Tag Archives: safety

  • Fun in the Sun: Keeping Summer Safe

    This is an actual photo of my two-year-old’s legs after only one month of summer. I’m finding that with kids, “summer legs” has almost nothing to do with the shape or shade of my own appendages, and lots more to do with the bruises, bumps, and bug bites that decorate the little legs at our house as soon as the weather’s warm enough to wear shorts.

    We know that summertime holds its own particular hazards: incidents of drowning spike in the summer, and almost nobody loses a finger to fireworks in March. But even the little things—like a nasty sunburn from a fun day on the beach, or getting mosquito bites on your favorite hike—can add up to a seriously unpleasant season, both for you and your little people’s legs.

    Fortunately, we’ve got you covered. Actually, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC have you covered, and we’re right there with them! Each organization releases an annual tip list to help families focus on summer safety. Both are organized by category (bugs, fireworks, water, heat, and sun), and the AAP’s list even includes things that might not first jump to mind when we think of summer, like bicycle, skateboard, ATV, and lawnmower safety.

    You can find their respective lists at the links below.

    While a whole lot of this is common sense, a few of these tips were news to me. Like the fact that sparklers can reach past 1,000 degrees F bright or floral prints can attract bees and wasps, and children under 12 shouldn’t operate walk-behind mowers (there goes my four-year-old’s summer job!).

    I like lists like these that give me quick, handy reminders. But if I need more in-depth information on summer-specific solutions, I go to articles, like these

    Whatever your summer plans, please build in some safety prep! We want those little legs in working order come fall!

    What do you do to stay safe in the summer?

    -Stacey

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: safety, summer

  • Protect yourself and your loved ones from electrical shocks and burns

    Many of us have experienced the shocking jolt that comes from sticking a paperclip, fork, or other metal object into an exposed power outlet—I know I did when I was a kid, ‘cause it just seemed like a good idea.

    There are plenty of other ways to get electrocuted, however, than just sticking something into a power socket. And, unfortunately, kids (and sometimes adults) don’t often see the dangers that sit right in front of them.

    On average, electrocutions kill 400 people each year, and another 4,400 are injured due to electrical hazards. Needless to say, there’s more we could be doing to protect ourselves and loved ones from the harmful effects of electricity.

    How Electrical Shocks Happen

    Electricity always seeks a path to the ground. Electrical injuries occur when a person accidentally becomes a part of the pathway that gets the electricity to its destination. When this happens, a person is acting as a conductor—a material that attracts electricity and will allow it to flow quickly. Other conductors include metal, water, wet objects, and trees (because of their moisture). Materials used for insulation such as rubber, glass, plastic, and porcelain do not allow electricity to flow freely.

    As the use of electrical power grows, electrical hazards do, too. Electricity is almost in constant use, what with laptops, toasters, lamps, etc. staying plugged in when not in use. This, along with aging wiring systems put electrocutions and home fires at a higher risk. Fire hazards are also greater when surge suppressors, power strips, and extension cords are misused.

    Protect your Children

    When you know how to prevent electrical shocks and burns, you can more easily protect yourself and your loved ones. Check out the following tips from the American Burn Association:

    • Avoid letting children play with or near electrical appliances. Keep them a safe distance away from space heaters, irons, hair dryers, etc.
    • Use plug covers on any power outlets accessible to small children. Outlet caps that attach to the outlet plate with screws are better protectors than those that simply plug in.
    • Make sure plug in caps are a similar color to the outlet so they aren’t easily recognized and pulled out.
    • Make sure such caps are not small enough to be a choking hazard.
    • Make sure any night lights used in a child’s room do not resemble toys.
    • Teach children to respect electricity as soon as they are old enough (usually around age 3). Two thirds of electrical burn injuries happen to children 12 and under.

    Children aren’t the only ones at risk, though. Many adults also suffer injuries from electrical shocks each year, whether at home or at work.

    Other General Safety Tips

    • Unplug appliances by pulling on the plug, not the cord.
    • Only use appliances with a three-prong plug in a three-slot outlet. Never force it or remove a prong to make it fit a two-slot outlet. You can find outlet adapters, however, that allow you to use three-prong plugs in two-prong outlets.
    • Check your electrical tools regularly for signs of wear. If a cord is frayed or cracked, replace it. Replace any tool that causes even the smallest of shocks, or overheats, shorts out, or gives off smoke.
    • Never use electrical appliances near water
    • Unplug appliances before performing any repairs
    • Attach extension cords to appliances/tools before plugging them into outlets
    • Keep clothes, curtains, and other possibly flammable items at least 3 feet away from all heaters, whether electric, gas, or kerosene-fueled
    • If an electric power line is down on or near your home, keep everyone out of the area and call 9-1-1 or your local electric company.

    As a society, we depend on electricity. It works 24/7 to provide us with heat, to keep our security systems working, to keep our unpreserved food cold, and more. While you enjoy the positive results of electricity, don’t abuse or misuse it. Remember, it can have painful—even deadly—effects if you’re not careful.

    What do you do in your home to keep your loved ones safe from electrical shocks and burns? Have you ever experienced a major electric shock?

    --Kim

    Sources:

    http://ameriburn.org/Preven/ElectricalSafetyEducator'sGuide.pdf

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: safety, preparedness, Survival, emergency preparedness, Fire Safety, Fire Preparedness, National Burn Week, Electrical Burns

  • Blizzards, ice storms, and high winds often cause power outages just when warmth and light are needed the most in our homes. If by chance you have a wood-burning stove or fireplace with a supply of dry firewood, you’re ahead of the game. However, if your home doesn’t have one, how do you keep warm when the utilities go out?

    Portable Heaters to the Rescue

    Most people turn to propane-powered space heaters. These can put out enough heat to warm an area large enough to fit your family during the power outage—even if that may result in a little more “togetherness” than your gang normally prefers! (Pretend you’re camping out.)

    When shopping for a space heater, look for safety features such as an automatic tip-over turn-off switch and a low-oxygen sensor. These features will shut off the heater if it tips over or shut off the propane if the oxygen level in the air dips too low. Remember that you need sufficient ventilation of fresh air in the room, even if it’s cold!

    Of course, you’ll need to keep a supply of propane bottles or tanks on hand to use with these heaters. Most of them will accommodate either 1-lb. or 20-lb. propane tanks and come with the appropriate adapters and connectors.

    Here at Emergency Essentials, we recommend the Mr. Heater brand. All three models include the above-mentioned safety features:

    1. Mr. Heater Big Buddy Combo (our price $160.95, which includes the heater, a fuel filter, and a five foot hose adapter. All you need is the propane, which you must buy in your area. This heater is certified by the CSA International (American Gas Association) for both indoor and outdoor use, and can heat up to 400 square feet for up to 220 hours on the low setting. It features an internal, battery-operated blower fan.
    2. Mr. Heater Portable Buddy (our price, $115.95) can heat up to 200 square feet and uses either the 1-lb. or 20-lb. propane tanks.
    3. Mr. Heater Little Buddy (our price, $63.95) can heat up to 100 square feet. Works with only a 1lb. propane tank.

    One customer told us that his family was without power for three weeks after Hurricane Sandy. When the nights turned frigid, their Mr. Buddy Heater was (literally!) a lifesaver.

    Portable Heater Safety

    Safety is always a concern with any portable heater. FEMA reports that an estimated 900 portable heater fires in residential buildings are reported each year, causing 70 deaths, 150 injuries, and $53 million in property loss. (Estimates from the Consumer Protection Agency are actually much higher.)

    January and February are the peak months for these fires, which are usually caused by the heater being placed too close to flammable items (bedding, drapes, clothing, tablecloths, rugs, sleeping bags, trash cans, stacks of papers or magazines, etc.).

    How can you keep from having a safety issue with your heater? FEMA has produced a 30-second video on heater safety; it’s definitely worth your time to watch it.

    Check out the safety features of a portable heater before you purchase it

     A Few Portable Heater Safety Tips:

    • Use the proper size heater for the area you need to heat. Expecting a small heater to warm a large area can result in the unit overheating. Using too large a heater in a small area can increase the amount of carbon monoxide in the air.
    • Keep the area sufficiently ventilated with fresh air.
    • Follow your heater’s instructions exactly.
    • Use appropriate connectors, hoses, etc. for your model.
    • Keep heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn.
    • Don’t leave your heater unattended.
    • Place heater on a hard, level, non-flammable surface (not on a rug or carpet).
    • Inspect your heater regularly for damage, and don’t use a defective unit.

    Have you ever had to rely on a propane-powered heater to heat your home, office, cabin, or another location? Have you ever experienced a time you wished you had one?

    Sources:

    Photo Courtesy of FEMA

    www.beprepared.com/essentialgear/warmth

    www.fema.gov

    www.sylvane.com/portable-heater-safety-tips

     

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: safety, preparedness, Survival, emergency preparedness, Fire Safety, Fire Preparedness, National Burn Week

  • Stay safe this New Year's during all of your festivities

    As the New Year rolls in, start it off right by staying safe during your New Year’s Eve festivities.

    Whether you plan to celebrate at home, around town, or in Times Square, make sure you prep for any emergency that might happen while you’re out ringing in the New Year.

    Keep Your Phone Charged

    Take a cell phone and charger with you to your parties and events. Cell phones (what most already consider to be their lifelines) become even more vital at big events, especially if you are celebrating in an unfamiliar area. The Switch 8  will help you charge it even if you don’t have your regular charger handy. Communication is important so that you can reach your friends, family, or loved ones in case you get lost, injured, or have another emergency.

    Keep Cash Handy

    Have cash on hand if you’re going to be out all night. You never know when a craving for tacos or pie might hit you. More serious than a craving, however, would be to have enough cash to take a taxi home or to use in another emergency.

    Be Safe on the Road

    Watch out for drunk drivers on the road. And remember to also do your part in keeping the celebration fun without making it dangerous for yourself or others.

    Be Careful with Fireworks

    Be aware of the potential danger that fireworks pose. They are a fantastic way to celebrate 2014, but the fun and games end when someone gets hurt. Double check that fireworks are legal in your area before lighting them. Watch for flying sparks or children standing too close to active fireworks.  However, even with all the preparation in the world, accidents can still happen, so keep some BurnFree on hand, just in case. It never hurts to prepare.

    These are just a few tips to keep you safe as you celebrate the end of 2013. For more safety tips, check out the links below.

    http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/region_southeast_valley/mesa/fireworks-safety-tips-for-new-years-eve

    http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/31/jan-1-is-worst-day-for-drunken-driving-analysis-shows/

     

    We hope you have a safe and fun New Year’s Eve this year!

    Kim

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: safety, preparedness, Emergency plan, emergency preparedness, holiday, celebrate, New Year

  •  DIY Mummy Costume could be made using emergency supplies like First Aid gauze

    Since Halloween is coming up, we wanted to give you some helpful tips, tricks, and costume ideas that use emergency supplies to prepare you for All Hallows’ Eve!

    Baby Step One: Use Emergency Supplies for Safety, decoration, and warmth

     

    Emergency Supplies for Safety

    Lightsticks- This 12 hour light-source will light the way as you walk the streets this Halloween. Also, imagine the fun you could have with these on the dance floor at a Halloween party . . .

    LED Glow flashlight-Doubles as a traditional flashlight and glowstick. The flashlight’s handle glows and blinks red light (with the option to turn it off, of course).  A fun way to get into the holiday spirit and to see into dark passages for ghosts . . . or unfriendly people lurking about.

    LED Glowstick-a festive addition to any Halloween costume and perfect for locating your kids in a sea of Spiderman, pirate, or princess costumes. Create a necklace of glow sticks to hang around your child’s neck, arms, or wrists, or to pin to their costumes.

    Goal Zero Life-a-Light LED Lanterns guide trick-or-treaters or party guests to your home safely. Hang these solar powered lanterns across your front porch, balcony, windows, or doorways.

     emergency supplies like this flashlight can help keep you safe on Halloween

    Emergency Supplies as Decorations

    100 hour Candles create a perfect melancholy glow or mood lighting for a creepy Halloween party or scary movie marathon. Just pop the Red Globe Attachment onto your candles and instantly create a red spotlight. Then dress up like a vampire. Your party guests will be horrified when they see the red candles glowing . . . (I’d die on the spot if that ever happened to me . . .)

    Carve a scary pumpkin, and drop a green, red or blue glowstick inside to create a creepy glow from inside…

    Make a creepy Jack-O-Lantern with the most basic of emergency supplies: the humble glow stick

    Emergency Supplies for Warmth

    Hot hands or Hot Spot hand warmers- Keep yourself or your kids warm this Halloween. Stick these hand warmers in your pockets so they don’t get in the way of the festivities. The Hot Spot will keep you warm for up to 2 hours!

    Baby Step Two: Use Emergency Supplies for Halloween Costumes

    With a little creativity and ingenuity, you can make a pretty cool Halloween costume out of your emergency supplies. The best part is that you can still use your supplies again later. Store them in your emergency kit or with your emergency supplies when you’re done.  Here is a list of emergency supplies that could make whole outfits or accessories for your costume. Click on Orange costume names to see how to create the costume.

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: safety, baby steps, DIY