safety for Babies and Toddlers.” For more information, please visit www.fema.gov.

Never Hit Into the Group and Drive Safely

golf-fb-cart-shutterstock_127733003Never Hit Into the Group Ahead of Yours
This should go without saying, shouldn’t it? What we’re talking about are those occasions when a very slow group is ahead of yours, and frustration takes over. It happens to all of us. Someone in your group gets angry, and next thing you know, they’re teeing up a ball and intentionally hitting into the slow-playing group ahead.

If you’re ever tempted to do this … don’t. It’s very rare, but golfers have been killed after being struck by golf balls. Injuries do occur.

Instead of taking aim at someone in anger, take a deep breath. Remind yourself that you’re playing golf, a great game, and enjoy the camaraderie with your buddies. If you spot a course marshall, flag him down and ask if he can help speed up play. Don’t take the risk of hurting someone ahead.

Drive Safely
Most golf carts come with a safety label. Read it, and follow the directions. No, driving a golf cart along the course’s cart paths isn’t a difficult thing to do. But read and observe all safety rules. Don’t hang your feet out of the cart while it’s in motion; don’t go off-roading over bumpy terrain; don’t drive at full speed around curves or down steep hills. Don’t let small children drive the cart.

Don’t drive the cart if you’ve had a few too many beers. And watch out for other golf carts at points where paths cross.

For more in-depth discussion, read the articles on golf cart safety and golf cart rules.

The above is an excerpt from the article, “Simple Safety Guidelines for Golfers.” For more information, please visit www.about.com.

Looking Out For Children: Smoke Alarms

smoke-alarm-shutterstock_186335366Smoke Alarms FACT: Two-thirds of home fires that kill children occur in homes without a working smoke alarm. When fire breaks out, you have only seconds to escape its heat, black smoke and deadly gases. Families can dramatically increase the chances of surviving a fire simply by installing and maintaining working smoke alarms. Most hardware, home supply, or general merchandise stores sell smoke alarms and their batteries. Some local fire departments offer smoke alarms at little or no cost.

What you can do:

■ Install and maintain smoke alarms on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas.

■ Test your smoke alarms monthly and replace the batteries at least once a year.

■ If you keep the door of your baby’s bedroom closed, keep a working smoke alarm in the room and use a baby monitor so you can hear if the alarm sounds.

■ When your children are ready, familiarize them with the sound of the smoke alarm. Teach them that when one goes off, they must leave the home and go outside to the designated family meeting spot.

The above is an excerpt from the article, “A Fact Sheet On Fire Safety for Babies and Toddlers.” For more information, please visit www.fema.gov.

Heads Up! Yell Fore, or Cover Up When You Hear It

golfer-shutterstock-fb-_170053652Heads Up
While it’s the responsibility of every golfer to be sure it is safe for them to take their stroke, you can’t always rely on every golfer to do just that.

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So even when it’s not your turn to hit, stay aware of your surroundings.

Be especially careful if you have to venture into an adjoining fairway to retrieve or play an errant shot, or if you are close to an adjoining fairway and golfers on that hole are hitting toward you.

And always keep a safe distance from golfers in your own group when they are preparing to play a stroke.

Yell Fore, or Cover Up When You Hear It
Even if you follow the advice above, there will surely come times when you hit your drive farther than you expected, or a hook or slice comes out of nowhere and takes your ball toward an adjoining fairway. Or when you play your stroke believing the fairway ahead is clear … only to notice players up ahead who had been obscured by a hill or trees.

You know what to do: Yell “Fore!” as loud as you can. That is the international word of warning in golf. It lets golfers playing near you know that an errant golf ball might be heading their way, and they need to take cover.

And what should you do when you hear “fore!” being yelled in your direction? For goodness sakes, do not stand up, crane your neck, and try to spot the ball! You’re just making yourself a bigger target.

Instead, cover up. Crouch behind your golf bag, get behind a tree, hide behind the cart, cover your head with your arms. Make yourself a smaller target, and protect your head.

The above is an excerpt from the article, “Simple Safety Guidelines for Golfers.” For more information, please visit www.about.com.

Toddlers, Babies, and Fire Safety: What You Can Do

toddler-firetruck-fb-shutterstock_135293423Children under age 5 are twice as likely as the rest of us to die in a fire. Each year, thousands of children are injured or killed in home fires, and 40 percent of them are under age five.

Deliver this important message to parents and those who care for children under age 5:

PREPARE — make your home safer from fire.

PRACTICE fire safety — especially your home fire escape plan.

PREVENT THE UNTHINKABLE. When it comes to your family’s smallest members, remember: Love alone won’t save them. Practicing fire safety will.

Children and Fire FACT: Matches, lighters, and other heat sources are the leading causes of fire-related deaths for children under age 5. In fact, toddlers actually cause a large number of home fires by playing with lighters and matches. Children have a natural curiosity about fire and you can’t underestimate their ability to strike matches or start a lighter.

What you can do:

  • Store matches and lighters out of children’s reach and sight, preferably in a locked cabinet.
  • Teach toddlers to tell you when they find a match or a lighter.
  • Remember that even child-resistant lighters are not childproof, and store them safely.
  • When a child is curious about fire or has been playing with fire, calmly and firmly explain that matches and lighters are tools for adults to use carefully.
  • Never use matches or lighters as amusement. Children may imitate you.
  • Prevent fires by practicing and teaching fire safe behaviors in your home. Keep children 3 feet away from the stove when cooking, don’t overload outlets, have your heating systems checked annually and use deep ashtrays and soak the ashes in water, if you smoke.
The above is an excerpt from the article, “A Fact Sheet On Fire Safety for Babies and Toddlers.” For more information, please visit www.fema.gov.

Golfers: Keep Track of Those Around You

golf-friends-fb1-shutterstock_199702901Golf is a safe sport – as long as a few basic, common-sense rules of safety are followed. When those rules are ignored, injuries can occur. Golf involves the swinging of metal clubs, which propel golf balls at high speeds. If you’re in the way of either the clubs or the balls, you’re in danger. You could be placing yourself in danger, too, if you do not respect the power of the sun, the danger of lightning, or your body’s need for the right kind of fluids on warm days. Here are some guidelines that can help ensure your safety, and that of those around you on the golf course (note – when finished here, be sure to check out our Golf Etiquette section for additional suggestions)

Keep Track of Those Around You

When a golf club is in your hands and you are preparing to swing, it is your responsibility to make sure your playing partners are a safe distance away from you. It’s not too difficult, after all, to keep track of where everyone is when your group is likely just four or fewer golfers. Never swing a golf club when another golfer is close to you. That’s the most important thing to remember. And be a little extra cautious on practice swings, when it’s easy for golfers to let their guard down. Extra vigilance is also needed when younger golfers are part of your group. Also, look ahead of you, and to the left and right of the area where you are aiming your shot. Don’t hit your ball until you are confident that any golfers up ahead are out of your range.

The above is an excerpt from the article, “Simple Safety Guidelines for Golfers.” For more information, please visit www.about.com.

Remember to Back It Up!

backitup
Data Loss Prevention

Loss of data from your computer can be devastating, especially if the information cannot be recovered or reproduced. Whether data is lost due to a physical disaster, virus, theft, or accidental deletion, the recovery of the data cannot be accomplished unless you have a recovery plan in place. The need to back-up important data to ensure its availability in the event of loss or theft cannot be overstated. Back-up and recovery plans are essential for home users. Back-up your important files on a weekly basis (at a minimum) and keep backed-up data in a safe and fireproof location.

florist_comkputerUse your computer’s back-up tools: Most operating systems now provide back-up software designed to make the process easier.

Back-up data at regular intervals: Evaluate the importance of your data and the frequency of change in the data to determine the necessary frequency with which the data should be backed-up.

Verify data has been backed-up: Back-up media needs to be reviewed periodically to determine if all of the data has been backed-up accurately. Use the “back-up log” provided by most back-up applications. Generate a “back-up report” that can quickly identify problems or skipped files. Be sure to review these logs periodically.

Store back-up media in a secure location: Two (2) back-ups be maintained: one on-site and one off-site. Back-up media should be stored in a physically secure location.  Test data restoration: Periodically test your ability to restore back-up data in the event that loss occurs.

Back-up media: CDs, DVDs, USB flash drives and external hard drives are effective back-up devices. Be sure to keep your back-up data in a secure place.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

The above is an excerpt from the article, “Emergency Information Handbook.” For more information, please visit www.dhses.ny.gov.

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How to Hire A Roofing Contractor

The above is the video, “How to Hire Roofing Contractor – BBB Advise,” from the Better Business Bureau. For more information, please visit www.bbb.org.