Help Keep Your Child Safe - Take 25 Minutes to Educate

April 22nd, 2009 | Filed under: Child Proofing, Family Safety, Poisoning | 3 Comments »

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children encourages families to “Take 25“, to sit down with your children for just 25 minutes - talking to kids about ways to be safer. On their site you can find educational materials for parents, and tips on how to talk with your kids about these sensitive subjects.

They offer 25 tips to help you get the conversation started, including:

  1. Teach your children their full names, address, and home telephone number. Make sure they know your full name.
  2. Make sure your children know how to reach you at work or on your cell phone.
  3. Teach your children how and when to use 911 and make sure your children have a trusted adult to call if they’re scared or have an emergency.
  4. Instruct children to keep the door locked and not to open the door to talk to anyone when they are home alone. Set rules with your children about having visitors over when you’re not home and how to answer the telephone.
  5. Choose babysitters with care. Obtain references from family, friends, and neighbors. Once you have chosen the caregiver, drop in unexpectedly to see how your children are doing. Ask children how the experience with the caregiver was and listen carefully to their responses.

Take 25 was started to commemorate National Missing Children’s Day on May 25th. First proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, the day serves as an annual reminder to the nation to renew efforts to reunite missing children with their families, remember those who are still missing, and make child protection a national priority. It’s a time of reflection and renewed hope for millions of families in communities across the country.

Additional Resources:

Take 25 minutes to visit the site right now.


    Free “Mr. Yuk” Stickers

    April 20th, 2009 | Filed under: Child Proofing, Family Safety, Free Stuff, Poisoning | 6 Comments »

    “Mr. Yuk” was conceived in 1971 as the mascot for the poison control center at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. The original design was created by Wendy (Courtney) Brown, a grade-school student at a school near Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital.

    As part of a contest held by the poison center, Wendy drew the now-familiar face, along with a stick-figure body that was not included in the finished sticker design. Her design won, and Wendy was compensated for her time and talent with a prize: a tape recorder. Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital now owns all exclusive rights to the Mr. Yuk design. It appears on small green stickers that can be affixed to any container of poisonous substance.

    The Mr. Yuk stickers are bold and obvious. Mr. Yuk does not include details of the poisonous attributes of the contents. The logo itself is intended to be enough to dissuade children from ingesting the poisons.

    You can request a free sheet of Mr. Yuk stickers by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to this address:

    Mr. Yuk
    Pittsburgh Poison Center 
    200 Lothrop Street
    BIR 010701
    Pittsburgh, PA 15213

    There are additional poison-prevention-education materials available at the Mr. Yuk web-store.

    6 Tips for Keeping Kids Safe at Home

    April 16th, 2009 | Filed under: Child Proofing, Family Safety, Security | 1 Comment »

    “As children spend more time at home during summer break, parents should ask themselves if they are doing everything they can to keep kids safe at home,” said Anne-Marie Rouse, with ADT Security Services. “It’s easy to get into vacation mode and forget about home dangers that put kids at risk.”

  • Lock up all matches and lighters and blow out candles when you leave the room or go to sleep. Never leave young children unattended near an open flame.
  • Always supervise young children around water. Never allow older siblings to supervise children in or around water.
  • To help prevent children from falling out of upper level windows install specially designed locks. Teach older children how to lock and unlock windows in an emergency.
  • Help prevent poisoning by removing all medicines from purses, pockets and drawers. Lock all medications and household products in a cabinet with a child safety lock and keep cosmetics out of reach of small children.
  • According to the Canada Safety Council, the best defense against fires, gas leaks and other emergencies is a well-rehearsed escape plan. While children are home for summer break take advantage of this time to create and practice your evacuation plan.
  • Consider a monitored home security system, including monitored smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. These can detect dangerous levels of harmful CO and smoke and then alert a monitoring center which notifies first responders, giving them vital, specific information about babies, young children, seniors and disabled people in the home. Many systems can also be programmed to “chirp” when a protected door or window is opened, which can also alert parents to a child’s whereabouts or activities.

  • A Fall can be a Life Changing Event for Seniors

    April 5th, 2009 | Filed under: Family Safety, Senior Safety, Slip-and-Fall | 1 Comment »

    Falls are the most common home hazard, especially for seniors. Falls account for 25% of all hospital admissions, and 40% of all nursing home admissions 40% of those admitted do not return to independent living; 25% die within a year. (Source:

    “You can’t underestimate the danger of falls - especially for older people” says Martin Simenc, president and CEO of Home Safety Services. “A fall can be a life changing event, often preventing someone from living at home again.”

    The CDC recommends that older adults can take several steps to protect their independence and reduce their risk of falling. They can:

    a. Exercise regularly; exercise programs like Tai Chi that increase strength and improve balance are especially good.

    b. Ask their doctor or pharmacist to review their medicines–both prescription and over-the counter–to reduce side effects and interactions.

    c. Have their eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year.

    d. Improve the lighting in their home.

    e. Reduce hazards in their home that can lead to falls.

    Expert recommend installing grab bars in the shower and bathtub, using bathing seats instead of standing in the shower, eliminating throw rugs altogether, and keeping hallways clear and well lit.

    A medical alert system should be considered. More than three-quarters take place either inside or in close proximity to the home, where a medical alert system can be of immediate assistance.

    Home Improvement Projects Are Important But Safety is First

    April 4th, 2009 | Filed under: Family Safety, Home Projects | No Comments »

    Source: NotWeb Network

    Every year, around 1.6% of American households embark on a key home improvement plan. Only two other loan application desires are more popular than home improvement projects requests. With the rise in home-improvement cases, accidents and injuries have also increased. In this article lets review the use of ladders as they are one of the most usable equipment in almost all the home improvement project whether commercial or residential.

    Whether in use inside or outside, tools and equipment must be dependable and operated safely. Reliable gear is essential to safety management. Confidence in the equipment is critical. Many home improvement projects require the use of a ladder. When using a ladder in the project consider the following features.

    The ladder should be in compliance with OSHA standards. If the ladder does not comply with OSHA, it should be eliminated as a ladder choice. With the OSHA rules in place it is possible to minimize the number of accidents that take place using the ladders.

    Use a ladder prepared for the quantity of weight being applied. Never load the ladder beyond the manufacturer?s specifications for weight capacity. Verify the weight capacity before purchasing a ladder. Consider the weight of the person using the ladder as well as the load to be carried by that person…

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    Home security businesses doing well during troubled times

    April 4th, 2009 | Filed under: Family Safety, Safes and Lockboxes, Security, Security Systems | No Comments »

    Source: The Expositor

    Despite climbing unemployment and a struggling economy, there is one industry doing quite well during these troubled times.

    “It’s a proven fact that burglaries go on the rise when the economy starts to go down,” said Darren McCallum, a security consultant with Security One Alarm.

    While that may be true, it’s not a trend that London police are seeing locally.

    “We have not seen a dramatic spike in break and enter statistics recently,” said Const. Amy Phillipo. “We have seen a slight increase so far this year, compared to last year.”

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    Refunds for Alarm Customers

    April 3rd, 2009 | Filed under: Consumer Protection, Finance, Security Systems | 1 Comment »

    Source: Home Security News Blog

    In Washington County in Western Maryland, more than 1,200 residents who bought home security systems from unlicensed APX salespeople last year are eligible for refunds. This is all part of a settlement between the state’s Attorney General’s Office and Salt Lake City, Utah based APX Alarm. The government claims APX had door-to-door salespeople working and selling systems in Washington County that were not licensed.

    In Maryland, alarm companies and individual salespeople must be licensed, but APX representative Nathan Wilcox told The Herald Mail that company officials didn’t realize area salespeople did not have licenses. Never the less, the AG’s office says that last summer, APX salespeople circulated throughout neighborhoods and were pushy and at times would lie about area crime statistics.

    Here are some of the complaints. Sheriff Douglas Mullendore said this of APX salespeople’s actions, “kind of pushing the door and walking in uninvited.” Meanwhile, one local state politician, Christopher Shank, said on APX salesperson would not leave his property. While, a few other residents complained that salespeople came and knocked on their door at night.

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    Top 10 Home Safety Tips

    April 2nd, 2009 | Filed under: Family Safety, Fire Safety, Senior Safety, Water Heaters | 1 Comment »

    1. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and outside every sleeping area. Test them monthly. If your smoke alarms are ten years old or more, replace them. If you build or remodel your home, install fire sprinklers.

    2. Develop a fire escape plan for your family: Point out two exits from each room, pick a meeting spot outside, and hold a fire drill at least twice a year.

    3. Always stay in the kitchen while food is cooking on the stove.

    4. Keep all stairways, paths, and walkways well lit. Use railings.

    5. Install grab bars in bath and shower stalls, and use a non-slip mat or adhesive safety strips inside bathtubs and showers.

    6. Post the National Poison Control Hotline number (1-800-222-1222) and other emergency numbers next to
    every phone in your home.

    7. Install child locks on all cabinets used to store dangerous items such as poisons, matches, and lighters. Install carbon monoxide alarms.

    8. Keep your water heater setting at 120°F or less.

    9. Install four-sided pool fencing with self-locking and selfclosing gates. Fencing should completely isolate the pool from the home and be at least five feet high.

    10. Constantly supervise children in or near bodies of water such as pools, ponds, bathtubs, toilets, and buckets.

    A Model Green Home

    April 2nd, 2009 | Filed under: Energy Efficiency, Home Projects | 2 Comments »

    Source: Smart Homeowner 

    Last year, Fireside completed construction on a three-level, 4,000-square-foot timber-frame home that became the first residence in Michigan to achieve Platinum-level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. That’s the highest level of certification available for homes under the U.S. Green Building Council’s popular green-building rating system.

    The home, dubbed Burnside’s Inn, incorporates many of the latest energy-efficient systems and green building products. It features a custom timber-frame structure designed by Marty Birkenkamp of Riverbend Timber Framing, located in nearby Blissfield, Mich., in the southeastern region of the state. Building systems such as ICFs (insulating concrete forms) and SIPs (structural insulated panels) were used to construct the home. In addition, it has a geothermal heating and cooling system, as well as a stand-alone solar energy system. The result is an energy-efficient demonstration home Burnside uses to tout the benefits of building green…

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