Top Ten Red Cross Cold Weather Safety Tips

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As temperatures drop this winter, the American Red Cross offers ten steps people can take to stay safe during the cold weather.

  1. Layer up! Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing your body heat.
  2. Don’t forget your furry friends. Bring pets indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.
  3. Remember the three feet rule. If you are using a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away – things such as paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs.
  4. Requires supervision – Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.
  5. Don’t catch fire! If you are using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
  6. Protect your pipes. Run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent your pipes from freezing. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children. Keep the garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage.
  7. Better safe than sorry. Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Your heating bill may be a little higher, but you could avoid a more costly repair job if your pipes freeze and burst.
  8. The kitchen is for cooking. Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
  9. Use generators outside. Never operate a generator inside the home, including in the basement or garage.
  10. Knowledge is power. Don’t hook a generator up to the home’s wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator.

For more information on how to stay safe during the cold weather, visit winter storm safety.

Red Cross Issues Safety Tips for Labor Day Weekend

By Jody Weyers, Director of Communications

560506_10201238012165149_763464517_nMany people view Labor Day as the end of summer and their last chance to travel, hit the beach and fire up the grill. I know I am looking forward to a 4-day weekend filled with birthday parties, a house warming party and spending time with family and friends.

With these activities, travel, grilling & swimming may be involved. I know I will be following these Red Cross safety tips, and I hope you do to.

Have a safe and fun weekend and keep your fingers crossed, for no storms, tornadoes, house fires or any other type of disaster, so our staff and volunteers can have a peaceful long weekend too.   🙂

Tips for Safe Travel

  • Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive.
  • Buckle up and observe speed limits.

Tips for Safe Swimming

  • Check weather and water conditions beforehand and throughout the day.
  • Always swim with a buddy in a designated swimming area supervised by a lifeguard.
  • Provide constant supervision to children in or near the water and always stay within arm’s reach of young children and inexperienced swimmers while they are in the water.
  • Young children and inexperienced swimmers should wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets.

Tips for Safe Grilling

  • Keep the grill away from the house, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill.
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.

The American Red Cross First Aid App for smart phones and tablets provides users with expert advice on what to do in case of an emergency. This free app is available on the Apple iTunes or Google Play stores and at redcross.org/mobileapps.

For more information on emergency preparedness, go to redcross.org. Additional water safety tips are located at redcross.org/watersafety.

How to Prepare for Flooding

Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters. Conditions that cause floods include heavy or steady rain for several hours or days that saturates the ground. Flash floods occur suddenly due to rapidly rising water along a stream or low-lying area.

You will likely hear weather forecasters use these terms when floods are predicted in your community:

  • Flood/Flash Flood Watch—Flooding or flash flooding is possible in your area.=
  • Flood/Flash Flood Warning—Flooding or flash flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area.

Click HERE to learn more about Flood Safety by checking out these safety tips.

Red Cross Says Have a Happy and Safe Halloween

Take Steps to Keep Everyone Safe While Trick or Treating

Halloween is just around the corner and youngsters will soon be out trick or treating.As they get ready to collect their Halloween treats, the American Red Cross has tips to make this a fun and safe Halloween.

“Halloween is a fun time, especially for the little ones,” said Lisa Stanchfield, Community Preparedness Coordinator. “The Red Cross has steps everyone can take to make sure their Halloween is also a safe one.”

COSTUME SAFETY

There are steps parents can take to keep their little ghosts and goblins safe in their disguises:

  • Add  reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
  • Use  flame-resistant costumes.
  • Use face makeup instead of masks, which can cover their eyes and make it hard to see.

BE SAFE WHILE OUT AND ABOUT

To maximize safety for the trick or treaters, plan a route ahead of time. Make sure adults know where children are going. If the children are young, a parent or responsible adult should accompany them as they walk through the neighborhood.

Here are more safety tips to follow as children go from house to house:

  • Make sure trick-or-treaters have a flashlight.
  • Visit only the homes that have a porch light on. Accept treats at the door—never go inside.
  • Walk only on the sidewalks, not in the street. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the edge of the roadway, facing traffic.
  • Look both ways before crossing the street, and cross only at the corner.
  • Don’t cut across yards or use alleys. Don’t cross between parked cars.
  • Be cautious around strange animals, especially dogs.

GREETING TRICK OR TREATERS

For those who expect to welcome trick-or-treaters at their door, they can make sure it’s fun for everyone by following a few tips:

  • Make sure the outdoor lights are on.
  • Sweep leaves from sidewalks and steps.
  • Clear the  porch or front yard of any obstacles that a child could trip over.
  • Restrain pets.
  • Use a glow stick instead of a candle in jack-o-lanterns to avoid a fire hazard.

 

Don’t Let Your Thanksgiving Flame Out

Take a Red Cross quiz to see if your cooking safety knowledge is up to snuff!

If you’re responsible for cooking Thanksgiving dinner, you know how hectic it can be. The last thing you need on the big day is a kitchen disaster, so take our quiz to make sure your holiday stays safe (and delicious!).

1. What is the #1 cause of home fires in the U.S.?

a. Cooking

b. Space heaters

c. Electrical malfunctions

2. What is the primary cause of cooking fires in the home?

a. Using too many stove burners at once

b. Unattended cooking

c. Misbehaving pets

3. If you’re frying, grilling or broiling food, you should…

a. Stay in your home and check on the food regularly.

b. Feel free to go outside. Just check on the food from time to time.

c. Stay in the kitchen the entire time.

4. If you’re simmering, boiling, baking or roasting food, you should…

a. Stay in the kitchen the entire time.

b. Stay in your home, check the food regularly and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.

c. Feel free to leave the home, but only for short errands.

5. When you’re cooking, how far should kids stay away from the stove?

a. At least 3 feet

b. At least 6 feet

c. It’s ok for kids to be close to the stove, as long as they follow directions. 

6. If a fire starts in a pan while you’re cooking, what should you do?

a. Move the pan off the stove.

b. Beat the fire with a towel.

c. Slide a lid over the burning pan and turn off the burner.

7. Which of the following are ok to keep on the stovetop?

a. Potholders and paper towels

b. Dish towels and wooden utensils

c. Paper towels and wooden utensils

d. None of the above

How did you do?

0-2 correct: Don’t put your apron on just yet. Read our cooking safety tips first!

3-6 correct: You’re getting warmer—study up on cooking safety and you’ll be frying and roasting before you know it.

All 7 correct: Great job! You’re ready to whip up an unforgettable meal. You can never be too prepared, so check out our section on fire safety and other tips.

 Answers: 1. a; 2. b; 3. c; 4. b; 5. a; 6. c; 7. d