Stockings should be hung at least 3 feet from a heat source.
Purchase holiday lights and extension cords from a reputable retailer.
Make sure they bear the mark of a nationally recognized testing lab.
Outdoor lights must be marked for outside use.
Do not overload extension cords or outlets.
Inspect lights and extension cords for damage before using.
Fasten outdoor lights and decorations securely to the tree or your home.
Keep light strings away from snow or standing water.
Unplug electric decorations before replacing fuses or bulbs.
Christmas trees are wonderful.
Purchase a fresh tree. It will last longer.
Keep the tree hydrated. Water it twice a day.
If buying an artificial tree, make sure it’s label states fire resistant.
Do not put electric ornaments or lights on metallic trees.
Decorate trees with non-combustible materials.
Place trees at least 3 feet from heat sources such as fireplaces and space heaters.
Turn off electric decorations before leaving home or going to bed.
Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors save lives.
Make sure they are working and properly installed.
Change the batterys when you turn the clocks back.
Portable generators and space heaters can be deadly.
Make sure you have the proper ventilation.
Follow the manufactureres directions.
Holiday cooking is great fun.
Make sure your fire extinguishers are near by and up to code.
Never leave cooking equipment unattended.
Supervise young children around heat sources.
Keep combustible items away from the stove top.
Locate all appliances away from the sink.
Candles add to a festive mood.
Consider using battery-operated candles.
Never leave an open flame unattended. Keep them in-site.
Keep combustible materials away from the decorations, drapes and the christmas tree.
Place candle where they can't be knocked over.
Extinguish all candles before going to sleep or leaving the house.
Children should never be left alone with lit candles.
Keep your kids safe during the holidays
Use appropriate decorations for young children in the home.
Always read the instructions included with the decorations.
Lights and garlands pose a strangulation hazard. These are not play things.
Choking hazards include holly berries, wax fruit and any small decorations.
Don't have sharp or breakable decorations around small children.
Eric Kirchner - Safety Chairman
Avoid colds and flu this season
Fever and chills
Headache and body aches
Clean and wipe down shared surfaces, ie countertops, doorknobs, keyboards, and phones.
Avoid touching your face, nose, and eyes and wash your hands often.
Avoid sick people if possible, and stay home if you do get sick.
Get a flu shot.
Stay hydrated, drink plenty of water.
Get plenty of sleep and stress less. Meditation, laughing, and exercise can help reduce stress.
Keep your immune system healthy by exercising moderately.
Consider vitamin supplements such as D3.
Improve your lifestyle and diet.
Eric Kirchner - Safety Chairman
Safe Driving in Heavy Rain
Not to rain on your parade, but heavy downpours can be dangerous: more than half of flood fatalities are vehicle related, according to the National Weather Service, and Federal Highway Administration data shows that more weather-related crashes happen in rain than in snow or sleet. We asked James Solomon, subject-matter expert on driver safety at the National Safety Council, how to stay safe if you need to drive in a downpour.
Drive a clean car in good condition
When visibility is limited by wet weather, it’s important that your car itself doesn’t impede your sight. Once a month, clean the outsides and insides of windshields and windows, and check your windshield wiper blades for wear. Check the level of your washer fluid once a week.
Solomon also recommends doing a quick check of headlights, taillights, turn signals and tire treads before driving the car for the first time each day. “Rain or no rain, operating without [signal lights], you’re a hazard—and it’s a ticketable offense,” he explains.
Know the roads
Roads are built to withstand different weather conditions in different parts of the country, so if you’re new to an area, use extra caution during or after a storm. In many southern states, “the asphalt isn’t as compressed,” Solomon explains. “This means it can rain and the road can look totally dry, but it’s not. You’ll squeegee up the water that’s caught in the road aggregate, and now your tires are wet and slick and you don’t even know it.”
Take a moment to consider your route, too. If it takes you through low-lying bridge underpasses or past ditches prone to flooding, it might be a good day to take the freeway instead.
Switch on lights, not brights
Though many newer cars come with automatic running lights, turn on the actual headlights when using windshield wipers so your taillights come on as well. “The idea behind having headlights is so other people can see you,” says Solomon. “When you turn your headlights on and your back lights come on, you identify all four corners of the vehicle.”
You don’t, however, need to flip on your brights; the brighter light will just reflect off wet surfaces, bouncing back into your eyes and irritating other drivers.
Leave at least five seconds of following distance between your own car and the one in front, and don’t feel pressure to drive the posted speed limit. “The speed [listed] on the side of the highway is the maximum speed for perfect weather and perfect road conditions, so if the road is wet, it could be too fast for existing conditions,” says Solomon. “If other people don’t like it, they can pass you.”
And remember: never use cruise control on wet roads. If you hydroplane under cruise control, the automatic acceleration can cause you to lose control of your vehicle when your tires regain traction.
Don’t get in too deep
If water is covering the markings on the road, it’s too deep to drive on. According to Solomon, you can lose control with as little as three inches of water on the road. And even if you manage to stay in control, a larger vehicle could push some of that water underneath your car, causing your engine to stall.
Steer where you want to go
If you’re going too fast and end up hydroplaning (which Solomon calls surfboarding or waterskiing, “because that’s what you’re doing”), turn the wheel in the direction you want to go—and don’t be afraid if you don’t steer out of the skid on the first try. It may take three to five adjustments to get back on course (and a little while longer for your heart to stop pounding).
Eric Kirchner - Safety Chairman
How to Adjust Your Side Mirrors
When do we rely on our mirrors the most? Probably when we are changing lanes. Our objective is to change position without getting in another driver’s way or cutting him/her off.
The positioning for the inside rearview mirror is fairly obvious — you should be able to see out of the rear window. Be sure the day/night switch found on most rearview mirrors is in the day position during daytime operation.
As for the side mirror or mirrors, most people adjust them so they can see the side of the car on the inside edge of the mirror. Consider the view when the side-view mirrors are set up as just described. Essentially, you have created “tunnel vision” to the rear. Your side-view mirrors overlap much of what your inside rearview mirror sees and you’ve also created blind spots
What is the solution to tunnel vision and blind spots?
Simply adjust the side-view mirrors just beyond the point where you could see the side of the car on the inside edge of the mirror. With this setup, you almost completely solve the blind spot problem. To adjust the outside mirrors this way, follow these two steps (This of course, is for vehicles with an inside mirror):
For the driver side mirror, roll up the window and press your head against the glass. Adjust the mirror so that you can just see the edge of the car
For the passenger side mirror, place your head in the center of the car (directly behind the inside mirror mount) and adjust the outside mirror so that you can just see the edge of the car. This is necessary even with convex (curved) mirrors where the image is distorted a little.
When you’re in your normal driving position, you won’t be able to see the sides of the car but will be able to see other vehicles in the adjacent lanes.
For those times where there is a vehicle present in the other lane that isn’t visible when checking the mirrors, the other vehicle’s position will probably be such that its front is adjacent to your door and you’ll spot it in your peripheral vision as you check the side-view mirror.
Most of us have dealt with blind spots by turning our head for a quick check. This isn’t generally a problem in terms of missing something ahead; however, there can be a dangerous side effect.
Unless you’ve worked to control it, your arms will move in the direction your eyes are looking causing the steering wheel to turn.
With well-positioned mirrors, your head won’t have to turn as far to check any remaining blind spots.
There are other applications of changing lanes that this setup is useful for as well. For example, when getting on a highway, your ability to judge how to best merge with the traffic flow will be greatly enhanced with the view provided by the “wide-view” side mirror. Likewise, as you pass interchanges on the highway, your ability to monitor traffic entering the highway is enhanced. And finally, a good guideline for deciding when to move into the passing lane or back into the traveling lane is to make sure that you can see the headlights of the vehicle you want to pull in front of in the rearview mirror. We can all appreciate the value of adequate pull-in space.