Living Smart in the Autumn


Courtesy of Courtesy of SafetySmart

Are You Ready for a Hurricane?
The National Hurricane Center warns that the worst hurricane tragedies throughout history have been marked by a lack of education and preparedness. Reduce your risk of danger in a storm by following these hurricane safety tips:

  • Know the risk of hurricanes in your area, and make plans accordingly.
  • Work together with your family to establish a home evacuation plan and make an emergency supply kit. Make sure everyone knows emergency phone numbers, and where to meet if separated.
  • Research your company’s hurricane response plans. Learn evacuation routes, and determine any responsibilities you may have in case of an emergency.
  • When a hurricane watch is issued, prepare your home for the storm. Board up windows, secure outdoor objects and check your emergency supplies. Tune into emergency broadcasts.
  • Obey officials. If you are told to evacuate, do so immediately. And don’t return home until you have received permission to do so.

Checklist for a Safe and Enjoyable Hike
Hiking is a great activity for all nature lovers. Whether you are a seasoned mountaineer or an amateur who just wants to get out and watch the leaves turn color, here’s a checklist for a safe hike:


  • Padded, high-quality backpack with proper suspension straps
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight and emergency whistle
  • Sunscreen and insect repellent
  • Hat and weather-appropriate clothing
  • Compass
  • Mobile phone

Food and Drink

  • Water (1 gallon per person per day if possible)
  • Snacks such as trail mix
  • Simple lunch
  • Emergency food such as power bars for longer hikes

Not All Smoke and Mirrors
Cigarettes are a leading cause of home fire fatalities in the US, killing 700 to 900 people (smokers and non-smokers) per year, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

One-quarter of victims of smoke-material fire fatalities are not the smokers whose cigarettes started the fire. Thirty four percent are children of the smokers; 25 percent are neighbors or friends; 14 percent are spouses or partners and 13 percent are parents.

Between 2002 and 2005, nearly half (42 percent) of fatal home smoking-material fire victims were sleeping when injured, while one-third (32 percent) was attempting to escape, to fight the fire or rescue others.

Automobile Fluids and Kids Don’t Mix!
Fluids such as antifreeze and washer fluid are very hazardous for children. This fall, take some extra precautions to ensure that your kids stay safe.

Because antifreeze and windshield washer fluids are colorful, children may try to drink them. Keep these fluids in their original containers, and locked away in a car trunk or high cupboard. Dispose of empty containers by rinsing them, replacing the caps and following all safety instructions on the label.

Clean up any spills right away, and keep kids out of the garage, especially when you are topping up your vehicle with washer fluid or antifreeze.

Keep an Eye on Pencils
Many eye injuries are caused by horseplay at school. In fact, contact with pens and pencils is among the top five causes of eye injuries to school age children. As your kids head back to school, remind them of the dangers of playing with sharp objects.

Do you think your child may have an eye injury? Watch for these warning signs from

  • Your child has obvious pain or trouble seeing.
  • Your child has a cut or torn eyelid.
  • One eye does not move as well as the other.
  • One eye sticks out compared to the other.
  • The eye has an unusual pupil size or shape.
  • There is blood in the clear part of the eye.
  • Your child has something in the eye or under the eyelid that can’t be easily removed.

Gutters Deserve a Plan
Before you head out to remove that leafy buildup in your gutters this season, make sure you have a plan and the right equipment.

Pick a sunny, dry, wind-free day. Ensure that you have a sturdy ladder that is tall enough for the job, shoes with non-slip soles and a tool belt so you don’t have to hold equipment while climbing. Also, work with a buddy. A helper makes the job easier and can also run for help if you find yourself in a dangerous situation. And don’t forget fall protection. Leaning over the edge of your roof while attempting to scoop out leaves from a gutter (without some form of fall protection gear) is asking for a world of hurt…maybe death.

Be a Safe Halloween Host
Turning your yard into a haunt and giving out treats on Halloween can be fun, but make sure to follow these 6 safety tips so your visitors don’t experience something truly scary:

  1. Make sure that there is a clear path to your front door.
  2. Remove rakes, toys and other hazards from your yard.
  3. Use electric-powered lighting rather than candles.
  4. If you do have jack-o-lanterns with candles, place them well out of
  5. reach of children, and away from any flammable materials and decorations.
  6. Keep pets inside the house and away from the front door.
  7. Consider distributing healthy alternatives to candy such as individually wrapped fruit snacks, granola bars, juice boxes or pretzel bags

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