Safety

By
Home Inspector with Burel and Associates, LLC

I include a copy of this with the package I leave the consumer and they really seem to love it. Just thought I'd share. 

 

Burglary Prevention Tips

Keep your home from being an easy target

Protect your home by discouraging intruders from making it their next target. Burglars are less likely to victimize a house that looks occupied or protected by a security system.

When you're on vacation or away from home

  • Put lights, stereo or TV on a timer to give the appearance that someone is home.
  • Secure sliding glass doors with pins to prevent both horizontal and vertical movement.
  • Don't stop your mail or newspaper deliveries; it signals you're away. Instead, have a neighbor pick up your deliveries.
  • Ask a neighbor to park their car in your driveway to give your home the appearance that someone is there.

Keep yourself safe at home

  • Lock doors and windows when you're home alone. Forty percent of home invasions occur because a door or window was left unlocked.
  • Look through your peephole viewer to see who's there before opening the door.
  • Always request identification from salespeople or repairmen before you let them in your home.
  • List only your first initial and last name in the phone book.
  • Fix broken locks or windows and install deadbolts on doors leading outside.
  • Replace all locks immediately after moving into a new home

Keep your valuables safe

  • Store high-value items such as jewelry, furs and firearms in a small closet with a solid core door, a non-removable hinge and a deadbolt lock.
  • Keep important papers, valuable jewelry and large amounts of cash in a safe deposit box.
  • Engrave your valuables with your driver's license or social security number.
  • Keep gift-wrapped packages hidden from outside view.
  • When you purchase new electronic equipment, do not "advertise it". Break down cartons before discarding.

Safety Tips For Kids

Teach your children about personal safety at a young age so they can better protect themselves.

  • Map out a route to and from school and walk it with your children. Make sure they follow this same route every day unless they have your permission to go another way.
  • Find out if your school has an attendance call-back program to let you know if your child does not arrive at school.
  • Your child should carry some form of identification, for example, a laminated ID card with his or her name, complete address, telephone number and an emergency contact person and their phone number.
  • Click here for more information on Kid Safe & Sound programs, a child identification program which may be available in your community.
  • Keep up to date records on your child, including a recent photo, a lock of hair wrapped in plastic, age, blood type, height and weight, date and location of last dental x-rays, distinguishing marks, eye color and any other identifying characteristics.

Home Alone?

In the event that you need to leave an older child at home alone, be sure that he or she understands the following safety rules:

  • How to call you at work, or a neighbor, if you can't be reached.
  • How to call 911 in the event of an emergency
  • How to get out of the house in case of fire.
  • Never let anyone in the house, even someone who claims to be a policeman
  • Never tell a caller they're home alone; tell them that their parent can't come to the phone right now

Accidental Poisoning

Protect your family against accidental poisoning

There are over a million cases of poisoning reported each year, most of them affecting children. To help reduce the risk of accidental poisoning in your home, take these simple precautions:

  • Never refer to medicine as candy; it can confuse young children.
  • Don't take your medicine in front of young children who may not understand its use.
  • Never give or take medicine in the dark.
  • Don't leave children alone with medicine. If you are interrupted while giving the medicine, take it with you.
  • Use products with child-safety caps.
  • Pour old medicines down the drain or toilet and rinse liquid medicine containers before disposing..
  • Keep syrup of ipecac on hand to use to induce vomiting in case of accidental ingestion.
  • Keep the number of the poison control center near the phone.
  • Keep all drugs, chemicals and personal care products in their original containers, not in bottles or bowls that children associate with food.
  • Don't store food and household products together.

Be especially cautious during a change in your family's routine, such as vacation, moving, arrival or a new baby or house guests as these are times when accidental poisonings are likely to occur.

If you suspect poisoning, check for these signs:

  • dizziness, drowsiness
  • odor on breath
  • open bottles or spilled container
  • vomiting, nausea or abdominal pain
  • difficult or shallow breathing
  • hyperactivity, irritability

Check to see if the victim is breathing:

if not, call an ambulance or police immediately
  • loosen clothing around the neck
  • perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation
  • Take these first aid actions immediately:
  • call poison center, emergency room and/or doctor
  • cover victim with blanket and loosen tight clothing
  • do not give food, drink, alcohol or drugs
  • save and give doctor poisonous substance, container and label

Fire Protection

Fire protection is an important part of your family's safety. Fire is one of the leading causes of accidental death in the home, most often affecting children and the elderly. In addition, fires account for over $2 billion in damage to homes each year. Take the following preventive measures to keep your home and family safe from fire.

Fire prevention tactics

Fires can begin anywhere, but two areas in your home pose the biggest fire threat - the kitchen and the garage. You can reduce your risk of fire in these vulnerable places with the following precautions:
  • Use only UL-listed (Underwriter's Laboratory) or FM (Factory Mutual) approved appliances and tools.
  • Check regularly for frayed or worn power cords or plugs, and replace them immediately.
  • Don't operate appliances, switches or outlets with wet hands.
  • Never plug in more appliances than a socket is designed to handle.
  • Don't store flammable items over the stove.
  • Turn pot handles inward so children can't pull them down.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher on a wall nearby the stove.
  • Keep areas around stoves, refrigerators and dishwashers clean to prevent dust particles from igniting.
  • Keep trash and other items away from the furnace or water heater, preferably stored in sealed containers.
  • Check heating equipment annually.
  • Store gasoline and other flammables in tight metal containers, away from the house - never near heating equipment or a pilot light.

Install smoke detectors

Most deaths from fire occur when people are sleeping. Smoke detectors are an important and effective tool.

The National Fire Protection Association recommends that you install one smoke detector outside each bedroom, and on all levels of your home. Remember to test all your smoke detectors at least once a month.

Install a monitored fire detection system

A monitored smoke detector not only sounds an audible alarm, but it automatically sends a signal to a monitoring center which can quickly dispatch the fire department. Monitored smoke detectors provide more complete protection, whether you're home or away.

Ask your SecurityLink consultant to explain the advantages of monitored smoke detectors.

Keep a fire extinguisher handy

A fire extinguisher can help you control a small fire and prevent further damage. A multi-purpose dry chemical fire extinguisher labeled A-B-C is effective for most types of fires and is a must for every home. Other types of fire extinguishers designed for fighting specific types of fires are especially useful in the following areas of your home:

  • In the den or living areas - Type A for use on ordinary combustibles such as paper, cloth, wood, rubber and many plastics.
  • In the kitchen or garage - Type B for flammable liquids such as oils, gasoline, kitchen grease, paints and solvents.
  • In the basement or workroom - Type C for electrical fires such as wiring, fuse boxes, motors, power tools, appliances and electronics.

Plan your escape route

In the event of a large, uncontrollable fire, your best defense is a quick escape. You should plan an escape route and practice it regularly with your family. An alternate route should also be planned and practiced, in case the main route is blocked by fire.

Street Smarts

Unfortunately, crime can happen to anyone, anywhere. But you can help reduce your risk of becoming a victim when you're outside your home with these common sense guidelines:

  • Be alert to your surroundings - especially after dark.
  • If you're walking alone after dark, stay in well-lit areas as much as possible.
  • Walk with confidence, in a direct and steady pace. Potential assailants look for people who appear vulnerable.
  • Walk on the side of the street facing oncoming traffic.
  • Walk close to the curb avoiding doorways, bushes and alleys where someone could be hiding.
  • If you suspect you're being followed, walk quickly to a lighted area where there are other people. If a car appears to be following you, turn and walk in the opposite direction across the street.
  • Prepare yourself with a defensive plan, before an attack occurs.

Bedroom

  • Install smoke alarms outside bedrooms and on every level of the home. For added protection, consider installing smoke alarms in each bedroom. Test them at least once a month and change batteries at least once a year.
  • Practice fire escape routes and identify an outside meeting place.
  • Place a baby to sleep on his or her back in a crib with no pillows or soft bedding underneath.
  • Use a crib that meets national safety standards and has a snug-fitting mattress.
  • Never use an electric blanket in the bed or crib of a small child or infant.
  • Keep small toys, balloons, and small balls away from young children.
  • Check age labels for appropriate toys. Make sure toy storage chests have safety lid supports.
  • To prevent strangulation, use safety tassels for miniblinds and avoid strings on children's toys and pacifiers.
  • Install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms outside bedrooms to prevent CO poisoning.

Bathroom

  • To prevent poisonings, lock away all medicines and vitamins, even those with child-resistant packaging.
  • Have syrup of ipecac on hand, but use only at the recommendation of a poison control center or physician.
  • Never leave a young child alone in the bathroom, especially in a bath.
  • Before bathing a child, always test bath water with your wrist or elbow to make sure it's not too hot.
  • To prevent scalds, set the water heater thermostat to 120°F and install anti-scald devices.
  • Make sure bathtubs and showers have non-slip surfaces and grab bars.
  • Keep electrical appliances, like hair dryers and curling irons, out of reach of children and away from water.

Kitchen

  • Keep knives, plastics bags, lighters and matches locked away from children.
  • Avoid fires and burns by never leaving cooking food unattended, turning pot handles to the back of the stove, and keeping hot liquids and foods away from the edges of tables and counters.
  • Make sure you and your children know the STOP, DROP, and ROLL procedure in case their clothes catch on fire.
  • Keep appliances cords unplugged and tied up. Replace any frayed cords and wires.
  • Securely strap young children in high chairs, swings, and other juvenile products.
  • If an appliance repeatedly blows a fuse, trips a circuit breaker, or if it has given you a shock, unplug it and have it repaired or replaced.
  • All electrical appliances and tools should have a testing agency label.
  • Do not give young children hard, round foods that can get stuck in their throats - like hard candies, nuts, grapes, popcorn, carrots, and raisins.
  • Avoid scald burns by keeping children away from the hot water taps on drinking water coolers.
  • Have appliances repaired if they aren't working right.
  • Don't overload the outlets.
  • Water and electricity combined cause shock. Have dry hands; don't stand in water. If an appliance gets wet, have it serviced.
  • Don't store things over the stove. People get burned reaching. Turn pot handles so children can't pull them down. Wear tight sleeves when you cook. Loose-fitting garments can catch fire.

All Living Areas

  • To prevent asthma attacks, eliminate sources of mold, dust, and insects, such as cockroaches. If you have a pet, keep it off of furniture and its bedding clean.
  • If you smoke, avoid smoking in the house, and around children.
  • Make sure furnaces, fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, space heaters, and gas appliances are vented properly and inspected annually.
  • Use safety gates to block stairways (and other danger areas), safety plugs to cover electrical outlets, and safety latches for drawers and cabinets.
  • Keep children - and the furniture they climb on - away from windows.
  • Install window guards (on windows that are not fire emergency exits).
  • To prevent falls, keep hallways and stairways well lit and use non-slip backing for area rugs.
  • Keep cleaning solutions, pesticides, and other potentially dangerous substances in their original, labeled containers, and out of the reach of children.
  • Test homes built before 1978 for lead paint. Ask your doctor or health department if your child should be tested for lead.
  • If you have guns or rifles in your home, store the firearms and ammunition in separate containers and lock them out of the reach of children.
  • Learn First aid and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
  • Keep an updated list of emergency telephone numbers, including your local poison control center, physician and hospital emergency room, next to every phone in your home.
  • Have your home tested for radon. If levels are above EPA's recommended level, call 1-800-557-2366 to find out about ways to reduce the levels.
  • Make sure your family knows what to do during a natural disaster. In an earthquake, drop to the floor and get under something sturdy for cover; during a tornado, take shelter in a basement or an interior room without windows; and during a hurricane stay away from window. Have handy supplies of food, flashlights, and water.
  • Use a metal fireplace screen. Have the chimney checked and cleaned regularly.
  • Put lighters and matches where small children won't find them. Use special outlet covers to keep children's fingers out.
  • Allow air space around the TV and stereo to prevent overheating. If the TV doesn't work right, it can be a fire danger. Have it checked out.
  • Check for outlets that have loose fitting plugs, which can overheat and lead to fire. Replace any missing or broken wall plates. Make sure there are safety covers on all unused outlets that are accessible to children.
  • Make sure electrical cords are in good conditions - not frayed or cracked. Make sure they are placed out of traffic areas. Cords should never be nailed or stapled to the wall, baseboard or to another object. Do not place cords under carpets or rugs or rest any furniture on them.
  • Check to see that extension cords are not overloaded. Additionally, they should only be used on a temporary basis; they are not intended as permanent household wiring. Make sure extension cords have safety closures to help prevent young children from shock hazards and mouth burn injuries.
  • Make sure your plugs fit you outlets. Never remove the ground pin (the third prong) to make a three-prong fit a two-conductor outlet; this could lead to an electrical shock. NEVER FORCE A PLUG INTO AN OUTLET IF IT DOESNT'T FIT. Plugs should fit securely into outlets. Avoid overloading outlets with too many appliances.
  • Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) can help prevent electrocution. They should be used in any area where water and electricity may come into contact. When a GFCI senses current leakage in an electrical circuit, it assumes a ground fault has occurred. It then interrupts power fast enough to help prevent serious injury from electrical shock. Test GFCIs regularly according to the manufacturer's instructions to make sure they are working properly.
  • Check the wattage of all light bulbs in light fixtures to make sure they are the correct wattage for the size of the fixture. Replace bulbs that have higher wattage than recommended, if you don't know the correct wattage, check with the manufacturer of the fixture. Make sure bulbs are screwed in securely; loose bulbs may overheat.
  • Circuit Breakers and fuses should be the correct size current rating for their circuit. If you do not know the correct size, have an electrician identify and label the size to be used. Always replace a fuse with the same size fuse.
  • Don't place plugged in appliances where they might fall in contact with water. If a plugged-in appliance falls into water. NEVER reach in to pull it out - even if it's turned off. First turn off the power source at the panel board and then unplug the appliance. If you have an appliance that has gotten wet, don't use it until it has been checked by a qualified repairperson.
  • Check to see that your computer and entertainment equipment are in good condition and working properly; look for cracks or damage in wiring, plugs, and connectors. Use a surge protector bearing the seal of a nationally recognized certification agency.
  • Space Heaters are meant to supply supplemental heat. Keep space heaters at least 3 ft. away from any combustible materials such as bedding, clothing, draperies, furniture, and rugs. Don't use in rooms where children are unsupervised and remember to turn off and unplug when not in use.
  • Halogen floor lamps operate at much higher temperatures than a standard incandescent light bulb. Never place a halogen floor lamp where it could come in contact with draperies, clothing or other combustible materials. Be sure to turn the lamp off whenever you leave the room for an extended period of time and never use torchiere lamps in children's bedrooms or playrooms.
  • During an electrical storm, do not use appliances (i.e. hairdryers, toasters, and radios) or telephones (except in an emergency); do not take a bath or shower; keep batteries on hand for flashlights and radios in case of a power outage: and use surge protectors on electronic devices and appliances.

Basements & Garages

  • Store gasoline and other flammables in tight metal containers. Don't use flammable liquids near heat, a pilot light, or while smoking.
  • Have heating equipment checked yearly.
  • Clean up your workbench. Keep flammables away from sparks.
  • Sort and remove rubbish. Don't store things near the furnace or heater.
  • Electric-powered mowers and other tools should not be used in the rain, on wet grass or in wet conditions. Inspect power tools and electric lawn mowers before each use for frayed power cords, broken plugs, and cracked or broken housings. If damaged, stop using it immediately. Repair it or replace it.
  • Always use an extension cord marked for outdoor use and rated for the power needs of your tools. Remember to unplug all portable power tools when not in use. Since metal ladders conduct electricity, watch out for overhead wires and power lines.

Pool & Outdoors

  • Lock all exterior windows, doors and sliding doors at all times. Keep the keys well out of reach of children.
  • Install self-closing mechanisms on doors.
  • Attach hook and eye locks - small metal locks - at the top of exterior doors. These help prevent children from going out "locked" doors. Don't let these give you a false sense of security, however. Four- and 5-year-olds can easily drag a chair over to the door and flip open the hook and eye lock.
  • Lock doggie doors as well. Small children can easily fit in the small openings of doggie doors.
  • Lock back gates and front doors.
  • Don't place chairs, tables and other objects near pool fences. Children can use these to climb over. Better yet, place outdoor furniture inside the locked pool fence where it will be inaccessible to children.
  • Empty wading pools when not in use. Empty standing water off pool and spa covers. A child can drown in as little as two inches of water.
  • Regularly check that the gate latches securely and that spring mechanisms work properly. Regularly oil the hinges and latches.
  • Don't allow children to play in the pool area. Remove all toys, tricycles - anything a child might want to get - from the vicinity.
  • Post CPR instructions and the 911 emergency number in the pool area.
  • Keep lifesaving equipment, such as a pole, life preserver and rope - in the pool area. Hang them from the fence so people won't trip on them.
  • Have a phone handy to the pool area. Do not answer the phone while your children are in the pool; use the phone only to call 911 should a problem occur.
  • NOBODY SWIMS ALONE - Always have an adult that can swim present while someone is swimming.
  • 'DESIGNATED GUARDIAN' - During a gathering, there should be a designated guardian -that is an adult who can swim, is not drinking or socializing, and whose primary focus is pool safety.
  • SWIMMERS PER GUARDIAN DOWN - It's dangerous to have one person in charge of many people in or around the pool.
  • NEVER ASSIGN A CHILD - Never assign a child to watch a child.
  • AVOID SPLASHING, PUSHING, JUMPING ONTO ANOTHER - Avoid splashing, this can obstruct the view to a possible drowning. Don't ever push someone into the pool. Serious injury or death can occur when jumping on a individual.
  • NEVER DIVE IN SHALLOW WATER - Diving in shallow water can result in serious injury.
  • NO PETS - Pets can knock children into the water.
  • NEVER FAKE A DROWNING - Faking a drowning can only cause much stress and damage to a true drowning situation.
  • LADDERS AND STEPS SECURED UP - Locking systems for ladders and steps should be secured up when the pool is not in use.
  • GATES LOCKED AND LATCHED - Keep gates closed & latched.
  • LOCK THE GATE(S) Whenever possible, keep the gates locked.
  • ELIMINATE ALL TOYS Toys entice young children to pool area. When no one is swimming, clear the pool area of toys.
  • ELIMINATE ALL CLIMBING ITEMS - Eliminate all items that may help a child climb the fence.
  • SECURE ALL DOORS AND WINDOWS - Keep all doors and windows closed & alarms on whenever possible.
  • WATER WITHIN 3-4 INCHES FROM TOP - Keep the level of pool water within 3-4 inches (from top) to make climbing out easier.
  • LOCK UP ALL POOL CHEMICALS - Pool chemicals are extremely dangerous - keep them away from children.
  • CAREGIVERS FOLLOW POOL RULES - Every caregiver should read and follow all pool safety rules.
  • CAREGIVERS KNOW CPR - Does your caregiver know CPR?
  • ALL SAFETY DEVICES MAINTAINED AND OPERATING - Maintain all safety devices as suggested by manufacturer. Keep them on at all possible times.
  • ALL SWIMMERS MUST READ/UNDERSTAND POOL RULES

 

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Scott Burel

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