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.
The Sheriff’s Office offers the following tips for safe and enjoyable bicycling:
We can make bicycling safer for all by observing the following safety tips:
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.
Article from: http://www.adventuresportsonline.com/bikesafe.htm
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 Scambusters.org, “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.
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
Riding a bicycle to school
Riding the bus to school
Many school-related injuries are completely preventable. Follow these steps to ensure your child’s safety at school.
Preventing playground-related injuries
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.
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.
Often called the silent killer, carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane) burn incompletely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel can be sources of carbon monoxide.
This article from: The National Fire Protection Agency http://www.nfpa.org/
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
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.
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.
When you're traveling for business or pleasure, make sure you remember these safety tips provided by the American Hotel and Motel Association:
Article from: Broward County Sheriff
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
Packing for safety
Cooking food at the picnic
This article adapted from:
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:
During Thunderstorms and Lightning
If thunderstorm and lightning are occurring in your area, you should:
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:
After the storm passes remember to:
These simple steps can help you save children from environmental hazards around the home:
Tips from EPA website:
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
TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. If you feel uncomfortable in a situation, leave.
If You’re Attacked
After a Sexual Assault
In an Elevator
Walking to school is a great form of exercise. Teach your children to be safe when crossing the street or playing near traffic.
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.
Article from American Academy of Pediatrics.
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: 09/14