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This page contains past articles pertaining to keeping your family safe. Special tips and tricks on traveling, little children and high schoolers safety.

For a list of all archived articles visit our Archived Articles List.


brown bulletpointArchived Personal Safety Articles




The Sheriff’s Office offers the following tips for safe and enjoyable bicycling:

Safety Tips
We can make bicycling safer for all by observing the following safety tips:

  • Always wear a helmet
  • Obey all traffic controls
  • Ride your bicycle near the right-hand edge of the road
  • Never carry another person on your bicycle
  • Always use hand signals when turning or stopping
  • Look out for cars at cross street, driveways, and parking places
  • Be careful when checking traffic and don't swerve when looking over your shoulder
  • Give pedestrians the right-of-way
  • Keep your bicycle in good condition
  • Always ride carefully

Remember a bicycle is a vehicle. Bicyclists share a complex traffic environment with other larger forms of transportation. Youngsters under age nine lack the physical and mental development to interact safely in that environment.

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Unless noted, the safety tips below were adapted from the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ poison prevention tips for children and adults.

Drugs and Medicines

  • Only take prescription medications that are prescribed to you by a healthcare professional. Misusing or abusing prescription or over-the-counter medications is not a “safe” alternative to illicit substance abuse.
  • Never take larger or more frequent doses of your medications, particularly prescription pain medications, to try to get faster or more powerful effects.
  • Never share or sell your prescription drugs. Keep all prescription medicines (especially prescription painkillers, such as those containing methadone, hydrocodone, or oxycodone), over-the-counter medicines (including pain or fever relievers and cough and cold medicines), vitamins and herbals in a safe place that can only be reached by people who take or give them.
  • Follow directions on the label when you give or take medicines. Read all warning labels. Some medicines cannot be taken safely when you take other medicines or drink alcohol.
  • Turn on a light when you give or take medicines at night so that you know you have the correct amount of the right medicine.
  • Keep medicines in their original bottles or containers.
  • Monitor the use of medicines prescribed for children and teenagers, such as medicines for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.1
  • Dispose of unused, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs. Follow federal guidelines for how to do this (FDA 2011).External Web Site Icon
  • Participate in National Drug Take Back days recognized by the Drug Enforcement Administration or local take back programs in your community. External Web Site Icon

Household Chemicals and Carbon Monoxide

Information about carbon monoxide poisoning can be found on other CDC web pages; see sources of additional information below for the relevant website.

  • Always read the label before using a product that may be poisonous.
  • Keep chemical products in their original bottles or containers. Do not use food containers such as cups, bottles, or jars to store chemical products such as cleaning solutions or beauty products.
  • Never mix household products together. For example, mixing bleach and ammonia can result in toxic gases.
  • Wear protective clothing (gloves, long sleeves, long pants, socks, shoes) if you spray pesticides or other chemicals.
  • Turn on the fan and open windows when using chemical products such as household cleaners.

What To Do If A Poisoning Occurs

  • Remain calm.
  • Call 911 if you have a poison emergency and the victim has collapsed or is not breathing. If the victim is awake and alert, dial 1-800-222-1222. Try to have this information ready:
    • the victim’s age and weight
    • the container or bottle of the poison if available
    • the time of the poison exposure
    • the address where the poisoning occurred
  • Stay on the phone and follow the instructions from the emergency operator or poison control center.


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These simple steps can help you save children from environmental hazards around the home:

  1. Storing Pesticides and Chemicals – Always store pesticides and other household chemicals, including chlorine bleach, out of children's reach -- preferably in a locked cabinet.
  2. Read the Label FIRST! Pesticide products, household cleaning products, and pet products can be dangerous or ineffective if too much or too little is used.
  3. Before applying pesticides or other household chemicals, remove children and their toys, as well as pets, from the area. Keep children and pets away until the pesticide has dried or as long as is recommended on the label.
  4. If your use of a pesticide or other household chemical is interrupted (perhaps by a phone call), properly reclose the container and remove it from children’s reach. Always use household products in child-resistant packaging.
  5. Never transfer pesticides to other containers that children may associate with food or drink(like soda bottles), and never place rodent or insect baits where small children can get to them.
  6. When applying insect repellents to children, read all directions first; do not apply over cuts, wounds, or irritated skin; do not apply to eyes, mouth, hands, or directly on the face; and use just enough to cover exposed skin or clothing, but do not use under clothing.
  7. Many homes built before 1978 have lead-based paint. If you plan to remodel or renovate, get your home tested . Don’t try to remove lead paint yourself.
  8. Ask about lead when buying or renting a home. Sellers and landlords must disclose known lead hazards in houses or apartments built before 1978.
  9. . Get your child tested for lead. There are no visible symptoms of lead poisoning, and children may suffer behavior or learning problems as a result of exposure to lead hazards.
  10. Wash children’s hands, toys, and bottles often. Regularly clean floors, window sills, and other surfaces to reduce possible exposure to lead and pesticide residues.



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For the sake of maintaining a decent credit score and financing major purchases that cannot wait, you need one credit card.  Naturally, you want a credit card with the highest possible credit limit and the lowest possible interest rate. 

Be on guard against everyday hazards.
 Try to anticipate and pay routine expenses with cash.  Using your credit card less, you minimize your exposure.  That cute young server who delivered your lunch very easily could have written-down your digits and run-up all kinds of charges from a disposable cell phone by the time you returned to the office.  According to, “Research shows that the rate of fraudulent purchases made by cell phones is much higher than credit card fraud on the net.”  If you must use your credit card for business expenses, try not to let it out of your sight.  Whether or not the server thinks you are rude, watch her process your transaction; then, carefully enter your thoughtful tip and total the amount yourself.  Just as importantly, if you know you frequently will use a credit card, find one that includes cell-phone fraud alerts and lets you track the card’s use from your handheld.

Experts sternly counsel never use your credit card on the telephone—especially never give your credit card information on an incoming call.  You have no way of authenticating the call or confirming the caller’s identity.  Stories abound about rogue telemarketers who have worked briefly for big banks, memorizing the scripts and perfecting their delivery, then going out to test their criminal skills using the banks’ own lists of borrowers.  A few even have run their schemes while remaining on the banks’ payrolls.  Especially beware of telephone solicitors who demand too much information: The more they ask, the more you should decline.

Be wary about internet purchases.
Before you worry about the security of an internet purchase, be cautious about its frugality.  Check the shipping costs associated with your order as well as the price of the item you like.  An extortionate shipping fee will wipe-out your deep discount.  If a major retailer offers a great online bargain, call your nearest store and negotiate for similar savings in-store.  The best stores—Nordstrom, The Home Depot, and Macy’s, for example–often will meet your demands because they value your loyalty
Never give your credit card information to an unsecured site.  Your web browser usually will warn you if you are about to transmit your data to a site not properly encrypted.  Never respond to an e-mail that requests your credit card data, and be especially cautious about unsolicited e-mails that ask address and telephone information in addition to your credit card digits.  Skilled identity thieves can recreate you with just four or five critical numbers.

Use a good anti-virus program.
Most importantly, maintain your anti-virus software, because sophisticated viruses, often enclosed in fake security software, easily can invade your hard drive and steal all of your personal data.  FBI officials report that nearly three-quarters of internet identity theft now originates in malware, and malicious programs proliferate at that the rate more than 100,000 per day.

Track your spending and read your statements.
Reconcile your credit card statements with your records just as religiously as you review and reconcile your checking account statements. When in doubt, contest.  If you see a purchase for which you have no receipt or an expense you could not possibly have incurred, call the credit card company’s fraud line. The best, most reputable credit card companies assure they thoroughly investigate all disputed charges; hold them to their promises.  More importantly, the best companies will remove the charge from your bill pending the investigation, so that it does not affect your available credit.  Apply similar rules to fees.  If you dispute any fee’s legitimacy, contest it.

Move shredding to the top of your list for fun evening activities.  Shred credit card receipts and unsolicited credit card applications; unless you really intend to use old credit card statements, shred them, too.  Better still, go paperless and do the planet a favor.  Do not write down your PIN, and try not to use obvious PINs like birthdays and children’s names; indulge your sneaky, devious tendencies as you make-up PINs, and then commit them firmly to memory.



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Transportation Safety
Whether children walk, ride their bicycle or take the bus to school, it is extremely important that they take proper safety precautions. Here are some tips to make sure your child safely travels to school.

Walking to school

  • Review your family’s walking safety rules.
  • Walk on the sidewalk, if one is available. When on a street with no sidewalk, walk facing the traffic.
  • Before you cross the street, stop and look all ways to see if cars are coming.
  • Never dart out in front of a parked car.
  • Practice walking to school with your child.

Riding a bicycle to school

  • Make sure your child always wears his helmet when leaving the house.
  • Teach your children the rules of the road they need to know to ride their bicycles.
  • Ride on the right side of the road and in a single file.
  • Come to a complete stop before crossing the street.

Riding the bus to school

  • Go to the bus stop with your child to teach them the proper way to get on and off the bus.
  • Make sure your children stand six feet away from the curb.
  • If your child and you need to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the side of the road until you are at least 12 feet ahead of the bus. You always should be able to see the bus driver, and the bus driver always should be able to see you.

School Safety

  • Many school-related injuries are completely preventable. Follow these steps to ensure your child’s safety at school.
  • Preventing backpack-related injuries
  • Chose a backpack for your child carefully. It should have ergonomically designed features to enhance safety and comfort.
  • Don’t overstuff a backpack; it should weigh no more than 10 to 20 percent of your child’s body weight.
  • For example, a child that weighs 60 pounds should carry a backpack no heavier than 12 pounds.
  • Ask your children to use both straps when wearing their backpack to evenly distribute the weight.

Preventing playground-related injuries

  • Encourage your child only to use playgrounds with a soft surface. Avoid playgrounds with concrete, grass and dirt surfaces, as they are too hard.
  • Children under the age of four should not use climbing equipment and watch older children when they’re climbing.
  • Do not let your children use monkey bars. They are unsafe and should not be used by children of any age.


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We can make bicycling safer for all by observing the following safety tips:

  • Always wear a helmet
  • Obey all traffic controls
  • Ride your bicycle near the right-hand edge of the road
  • Never carry another person on your bicycle
  • Always use hand signals when turning or stopping
  • Look out for cars at cross street, driveways, and parking places
  • Be careful when checking traffic and don't swerve when looking over your shoulder
  • Give pedestrians the right-of-way
  • Keep your bicycle in good condition
  • Always ride carefully

Remember a bicycle is a vehicle. Bicyclists share a complex traffic environment with other larger forms of transportation. Youngsters under age nine lack the physical and mental development to interact safely in that environment.


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Whether you live in a big city or a small town, there is crime everywhere.  However a larger city has more unknowns and it is vital to know how to remain safe on the city streets. People who come from smaller towns may be caught off guard by the amount of crime and violent activity that is present in large cities, but by being aware and taking a few precautions you can stay safe wherever you go.

Be Vigilant
The most important thing you can do when you are on city streets or anywhere else is to be aware of your surroundings. Understand that criminals look for easy opportunities to assault an unsuspecting victim. A typical target will be a person who is clearly from out of town and may be intimidated by big city life. Be careful where you go, and pay attention to everything and everyone around you. A predator never wants to be seen before committing a crime, so if you walk intently with your head held high and survey everything, you will be a far less likely target.

When you are out at night, try to stay in areas that are brightly lit. Darker streets and alleys offer the perfect cover for an assailant to hide and catch you by surprise. Walk with friends anytime you can, because criminals are far less likely to approach a group than an individual. If you are alone, keep a brisk pace, get to where you are going and make your way inside. As you return to your vehicle, be prepared to get in right away. Lock the door and drive off quickly. You never know when a predator may be nearby watching to see if you linger and give them an opportunity to assault you.

Guard Your Money
In the city there are thousands of people around, so the odds of encountering a predator becomes very high. They watch for potential victims at all times, and one of the things they look for is someone who is obviously carrying a large amount of money or valuable personal items. Never flash cash on a city street, as that will encourage a thief to target you. It's a good idea to keep your money well hidden and located in an area that is difficult to get to. A pick pocket may be able to pull your wallet out of a back or jacket pocket, but will be far less likely to attempt to reach into a front pocket, which makes that an ideal location to store your money and credit cards. Some experts also recommend carrying a second wallet with just a small amount of money and invalid credit cards. That way you have something to turn over if you are ever mugged.

Women should carry their purses close to their bodies, but not with the shoulder strap placed securely around the neck. A purse snatcher may be determined to take what you have, and it can turn violent as they wrench the purse from you. It's better to let a thief take your personal belongings than to risk being hurt. Carry as little cash as possible, and only one or two credit cards. Then if the purse is taken, your loss will not be too great.

A Street Encounter
Although it's always best to be polite, even to strangers, it is a good idea to be very wary of anyone you don't know who approaches you. They may ask for directions, money or anything else. Answer quickly, and continue on your way. If they persist, tell them that you are unable to help and mention that a police officer would be better suited to provide assistance. You may find yourself being followed, and if so remain in a public area. Find a police station or security guard and explain your predicament.

Carrying a personal alarm is a great way to deter strangers who will not back down. Sounding the alarm will grab the attention of everyone around, and focus it on you. A predator won't want to be seen by witnesses, and will leave you alone.

In Case Of Assault
When an attack is unavoidable, you must be prepared to fight back. Practice any self defense maneuvers you know and aim for pressure points on the assailant's body. If you have a self defense weapon like pepper spray or a stun gun, don't be afraid to use it. The device will protect you and leave no permanent damage on the aggressor.
Anyone who has been hurt during a violent assault or rape while visiting the city should seek out immediate medical attention. Get to a hospital as quickly as possible, and make a full report with the police.


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All it takes is one spark for things to go wrong. A carelessly abandoned campfire or a campfire built without safe clearance can turn a small fire into a dangerous and fast-moving blaze. Be sure to build your campfire in a way that does not endanger anyone or the surrounding forest. Enjoy a safe campfire by following these campfire safety tips:

  • Check with local authorities on open-air burning restrictions and follow local burning regulations. Keep up-to-date on fire bans in the area.
  • Never build a campfire on a windy day. Sparks or embers from the fire could travel quite a distance setting an unintentional fire.
  • Watch the wind direction to ensure sparks aren't getting on flammable materials. Put the fire out if wind changes begin to cause concern.
  • Build campfires where they will not spread; well away from tents, trailers, dry grass, leaves, overhanging tree branches or any other combustible.
  • Build campfires in fire pits provided or on bare rock or sand, if no fire pit is provided.
  • Maintain a 2 to 3.5 metre (6 – 10 foot) clearance around your campfire.
  • Build a campfire surround with rocks to contain your campfire. Be aware that rocks obtained from the river may explode due to moisture in the rock becoming superheated by the campfire.
  • Use crumpled paper and/or kindling to start a fire rather than using flammable liquids.
  • Never use gasoline as an aid to starting a campfire. If a fire starter is required, use only proper lighting fluid and use the lighting fluid sparingly. NEVER PUT IT ON AN OPEN FLAME since the fire can ignite the stream of lighting fluid and the flame will travel up the stream igniting the container in your hand and causing serious injury. Once the lighting fluid has been applied to the firewood, allow a few minutes for the explosive vapours to disperse before lighting. Remove the lighting fluid container a safe distance away before lighting the campfire.
  • Secure all lighters and matches and keep them out of children’s reach.
  • Keep campfires to a small, manageable size no more than 1 metre (3 feet) high by 1 metre (3 feet) in diameter and don't let it get out of hand.
  • Don't burn garbage in your campfire. The smell is unpleasant for you and your neighbours, and may attract animals to your campsite.
  • Keep all combustible materials, including flammable liquids, propane cylinders, lighting fluid, etc. away from the campfire.
  • Stack extra wood upwind and away from the campfire so that sparks from the campfire cannot ignite your woodpile. Have sufficient wood on hand to eliminate the need to leave your campsite to restock.
  • Never leave campfires unattended. Ensure that a responsible adult is monitoring the campfire at all times. Supervise children around campfires at all times and never allow horseplay near or involving the campfire, such as jumping over a campfire. Do not allow children to run around near a campfire.
  • Closely supervise children while roasting treats over a campfire. A flaming marshmallow can easily ignite a child’s clothing. A heated metal skewer can be a burn hazard, as well as a puncture hazard.
  • Loose clothing can easily catch fire. Never reach into a campfire to rearrange pieces of wood.
  • Teach children how to STOP, DROP and ROLL should their clothing catch on fire. Teach children to cool a burn with cool running water for 3 – 5 minutes.
  • Keep plenty of water and a shovel around to douse the fire when you're done. Use caution when applying water to the campfire. Once the water has been applied, stir the dampened coals and douse it again with water. As an added precaution, shovel sand or dirt to cover the dampened coals to smother any remaining embers.
  • As little as 1 second contact with a 70°C (158°F) campfire can cause 3rd degree, full thickness burns.
  • The average campfire can get as hot as 500°C (932°F) in as little as 3 hrs.
  • The majority of children are burned the morning after a fire from coming into contact with hot ashes or embers.
  • A campfire left to burn itself out or put out with sand only was still 100°C (212°F) eight hours later. The buried coals and embers retain their heat underground like an oven. There is also a risk that the fire may spontaneously re-ignite. A child may mistake the pile of sand or dirt as a sand castle and attempt to play in it. The temperature, less than 10 cm (4”) below the surface of the sand or dirt can be as high as 300 °C (572°F).
  • A campfire put out with water is reduced to 50°C (122°F) within 10 minutes of applying the water and reduced to 10°C (50°F) after 8 hrs. The safest way to extinguish a campfire is with water.




How to stay safe in your home

  • Trim shrubs and bushes and use outdoor lighting to eliminate places where a prowler could hide.
  • Doors should have peepholes at a height that everyone can use.
  • If someone comes to your door and claims to be a government or utility official, ask for a name and a badge so that you can call the agency to confirm the person's identity. If you cannot verify someone's identity at your front door, call 911 immediately.
  • Residents need to be wary of anyone offering repairs or contract work door-to-door. A quick way to verify whether a company is legitimate is to ask to see a copy of their operating license and call the company.
  • If someone claims they need to use your phone, offer to make the call yourself instead.
  • Leave spare keys with a trusted neighbor, not under a doormat or planter or other obvious hiding place.
  • Lock exterior doors at night and everytime you leave the house, even if it's just for a few minutes.
  • Keep outdoor lights on in the evening -- whether or not someone is home.
  • Windows should be locked at all times, even when opened a few inches for ventilation.
  • Use a dowel or pin to secure sliding glass doors.
  • Lock gates, garage doors, and shed doors after every use.
  • Lock grills, lawn mowers, bicycles and other valuables in a garage or shed, or cover them with a top and securely lock them to a stationary object.
  • Do not leave tools outside, where they could be used to break into your house.
  • Use timers to turns lights and televisions on and off when you are not home.
  • If you are away for an extended time, stop mail and newspaper deliveries, and ask a neighbor to remove any fliers that might be placed on your door.
  • Keep valuables in a floor or wall safe. When installing a safe, avoid obvious locations such as the master bedroom closet.
  • Complete a home inventory. If your valuables or credit cards are lost or stolen, you will have serial numbers and phone numbers handy.


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Be aware. Stay alert. Remain calm and confident.
Disabled people face many physical challenges. This makes them vulnerable to would-be assailants who assume the disabled are incapable of protecting themselves.

Look out for yourself:

  • Be cautious and aware of your surroundings, whether on the street, in an office building or the shopping mall.
  • Stay alert when driving or waiting for a bus or subway.
  • Send the message that you are calm, confident, and know where you are going.
  • Be realistic about your limitations. Avoid places or situations that put you at risk.
  • Know the neighborhoods where you live and work. Check out the locations of police and fire stations, public telephones, hospitals and restaurants or stores that are open and accessible.
  • Avoid establishing predictable activity patterns. Vary your daily routines. By never altering your schedule, you increase your vulnerability to crime.

At home:

  • Install approved locks on all your doors. Sturdy deadbolt locks are best. Make sure you can easily use the locks you install.
  • Install peepholes on front and back doors at your eye level. This is especially important if you use a wheelchair.
  • Get to know your neighbors. Watchful neighbors who look out for you, as well as themselves, are a frontline defense against crime.
  • If you have difficulty speaking, have a friend record a message (giving your name, address and type of disability) to use in emergencies. Keep the tape in a recorder next to your phone.
  • Ask your police department to conduct a free home security survey to help identify your individual needs.

Before you go on vacation:

  • Plan ahead. If you are traveling by car, get maps and plan your route.
  • Have the car checked by your mechanic or a knowledgeable friend before you leave.
  • Leave the numbers of your passport, driver’s license, credit cards, and travelers’ checks with a trusted adult.
  • Put lights and a radio on timers to create the illusion that someone is at home while you are away.
  • Leave shades, blinds and curtains in normal positions.
  • Stop mail and deliveries or ask a neighbor to collect them.

Out and about:

  • If possible, go with a friend.
  • Stick to well-lit, well-travelled streets.
  • Avoid shortcuts through vacant lots, wooded areas, parking lots or alleys.
  • Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.
  • Carry a purse close to your body — not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket.
  • If you use a wheelchair and carry a purse, secure it to your wheelchair and tuck it snugly between you and the inside of your chair.
  • If you use a knapsack, make sure it it is secured to your chair and closed securely.
  • In case of an emergency, always carry your medical information.
  • Consider carrying a portable cell phone in your vehicle.

On public transportation:

  • Use well-lit , busy stops. Stay near other passengers. Sit by the driver.
  • Stay alert! Do not doze or daydream!
  • If someone harasses you, make a loud noise or say, “Leave me alone.” If that does not work, hit the emergency signal on the bus or train.

Take a stand

  • Join or help organize a Neighborhood Watch group. Make sure the meeting sites are accessible to people with disabilities.
  • Work with local law enforcement to improve responses to all victims or witnesses of crime. Role-play how people with disabilities can handle threatening situations.
  • Work with rehabilitation centers and advocacy groups to offer a presentation to schools and other community organizations on the needs or concerns of individuals with disabilities.

Don’t let a con-artist rip you off

Many con-artists prey on people’s desires to find miracle cures for chronic conditions and fatal diseases.

To outsmart con-artists, remember these tips:

  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Don’t let greed or excitement overcome common sense. Wait 24 hours and consult a trusted friend or lawyer before making any decisions.
  • Be wary of high pressure tactics, need for quick decisions, demands for cash only, or high-yield-low-risk investments.


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Fireworks are an American tradition. To insure the safety of both the audience and those lighting the fireworks, we recommend that you obey the following fireworks safety measures during your fireworks display.

  • Children Should Not Handle Fireworks.  Never let children handle, play with or light any fireworks.  Fireworks should only be handled by adults.
  • Do Not Use Alcohol With Fireworks.  Please do not consume alcohol when using fireworks.  Fireworks must be used by individuals who act in a responsible manner and who are not impaired in any way.
  • Follow the Laws; Use Common Sense.  Follow your local and state laws regarding the possession and use of fireworks.  Do not use illegal explosives; do not alter any firework device; and do not make your own fireworks.
  • Use Fireworks on a Hard Surface.  Use fireworks on a hard, flat and level surface, not on grass or gravel.  If you are using fireworks on grass, lay down a strong piece of plywood as a shooting surface. 
  • Use in a Clear, Open Area.  Use fireworks in a clear, open area, making sure the area overhead is free from obstructions.  Keep the audience a safe distance away from the shooting site.  Watch out for dry grass, dry brush or any flammable items that could catch fire.  Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
  • Keep Clear of the Fireworks.  Never put your head or any part of your body over the top of any fireworks product at any time.  Never look into a tube to check on the firework item.  Never hold a lighted firework in your hand.
  • Use Care in Lighting the Fireworks.  Always light fireworks products with an extended butane lighting device, a punk or a flare.  Light the fuse only on the tip.  Use a flashlight at night so you can see the fuse.  Never use a lantern or other flame-producing device near fireworks for illumination.  Light the fireworks product and get away quickly.
  • One at a Time.  Light only one firework item at a time.
  • Do Not Use Malfunctioning or “Dud” Items.  Don’t persist with malfunctioning items.  Never attempt to re-light, alter or fix any “dud” firework item.
  • Have Water Close By.  Have a fire extinguisher, water supply, hose or bucket of water nearby.  During any fireworks shoot there should always be someone assigned as the fireman, whose job it is to be alert and at the ready with a water source for emergencies.
  • Windy Conditions.  Be cautious of lighting any fireworks during strong wind conditions.  Light fireworks with prevailing wind blowing away from the spectators.  If there is a wind shift during your shooting, you should stop or rearrange your shooting site to accommodate the wind shift.
  • Use Care in Handling Fireworks.  Use care in handling fireworks and be careful not to drop them.  Do not carry fireworks in your pocket.  Never smoke when handling fireworks.
  • Purchase Fireworks from Reliable Dealers.  Purchase fireworks from reliable, licensed fireworks dealers.  Do not use illegal explosives; do not alter any fireworks; do not attempt to make your own fireworks.
  • Safety Glasses.  Safety glasses are recommended for individuals lighting fireworks and those individuals in close proximity to the fireworks. 
  • Use Caution with Animals.  Be careful with animals.  Noise and lights of fireworks often frighten animals.


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In any emergency a family member or you may be cut, burned or suffer other injuries. With these basic supplies you are better prepared to help your loved ones when they are hurt. Remember, many injuries are not life threatening and do not require immediate medical attention. Knowing how to treat minor injuries can make a difference in an emergency. Consider taking a first aid class, but simply having the following things can help you stop bleeding, prevent infection and assist in decontamination.

Things you should have:

  • Two pairs of Latex, or other sterile gloves (if you are allergic to Latex).
  • Sterile dressings to stop bleeding.
  • Cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic towelettes to disinfect.
  • Antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
  • Burn ointment to prevent infection.
  • Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes.
  • Eye wash solution to flush the eyes or as general decontaminant.
  • Thermometer
  • Prescription medications you take every day such as insulin, heart medicine and asthma inhalers. You should periodically rotate medicines to account for expiration dates.
  • Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood pressure monitoring equipment and supplies.

Things that may be good to have in your kit:

  • Cell phone with charger
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant

Non-prescription drugs:

  • Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Antacid (for upset stomach)
  • Laxative

Finally, don't forget the family pet. Check with your Vet before you give any medications. Have a turkey baster and hydrogen peroxide in your kit; in case your pet ingests something poisonous. Call your vet for exact directions.


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Be Ready: mind, body and bike

There are three ways riders should ready themselves for a ride. First, there is mental readiness. Are you ready to concentrate on riding? If you are angry or preoccupied by something, taking your bike out may not be the best idea. A proper attitude will not only make you safer but your spouse and co-workers are less likely to plot against you.

It goes without saying that drugs and alcohol should be avoided at all costs, but I'm going to say it anyway. Alcohol affects your judgment, reaction time, and balance, among other things. Loss of your control over these things can easily mean your bike will soon be lying on its side and dripping important fluids. You may even get a ride in the back of a squad car. Even simple cold and allergy medications can seriously impair your riding, making you sleepy or sluggish.  

Next, you must be physically prepared. Start with good protective gear. This means a good-fitting helmet, gloves, eye protection, jacket, long pants and sturdy boots or shoes. Wear gear that is designed for use on a motorcycle, not a beach or a fancy nightclub. The people you see wearing a helmet, a smile and not much else are not well protected. Likewise, folks in eight layers of leather, Kevlar, body armor, but no helmet are not well protected. It is a whole package, and you need to wear it every time. If it's too hot to wear protective clothing, it's too hot to ride, period.

Try not to choose all black gear. Sure, it looks cool, but bright colors will help you stand out in traffic.

Third, you must make sure that your bike is up for the job. This includes not only fixing the parts that break, but doing all the preventive maintenance that is so easy to skip: regular oil changes, properly adjusted controls, a properly adjusted chain and suspension, good tires, working turn signals, you get the idea.

Know where you are

When it does come time to make an emergency maneuver, you need to know what's around you. In fact, this is good information to have at all times. Being aware of what is in your immediate space cushion will always help you guide your ride safely. Failure to be aware of your position in relation to those around you can cause dire consequences when faced with the need to make a quick lane change. Other vehicles have a nasty habit of sneaking in to places you can't see them, like the blind spots over your shoulders. Sometimes it's hard to imagine a mini-van disappearing, but it can happen. Once in that blind spot, you can find that a vehicle is easy to forget until you try to turn and find yourself mere inches from an enormous bumper and big tires. Pay special attention to what's in front of you, especially oncoming traffic. It's easy to disregard traffic traveling in the opposite direction but that is where the greatest threat lies. Be ready for the car that turns left in front of you.

Keep a 2-4 Second Following Distance

Following too closely to the vehicle in front of you is arguably one of the greatest sins committed by most riders on a regular basis. When traveling on a highway, the minimum distance to keep between you and the vehicle in front of you is 2 seconds, but that is the bare minimum. A 2-second following distance is like buying the cheapest bullet-proof vest you can find: sure, it's protection, but if you really want to be safe, you'll upgrade. That upgrade would be to a 4-second following distance. Keep in mind two seconds is the distance needed on clear sunny days. At night or during inclement weather you need to increase your safety margin to four to eight seconds.


The very best time to practice these habits is every time you go out for a ride. Spend at least a few minutes every ride concentrating on each of these habits and soon they will become second nature to you. Don't focus so hard on practicing that you lose sight of the job at hand. Instead, integrate practice into your normal riding routine.


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Walking to school is a great form of exercise. Teach your children to be safe when crossing the street or playing near traffic.

  • Stop at the curb and look left-right-left for traffic before stepping into the street, and watch for other cars as you cross.
  • Look for signs that a car is about to move from a parking space or driveway, such as rear lights, exhaust smoke, sound of a motor or wheels turning.
  • Listen to the directions of a crossing guard.

Before heading out on a bike, make sure it is in working condition and that the rider is wearing a helmet.
Make sure the route to and from school is safe. Avoid heavy traffic, hills, sharp turns and streets with many bumps or potholes. Remember to obey the rules of the road and use hand signals to communicate turns and stops. If allowed, children should ride on the sidewalk away from cars and other fast traffic.

Parents should require everyone in the car to wear a seatbelt at all times. Younger children should be safely secured in an age-appropriate car seat or booster seat, and children under age 13 should always ride in the back seat.
All drivers should be extra alert when driving in school zones and avoid distractions, such as eating, drinking and using a cellphone.
Parents can help keep their teen safe while driving by setting restrictions on number of passengers and eliminating distractions.
Riding a bus
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, riding a school bus is the safest way for a child to get to school. Teach your children to be safe while boarding and riding the bus.

  • Stop at the curb and wait for the bus to come to a complete stop.
  • Look both ways before crossing the street to get to or from the bus.
  • Listen to the bus driver’s instructions at all times.


Article from American Academy of Pediatrics.


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Top Tips to Protect Yourself Against Frauds and Scams
What can you do to defend yourself from scams, frauds and identity theft? Whether you think you have been the victim of a fraud or scam or want to be proactive in protecting yourself, here is a list of specific and simple actions that you can take, some just once, to protect yourself and your family!  We have ranked them in order that you should take them:

  1. Don't use or carry a checkbook. Pay by cash or credit card. Paying your bills through your bank or credit union's online bill paying service (which is usually free) is much safer than mailing a check.
  2. Buy and use a paper shredder. Shred any documents that have your social security number or other financial information, such as your bank account numbers, credit card numbers etc.  identity thieves actually go through homeowner's trash to obtain personal information. If you don't have a shredder, burn these  documents completely in the fireplace. For large volumes of sensitive documents, you can go to a paper shredding service.
  3. Freeze your credit!  It prevents scammers from opening unauthorized accounts in your name. Even if your state is one of the few that doesn't allow a freeze, thanks to pressure from consumer advocacy groups, you can still freeze your files at the three major credit bureaus. 
  4. Sign up on the Do-Not-Call List for Wisconsin
  5. Sign up to block credit card offersfrom arriving in your mailbox.
  6. Don't carry your Social Security card with you. When you renew your driver's license, make sure the DMV does not use your Social Security number as your driver's license number.
  7. Use a separate email address when you post messages to any public forum, such as newsgroups and mailing lists. Free email accounts from Yahoo and Hotmail are perfect for this. Never use your personal email address for this purpose: you will be flooded with spam. You can periodically check this email account to see what is spam and what isn't. A bonus is that Yahoo's spam blocker is better than those from most ISP's! And your main personal email address won't be as clogged with spam.   
  8. Don’t give out any financial information, such as checking account and credit card numbers; and especially your social Security number; on the phone or online, unless you initiate the call and know the person or organization you’re dealing with. Don’t give that information to any stranger. In general, it is only required for medical providers, banks, mortgages and credit card companies.
  9. Don't fill out the "win a vacation" and other promotions you see in stores and shopping malls.  That will just get you on a junk mailing list and guarantee calls from persistent, high-pressure salesmen.
  10. Don’t pre-print your driver’s license, telephone or Social Security numbers on your checks. And in states that want to use your social security number as your driver's license number, insist on another method - most allow it.
  11. Report lost or stolen checks immediately. The bank can block payment on the check numbers that are missing. Also, review new checks you receive, to make sure none has been stolen in transit.
  12. Store new and cancelled checks, credit card statements, medical bills, and anything with confidential information in a safe place and shred them when you are done with them.
  13. Guard your Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) for your ATM and credit cards, and don’t write on or keep your PINs with your cards. You should also guard your ATM and credit card receipts. Thieves can use them to access your accounts.
  14. Be creative in selecting Personal Identification Numbers for your ATM and credit cards, and passwords that enable you to access other accounts.  Don’t use birth dates, part of your Social Security Number or driver’s  license number, address, or children or spouse names. Remember: If someone has stolen your identity, he or she probably has some or all of this information.
  15. Use a good anti-virus software, anti-adware software and a hardware firewall on your computer, and keep them up to date. You need all three. Almost all modern Routers have a hardware firewall built in.  
  16. Don’t put outgoing mail in or on your mailbox. Drop it into a secure, official Postal Service collection box. Thieves may use your mail to steal your identity.
  17. If regular bills fail to reach you, call the company to find out why. Someone may have filed a false change-of-address notice to divert your information to his or her address.
  18. If your bills include suspicious charges, don’t ignore them. Instead, investigate immediately to head off any possible fraud before it occurs.
  19. Check your credit report regularly.  Federal law allows you to obtain one from credit report from each of the 3 major credit reporting agencies per year
  20. NEVER buy anything from a company that sends you spam. Don't even visit their sites or ask for more information. It is like feeding a stray cat.  Give it one morsel of food, and it will be there all the time (and that may be fine with cats, but NO one wants spammers at the doorstep!).  Remember, since they send out millions of spam emails, they only need a tiny fraction of responses to be profitable.  And if that doesn't convince you, consider this: the vast majority of spam "offers" are in fact scams!
  21. Set up filters in your email program.  Outlook does this quite easily. When you open an email and realize that it is spam, just click on Actions then Create Rule, then select an appropriate action, such as "from" then click "Move e-mail to folder" and select the "Deleted Items" folder. That's it!  You'll never receive email from that particular address or subject again! 
  22. If you have a website, do not post your address in the HTML "mail-to" format, otherwise you will be spammed, since address-harvesting spiders (programs) extract your email address from the website and add it to the spammer's lists.  Instead use feedback forms through PHP, ASP, or JSP that hide the email address, OR post the email address as a GIF (image file).
  23. Finally, if it seems too good to be true... IT IS! No one is going to send you a pile of money from a dead Nigerian president, no lottery is going to make you a winner from a "randomly selected from a database of email addresses".  Multi-level marketing IS A SCAM, ALL psychics are nothing more than conmen, and you cannot make big money from "passive residual income in a few hours of your spare time each day". And there is no Easter Bunny.



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Our national forests are a refuge for wild animals. Wild animals can be upset by human presence and can unexpectedly become aggressive. Do not give them a reason or an opportunity to attack. Always keep your distance. Your safety is your responsibility.

  • Avoid outings alone. If you go alone, be extra careful and hunt in familiar areas.
  • Dress properly and be prepared for the worst possible conditions. Protect against hypothermia.
  • Check the weather forecast before going into the woods.
  • Identify your target before shooting.  Most fatalities are the result of mistaken-for-game accidents.
  • Check hunting equipment before and after each outing, and maintain it properly. Familiarize yourself with its operation before using it in the field.
  • Be wary of permanent tree stands made from plywood and pine 2x4s. It is unwise to trust these types of tree stands without checking their structural integrity ahead of time. Falling limbs, wind and moisture weaken permanent tree stands over time and make them unsafe.
  • Always wear a safety harness when hunting from a tree stand. Each season, hunters get injured, some seriously, when they fall asleep and take a dive off their tree stands, or slip and fall when climbing in or out of the tree.
  • Wear hunter orange. A hat and vest (or coat) that covers the chest and back area in solid orange is required by law. Orange camouflage is not legal. Hunter orange must also be worn by anyone accompanying a firearms deer hunter.
  • Don't trespass on your neighbor, and if you see an unfamiliar hunter in your area, escort him (or her) to your property boundary. Never wave to get another hunter's attention, speak loudly in a clear voice.
  • Never cross a fence, ride a 4-wheeler or climb a tree with a loaded rifle. Use a tow rope to pull your rifle up and down from your tree stand.
  • Be careful when dragging out your deer. Each year, hunters die from heart attacks as a result of overexertion. Get help if you can't handle the chore by yourself. Go slow and take your time.
  • Tell someone where you are hunting and when you expect to be home if you are hunting alone. Carrying a cell phone is a good safety precaution if you are hunting alone.
  • Never carry a loaded rifle in your truck or car, and be sure to unload your rifle when you get back to camp or when you stop hunting for the day. Assume that every rifle in camp is loaded unless the action is open and you can see that it's safe to handle.


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Every hour someone is getting their identity stolen.  Things we take for granted can open the door for a thief.  You tell yourself that you have to use a credit card to pay for this or that, or you try to play it safe and write a check at the store instead.  You get such a great discount if you apply for this one store’s credit card.  All things we all do every day to exist.

Identity theft is happening in every city, town no matter what the size.  It is defined by as “a form of stealing someone's identity in which someone pretends to be someone else by assuming that person's identity, typically in order to access resources or obtain credit and other benefits in that person's name.”  It is not just the current economy that brings about this crime, it has happened for decades.  As long as there are dishonest people, someone will try to steal something that does not belong to them. 

The problem with identity theft is that most of the time you don’t even know it is happening to you.  They take your information and open credit card accounts, change the address and contact information, apply for loans, make multiple purchases all while you are sitting at work or on a family vacation.  By the time most people realize what is going on, they could have their entire savings wiped out and a damaging credit rating.

Exactly what information do they need to be successful at stealing an identity?  Not much.  If they can obtain your birth date, address or phone number, they are on their way.  They can begin to set up a post office box, a fake driver license, store credit card all in their name and with their photo!  Each step they take, they build credibility.

Information is obtained from many sources:  school, health insurance carrier and any other mail you leave in your mailbox for “pick up” the next day.  Some even go so far as picking through your garbage to get more information from bills, credit card slips and any other documents you do not shred.

Key Tips In Staying Safe

  • Don’t leave outgoing mail in your mailbox.  Drop it off at the post office or a local box at a business.
  • Don’t advertise personal information on social media.
  • Don’t give out personal information on phone surveys, via email or on the Internet unless you initiated the process; like signing up for a new online account.  BEWARE: it is always best to get a special charge card that you use only for Internet purchases.  Ask the bank to put a limit on the amount that you might normally spend on a given shopping spree.  Be reasonable and conservative.  Having a $10,000 limit is not a limit.  Try capping the card at $1,000 or less. Check with your bank.
  • Buy a shredder and use it.  Shred all documents received in the mail that has your name, address and any other personal information before you throw it out.  This includes insurance forms, bank statements and unsolicited memberships.
  • Make your passwords difficult.  If they are easy enough for you to remember without looking, they are too easy to steal.  The best passwords are the longest and those that merge upper and lower case letters with numbers.  It has been said that using a 3-word statement is the hardest to crack.  Of course never use the name of the site, your name, your mother’s maiden name, your birth date or any numbers from your social security number.  e.g.: gokart20tabledrive12.
  • Limit the number of credit cards you hold and especially ones you carry.  Never carry your social security card, birth certificate or passport, unless necessary.
  • Never use a credit card on the Internet unless you see it is a locked and encrypted site.  (Https://  instead of  http://).  Look for a lock icon on the page.
  • Limit your personal information being distributed as much as possible.  Put as little information as you can on your checks.  Never put your social security number or phone number on your checks or any other forms without viewing their privacy notice.
  • Approach ATMs with caution.  Don’t let anyone get in line directly behind you when you are entering your information.  Either ask them to step back or leave without doing your transaction.  If they get your PIN number, they will have access to your entire account.
  • Always keep a list of your credit cards, numbers and customer service phone numbers in a safe place. Keep your passwords and pin numbers with them.
  • Ordering checks or a new credit card?  Circle the date they said you would receive them and then call if you don’t receive it that day.
  • Keep track of your monthly bills.  Know approximately when they normally arrive.  If anyone is late, call the company and express your concern.  This is a good indication of identity theft.
  • Order your credit report at least twice a year. Reports should be obtained from all three major sources: Equifax at 800-685-1111; Experian at 888-EXPERIAN (397-3742); or TransUnion at 800-680-7293.

Should you be the victim of identity theft, contact your local law enforcement agency, all your credit card agencies and complete an identity theft packet.


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It is a fact of life, when the economy is declining, crime rates rise all over the United States.  As more people lose their jobs and homes, they start to feel a sense of desperation, and sometimes turning to criminal activities appears to be the only solution.

The number of robberies, burglaries and auto thefts often increase dramatically when times get tough, and the worse the economy gets the more these and other crimes are likely to occur. People may feel that stealing from businesses or individuals may be the only way for them to survive. To make matters worse, as times get tough financially many law enforcement agencies are forced to endure budget cuts, limit the number of deputies they have on patrol, hold off on purchasing necessary equipment and discontinue important community and social programs that help keep young people away from a life of crime, gangs and other illegal activities.

Although many of the people who turn to crime during a recession would normally do everything possible to avoid violence, when people get desperate they become likely to do most anything. Both non-violent and violent crime rates increase as people lose their jobs and are forced to fend for themselves.

Sometimes the increase in crime is not only due to someone who has lost their job and can’t make ends meet; it is also seen for those who graduated college and now can’t find a job.  Under these difficult circumstances, many people turn to alcohol for comfort, and that usually makes things worse. Alcohol consumption is commonly associated with an increase in crime. When alcohol is mixed with desperation from bad economic times, the combination can be deadly. Crimes are far more likely to be violent when the aggressor has been drinking.

How to Protect Yourself
So what can you do to protect yourself? One of the best ways to avoid crime is simply to be aware that you could become a victim at any time. Try not to go out on your own late at night, but if that's not possible at least stay in areas that are well lit and have plenty of people around. Never park your car in a dark, unattended lot where a predator may be lurking and waiting for someone. Stay alert wherever you go, and pay attention to your surroundings. Watch for predators, and remember that they are looking for someone who appears to be timid that they can take advantage of. Times get tough now and then, and crime rates almost always skyrocket. Your mind set will have a lot to do it. Don't let yourself become a victim, always be cautious and do what you can to stay away from danger.


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Slips and falls can be costly accidents when you consider human suffering, medical expenses, lost wages and public good will. When snow and ice accumulates on walking surfaces, the potential for slips and falls greatly increases. Unsafe conditions are accidents waiting to happen. The right attitudes and actions can prevent and mitigate many of these accidents.

Care about safety - what YOU can do personally

  • Wear proper footwear, smooth leather soles are a no-no.
  • Wear boots with good treads and carry your shoes into the office.
  • Try to stick to pathways that are well maintained. Don't take shortcuts.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to get where you are going. Don't hurry and be observant of conditions.
  • Park your wet boots where puddles from melting snow won't create hazards for others.
  • Promptly report slippery conditions to your supervisor.
  • Immediately report falls to your supervisor.

Article from:  


Go ahead.  Take your vacation.

But stay on the job of securing your privacy and protecting your identity.
"According to the FBI, crime rates rise about ten percent during summer months," said Paul Stephens, director of policy and advocacy for the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (

The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse's six tips to protect your property, privacy and identity while on vacation:

  1. DON'T BROADCAST YOUR VACATION.  "Always be careful with the information you share on...Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare," Stephens said.  "You wouldn't put a sign on your front door saying, 'Away On Vacation,' so you shouldn't do so electronically by publicly broadcasting your travel plans on a social networking site."
  2. CLEAN OUT YOUR WALLET AND PURSE.  Don't carry unnecessary credit cards, your Social Security card or other documents that thieves can use to steal your identity.  If you must carry your Medicare card, carry instead a copy WITHOUT the last four digits of your Social Security number. 

To limit the chances of a thief clearing out your checking account, Stephens recommended not carrying your debit card or checkbook on vacation. Use cash or credit cards instead. Never use a debit card at a restaurant or shop where you cannot witness the card-swipe transaction.

  1. FREEZE YOUR MAIL AND NEWSPAPER DELIVERY.  Have a neighbor collect your mail and paper, or request your local post office to suspend mail delivery for the duration of your vacation.
  2. PLAN AHEAD FOR ATM WITHDRAWALS.  If you must use an ATM card while on vacation, consider one that does not have debit card privileges -- just straight withdrawals of cash (one without VISA or MasterCard designations).  Most banks will offer customers that option for travel.
  3. BEWARE INSECURE WI-FI NETWORKS. If you're surfing the Internet at a cyber-cafe, hotel business center or condominiums with public Wi-Fi, it's wide open to hackers or "war-drivers."  Do not perform online banking or access sites that require your log-in's or passwords.
  4. USE THE HOTEL ROOM SAFE.  That's why it's there -- so if you must leave your wallet or valuables in the room, you can seal them shut from house-keeping, thieves with your room card, etc.


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Families can cope with disaster by preparing in advance and working together as a team. Create a family disaster plan including a communication plan, disaster supplies kit, and an evacuation plan. Knowing what to do is your best protection and your responsibility.

  • Find out what could happen to you - Contact your American Red Cross chapter or local emergency management office — be prepared to take notes:
  • Ask what types of disasters are most likely to happen. Request information on how to prepare for each.
  • Learn about your community’s warning signals: what they sound like and what you should do when you hear them.
  • Ask about animal care after disaster. Animals other than service animals may not be allowed inside emergency shelters.
  • Find out how to help elderly or disabled persons, if needed.
  • Next, find out about the disaster plans at your workplace, your children’s school or daycare center, and other places where your family spends time.
  • Create a disaster plan

Meet with your family and discuss why you need to prepare for disaster. Explain the dangers of fire, severe weather, and earthquakes to children. Plan to share responsibilities and work together as a team.  Discuss the types of disasters that are most likely to happen. Explain what to do in each case.

Pick two places to meet:

  • Right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, like a fire.
  • Outside your neighborhood in case you can’t return home. Everyone must know the address and phone number.

Discuss what to do in an evacuation. Plan how to take care of your pets.

Families should develop different methods for communicating during emergency situations and share their plans beforehand with all those who would be worried about their welfare. Options for remaining in contact with family and friends if a disaster strikes include:

  • Phone contact with a designated family member or friend who is unlikely to be affected by the same disaster.
  • Email notification via a family distribution list.
  • Registration on the American Red Cross Safe and Well Website.
  • Use of the toll-free Contact Loved Ones voice messaging service (1-866-78-CONTACT).
  • Use of the US Postal Service change of address forms when it becomes necessary to leave home for an extended period of time, thus ensuring that mail will be redirected to a current address.
  • Complete this checklist
  • Post emergency telephone numbers by phones (fire, police, ambulance, etc.).
  • Teach children how and when to call 911 or your local Emergency Medical Services number for emergency help.
  • Determine the best escape routes from your home. Find two ways out of each room.
  • Find the safe spots in your home for each type of disaster.
  • Show each family member how and when to turn off the water, gas, and electricity at the main switches.
  • Check if you have adequate insurance coverage.
  • Teach each family member how to use the fire extinguisher, and show them where it’s kept.
  • Install smoke detectors on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms.
  • Conduct a home hazard hunt.
  • Stock emergency supplies and assemble a disaster supplies kit.
  • Take a Red Cross first aid and CPR class.
  • Practice your plan
  • Test your smoke detectors monthly, and change the batteries at least once a year.
  • Quiz your kids every six months so they remember what to do.
  • Conduct fire and emergency evacuation drills.
  • Replace stored water every three months and stored food every six months.
  • Test and recharge your fire extinguisher(s) according to manufacturer’s instructions.


Article from:


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A thief goes through trash to find discarded receipts or carbons, and then uses your account numbers illegally.

A dishonest clerk makes an extra imprint from your credit or charge card and uses it to make personal charges.

You respond to a mailing asking you to call a long distance number for a free trip or bargain-priced travel package. You're told you must join a travel club first and you're asked for your account number so you can be billed. The catch! Charges you didn't make are added to your bill, and you never get your trip.

Credit and charge card fraud costs cardholders and issuers hundreds of millions of dollars each year. While theft is the most obvious form of fraud, it can occur in other ways. For example, someone may use your card number without your knowledge.

It's not always possible to prevent credit or charge card fraud from happening. But there are a few steps you can take to make it more difficult for a crook to capture your card or card numbers and minimize the possibility.

Guarding Against Fraud
Here are some tips to help protect yourself from credit and charge card fraud.


  • Sign your cards as soon as they arrive.
  • Carry your cards separately from your wallet, in a zippered compartment, a business card holder, or another small pouch.
  • Keep a record of your account numbers, their expiration dates, and the phone number and address of each company in a secure place.
  • Keep an eye on your card during the transaction, and get it back as quickly as possible.
  • Void incorrect receipts.
  • Save receipts to compare with billing statements.
  • Open bills promptly and reconcile accounts monthly, just as you would your checking account.
  • Report any questionable charges promptly and in writing to the card issuer.
  • Notify card companies in advance of a change in address.


  • Lend your card(s) to anyone.
  • Leave cards or receipts lying around.
  • Sign a blank receipt. When you sign a receipt, draw a line through any blank spaces above the total.
  • Write your account number on a postcard or the outside of an envelope.
  • Give out your account number over the phone unless you're making the call to a company you know is reputable. If you have questions about a company, check it out with your local consumer protection office or Better Business Bureau.

Reporting Losses and Fraud
If you lose your credit or charge cards or if you realize they've been lost or stolen, immediately call the issuer(s). Many companies have toll-free numbers and 24-hour service to deal with such emergencies. By law, once you report the loss or theft, you have no further responsibility for unauthorized charges. In any event, your maximum liability under federal law is $50 per card.
If you suspect fraud, you may be asked to sign a statement under oath that you did not make the purchase(s) in question.


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Food safety is especially important as you prepare a holiday meal.  Here are some basics for safely thawing, preparing, stuffing and cooking turkey.

Safe Thawing
Thawing turkeys must be kept at a safe temperature. The "danger zone" is between 40 and 140°F — the temperature range where foodborne bacteria multiply rapidly. While frozen, a turkey is safe indefinitely, but as soon as it begins to thaw, bacteria that may have been present before freezing can begin to grow again, if it is in the "danger zone."
There are three safe ways to thaw food:

  • In the refrigerator (can take up to 3 days to thaw, depending on weight)
  • In cold water
  • In a microwave oven

For instructions, see "Safe Methods for ThawingExternal Web Site Icon." Instructions are also available in SpanishExternal Web Site Icon.

Safe Preparation
Bacteria present on raw poultry can contaminate your hands, utensils, and work surfaces as you prepare the turkey. If these areas are not cleaned thoroughly before working with other foods, bacteria from the raw poultry can then be transferred to other foods. After working with raw poultry, always wash your hands, utensils, and work surfaces before they touch other foods.

Safe Stuffing
For optimal safety and uniform doneness, cook the stuffing outside the turkey in a casserole dish. However, if you place stuffing inside the turkey, do so just before cooking, and use a food thermometer. Make sure the center of the stuffing reaches a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F.  Bacteria can survive in stuffing that has not reached 165°F, possibly resulting in foodborne illness.

Safe Cooking
Set the oven temperature no lower than 325°F and be sure the turkey is completely thawed. Place turkey breast-side up on a flat wire rack in a shallow roasting pan 2 to 2-1/2 inches deep. Check the internal temperature at the center of the stuffing and meaty portion of the breast, thigh, and wing joint using a food thermometer. Cooking times will vary. The food thermometer must reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F. Let the turkey stand 20 minutes before removing all stuffing from the cavity and carving the meat.


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As you know, crime is on the increase in most large U.S. cities. It is also becoming more prevalent in small communities.  You can make yourself less of a target and it is easier than you might think.
Criminals are always looking for new targets, and they prefer people who seem to be weak, timid and unable to defend themselves. You must not fit the profile of a victim and do whatever you can to keep out of their way. It will not always be possible to avoid confrontation, so you should also know what to do if you are threatened with violence.

A trip to a public park can be a fun and exciting time. Whether it's a quick adventure to a local spot where your kids can play, or a big outing to a national park, people all over the United States enjoy taking a little time to enjoy the many benefits a park has to offer. It is, however, important to be prepared and plan ahead for safety

Adult Safety
Although some people may only think of parks as being small play areas for children, they are great for grown up as well. Adults use them for walking, jogging, hiking, sight-seeing and many other purposes. Nothing could ruin a good experience like this faster than running into some type of predator.

Whether you are in a national park or a local community park you need to be aware of who or what is around you.  Predators can be animal or human.  If you jog regularly through a park you get to recognize others who are in the park at the same time.  Criminals know how to find someone when they are alone and not paying enough attention to their surroundings. Law breakers watch for easy targets; people who are isolated, vulnerable and easy to take by surprise. That makes it important to always be extra cautious. Try to avoid areas that are dark, or have obstacles that someone could hide behind. Criminals like to take advantage of secluded areas where they can hide and surprise a potential victim. Take in everything that is around you, and try not to look lost, confused or timid. These are all traits that aggressors like muggers and thieves look for, but if they see someone who is actively aware of their surroundings, confident and possibly the type to fight back, chances are they will leave you alone.

Keeping Kids Safe
Children enjoy a day at the park. They like to run around and play, but it is essential to keep a watchful eye on them and make sure they are close by at all times. Predators often use parks as a place to hide and watch for potential victims, and a kid who has strayed far away from adult supervision is an easy target. Go into the play area with your younger children, or sit and watch nearby. If your child gets far enough away that you could not get to them quickly, either move or call them back over to you.

Another great way to keep children safe in a park is to give them a personal alarm that emits a high pitched squalling noise when activated. You can choose a model that the child can turn on whenever he or she feels threatened, or one that automatically starts up anytime they move out of a specified distance from you. It will let everyone around know that something is wrong, and draw immediate attention to your child.

Be Prepared
Even if you're only going to a park that's down the street from your home, it's important to be prepared. Always take a phone with you in case you need to make an emergency call. If something happens and you need to dial 911, you will want to have a cell so you can call immediately. If you are going to an area where you may be alone, especially after dark, you may want to take a personal alarm to protect yourself and notify others that you are in danger.
A crime or an emergency can happen at any time, so always be ready for everything. Take a few precautions in advance, remain well aware of everything that's going on around you and have a great time at the park.

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When you're traveling for business or pleasure, make sure you remember these safety tips provided by the American Hotel and Motel Association:

  • Don't answer the door in a hotel or motel room without first verifying the identity of the person at the door. If the person claims to be an employee, call the front desk and ask if someone from their staff is supposed to have access to your room and for what purpose.
  • When returning to your hotel or motel late in the evening, use the main entrance of the hotel. Be observant and look around before entering parking lots.
  • Close the door securely whenever you are in your room and use all of the locking devices provided.
  • Don't needlessly display guest room keys in public or carelessly leave them on restaurant tables, at the swimming pool, or other places where they can be easily stolen.
  • Do not draw attention to yourself by displaying large amounts of cash or expensive jewelry.
  • Don't invite strangers to your room.
  • Place all valuables in the hotel or motel's safe deposit box.
  • Do not leave valuables in your vehicle.
  • Check to see that any sliding glass doors or windows and any connecting room doors are locked.
  • If you see any suspicious activity, please report your observations to the management.
  • Discretely carry a map and be familiar with the area you are visiting. Plan trips in advance.
  • Don't leave purses or pocketbooks on the back of a chair when dining out; keep them in your lap and insight.
  • Keep your wallet in the front pocket of pants or a jacket pocket, not in the rear pocket.


Article from: Broward County Sheriff


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On the road…
Make sure your vehicle has a spring inspection before you start your trip.  Most importantly, once you start your trip Buckle Up! Remember to take turns behind the wheel, and whoever sits shotgun should stay awake to keep the driver company. Make sure everyone has a valid driver’s license and the vehicle registration is in the car before starting your tipr

In hotels…
When making your room reservations, try to get a room that is between the 2nd and 5th floors.  It’s easier to break into and get out of 1st floor rooms.  Most Fire Department ladders do not extend beyond the 5th floor.  Staying below the 6th floor is just a precaution.  If safes are provided, definitely use them for any valuables you may have. Keep doors and sliding doors locked, and don’t let anyone into your room unless you can trust them. Make a mental note of where the nearest fire exits and stairwells are located in case you need to evacuate.

At the ATM…
We know you are on vacation, but remember to bring a friend or two when you need to go to an ATM.  Don’t be complacent about safety just because you’re traveling in numbers. Also try to go during daylight hours. When you approach the ATM, do a full 360 degree scan, looking completely around you to see if anyone is hanging out where they shouldn’t be. When punching in your pin number, use your other hand to cover the keypad.  If someone is making you feel uncomfortable, go to another ATM. (There are plenty of them, especially in vacation spots!)

While drinkin’…
Do us all a favor (including yourself) and party smart. Be responsible. Pace yourself if you choose to drink, and avoid hard alcohol or other drinks that are powerful and have fast effects. (And remember that drunks = easy targets.)  If you do decide to drink, know the liquor laws of wherever you’ll be vacationing. Drinking & driving is always a dangerous situation, so avoid this by having a designated driver or a taxi service’s number available before you go out.

On the beach…
Drinking and sun can equal a bad sunburn and an even worse hangover. Sun can maximize the effects of alcohol so keep this in mind if you party on the beach. Take it slow and stay hydrated by drinking lots of water. If you start feeling faint or light headed, get shade and water immediately.  Remember to use sunscreen of at least SPF 15 and reapply often. Pay extra special attention to ears, nose, face and shoulders. Fair skinned friends should wear sunglasses and even a hat.

While swimming…
Jumping into the water without a lifeguard is putting yourself at risk. Even the most experienced swimmer can get caught in an undertow. In case you get caught in a rip current, don’t bother swimming against it. Instead, swim parallel to shore until the rip passes. Try to stay within the designated swimming area and always swim with a buddy. Also know the flag system for water safety:

-Red Flag:       Stay out of the water because of strong undertow and riptides.
-Yellow Flag:   Use CAUTION in the water. There are some undertow and
                         riptides possible.
-Blue Flag:      Calm water. Swim safely.

In the hot tub…
Drinking in the hot tub might sound like a good idea, since pretty much every YouTube video makes it look glamorous.  Alcohol can dialate blood vessels and lower blood pressure to dangerous levels. The effects of alcohol are felt sooner and stronger in a hot tub. It can lead to unconsciousness and drowning.

Goin’ out…
Staff safe and come to an agreement with your friends:  go out with your friends, go home with your friends. It’s one of those things that keeps you safe, and eliminates about 98% of the bad drama. This way you can look out for one another, and get a friend home who is too intoxicated to be out. Also be on the lookout for signs of predatory drugs: extreme wooziness, confusion, difficulty standing and slurring speech. If you notice these symptoms in yourself, find your friends immediately and tell them to get you back to the hotel. If you see these signs in a friend, do your duty and take them back to the hotel, or to a hospital if symptoms are severe.

Leaving the country…
There are a lot of rules and regulations for leaving the country, the first being getting a passport. These are not quick and easy documents to attain, so file your application about 6 months before going on a trip abroad.  Pack only essentials.  You are not going to impress anyone (except thieves) by bringing expensive jewelry and dress like royalty.  Learn about your destination before you leave, especially the laws of the country you visit. To get a full list of tips for traveling abroad (as well as travel warnings for certain countries) check out the Bureau of Consular Affairs website at

Gone cruisin’…
Vacationing on a cruise ship is a blast, but there are a whole different set of rules when you have a few thousand people aboard a boat. Stick with your friends, and watch your pockets when you get off the boat for stops. There are many cases of people being pick pocketed by island residents who prey on tourists. For a whole list o’ tips about cruise safety,got to cruise knowledge's site:


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An afternoon spent at a swimming pool or spa is a great way to enjoy time with the family, especially for energetic kids who love the water. Yet it’s important for parents and children to always Pool Safely while they’re in the water.

To Pool Safely means adopting critical water safety steps to assure that a great afternoon at the pool doesn’t turn into a tragic one. Whether a family is at a residential or public pool or spa, parents and children can always take additional steps to be safe while having fun.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission - CPSC urges families to use the water safety steps that work best for them, building on preferred safety techniques and adopting new ones to keep everyone protected in pools and spas.

In this article, parents and families can learn about the many water safety steps to be used at public and residential pools and spas and access helpful CPSC Pool Safely materials, including brochures, tip cards and educational videos.

Learn how simple safety steps save lives in and around pools and spas.
Parents and families can build on their current safety systems at pools and spas by adopting additional water safety steps. Adding as many proven water safety steps as possible is the best way to assure a safe and fun experience, because you can never know which one might save a child’s life—until it does.

Staying close, being alert watching children

  • Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa and always watch your child when he or she is in or near water
  • Teach children basic water safety tips
  • Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments
  • Have a telephone close by when you or your family is using a pool or spa
  • If a child is missing, look for him or her in the pool or spa first
  • Share safety instructions with family, friends and neighbors

Learning and practicing water safety skills

  • Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim
  • Learn to perform CPR on children and adults, and update those skills regularly
  • Understand the basics of life-saving so that you can assist in a pool emergency

Having the appropriate equipment for your pool

  • Install a four-foot or taller fence around the pool and spa and use self-closing and self-latching gates; ask your neighbors to do the same at their pools.
  • Install and use a lockable safety cover on your spa.
  • If your house serves as a fourth side of a fence around a pool, install door alarms and always use them. For additional protection, install window guards on windows facing pools or spas.
  • Install pool and gate alarms to alert you when children go near the water
  • Ensure any pool and spa you use has compliant drain covers, and ask your pool service provider if you do not know
  • Maintain pool and spa covers in good working order
  • Consider using a surface wave or underwater alarm



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Take Safety On Your Picnic

This is the time to enjoy a picnic with family and friends.  However, if picnic foods are not handled safely, they can cause foodborne illness. To prevent illness, follow these simple tips:

Prepare food safely

  • Wash hands before handling food and use clean utensils and containers.
  • Do not prepare foods more than one day before your picnic unless it is to be frozen.
  • Mayonnaise-based foods need to be kept cold. Mayonnaise alone is too acidic for bacteria to grow in it. However, when mayonnaise is mixed with other foods, bacteria can grow if this mixture is kept too warm.
  • Cut melons need to be kept cold. Melons, such as watermelons and cantaloupe, can cause foodborne illness. Bacteria, such as Salmonella and Shigella, are often present on the rind. Wash melons thoroughly before cutting, then promptly refrigerate cut pieces.

Packing for safety

  • Keep cold food at 40ºF or colder to prevent bacterial growth. Never just set containers of food on top of ice.
  • The trunk of your car can reach temperatures of 150ºF so it is best to transport coolers in the passenger area of the car. When you arrive at the picnic site, put a blanket over the cooler and place it in the shade to maintain cold temperatures.
  • Keep hot foods at 140ºF or hotter to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Take-out foods or foods cooked just before being transported to the picnic can be carried hot. Wrap hot food in towels, then newspaper, and place inside a box or heavy paper bag.
  • If you cannot keep cold food cold and hot food hot, take foods that do not need temperature control:
  • peanut butter sandwiches
  • dried fruit, nuts, unpeeled fresh fruit -- apples, oranges, bananas
  • jelly sandwiches
  • unopened cans of food, meat, fish or fruit
  • cookies and cakes
  • crackers
  • Wash your hands often. Pack moist towelettes if you think your picnic site might not have hand washing facilities available.
  • Pack plenty of utensils and dishware. Never use the utensils and dishware that have touched raw foods, such as meat, fish and poultry, to store cooked foods. Because proper washing might be difficult at a picnic, pack extra plates and utensils to prevent cross-contamination. Better yet, consider using disposable plates.

Cooking food at the picnic

  • Wash hands before handling food and use clean utensils and containers.
  • Thoroughly cook food all at one time. Never partially cook food, let it sit, then finish cooking it later. All bacteria is not destroyed by cooking, so reheating the food later will not make it safe.
  • Whether cooking indoors or outside on a grill, meat and poultry must be cooked thoroughly to ensure that harmful bacteria are destroyed. Grill raw poultry until the juices run clear and there is no pink close to the bone. Hamburgers should not be pink in the center.


  • Keep cold foods cold while serving the meal. Do not let cold foods sit out for more than one hour.
  • Keep hot foods hot while serving the meal. Cooked foods are just as perishable as raw foods, so once grilled foods are cooked do not let them sit out for more than one hour.
  • Prevent contamination. Keep foods covered to prevent contamination by insects. Many insects can carry harmful bacteria and viruses on their bodies.

Handling leftovers

  • If your picnic food has not been sitting out for more than an hour, repack it into the cooler.  If the food has been out for more than an hour – throw it out. The more time that food has been sitting at unsafe temperatures, the more likely harmful bacteria has grown.
  • Cold foods kept in a cooler that still has ice may be safe. If the ice is melted, throw out the food. Cold water cannot keep foods cold enough to be safe.


This article adapted from:


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In the United States, lightning kills 300 people and injures 80 on average, each year. All thunderstorms produce lightning and all have the potential for danger. Those dangers can include tornadoes, strong winds, hail, wildfires and flash flooding, which is responsible for more fatalities than any other thunderstorm-related hazard.

Lightning's risk to individuals and property is increased because of its unpredictability, which emphasizes the importance of preparedness.  Most lightning deaths and injuries occur when people are caught outdoors in the summer months during the afternoon and evening.

Before Thunderstorm and Lightning

To prepare for a thunderstorm, you should do the following:

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm.
  • Postpone outdoor activities.
  • Remember the 30/30 Lightning Safety Rule: Go indoors if, after seeing lightning, you cannot count to 30 before hearing thunder. Stay indoors for 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
  • Get inside a home, building, or hard top automobile (not a convertible). Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside a vehicle than outside.
  • Remember, rubber-soled shoes and rubber tires provide NO protection from lightning. However, the steel frame of a hard-topped vehicle provides increased protection if you are not touching metal.
  • Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades or curtains.
  • Unplug any electronic equipment well before the storm arrives.

During Thunderstorms and Lightning

If thunderstorm and lightning are occurring in your area, you should:

  • Use your battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio for updates from local officials.
  • Avoid contact with corded phones and devices including those plugged into electric for recharging.  Cordless and wireless phones not connected to wall outlets are OK to use.
  • Avoid contact with electrical equipment or cords. Unplug appliances and other electrical items such as computers and turn off air conditioners. Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.
  • Avoid contact with plumbing. Do not wash your hands, do not take a shower, do not wash dishes, and do not do laundry. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.
  • Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.
  • Do not lie on concrete floors and do not lean against concrete walls.
  • Avoid natural lightning rods such as a tall, isolated tree in an open area.
  • Avoid hilltops, open fields, the beach or a boat on the water.
  • Take shelter in a sturdy building. Avoid isolated sheds or other small structures in open areas.
  • Avoid contact with anything metal—tractors, farm equipment, motorcycles, golf carts, golf clubs, and bicycles.
  • If you are driving, try to safely exit the roadway and park. Stay in the vehicle and turn on the emergency flashers until the heavy rain ends. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside the vehicle.

After a Thunderstorm or Lightning Strike

If lightning strikes you or someone you know, call 9-1-1 for medical assistance as soon as possible. The following are things you should check when you attempt to give aid to a victim of lightning:

  • Breathing - if breathing has stopped, begin mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
  • Heartbeat - if the heart has stopped, administer CPR.
  • Pulse - if the victim has a pulse and is breathing, look for other possible injuries. Check for burns where the lightning entered and left the body. Also be alert for nervous system damage, broken bones and loss of hearing and eyesight.

After the storm passes remember to:

  • Never drive through a flooded roadway. Turn around, don’t drown!
  • Stay away from storm-damaged areas to keep from putting yourself at risk from the effects of severe thunderstorms.
  • Continue to listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or to local radio and television stations for updated information or instructions, as access to roads or some parts of the community may be blocked.
  • Help people who may require special assistance, such as infants, children and the elderly or those with access or functional needs.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately.
  • Watch your animals closely. Keep them under your direct control.



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These simple steps can help you save children from environmental hazards around the home:

  1. Storing Pesticides and Chemicals – Always store pesticides and other household chemicals, including chlorine bleach, out of children's reach -- preferably in a locked cabinet.
  2. Read the Label FIRST! Pesticide products, household cleaning products, and pet products can be dangerous or ineffective if too much or too little is used.
  3. Before applying pesticides or other household chemicals, remove children and their toys, as well as pets, from the area. Keep children and pets away until the pesticide has dried or as long as is recommended on the label.
  4. If your use of a pesticide or other household chemical is interrupted (perhaps by a phone call), properly reclose the container and remove it from children’s reach. Always use household products in child-resistant packaging.
  5. Never transfer pesticides to other containers that children may associate with food or drink(like soda bottles), and never place rodent or insect baits where small children can get to them.
  6. When applying insect repellents to children, read all directions first; do not apply over cuts, wounds, or irritated skin; do not apply to eyes, mouth, hands, or directly on the face; and use just enough to cover exposed skin or clothing, but do not use under clothing.
  7. Many homes built before 1978 have lead-based paint. If you plan to remodel or renovate, get your home tested . Don’t try to remove lead paint yourself.
  8. Ask about lead when buying or renting a home. Sellers and landlords must disclose known lead hazards in houses or apartments built before 1978.
  9. . Get your child tested for lead. There are no visible symptoms of lead poisoning, and children may suffer behavior or learning problems as a result of exposure to lead hazards.
  10. Wash children’s hands, toys, and bottles often. Regularly clean floors, window sills, and other surfaces to reduce possible exposure to lead and pesticide residues.


Tips from EPA website:


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It is estimated that $65 million is lost each year in the United States in home invasions, muggings, and in other violent crimes. It is estimated that $600 billion is lost per year due to fraud. Work place violence caused an estimated $30 billion to American businesses last year.

It is important to be aware a crime can occur, anticipating the location, time, and taking action to reduce the chance of it happening. Crime prevention is key to stopping the ability and opportunity for a criminal. The use of instinct, knowledge, common sense, and awareness can make you a tough target.

Three Basic Rules

  • Stay alert.
  • Keep your mind on your surroundings, who's in front of you and who's behind you. Don't get distracted.
  • Walk purposefully, stand tall, and make eye contact with people around you.

TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. If you feel uncomfortable in a situation, leave.

Personal Protection

  • Make yourself a "tough target."
  • Don't think that it can't happen to you.
  • Should you resist? Everyone and every situation is different.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings.
  • If being followed or stalked, call 911 or drive directly to a police station

If You’re Attacked

  • Keep your head. Stay as calm as possible and evaluate your options and resources.
  • It may be more advisable to submit than to resist and risk severe injury or death. You will have to make this decision based on the circumstances. But, don't resist if the attacker has a weapon.
  • Keep assessing the situation as it is happening. If one strategy doesn't work, try another. Possible options include negotiating, stalling for time, distracting the assailant and fleeing to a safe place, verbal assertiveness, screaming, and physical resistance.
  • You may be able to turn the attacker off with unusual behavior such as throwing up, acting crazy, or stating you have a sexually transmitted disease.

After a Sexual Assault

  • Go to a safe place and call the police.
  • The sooner you report the crime, the greater the chances your attacker will be caught.
  • DO NOT shower, bathe, douche, or destroy any clothing you were wearing. Do not disturb any physical evidence.
  • Go to a hospital emergency room for medical care.
  • Call someone to be with you. You should not be alone. Contact a rape treatment or crisis center to help you deal with the consequences of the assault.

While Driving

  • Keep your car in good condition with the gas tank at least half full.
  • Park in well-lighted areas and lock your doors, no matter how long you'll be gone.
  • Put valuables out of sight or in the trunk.
  • Check front and rear seats, and floorboards before entering your car.
  • Drive with all doors locked and windows rolled up.
  • Never pick up hitchhikers. If your car breaks down, put the hood up, lock the doors, turn on the flashers, and move to the passenger seat. Do not leave your car. If someone stops to help, roll down the window slightly and ask them to call the police or a tow truck.
  • Avoid underground and enclosed parking garages if possible.
  • When parking or returning to your vehicle, carry your keys and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Consider investing in a cellular telephone.

Public Transportation

  • Try to use well-lighted and frequently used stops.
  • Try to sit near the driver or conductor.
  • Avoid sitting near exits. An attacker can reach in and grab a purse or jewelry as the bus or subway pulls away.
  • Be alert to who gets off the bus or subway with you. If you feel uncomfortable, walk directly to a place where there are other people.

In an Elevator

  • Look in the elevator before getting in.
  • Stand near the controls.
  • Get off if someone suspicious enters. If you're worried about someone who is waiting for the elevator with you, pretend you forgot something and don't get on.
  • If you're attacked, hit the alarm and as many floor buttons as possible.


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  • Plan a walking route to school or the bus stop. Choose the most direct way with the fewest street crossings and, if possible, with intersections that have crossing guards.
  • Walk the route with your child beforehand. Tell him or her to stay away from parks, vacant lots, fields and other places where there aren’t many people around.
  • Teach your child never to talk to strangers or accept rides or gifts from strangers. Remember, a stranger is anyone you or your children don’t know well or don’t trust.
  • Be sure your child walks to and from school with a sibling, friend, or neighbor.
  • Teach your kids — whether walking, biking, or riding the bus to school — to obey all traffic signals, signs and traffic officers. Remind them to be extra careful in bad weather.
  • When driving kids, deliver and pick them up as close to the school as possible. Don’t leave until they are in the schoolyard or building
  • If your child bikes to school, make sure he wears a helmet that meets one of the safety standards (U.S. CPSC, Snell, ANSI, ASTM). Research indicates that a helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by up to 85%.
  • Teach children to arrive at the bus stop early, stay out of the street, wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before approaching the street, watch for cars and avoid the driver’s blind spot.
  • Remind your children to stay seated at all times and keep their heads and arms inside the bus while riding. When exiting the bus, children should wait until the bus comes to a complete stop, exit from the front using the handrail to avoid falls and cross the street at least 10 feet (or 10 giant steps) in front of the bus.
  • Tell your child not to bend down in front of the bus to tie shoes or pick up objects, as the driver may not see him before starting to move.
  • Be sure that your child knows his or her home phone number and address, your work number, the number of another trusted adult and how to call 911 for emergencies.



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In any emergency a family member or you may be cut, burned or suffer other injuries. With these basic supplies you are better prepared to help your loved ones when they are hurt. Remember, many injuries are not life threatening and do not require immediate medical attention. Knowing how to treat minor injuries can make a difference in an emergency. Consider taking a first aid class, but simply having the following things can help you stop bleeding, prevent infection and assist in decontamination.

Things you should have:

  • Two pairs of Latex, or other sterile gloves (if you are allergic to Latex).
  • Sterile dressings to stop bleeding.
  • Cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic towelettes to disinfect.
  • Antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
  • Burn ointment to prevent infection.
  • Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes.
  • Eye wash solution to flush the eyes or as general decontaminant.
  • Thermometer
  • Prescription medications you take every day such as insulin, heart medicine and asthma inhalers. You should periodically rotate medicines to account for expiration dates.
  • Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood pressure monitoring equipment and supplies.

Things that may be good to have in your kit:

  • Cell phone with charger
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant

Non-prescription drugs:

  • Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Antacid (for upset stomach)
  • Laxative


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Information and recommendations are compiled from sources believed to be reliable. The Sheriff’s Office  makes no guarantee as to and assumes no responsibility for the correctness, sufficiency or completeness of such information or recommendations. Other or additional safety measures may be required under particular circumstances.

Last Revised: 08/14