22 Things You Should Never do When Using a Ladder – Ever

 

Recently I wrote an article about the ladder 4 to 1 Rule, which you can read HERE, a helpful guideline for properly using a ladder in providing common sense ladder safety in the prevention of falls from the ladder. Simply following the 4 to 1 rule won’t guarantee your safety, but used in conjunction with these 22 other “never do when using a ladder” common sense strategies should greatly reduce the risk of falls and other ladder mishaps.

  • Leave a ladder unattended
  • Use during poor weather conditions
  • Climb on the non-rung side of a step ladder
  • Use a broken ladder
  • Shuffle, slide, or shake the ladder to move it
  • Pull or push on an object
  • Use the wrong type of ladder for the job
  • Stand on the top of the ladder
  • Drop, throw, or tip over a Ladder
  • Poorly place the ladder when in Use
  • Lean beyond the edge of the ladder
  • Use it as a bridge, shelf, or any other non-ladder purpose task
  • Tie two or more ladders together to make it longer
  • Exceed the maximum weight for the ladder
  • Slide down the ladder’s edge
  • Skip steps/rungs
  • Climb the ladder with wet or slick shoes
  • Use uncertified accessories
  • Sit on or face backwards of the ladder
  • Carry heavy items up or down the ladder
  • Catching an item thrown up to you
  • Goof off or play around while up on the ladder

 

To better understand why we shouldn’t do these things listed above, let’s take a look at each one in detail. Hopefully, after reading this article, you’ll be better prepared for safety the next time you pull out the ladder to do a home project.

  • Leave a ladder unattended

Leaving a ladder unattended is an accident waiting to happen. Just the other day, while my family and I were out for a family drive looking at some of the new homes being developed in the area, I noticed that the workers at one particular job site had left their ladder up against the partially framed house after a long day’s work. It could be very easy and tempting for a child or adult, to climb up to look around, unaware of any unseen danger.

Once you are done using the ladder, put it away. Not just laid down on the ground, but properly stored away to prevent its use.

  • Use under poor weather conditions

Avoid using the ladder in poor weather conditions such as the rain, snow, or wind. Any one of these environmental conditions can increase the likelihood of an accident occurring.

Most ladders are made of metal and are extremely slippery when wet (rain or snow) and strong winds can push over any ladder.

Note: If you do HAVE to climb up the ladder in poor weather conditions, make sure to take every safety precaution possible.

For example:

  • Have a person holding onto the base of the ladder for better support
  • Use good gripping shoes
  • Use two hands while going up or down the ladder
  • Use PPE
  • Climb on the non-rung side of a step ladder

Some step ladders have rungs or steps on both sides of the “A-Frame” design and others only have rungs/steps on one side with support bars on the other side. The support bars are not designed for a person to climb on or to handle weight directly on them.

To prevent the ladder from being damaged and compromising the design of the ladder, you should only use the step/rungs side of any ladder.

  • Use a broken ladder

Never use a broken ladder for any reason, even if it is “real quick”. A bent or broken ladder should be discarded immediately. In fact, inspecting the ladder before using it is part of the ladders pre-use checklist which you can read about HERE.

  • Shuffle, slide, or shake the ladder to move it

We’ve all been there, right – up on a ladder doing a project, whether for your home or on the job site, and you need to move the ladder over just a few inches to finish the job. You quickly assess the amount of time it will take you to climb down, move the ladder over, and climb back up, and compare that to simply performing a quick little shuffle or slide the ladder over while you skillfully hold on at the top.

Not surprisingly this is one of the major reasons why people fall from ladders. Always take the time to climb down and properly move the ladder over so that it is erected straight up and on even ground. If you would like to learn more about the major reasons why falls occur on ladders, read our other article titled, “Why People Fall from Ladders and How to Prevent Them

  • Pull or push on an object

While standing on the ladder, it can be extremely dangerous to try and push or pull on an object, regardless if it is big or small. The reason for this is because you don’t have the ability to brace yourself and counteract the force like you would if you were standing on the ground.

Remember, you are only as stable as the ladder.

  • Use the wrong type of ladder for the job

A friend of mine has a lightbulb that needs to be replaced in a living room that has a 20-foot ceiling. When I asked him how he was planning on replacing the lightbulb, he said smiling, “Oh easily, I have a 15-foot ladder and I’m 6 foot”.

I quickly pointed out that ladders are not designed for the person to stand on the very top. The warning label on most ladders says to never ascend beyond the last step before the top of the ladder.

  • Stand on the top of the ladder

I think I answered this in the point above. This too is one of the major reason why people fall from ladders which is mentioned in our other article. Your balance is even more compromised and you have absolutely nothing to brace against.

  • Drop, throw, or tip over a Ladder
    This is extremely dangerous. Not only could this compromise the ladders effectiveness and preparedness for the next time you need to use the ladder, but could also injure someone below – dashing around a corner catching you by surprise.

    Once you are done using the ladder, carefully take it down and put it away so that it doesn’t get knocked or blown over.

  • Poorly place the ladder when in Use
    Sometimes the ground will not be level can make the ladder lean to one side. If this is the case, do not climb the ladder. Rather, find a new place to set up the ladder where the ground is level and safe to climb.
  • Use a step ladder or an extension ladder incorrectly

Never use a ladder that isn’t set up correctly. Step ladders must be fully folded out and the locks in place to prevent them from collapsing. Likewise, extension ladders must be locked in place to prevent it from sliding back down when in use.

  • Tie two or more ladders together to make it longer
    Let’s say you have a wall that is 20 feet high and you only have two 10-foot ladders. Which of the following should you do:
    A- Rent or buy a 20+ foot ladder
    B- Skillfully tie the two ladders together to make a 20-foot ladder

If you chose option B, I worry about you! Ladders are not designed to be tied together even though we may see the feat performed on YouTube fails compilation. This is certainly an accident waiting to happen.

  • Exceed the maximum weight for the ladder

Ladders are designed to carry a certain amount of weight and not more. The person using the ladder plus all of his or her tools must not exceed the manufacturers recommended weight limit.

The weight limit will be shown on the side of the ladder. Exceeding this limit may damage the ladder and could put you at risk of injury.

  • Slide down the ladder’s edge

I can remember watching a movie were one of the actors, a fireman, quickly slid down the ladder by placing his feet on the outsides of the ladder, his hands holding firmly onto the side while he slid down the ladder. I can remember thinking it would be cool to try.

Luckily I never did. While this looks fun, it can be dangerous. Especially if your fingers were to get caught on the side or you slip from a significant height.

  • Skip steps/rungs
    It can be annoying going up and down the ladder while working on a project, especially if you have to do it several times or are in a big hurry. It may be tempting to skip a step or two to save time.

    Never Skip a ladder rung or step regardless of how much of a hurry you are in. It can compromise your balance and potentially lead to an accident.

  • Climb the ladder with wet or slick shoes
    This should be obvious, having wet or slick shoes can cause you to slip and fall while using the ladder. It’s best to have good gripping shoes. Shoes with a good grip on them will enhance your grip and hopefully help the efficiency of your climb.
  • Use uncertified accessories
    There are a lot of products on the market that you can add to your ladder to make a job easier. However, each of these products have undergone a series of tests to ensure that they will not interfere with the ladders functions and the safety of the user.

    This means rigging up your own paint holder to the extensions ladder might not be the best idea.

  • Sit on or face backward of the ladder
    You should not use a rung/step of a ladder for a perch location. Not only is this uncomfortable, but can be dangerous. Without your hands holding onto the side of the ladder, there is only one way you can go if you slip – and that’s down.
  • Carry heavy items up or down the ladder
    Carrying a heavy 5-gallon paint bucket up the ladder can be dangerous. This not only shifts your balance, but also prevents you from holding onto the ladder with two hands.

    Remember, there must always be at least three points of contact when going up or down a ladder -2 hands with 1 foot, or 1 hand with 2 feet.

  • Catching an item thrown up to you
    While using a ladder, you need to be focused on what your doing of the task at hand. Trying to catch a tool that has been thrown up to you will temporarily shift your focus from balancing on the ladder to catching the wrench.
  • Goofing off or play around while up on the ladder
    A fall from a ladder can have serious consequences of injury or even death. This is not the place to act silly or play around. People who have become too comfortable with using a ladder because they have been using one their whole lives are at the greatest risk of ignoring all the safety rules of proper ladder usage.

What are the Tools That are Carried in EMS Pants?

What are the Tools That are Carried in EMS Pants

You would think that this would be an easy question to answer with a basic industry standard list. However, EMT’s and Paramedics have personal preferences that their particular job experience has necessarily biased them towards, and you have to also consider that these first responder professionals have their equipment bags that will hold many of the essential medical supplies they may need. Consequently, any list of essential tools to be carried will undoubtedly have common items, while other tools may or may not be considered as “essential to carry on person” from one EMS professional to another. Nonetheless, considering that there is no time to waste in an emergency situation, quick and easy access to those items needed immediately when working on the patient must be able to be instinctively retrieved from the clothing the EMS personnel is wearing.

So, what are the tools that should be carried in the multi-pocketed EMS cargo pants? The essential EMS tools that should be carried in EMS cargo pants are:

  • Gloves and spares. These items may be in a glove pouch
  • Pens & sharpies. At least two of each
  • Pen light
  • Small but effective flashlight
  • Cellphone and charger
  • Personal items – wallet, keys (often in the hip pocket)
  • Rescue hooks
  • Trauma shears
  • Note pad or 3x5 cards
  • Rescue Knife or folding multi-tool
  • Window punch (glass breaker pen)
  • Belt cutter

 

As previously mentioned, this list may or may not be completely common among all EMS personnel depending on their unique circumstances and preferences. It may include items that some personnel prefer to carry in their EMS shirt or EMS bag. And, it certainly may be considered as missing key items that they feel should be included. So, what are some additional items that could also be carried in EMS pants, or possibly EMS shirt, or even the professional’s belt or EMS bag, for quick access.

  • Stethoscope
  • CPR face shield
  • Gauze pads & bandages (sometimes for the Paramedic or EMT)
  • Medical tape
  • Syringe
  • Vomit bag
  • Handwipes and sanitizer
  • Leather gloves
  • Chapstick
  • Walkie-talkie
  • When you need to see in the dark and have your hands free to work with

 

If you know several EMS professionals and were to talk to them about what they specifically carry in their EMS pants or EMS shirt, you would undoubtedly find some common essential tools they all carry in their EMS pants. And undoubtedly you would also learn of different tools that some find essential to have on their person when working with a patient, while others prefer those items be kept in their EMS bag. Additionally, you might learn that some EMS professionals use the same tool for different purposes. For example, some practitioners may use a knife only for removing the cap of saline bottles. Some don’t carry a knife or belt cutter because they will use the shears when something needs to be cut. These professionals will find a way to use the tools available to their advantage in getting the job done. I even know EMT’s that make sure their side pockets contain granola bars to fuel their on-the-go workstyle.

 

What makes EMS pants unique?

In order to carry this large number of essential tools for ready access, EMS pants must have multiple pockets and they must be properly positioned on the pants with access points that allow the Paramedic or EMT to instinctively and conveniently reach and secure them.

Good quality EMS pants must be made durable as they will be used frequently and put through vigorous and often unpredictable work settings. Some pants are constructed with ripstop materials to help prevent the transition of a small tear to a larger one. The pants may include a gusseted crotch and reinforced knees that help with both mobility and durability. Most pants are water resistant.

EMS pants are made of superior blend of polyester and cotton for added comfort, mobility and flexibility in movement, and extra breathability. Some pants may be treated with Teon fabric protector to help keep them clean and professional looking.

Because the EMS environment is one where blood borne pathogens can be present, EMS pants should be blood born pathogen resistant.

All of these requirements for a good pair of EMS pants means that they should be comfortable to wear, functional in housing of essential emergency tools and allowing for the mobility and flexibility in movement required for the required positions of EMS work, and durable to withstand the environmental elements and rigors of the Paramedic and EMT.

 

 

What is the 4 to 1 Rule When Using a Ladder?

What is the 4 to 1 Rule When Using a Ladder?

What is the 4 to 1 Rule When Using a Ladder? The other day I had to get up on the roof of my house to retrieve a whiffle ball that was hit up there during one of our many side yard whiffle ball games. While getting my ladder out of the shed and placing it against the edge of the house, I contemplated what is the best distance from the house to place the base of the ladder to ensure the best stability and help ensure that I was safe from falling while going up and down the ladder.

So, what is the 4 to 1 rule when using a ladder? For every four (4) feet of height you have to climb, move the base one (1) foot away from the wall that the ladder is resting against.

While this tip applies specifically to extension ladders, it is great for those of us who only use a ladder a few times a year for things like Christmas decorations, gutter maintenance and retrieving the occasional ball that ends up on the roof.

Why the 4 to 1 rule?

The 4 to 1 rule prevents a ladder from being placed to close or too far away from the wall in which it is placed against. By following the 4 to 1 ladder rule, the user ensures that the ladder is placed in such a way that maximizes balance and stability, helping to prevent it from tipping backwards or to the sides. As a result, accidents are less likely to occur when a ladder is placed properly against the wall and on sure ground.

Ladder Injuries

Injuries from falling from adders can be a serious or even prove fatal. According to the National Safety Council, roughly 500,000 people fall from a ladder every year in the United States and roughly 90,000 people visit the ER as a result of these falls.

Types of ladders

There are a variety of ladders on the market to choose from with each ladder type serving a specific purpose. Some of the more common types of ladders are:

1- Step Ladder

  • Most common type of ladder used
  • Self-supporting – “A-Frame”
  • Two main types of step ladders
    1- Rungs or steps on one side of step ladder and support bars on the other side
    2- Rungs or steps on both sides of the step ladder ‘A-Frame’

2- Extension Ladder

  • Straight ladder that extends upward making the ladder longer to reach higher
  • Requires the ladder to be placed against another object or wall
  • Can reach higher places han most step ladders
  • Comprised of two parts:
    The Base – The part of the ladder that is placed on the ground
    The Fly – The part that extends upward

3- Platform Ladder

  • Similar to a step ladder – the platform ladder has a platform at the top of the ladder
  • Built in rail on the platform
  • Allows the user to stand at the top of the ladder
  • Used in construction, airports, and other businesses where workers need to work in elevated places

4- Step Stool

  • Found in most home bathrooms and kitchens
  • Usually only has 1-2 steps
  • Used to help you get something that is just out of reach
  • Easy for kids to use

5- Multi-purpose Ladder

  • Defined as a ladder that can accomplish the tasks of two or more ladder’s
  • Most often used at construction sites
  • Highly versatile
  • Designed to extend or fold

6- Telescoping Ladder

  • Main feature is the ability to collapse into a variety of different lengths
  • Telescopes in and out
  • Highly compact
  • Highly portable
  • Favored by house painters
  • Most often used at construction sites

7- Folding Ladder

  • Shorter ladder
  • Larger steps
  • Folds up flat
  • Portable
  • Often found in the home
  • Used for small projects

9 Best Safety Tips for Cooking in the Kitchen – Men’s Edition!

9 Best Safety Tips for Cooking in the Kitchen – Men’s Edition!

So, my wife is out of town for the next week and a half visiting family. While my wife did leave some meals in the fridge to help me get through the next few days, I’m afraid I’ll have to venture into the kitchen to find and cook up some food eventually! So naturally, the first thing I, said male, did was research some safety tips for cooking in the kitchen! It’s amazing what you can find on the Internet.

So, what are the best safety tips for (men) cooking in the kitchen?

  • Know how to use a fire extinguisher – PASS
  • Wear the appropriate clothing
  • Wash your hands
  • Use the correct tools – knives!
  • Use the appropriate footwear
  • Technique matters – (stirring and mixing)
  • Know certain do’s and don’ts
  • Know when to asks for help – 911
  • First Aid Kit – A must!

How to use a fire extinguisher – PASS

For us men, it’s not ‘IF’ but rather ‘WHEN’ a fire will break out while you are attempting to cook the tried and proven staple of Top Roman. Therefore, logic indicates that we need to know how to operate the fire extinguisher and when to use it! Because we men (like how I lumped you in with me😊) don’t want to be burdened with the reading of instructions, we should at least take a few minutes before any attempt at cooking to learn how to properly extinguish a fire. Of course, this must be done privately where no one else can witness our efforts.

I have written a simple article titled, “How to Operate a Fire Extinguisher – PASS” and you guessed it, it has pictures explaining each step, so you don’t have to read the whole article. Cool, huh? So, in my efforts to save you some time, I have summarized the article below.

P – Pull Pin
A – Aim Low at the base of the fire
S – Squeeze the lever
S – Sweep from side to side

Wear appropriate clothing

You can think of this as your Personal Protective Equipment or PPE. Cooking in our underwear is not advised! Nor is it a good idea to wear clothing that is loose or baggy. If OSHA guidelines were to be applied to the kitchen, they wouldn’t allow it either!

Cloths that are loose or baggy can pose a risk for injury! For example, you turn to get an item out of the fridge and the free-flowing tail of your shirt catches the handle of the pot with boiling water in it and spills it onto you. Not good and may even result in a joy ride to the hospital.

Need another example? Let’s say that you are baking that pre-made casserole that your wife left for you in the freezer. You preheat the oven to 325 degrees as directed and go to place it in the oven. As you do so, you notice the un-buttoned sleeves of your shirt hanging down catch fire when they contact the hot coils.

You may want to invest in a nice fire-retardant shirt such as the one to the left I found on Amazon. Otherwise, you may have to consider buttoning your sleeves and wearing an apron like the ladies do. Your choice.

Wash your hands

I totally understand that some men may find this safety tip to be a bit invasive – but yes, you need to wash your hands to prevent the oil and grease on your hands (from the time you spent working on your car) from getting on your food!

If you are working with raw meat, it is extremely important that you wash your hands and avoid touching things around the house until your hands have been thoroughly cleaned. Failing to do so could possibly lead to food poisoning, an experience not worth trying or risking.

If you still have questions about this, I would suggest you read our other article titled, “How to Properly Wash Your Hands and Why

Use the correct tools – knives!

Before you pull out your Swiss army knife and cut up the meat and vegetables, consider this simple and easy to understand safety tip – A sharp knife is safer than a dull knife. Additionally, choosing the best knife for the job is just as important as the knife to use.

For more information about knives and how to use them, read our other article titled, “How to Use Knives Safely and Properly

Use the appropriate footwear

This is a safety tip that could have be placed with PPE, but I felt it was worth mentioning separately! Meal prep is mostly done on a countertop. If you’re like me, you really like to get into your work – similar to how Mrs. Doubtfire vacuums – and meal prep is serious business. The possibility that some things will fall to the floor during the intense activity of meal prep is a legitimate concern for the male cook. Whether it be a falling large glass bowl, a meat cleaver, or other heavy item that could cause serious foot trauma due to impact forces, or a sharp knife with the potential to penetrate, your feet that are so vital in transporting you around need to be protected. Seems to me like nothing less than some steel toe boots should be used by a real man when cooking in the kitchen.

If you’re looking for a great birthday, anniversary or Christmas present for your wife then look no further! Below are some great steel toe boots I found on Amazon that would make the perfect gift for your wife as I’m sure she wouldn’t mind sharing them with you when the high-risk experience of cooking is forced upon you!

Technique matters – (stirring and mixing)

Remember the movie karate kid? Of course, you do! This is a MEN’s blog post after all! Anyways, that moment when the master is teaching the student the fundamentals of karate and has him wash and wax his car – “Wax on…Wax off”.  He teaches him to do so in a motion that sends the movement away from his body, deflecting any incoming punch. You must do the same when cooking! Always stir or mix using the wax on wax off method! This will prevent any hot water, soup or anything else you may be cooking from getting splashed on you, and in the process, you will be honing your personal defense skills that we are often called upon to use because of the adventurous life that we lead.

Know certain do’s and don’ts

There are some things you just don’t do when your cooking. For example, you never place a hot pan or pot on Formica countertops as it will melt the Formica and may even start a fire. See why the PASS Technique was previously mentioned. Some additional do’s and don’ts are:

  • Don’t place a hot glass pan in cold water. This will cause the glass to crack. The Mrs., well they don’t like it when that happens.
  • Don’t Leave the oven on after cooking is all done. Less of a problem in the dead of winter, but not the way to heat your house.
  • Do clean up after cooking, including the work area to kill any germs or bacteria that may be present. Also, leave a mess and you are bound to catch the wrath.
  • Do cook meat fully. I know, in the movie Dances with Wolves the heart of a bison was eaten raw as part of a celebratory experience for success. Kind of cool to see I will admit. However, sciences teaches us otherwise so we best obey.

Know when to ask for help – wife or 911?

It can be tricky knowing when to call 911, especially for us guys. But performed some exhausting research and came up with some important guidelines as to when is the appropriate time to call and ask for help.

  • If you are unsure of how long to cook something – call your wife.
  • You didn’t cook the chicken long enough and have begun experiencing the full force of food poisoning – call the wife and then Call 911
  • Not sure if two different ingredients should be mixed together before placing the substance in the pan – call your wife.
  • You believe you ate something your severely allergic to and the swelling has begun along with respiratory distress? Call 911
  • You cut your finger and need a band-aid from the kids first aid kit – this one get yourself.
  • You cut OFF your finger using a dull knife? – Call 911
  • You accidentally burned your wife’s favorite kitchen mitten – Call 911 or hid long enough to not need to call 911
  • You started a fire in the kitchen and forgot to read the section about how to use a fire extinguisher? – Call 911

First aid kit – a must!

Now that I think about it, this should have been the first safety tip mentioned! It would have saved you when you burned your arm when your shirt caught fire or when you cut your finger while using a dull knife!

Either way, if you have cut your finger and need a good first aid kit, below are some great first aid kits that have saved many a man over the years when their wives were out of town – I highly recommend getting one!

Conclusion

I hope these highly effective and well thought out safety tips will prove helpful to you physically as well as maybe help save a marriage to two. If you know of any safety tips that I have forgotten to include, please let me know in the comments below!

What Are Dome Mirrors Used For?

What Are Dome Mirrors Used For?

As the name implies a dome mirror is convex in its structure, meaning that it is not flat but rounded outward, and as a mirror reflects images. If it was concave-shaped it would be rounded inward.

So, what viewing benefit does the convex shape provide and what are dome-shaped mirrors used for? Dome mirrors provide added safety, security, and surveillance capabilities by enabling the viewing of areas otherwise not visible with flat surface mirrors. This enhanced viewing is used in the prevention of accidents, theft, surprise attacks, or simply monitoring areas for other purposes.

Because dome mirrors allow viewing of blind spots, around corners, hallway intersections, entrance and exit paths, and even over certain barriers, they are essential elements of safety for individuals, vehicles, and equipment operations. In essence, dome mirrors allow the viewer to see areas normally hidden as well as a larger viewing area by simply looking at the mirror. They are often used in all types of commercial buildings, construction sites, warehouses, hospitals, parking garages, or any facility where being able to see what is coming and what is happening in areas typically hidden from normal view.

What are the different types of dome mirrors and what are their unique uses?

Dome mirrors typically come in three different types, each with different viewing capabilities, and therefore its use is specific to the unique viewing characteristic that is required for the setting used. Knowing this allows you to choose the best type of dome mirror for your needs. The three main types of dome mirrors are:

  1. Quarter Dome or 90 Degree View Mirror: This type of dome mirror is typically positioned in the corner of a room or the corner of an “L” shaped hallway. This mirror allows you to see what is happening on the other side of a room or area, what traffic may be coming around the corner (blind corner), and what may be approaching you from behind. They also provide a larger wide view than other types of dome mirrors.

2. Half Dome or 180 Degree View Mirror: This type of dome mirror is placed at the end of a hallway or pathway that has a “T’” intersection (3-way intersection) with another hallway or pathway or is placed in the center of a room. Its configuration gives you a good view of what is coming down the hallways to the right and left, or both sides of a room, and also a view of what is happing directly behind you. It can even allow for viewing on the opposite side of a short barrier. This type of mirror is usually installed high up on the wall or from the ceiling of the room or hallway

3. Full Dome or 360 Degree View Mirror: This type of mirror is placed centrally in a room or area, or in corridors that intersect forming a “+” or 4-way intersection. As the name implies, the full-dome mirror allows you a panoramic view of concurrently and is a good choice for surveillance and security of open facilities.

What are other considerations when selecting a dome mirror?

Dome mirrors are typically used in an indoor setting. They are also most effective for use in viewing areas where the objects need to be clearly viewed and are no more than about 20-25 feet away. The curvature of the dome safety mirror lens impacts its height/depth ratio. Therefore, the size and positioning of the mirror will determine its effectiveness. The larger the mirror, the larger the objects will appear and the greater the detail that will be provided, and vice versa. Consequently, if a dome mirror is too small or is positioned too far away so that the ability to clearly observe what is going on, the mirror will not be effective for its intended use. The following factors should be taken into consideration when determining which type of dome mirror is needed for your particular circumstances.

  • The distance in feet the person using the mirror will be located from the mirror.
  • The distance in feet from the mirror the objects or areas you want to view is located.
  • What degree of acuity or detail will you need in viewing the area or objects? For example, will you need to be able to distinguish a particular person from another person? Will you need to be able to identify changes in for example numbers or other images, etc.

In addition, there are options available for the construction of the lens of the safety dome mirror and the mirror backing. Each of these come with some advantages or disadvantages, or simply indicate which setting it would be best suited for use.

Mirror Lens Options

  1. Stainless Steel: strong material and provides the greatest resistance to corrosion.
  2. Acrylic: resistant to shatter and is lightweight while providing strength. You can also get a “scratch-resistant” coating.
  3. Glass: offers the best reflectivity for enhanced detail of images.
  4. Polycarbonate: offers strong durability and is shatter resistant.

 

Mirror Backing Options

  1. Galvanized Steel: strong and weather resistant and applicable for indoor or outdoor application.
  2. Plastic: lightweight and applicable for indoor or outdoor application.
  3. Zinc: weather-resistant and mostly chemical resistant and applicable for indoor or outdoor application.
  4. Hardboard: durable and applicable for indoor use or outdoor when covered.

 

 

What is the Difference Between a Wet and Dry Chemical Fire Extinguishing Agent?

Advances in fire protection technology have resulted in the development of fire extinguishing agents that are custom designed to suppress different types of fires based on the fuel type that is being consumed by the fire. Further, the Fire Triangle illustrates the three elements (heat, fuel, and oxygen) a fire needs to ignite and continue to burn, and different fire extinguishing agents interrupt the triangle in different ways to suppress the fire.

A wet chemical fire extinguishing agent is a liquid substance that extinguishes a fire by cooling or removing the heat and prevents the fire from reigniting by creating a barrier between the oxygen and fuel elements. A dry chemical fire extinguishing agent is a powdery substance that extinguishes a fire by smothering it and interrupting the chemical reaction by creating a barrier the fuel and oxygen.

Wet chemical fire extinguishing agents include a blend of potassium acetate and potassium citrate and are used on Class K fires. Class K fires involve flammable cooking media such as vegetable oils, animal fats, and greases. Therefore, this type of fire extinguisher and agent is typically used in restaurants, kitchens, and food busses. The liquid chemical, upon contact with the cooking media, reacts and produces a foam to cool and also prevent reigniting.

Dry chemical fire extinguishing agents include sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, and monoammonium phosphate and are used to combat Class A, B, and C fires. Class A fires involve ordinary combustibles such as wood, paper, cloth, and trash. Class B fires involve inflammable or combustible liquids such as oil, gasoline, greases, solvents, alcohol, and lacquers. Class C fires involve energized electrical fires that can occur from overloaded electrical circuitry and cables, and short-circuiting in certain equipment and machines.  

 

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Wet and Dry Chemical Fire Extinguishing Agents?

Wet Chemical Advantages

  • This extinguishing agent is the best choice for use on kitchen fires because of the duel mechanisms to disrupt the Fire Triangle. It also is effective in preventing the fire from reigniting.
  • The fire extinguishers that discharge the wet chemical do so with a lower pressure so as not to risk splattering the burning oil or grease which could spread the fire to other locations.

Wet Chemical Disadvantages

  • The wet chemical suppression systems that are built into commercial kitchens require a significantly larger amount of space for installation and the associated construction costs.

Dry Chemical Advantages

  • The most common dry chemical fire extinguisher is the ABC Dry Chemical. This one extinguisher is effective for use on three types (fuel source) of fires – Class A, B, and C.
  • The dry chemical can be used in areas where wet chemical would cause significant damage, such as electronics.
  • A dry chemical suppression system will require less storage space than a wet suppression system.

Dry Chemical Disadvantages

  • The agents used are corrosive and must be scrubbed off surfaces after a fire.
  • If the dry chemical is used in a suppression system, it requires being refilled and recharged after each time the system is activated.

·       Note: Wet chemical suppression systems are required to comply with NFPA 17A (Standard for Wet Chemical Extinguishing Systems) and NFPA 96 (Standard for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection for Commercial Cooking Operations).

·       Note: Dry chemical suppression systems are required to comply with NFPA 17 (Standard for Dry Chemical Extinguishing Systems) and NFPA 33 (Standard for Spray Application to Safely Use on Flammable and Combustible Materials)

What are the other types of fire extinguishing agents?

In addition to the wet and dry chemical fire extinguishing agents listed previously, other types of extinguishing agents include:

Click on the images below to view a helpful chart on the different characteristics of the various Classes of Fires and a listing of the various types of fire extinguishers and agents used to combat the different Classes of Fires.

How to Choose a Hard Hat or Safety Helmet

How to Choose a Hard Hat or Safety Helmet

Safety helmets serve many purposes with the overall goal to reduce the damaging effects to the brain and head from a violent blow or jolt to the head, neck, or body, or from a penetrating wound to the scalp and skull. Traumatic brain injury (TBI), a major cause of death and disability in the United States, is the primary concern from head trauma. A blow to the head resulting from a fall accounts for nearly half (48%) of all the TBI in the United States each year. Another 15% are the result of being struck by or against an object. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) specifies two major types of employees (work environment) who are required to wear head protection.

  • Work environments where there is the potential for head trauma from falling objects, and
  • Employees that work around exposed electrical conductors where the possibility of contact with the head exists

So, when seeking head protection, what characteristics should a person consider when choosing a safety helmet?

  1. The helmet should be of a type and quality that is approved for the type of work or activity you will be performing and the associated impact risks or hazards that could be present. Regardless of the setting, the helmet will be used, it should meet the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards. Also, specific to your unique circumstances, you will need to make a determination as to if you need a helmet that designed for protection against top-only impact (classified as Type I) or a helmet that provides broader protection including lateral impact, front, and back protection in addition to top protection (classified as Type II).
  2. If you will be working in an environment where there is the possibility for contact with electrical conductors, then knowing the helmet’s electrical insulation rating is important. A Class “C” (conductive) helmet provides no protection against electricity. A helmet rated Class “G” (General) is tested at 2,200 volts. A Class “E” (Electrical) rated helmet is tested to withstand 20,000 volts.
  3. The helmet should be comfortable to wear specific to the environment in which it will be worn. It is a documented fact that if a safety helmet is comfortable to wear it is more likely that it will be kept on the person’s head. New composite materials and enhanced design features have enabled helmet manufacturers to increase impact protection without a corresponding increase in the weight of the helmet, an important element to the wearer’s comfort. In addition, a more expansive webbing suspension harness design, sweat absorption guards, ventilation holes, padded chin straps and headband, and breathable features can also increase the level of comfort the wearer can experience.
  4. The helmet should include adjustable components so that the helmet can conform to different head sizes and shapes. A personalized fit not only increases wearer compliance, but it is also associated with better protection from impact. A helpful convenience is a helmet in which making size adjustments can be performed by one hand, thus allowing the helmet to remain on the head when the adjustment is made, helping to ensure optimum comfort and protection.
  5. The helmet should be designed to accommodate a variety of helmet accessories. Like so many devices, machines, and pieces of equipment where accessories enhance the user experience and make the purchase of only one product applicable, a helmet that is designed to accept various accessories, e.g., eye protection, hearing protection, headlight, visors, etc., reduces the number of the primary product that would need to be purchased for performance in a variety of tasks.
  6. Has the helmet received any professional awards for safety, product design or innovation? The safety industry answers to certain oversight guidelines and is highly scrutinized for its efforts to protect the worker. As part of these overarching protections, the industry conducts reviews and assessments and rewards manufacturers and their products with awards to acknowledge the advancements and achievements that have been accomplished. A search for helmet safety may result in a specific product’s recognition for contributions in safety protection.

What are some professions for which OSHA recommends the use of hard hats?

  • Construction workers – carpenters, electricians, plumbers, pipefitters, welders
  • Linemen
  • Mechanics and repairers
  • Assemblers, packers, wrappers, and freight handlers
  • Timber cutters and loggers
  • Stock handlers

A healthy and protected workforce is the desire of any employer and certainly the desire of the individual. Hard hats provide protection to head and brain injuries and much research and experimentation has been performed over the decades to help reduce the risk of injury and the extent of injury to the worker. Safety professionals and all those involved in the management of workers exposed to the potential for head trauma should thoroughly assess their individual and unique worksites for potential hazards and select worker safety helmets that meet required or recommended safety guidelines and also address the considerations listed above as they can have a profound impact on the worker helmet wear compliance. It is also important to remember that personal protection equipment is also made for the unexpected when there is no obvious immediate danger that can be observed to the worker, but an understanding that the worker’s environment can change in a moment.

What are the Top Causes of Kitchen Fires?

What are the Top Causes of Kitchen Fires?

What are the Top Causes of Kitchen Fires?It is in the kitchen, the garage, and workshop that most home-based fires originate. A household fire that originates in the kitchen is the most common type of fire in the United States. This is significant and important to understand as the number of civilian deaths that occur by fire in the United States each year totals approximately 2,500 and 78% of those deaths occur in home structure fires. Further, 71% of all civilian injuries by fire, totaling approximately 13,000 per year, occur from home fires. 

Considering that most home fires begin in the kitchen, what are the top causes of these kitchen-based fires? The most common kitchen fire is a grease fire and the underlying cause of this is when a person leaves a frying pan on the stove unattended and the grease catches fire. The kitchen is also home of several electrical appliances where faulty or damaged components, their electrical wiring, inadequate circuit capability or excessive wattage to appliance capacity can cause shorts or sparks and triggers a fire.

As with any topic when trying to address a question, there are other associated factors that need to be addressed to help the individual better apply the information or newly acquired knowledge in their personal lives. Let’s look at some of those other factors that in the case of our question, contribute to an increased risk of causing a kitchen fire.

  1. Some foods are easier to catch fire than others. Cooking with oil or grease, both of which are flammable, increases the risk.
  2. How you cook the food. Statistics indicate that frying poses the greatest risk for fire initiation. This, of course, makes sense as frying typically involves the use of oil or grease.
  3. The clothing you wear while cooking. It is rare that a person’s clothes catch fire directly from an open flame and results in a kitchen fire. However, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the clothing a person is wearing that subsequently catches fire from an oil or grease-initiated fire contributes significantly to the risk dying from the fire.

What should you do if a fire starts in your kitchen?

Should a fire start in your kitchen the most important thing to do is to ensure your safety and that of your family members. That may require that you attempt to extinguish the fire in its infant stage and prevent it from spreading to other items or locations in the kitchen. To perform this initial fire combating strategy, you need to:

  1. Ensure that you have a properly functioning and appropriate type of fire extinguisher located in the kitchen, but away from the typical origin of a fire – the stove or oven. Because kitchen fires usually involve a cooking fuel source such as oil, grease, or animal fat, a Class K fire extinguisher with mono-ammonium phosphate agent is the recommended choice.

2. Know how to properly employ the fire extinguisher so ensure effective smothering of the fuel and do so without splashing the oil or grease from the pan and onto nearby items or structures that could catch fire.

You may want to read our other article titled, “How to Operate a Fire Extinguisher” and “How to Safely and Effectively Put out a Kitchen Fire – Three Simple Methods!

Cooking for some is a favorite activity, possibly even hobby, and something that brings joy to the chef as well as the beneficiaries of the chef’s abilities to create foods that taste great. Because the art of cooking carries with it a certain level of risk for fire, it is important to ensure that your kitchen appliances, cooking skills, and fire prevention and intervention strategies are up to date and up to speed for the cooking, you will be doing. It is recommended that you analyze your kitchen and fire protection equipment as specified in this article along with a well-designed and practiced fire response process to reduce the risk of fire in your kitchen and enhance your ability to effectively combat a kitchen fire should it occur.

Precautions and Safety Tips When Visiting Yellowstone National Park

Safety Tips When Visiting Yellowstone National Park

Every year my wife and I take our family, us and four kids, to Yellowstone National Park. In fact, we go to Yellowstone several times a year. For us, Yellowstone is a fun family vacation in an amazing wilderness setting. There are plenty of wildlife to be seen, geothermal features of deep blue and green hot pools and spouting geysers, and new hiking trails to explore.

 

However, Yellowstone is in the wilderness and one that contains a lot of potential risks for park visitors. It is a place that still claims the lives of tourists from time to time, and where a multitude of injuries are reported with trips to local or regional medical care facilities. If you’re preparing a family trip to Yellowstone, planning for safety is as important as planning your itinerary for the week.

 

So, what precautions and safety tips would I share for Yellowstone visitors? Visitors to Yellowstone National Park should be aware of the potential threats posed by wild animals, the hidden and unexpected hazards inherent in geothermal areas, the risks of traffic and pedestrian accidents by distracted drivers, and the unique precautions of camping outdoors and venturing out into unknown territory when hiking and exploring.

 

Let’s take a closer look at these precautions and safety tips:

 

Years ago, when my grandparents would drive through Yellowstone, you could feed the bears, an experience that often took place from inside your car and handing food to the bears along the side of the road, or who had come up to your vehicle. Thanks to the implementation of wise conservation rules, that is no longer allowed, and could even prove dangerous.

 

Yellowstone National Park officials have established guidelines for park visitors when viewing animals. Park visitors are required to stay at least 100 Yards (the distance of a football field) away from grizzly bears, black bears and, and wolves. All other animals, such as bison, elk, moose, coyotes, bighorn sheep, foxes, deer, and other smaller animals require a safety distance of 25 yards.

 

While bear and wolves are known for their predatory status and come with a certain reputation that brings fear to most people, moose, and bison can be very dangerous if you get too close and encroach upon their comfort space. This danger can increase if a cow moose is protecting her offspring or if it is the season of the rut for bison.

 

If out hiking, exploring, or animal viewing, always follow the guidelines established for distance from you to the animals. However, if you encounter a moose on the trail give it the extra distance to continue its course and allow it to pass. If the rut is in full swing, simply stay farther away from bison than is recommended, especially a male bison who is acting aggressively. Too often park visitors view these majestic animals more like an overgrown cow, docile and only concerned with eating grass and rolling in the dirt. Don’t be fooled! Just this week, a 9-year old girl was attacked and tossed high into the air by a large male Bison. Luckily, she survived the attack with minimal injuries and I’m sure her parents were terrified when they realized what had just happened and the speed with which it occurred. You can watch the video of the incident below.

 

When out hiking and exploring there are important measures that should be taken to avoid a bear encounter, to reduce the likelihood of an attack, or to thwart an attack should it occur.

 

·       To avoid an encounter: good statistical data gathered over years of research has shown that when venturing outdoors the likelihood of a bear attack is substantially reduced if you hike in groups of at least 3 people. Further, consistently making “human” sounds while hiking is another important strategy. Bears do not want human encounters. Your voice is a warning to them, and they will seek to avoid an encounter by fleeing the area. Most bear attacks take place when we humans startle a bear, and especially if the bear is a sow with a cub.

 

Other preventive measures include avoiding areas where bear activity is visible such as diggings, day beds, animal carcass cache, bear scat or tracks. All of these are signs of bear activity and the possibility that bears are in the area.

 

·       To reduce the likelihood of a bear attack if there is an encounter: If you encounter a bear that sees you be sure to stop where you are and continue, or start, talking in a calm manner. Don’t turn your back on the bear and stand your ground. If you see the bear but it does not see you, slowly start backing up to increase the distance between you and the bear. Don’t make sudden moves and absolutely do not run from the bear as this will trigger its predatory instincts and likely result on the bear chasing you down. And if they give chase, they will chase you down as they can run 30+ miles per hour. This means they can cover 50 yards or half a football field in less than three seconds.

 

·       To thwart an attacking bear: If a bear makes a charge at you this is considered an attack. The attack may or may not be a bluff charge. Either way, you better have bear spray and know how to use it. The proper use of bear spray is your best shot at deterring the bear’s attack. Bear sprayed, properly employed, irritates the bear’s eyes and respiratory system causing temporary blindness and difficulty breathing. It has been demonstrated as an effective bear attack deterrent but has also been shown to be an effective deterrent against the attack of other animals such as mountain lions, moose, coyote, and other animals.

 

If you are planning on only being in the park for a day or two, you may want to consider renting bear spray from Bear Aware located at Canyon Village. However, if you are planning on spending a few more days, you may want to buy your own, assuming you want to take it back home with you for future use and are not flying back home as it cannot be transported on airplanes.

 

If you are planning on buying the bear spray, buy it before you go to Yellowstone because the closer you get to Yellowstone the more expensive the bear spray will cost you. Amazon is a great way to buy Bear Spray at an inexpensive price. Below are some different deals I found there.

 

Geothermal Features and Board Walks

Some of the most amazing features of Yellowstone are the myriad presentations of geothermal features – the deep blue and green hot pools, the multicolored microflora mats, the spouting geysers and mud pots that are scattered throughout the park. The park service has spent millions of dollars building and maintaining boardwalks that can take you right up to the pools, mud pots, and geysers, but in a safe manner. It is extremely important that you walk and not run when on the boardwalks. Sometimes they can be wet as mist may come off the hot water and not offer the desired traction making them slippery at times. Additionally, special caution should be taken when walking these areas with small children. We make it mandatory to hold on to our young children’s hands and enjoy the interaction of explaining the dangers to them so that they understand the reason to not run or let go of our hands while cultivating an appreciation for not only the beauty but the dangers of these features. It’s important to understand that some of these hot springs can reach temperatures over 450 degrees and one slip or poor choice can spell disaster.

Since the year 1870, 22 people have died when they slipped and fell into one of the many hot pools, or even jumped into it in an effort to save a pet that accidentally fell into a pool. So, please don’t run on the boardwalks or allow your kids to explore freely without being supervised or more importantly protected in these areas.

Driving

The speed limit in Yellowstone National Park is 45mph on all major roads. However, several of the side drives will have a much lower speed limit of 10-15 mph. The speed limit is set to not only protect you and the other drivers who share the road, but also the wild animals that may suddenly dart across the road just as you are driving by. Nighttime driving can be especially precarious with vision limited and certain animals more active at this time. Each year hundreds of animals are killed in the park and a good portion of them could have been avoided if drivers would slow down, follow the speed limit and adjust speed to current driving conditions.

Of special concern are the famous so-called bison jams and animal viewing traffic jams that are prevalent in the park. When you consider the combination of circumstances that are present in these situations – cars pilled close together, people looking at animals and not focused on the road, changing circumstances, etc., you can see how car accidents can occur. More importantly, animal viewing traffic jams can be especially worrisome with people, including children, out of their cars jockeying for the best viewing or photo op positioning and cars trying to get past the jam and on to their desired destination in the park.

While is shouldn’t have to be said, NEVER DRINK AND DRIVE! Yes, there are cases of people imbibing and then driving in the park, posing a risk to everyone and everything else. Animals killed, park visitors injured, and structures damaged have all been reported in the events of Yellowstone with alcohol as a contributing factor. So, enjoy the park in a state of mind to fully enjoy the splendors and uniquenesss of Yellowstone.

Camping

Camping in Yellowstone can be an amazing experience. On a clear night, the sky will be filled with shining stars, an occasional shooting star, and even a passing satellite. You may get to hear the howling of a coyote or wolf in the distance, a bugling elk, or the grunt of a bison. Yes, bison are known to walk through campsites in the middle of the night. My wife and I have experienced this – the combination of excitement and some fear when you know that bison are just outside your tent.

Camping in Yellowstone, whether at an established campground or backcountry campsite, requires that you follow all the parks rules and guidelines to fully enjoy the experience and also not fringe upon the enjoyment of others who are also seeking such an experience.  

Food should never be left out where animals, big or small, can get to it. All food and cookware are to be stored in a bear-proof container or in your locked car. Even small animals, such as a ground squirrel, can cause some damage to materials.

Campfires are to be monitored at all times and be fully extinguished when not in use. Every bit important is to keep a watchful eye on children who seem to be drawn to the site of the fire, that glowing illumination in the black of night.

Tent camping should only be done in areas where permitted. Some campsites are restricted to hardshell camping only due to increased bears activity in the area. Sometimes certain campgrounds or even picnic areas have been temporarily closed due to intensified bear frequenting the area.

For a complete list of the Parks camping rules and regulations, you can click HERE.

An interesting book about Yellowstone that I would highly recommend reading is “Death in Yellowstone” by Lee H Whittlesey. The book details the different accounts of deaths that have occurred in the park since 1870. This presents the true dangers of Yellowstone and can give the reader a glimpse of Yellowstone’s wild side.

Safety Tips for Living in the Country

Safety Tips for Living in the Country

Safety Tips for Living in the CountryFor years my wife and I have talked about moving out of the “city” and into a more rural setting. We both have previously enjoyed rural life and really like the privacy that can be found in country living. We enjoy allowing our kids to run, play and adventure with freedom without the prospects that our neighbors may be watching their exploits from their kitchen window. Another benefit of country living is not having the neighborhood kids repeatedly knocking on our door asking if our kids can play. I know, this sounds bad, but we really enjoy and like to prioritize our time with our kids after our long workday and their long day at school.

While it was easy for us to list all the pros of moving to the country, we needed to perform some research and try to remain unbiased in the findings. One such topic would be to not only learn of the potential negatives, but to specifically assess potential security risks of living in the country. Without nearby neighbors, you lose the potential for another pair of eyes who could be keeping a look-out on your kids, as well as keeping an eye on your home when you may be away on vacation.

So, with a bit of research, here is a list of safety tips for anyone contemplating a move to the country who might have a bit of nervousness about the unknowns of country life.

Webcam/Security System

One of the best home defense strategies for any homeowner is to invest in a home security system that can record the activities in and outside of your home. Should a burglar break into your home, steal a package from the front door, or cause damage to your house or property, it can be captured on your home security system.

There are several home security systems and services on the market, and they range in price from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. My wife and I bought our home security system from amazon. We have used it to keep an eye on the kids in the yard while we are working inside the house, and as a visible deterrent to would-be intruders. Just knowing that we have a visual of our kids playing in the yard provides some peace of mind when it is difficult to be right there with them. And, while our security system has never filmed an attempted home invasion, it has captured a bit of vandalism by some high-spirited kids passing through the area.

Placement of your security system cameras in extremely important. You need to get enough cameras to cover all areas of your home (windows and doors). Additionally, I had one camera pointed to my shed/shop area where I have several expensive tools and equipment stored.

For me and my wife, a home security system is an important safety feature that we believe in and put some trust in to provide some protection to home and family. We also realize that it is only one element in a comprehensive home safety program.

 

Pet – Guard Dog

As I talked with friends and family members who live in the country, they all recommended a “Guard Dog” as another protective measure that could be taken to help beef up the safety of living in the country. And by a guard dog, I mean a dog that is alert to happenings around the house and can signal a barking alarm as well as offer some aggressive protection should a threat be determined.

However, it may take some training to teach them how to be alert and how to best respond to different types of threat. You need to realize that a young pup will not be the protector you are hoping to have as it will take time to train him/her on the alert and response responsibilities before proper execution is achieved. You may even find your dog overly friendly to approaching strangers at first, but with time and training improvement with lead to the desired outcome.   

Do your research on what would be the best type of dog for you and your family needs, as well as its ability to be trained to protect you and your loved ones.

Motion Light Outside

If a home security system is too expensive and for some reason, you can’t have or don’t want a dog, consider investing in some high-quality motion lights. When it is 3 am and an intruder tries to walk around the house looking for an unlocked door or window, the flick of the light will get their adrenaline rushing and serve as a great deterrent from entering your home.

Like the security cameras, the motion lights should be placed in a way that they can be triggered regardless of the door or window they try to enter in. There are different qualities of motion detector lights and low-quality motion lights can be triggered simply by a cat passing through your yard.

TIP: For homeowners with larger properties, you may want to invest in a motion light that is powered by solar panels and can be placed on a fence or post out in the field which will deter anyone from trying to sneak through your property.

Have a Fence

Criminals who are looking for a home to burglarize tend to target homes with the least amount of invasion resistance. If they can quickly and easily walk around the home looking for unlocked doors or windows without obstacles of any kind, they are more likely to view the home as a potential target.

TIP: If a fence is not feasible or you simply don’t want a fence, consider letting the kids leave their toys all over the yard for them to trip on. Okay, not a real recommendation but the idea is the more obstacles to entry, the less likely an attempt will be made.

Know Your Property Well

This is for homeowners with a large number of acres. If you have 10 acres of trees but fail to regularly inspect the property, it is possible that someone may be using a small section of your property to do illegal activities. Unfortunately, we have read about this in the news and to somewhat disbelief the landowners had to fight a legal battle to persuade authorities that they had nothing to do with the illegal and unbeknownst to them activity that was taking place on their property.

Make it a point to know your property well, regularly inspect it for anything out of the norm, and if you ever suspect someone is doing illegal activities on your properties, call the authorities immediately. 

Team up with Your Neighbors

While you may not have immediate neighbors, you should get to know the neighbors that you do have so that you can help watch each other’s house while either one of you is out of town on vacation or business.

Some neighborhoods have a “watch program” where those who are living in the same area work together with each other and local law officials to reduce crime and ensure the safety of all those living in the area.

Plenty of Fire Extinguishers

The response time for those living in the rural countryside is obviously longer than it is for those living in the city. As such, there is the possibility of more damage being done to your home from fire than other homes should the flames get out of control and can only be effectively fought with the fire trucks and trained personnel.

Because of this response time difference, it is essential that your home is equipped with adequate fire extinguishers. Preferably one fire extinguisher should be placed on each level of the home, certainly in the kitchen, and in your shop if you have one. Some homeowners with larger structures prefer to invest in a wheeled fire extinguisher that can combat larger fires.

Long Screws for Door Lock

When you install doorknobs or deadbolts, they come with short screws which are easily broken with enough repeated kicks or hits on the door. To avoid this, it is a good idea to swap out the short screws with longer 2.5 to 3-inch screws that are much more durable and can withstand a greater amount of force. Do this for each external door of your home.

Yearly Inspections of your Windows and Doors

At least once a year, you should inspect the locks on your doors and windows to ensure that they are still in good working condition. Once you notice a window lock that is not functioning correctly, get it fixed or replaced as soon as you can. Until your window lock is repaired, consider placing a board in the window slider panel to prevent it from being opened from the outside. This is not a long-time solution as this could be a fire hazard if it were to prevent you from escaping promptly.

Invest in a Generator

When the power goes out, and it will, you’ll be glad you invested in a generator. Generators can be a life-saving device in the winter if heating is lost. By having a generator and some gas set aside you’ll be able to wait out the storm until the lineman can turn the power back on.

Here are some great generators that you can purchase on Amazon:

Food Storage

Just like the generator, you’ll be happy to have a food supply that can last you at least 2 weeks. Be sure to stock on foods that are long-lasting and that the whole family will eat. There are several reasons why you will want to have a food supply stored away. For example:

Natural Disasters: During the hours and days of an approaching people will flock to the stores and buy up all the goods they feel they will need for an extended period of time. This can lead to shortages leaving some, if not many, without the supplies they will need during the emergency. Fortunately, if you are prepared ahead of time with good storage of the most important supplies (like food, water, gasoline, etc.) you can focus your attention on preparing your home and family for enduring well the events that may transpire when the hurricane of another natural disaster hits.

A good strategy is to buy a little extra of these important supplies when you do your weekly shopping, so you always have them on hand for a rainy day.

Safety Plan (Fire or Break-in)

While last on the list, it certainly is one of the more important safety tips I learned while doing my research. Having an action plan with the whole family on what to do in the event of an emergency (Fire or Break-in).

Everyone should know what to do, where to go, and who to contact. Not having a plan will likely result in some confusion and ineffective efforts. So, if you don’t have a plan now, take time to make one with your family so that when the unthinkable happens, you are more prepared.