Tag Archives: Safety

Safely preparing for Thanksgiving

turkey1We’re one week out from Thanksgiving so we thought we would offer reminders on how to make this a safe and tasty holiday.

Everything tastes better when it’s fried… so why not fry your Thanksgiving Day turkey, as opposed to baking it the traditional way! Although fried turkeys are absolutely delicious, they pose a slew of safety concerns.  Thousands of fires, deaths, and injuries occur each year due to turkey fryer fires… so here are five helpful safety tips with what you need to know before setting up your fryer.

  1. Keeping Clevelanders Safe! Never fry a turkey indoors, and make sure that you set up your fryer at least 10 feet away from your home. Do not cook your turkey on your back deck – cooking oil is combustible and if it is heated beyond its cooking temperature, its vapors can ignite. Keep all children and pets away. Be sure to never leave it unattended.
  2. Even Stevens in Cleveland! Make sure set your fryer on level ground; this will ensure that the oil level is being gauged accurately and that the oil is steady.
  3. No jive turkeys! Make sure that your turkey is between 10 and 15 pounds because larger birds are more likely to burn on the outside before the inside is fully cooked. Also, be sure that your turkey is completely thawed and dry; this will prevent the oil from bubbling furiously and spilling over.
  4. How about this Cleveland weather! We all know that Thanksgivings in Cleveland can vary from warm and sunny, to brutally cold and snowy… therefore, please be cognizant of the weather before planning to fry your turkey outdoors because if rain or snow strikes exposed hot cooking oil, the result can lead to property damage and/or serious injury.
  5. Cleveland Fire Department to the rescue! Be proactive as opposed to reactive; therefore, test your cooking equipment in advance to ensure it is functioning properly. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby at all times in the event that the oil ignites. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
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It’s time to “Fall Back” and Don’t forget – to change batteries too!

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On average, 8 people die in a home fire each day in the U.S.—almost 3,000 people every year. While working smoke alarms cut the chance of dying in a fire nearly in half, roughly two-thirds of all home fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms, according to statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Newer smoke alarm recommendations and technologies now provide greater levels of home fire protection than ever before. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of these advances and lack the recommended level of residential smoke alarm protection as a result. Their homes may not be equipped with the appropriate number of alarms, or they may be relying on outdated or nonfunctional devices.

ESFI offers the following tips for making sure smoke alarms are installed and working properly:

Installation Tips

  • Smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home.
  • For the best protection, smoke alarms should be interconnected, so that they all sound if one sounds. Manufacturers are now producing battery operated alarms that are interconnected by wireless technology.
  • Combination smoke alarms that include both ionization and photoelectric alarms offer the most comprehensive protection. An ionization alarm is more responsive to flames, while a photoelectric alarm is more responsive to a smoldering fire.
  • Hardwired smoke alarms with battery backups are considered to be more reliable than those operated solely by batteries.
  • Purchase smoke alarms from a reputable retailer that you trust.
  • Choose alarms that bear the label of a nationally-recognized testing laboratory.
  • Install smoke alarms at least 10 feet from cooking appliances to reduce the possibility of nuisance alarms.
  • Alarms installed between 10-20 feet of a cooking appliance must have a hush feature to temporarily reduce the alarm sensitivity or must be a photoelectric alarm.
  • If possible, alarms should be mounted in the center of a ceiling. If mounted on a wall, they should be located 6 to 12 inches below the ceiling.
  • Avoid locating alarms near bathrooms, heating appliances, windows or ceiling fans.

Maintenance Tips

  • Smoke alarms should be tested once a month by pressing the TEST button.
  • Smoke alarm batteries should be replaced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, at least once a year. If an alarm “chirps” or “beeps” to indicate low batteries, they should be replaced immediately.
  • Occasionally dust or lightly vacuum the exterior of the alarm to remove dust and cobwebs.
  • Smoke alarms should be replaced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, at least every ten years.
  • Never paint over a smoke alarm.

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Winter Storm Tips to keep you safe

WEB_First-snow

A scene from a November 2014, Lake Effect snowstorm. (Photo by Shelley M. Shockley)

Mother Nature is inching closer to providing Clevelanders with a white Christmas beginning this weekend. Northeast Ohio and Cleveland are currently under a Lake Effect Snow Advisory through Saturday morning.

As you plan for the weekend and the weeks to come we thought this would be a good time to share some basic safety principles and energy saving tips.

The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) offers the following tips to keep you safe as you begin bringing out heaters:

  • Keep all furniture, draperies, and other household objects at least three feet from the in-wall fan heaters and 12 inches from baseboard heaters. Keep portable space heaters at least three feet way from all flammable materials.
  • Plug portable space heaters directly into the outlet; do not use an extension cord.
  • If an in-wall or baseboard heater is shut off at the circuit breaker, be sure to lock or tag the circuit breaker to prevent someone from inadvertently turning it back on.

Fireplace Safety

Fireplaces can be romantic and cozy yet they can be extremely hazardous if you do not exercise proper caution.  The most important step is to be certain that your fireplace was constructed for actual use, not just for decoration.  If installing a factory-made fireplace, make sure that you have adequate heat barriers and you aren’t putting it near anything combustible.

If you plan on using your fireplace regularly, you should have your chimney cleaned annually, and ensure that it is clear of leaves, pine needles and any other debris.  You should never use flammable liquids to ignite a fire, nor burn any cardboard, trash or debris in your fireplace.  Always use a screen around the fireplace to keep sparks from flying out.  Never leave your fire unattended, and be certain the flames are completely out before retiring for the night or whenever leaving the house.  Always keep a fire extinguisher on hand, and place smoke alarms on every level of your home.  By following these handy tips you should be able to enjoy a warm cozy winter in front of your fireplace and save on your heating bill.

Energy Saving Tips:

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HEAT FROM THE SUN

Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.

COVER DRAFTY WINDOWS

Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months. Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame to help reduce infiltration.

Install tight-fitting, insulating drapes or shades on windows that feel drafty after weatherizing. Find out about other window treatments and coverings that can improve energy efficiency.

ADJUST THE TEMPERATURE

When you are home and awake, set your thermostat as low as is comfortable. When you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat back 10° to 15° for eight hours and save around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills. A programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your   temperature. Find out how to operate your thermostat for maximum energy savings.

FIND AND SEAL LEAKS

Seal the air leaks around utility cut-throughs for pipes (“plumbing penetrations”), gaps around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets.

Find out how to detect air leaks. Learn more about air sealing new and existing homes. Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows. Find out how to select and apply the appropriate caulk. Learn how to select and apply weatherstripping.

MAINTAIN YOUR HEATING SYSTEMS

Schedule service for your heating system. Find out what maintenance is required to keep your heating system operating efficiently.

Furnaces: Replace your furnace filter once a month or as needed. Find out more about maintaining your furnace or boiler.

Wood- and Pellet-Burning Heaters: Clean the flue vent regularly and clean the inside of the appliance with a wire brush periodically to ensure that your home is heated efficiently.

For the Fireplace

  • Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a window wide open during the winter; it allows warm air to go right up, and out of the chimney.
  • When you use the fireplace, reduce heat loss by opening dampers in the bottom of the firebox (if provided) or open the nearest window slightly–approximately 1 inch–and close doors leading into the room. Lower the thermostat setting to between 50° and 55°F.
  • If you never use your fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue.
  •  If you do use the fireplace, install tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system that blows warmed air back into the room.
  • Check the seal on the fireplace flue damper and make it as snug as possible.
  • Purchase grates made of C-shaped metal tubes to draw cool room air into the fireplace and circulate warm air back into the room.
  •  Add caulking around the fireplace hearth.

Additional tips on staying safe and warm during winter storms can be found at http://www.ready.gov/winter-weather.

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Happy Independence Day!

Fireworks Safety Tips

We all enjoy the 4th of July because most of us plan cookouts with family and friends, and we like to end our night typically by either watfireworks4-0336ching Fireworks shows somewhere or setting off our own fireworks because somehow Fireworks have become synonymous with our celebration of Independence Day.  However, the thrill of fireworks can also lead to serious injuries.  Here are some important safety tips to consider when using fireworks:

  • Make certain the fireworks you would like to set off are legal in the City of Cleveland before making your purchase.
  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Avoid purchasing fireworks that are packaged
    in brown paper because this is often a sign that fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could potentially pose a danger to consumers.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities.
  • Parents must keep in mind that young children suffer injuries from sparklers because they can burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees. (These are temperatures hot enough to melt some metals.)
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device while attempting to ignite the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting the firework.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not fully ignited upon your first attempt.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishaps.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning period, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it in order to prevent a trash fire.

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Spring storms predicted for tonight!

Cleveland Public Power offers storm safety tips

 CLEVELAND – High winds, mechanical failures and traffic accidents as a result of severe storms can lead to downed power lines and power outages. In an effort to keep residents and customers informed, Cleveland Public Power offers the following tips for storm safety:

  • Downed power lines – Never touch, move or go near any downed or hanging lines. The first action should be to call 9-1-1 or your local utility. CPP’s Trouble Line can be reached by calling 216-664-3156.
    • Do not put your feet in water where a downed line is laying
    • Do not try to move tree limbs
    • If you see someone who has come into contact with a downed line, do not touch them, again call 9-1-1
    • If a line comes down on your car stay inside, roll down your window and warn others to stay away. Call authorities or ask a passerby to call authorities. The only time you should exit a vehicle with a downed line on it is if it has caught fire. If the vehicle is on fire, open the door and jump with both feet together to avoid contact with the car. It is metal and therefore you could receive a shock.
Down wire

Storms potentially lead to down power lines and blackouts. STAY AWAY from down wires and report them to your electric utility or police department. (City of Cleveland Photo Bureau)

  • Power outage and food safety – Unless there is a major outage extending more than 4 hours, your food should be safe in the refrigerator as long as you leave the doors closed. After that point, you may want to begin to prepare and/or eat the food.
  • Food in the freezer will hold much longer. According to the USDA, “a full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed.”
  • If it appears the outage will last for a prolonged period of time, the USDA advises obtaining dry ice or block ice to keep the refrigerator cold. The USDA reports “fifty pounds of dry ice should hold an 18-cubic foot full freezer for 2 days.”
  • In Home Tips – unplug and avoid using major electric appliances and avoid using landline telephones. You should also avoid using the telephone because in the event of a lightning strike these lines and other wires can conduct electricity.

In the event of widespread outages customers will also be able to follow updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/clepublicpower (@CLEPublicPower).

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Protect Your Home – Christmas Tree Safety Tips

It’s that time of the year, the trees are decorated with all the beautiful ornaments and children’s creations collected over the years. The lights have been strung and nightly you “Ooh and Ahh” at a job well done.

Christmas Tree fire

During a recent controlled burn, Cleveland firefighters demonstrated how quickly a Christmas tree can burn. (Photo by Shelley M. Shockley)

To ensure you and your family will have fond memories of this time and avoid tragedy, here are a few tips from a recent Cleveland Public Safety Demonstration:

  1. If your tree is real. be sure to water it daily to prevent it from dying.
  2. If the tree is artificial make sure it is labeled fire retardant.
  3. Keep electric cords away from the water basin of the tree.
  4. Plug no more than three strands of lights into each electrical cord or outlet.
  5. If you are using a space heater in the room where the tree is, keep it at least three feet away from the tree.
  6. Watch the video posted on Cleveland TV20’s YouTube Channel found here.
Fully engulfed tree

The tree is now fully engulfed in flames. (Photo by Shelley M. Shockley)

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Let’s Talk Turkey!

Turkey

Not the Thanksgiving turkey you were expecting.

By Melissa Medina

Everything tastes better when it’s fried… so why not fry your Thanksgiving Day turkey, as opposed to baking it the traditional way!  Although fried turkeys are absolutely delicious, they pose a slew of safety concerns.  Thousands of fires, deaths, and injuries occur each year due to turkey fryer fires… so here are five helpful safety tips with what you need to know before setting up your fryer.

  1. Keeping Clevelanders Safe! Never fry a turkey indoors, and make sure that you set up your fryer at least 10 feet away from your home.  Do not cook your turkey on your back deck – cooking oil is combustible and if it is heated beyond its cooking temperature, its vapors can ignite.  Keep all children and pets away.  Be sure to never leave it unattended.
  2. Even Stevens in Cleveland! Make sure your fryer is on level ground; this will ensure that the oil level is being gauged accurately and that the oil is steady.
  3. No jive turkeys! Make sure that your turkey is between 10 and 15 pounds because larger birds are more likely to burn on the outside before the inside is fully cooked. Also, be sure that your turkey is completely thawed and dry; this will prevent the oil from bubbling furiously and spilling over.
  4. How about this Cleveland weather! We all know that Thanksgivings in Cleveland can vary from warm and sunny, to brutally cold and snowy…  therefore, please be cognizant of the weather before planning to fry your turkey outdoors because if rain or snow strikes exposed hot cooking oil, the result can lead to property damage and/or serious injury.
  5. Cleveland Fire Department to the rescue! Be proactive as opposed to reactive; therefore, test your cooking equipment in advance to ensure it is functioning properly.  Keep a fire extinguisher nearby at all times in the event the oil ignites. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
Thanksgiving Turkey

Keep our tips in mind, and you’ll find this delicious bird on your table without any safety incidents.

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