Street Safety in Deserted Areas

This Street Safety clip is based on the Little Warriors Safety Books. These educational books offer parents and teachers three different Street Safety and Children’s Self Defense programs they can teach their children and students. Each program includes children’s workbooks and a step by step Teachers Guide. This is the most effective street proofing program available.

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Powerline Safety

This seven part video deals with the dangers of working near overhead and underground powerlines. Dramatic footage and computer animation show what can happen if you or someone on your job site accidentally contacts an energized powerline.

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Ladder Safety

Ladder Safety is a video designed to highlight the important safety procedures associated with ladder use on construction sites. The video uses classic B&W comedic film footage and computer graphic simulations to illustrate safe ladder techniques.


Preparing for Winter Storms and Blizzards

Blizzards are the most dangerous of winter storms. They produce high winds and heavy snow throughout much of the United States from December to March.

They are most common in the northern Great Plains states — South Dakota is sometimes called “the Blizzard State” — but they also occur as far south as Texas and as far east as Maine.

Many blizzard-related deaths involve people who die of hypothermia in their cars, on the street or in wilderness areas. Sadly, most of these deaths could have been avoided with proper preparation. Blizzards also cause countless cases of frostbite, as well as damage to unsupported structures and homes.

Winter Storm Watches and Warnings
If you live in a snow-prone area, pay close attention to weather forecasts and listen for watches and warnings like these:

WINTER STORM WATCH: Severe winter conditions, such as heavy snow or ice, are possible within the next day or two. Prepare now!

WINTER STORM WARNING: Severe winter conditions have begun or are about to begin in your area. Seek shelter!

BLIZZARD WARNING : Snow and strong winds will combine to produce a blinding snow (near zero visibility), deep drifts, and life-threatening wind chill. Seek refuge immediately!

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY: Winter weather conditions are expected and may be hazardous, especially for motorists.

FROST/FREEZE WARNING : Below freezing temperatures are expected and may cause significant damage to plants, crops, or fruit trees. In areas unaccustomed to freezing temperatures, people who have homes without heat need to take added precautions.

You can check the current weather forecast for your area.

Plan Ahead for Winter Storms

Play it safe by preparing ahead for winter storms and blizzards. Be sure to winterize your manufactured home by following these tips for winterizing.

Remember, these storms can cause loss of electricity, heat, and telephone service and can trap you in your home for a few days. It’s important to have ample supplies on hand in your home:

  • Flashlight and extra batteries.
  • Battery-powered NOAA weather radio and portable radio to receive emergency information. These may be your only links to the outside.
  • Extra food and bottled water. High energy food, such as dried fruit or candy, and canned food requiring no cooking or refrigeration is best.
  • Manual can opener.
  • Extra medicine and baby items.
  • First-aid supplies.
  • Heating fuel. Fuel carriers may not reach you for days after a severe winter storm.
  • Back-up heating source, such as a fireplace, wood stove, space heater, etc.
  • Fire extinguisher and smoke detector.
  • Brush up on your fire safety knowledge.

Be sure to carry a survival kit in your car that contains:

  • Cell phone
  • Blankets/sleeping bags
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Knife
  • High calorie, non-perishable food
  • A can and waterproof matches to melt snow for drinking water
  • Sand or cat litter
  • Shovel
  • Windshield scraper
  • Tool kit
  • Tow rope
  • Jumper cables
  • Water container
  • Compass
  • Road maps
  • Extra winter clothes and boots

Also, keep your vehicle’s gas tank full in case you get stranded and to keep the fuel line from freezing.

How to Dress for Winter Weather:

  • Wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing.
  • Remove a layer or two if necessary to avoid overheating, perspiration, and subsequent chill.
  • Make sure outer garments are tightly woven and water-repellent.
  • Wear mittens — they are warmer than gloves.
  • Wear a hat.
  • Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs from extremely cold air.
  • Wear sturdy, waterproof boots in snow or flooding conditions.

If You’re Away From Home When the Storm Hits:

If you’re outside:

  • Find a shelter out of the wind. Try to stay dry and cover all exposed parts of your body.
  • If you can’t find shelter, prepare a lean-to, windbreak or snow cave for protection from the wind. Build a fire for heat and to attract attention. Place rocks around the fire to absorb and reflect heat.
  • Don’t eat snow – it will lower your body temperature. Melt the snow first.

If you’re in a car or truck:

  • Pull off the road and turn on your hazard lights.
  • Stay inside your vehicle. It’s easy to become disoriented in the wind and snow. Do not set out on foot unless you see a building close by where you know you can take shelter.
  • Run the motor about ten minutes each hour for heat.
  • Open the window a crack to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked by snow.
  • Exercise frequently to keep blood circulating and to keep warm, but don’t overexert.
  • Huddle with other passengers and use your coat as a blanket.
  • In extreme cold, use road maps, seat covers, floor mats, newspapers or extra clothing for covering–anything to provide additional insulation and warmth.

Make yourself visible to rescuers:

  • Turn on your dome light at night, but only when running the engine. You don’t want to wear down your battery.
  • Tie a distress flag (preferably red) to your antenna or window.
  • Raise the hood to indicate trouble after snow stops falling.

Once the blizzard is over, you may need to leave your vehicle and proceed on foot. Follow the road if possible. If you need to walk across open country, use distant points as landmarks to help maintain your sense of direction.

If you’re in your home or a building:

  • Stay inside.
  • If you must travel, do so during daylight. Don’t travel alone. Stay on main roads, and tell others about your route and schedule.
  • Conserve fuel, if necessary, by keeping your house cooler than normal. Temporarily shut off heat to less-used rooms.
  • When using alternative heat from a fireplace, wood stove, or space heater, use fire safeguards and properly ventilate.
  • If using kerosene heaters, maintain ventilation to avoid buildup of toxic fumes. Keep heaters at least three feet from flammable objects. Refuel kerosene heaters outside.

If there’s no heat:

  • Close off unneeded rooms.
  • Stuff towels or rags in cracks under doors.
  • Cover windows at night.
  • Stay nourished:
    • Eat food to provide your body with energy so it can produce its own heat.
    • Keep your body replenished with fluids to prevent dehydration.

After the Blizzard has Passed:

  • Look for any damage that may have occurred to your home and make sure water pipes are functioning. Check out this page for help. If there are no other problems, wait for streets and roads to be plowed before you drive anywhere.
  • Check on neighbors to see if they need help.
  • Pace yourself and rest frequently when shoveling snow — don’t overexert. Shoveling causes many heart attacks, especially in very cold temperatures.

With a little planning and know-how, you can make this winter a safe and warm one for you and your family.


Top Ten Blizzard Tips

Does the news of heavy snow sound like a chance for fun? Think again. Blizzards can be the killer storms of cold weather climates.

Snow coming down at a rapid pace and strong winds blowing and drifting the snow…into piles deep enough to bury cars make for poor visibility and life threatening emergencies.

Skiers may smile at the thought of all that great powder, but the truth is blizzards are very dangerous and need to be taken seriously.

Snow can be so heavy during a blizzard that it causes a whiteout. During a whiteout, snow falling down…or being blown around by the tremendous winds…reduces visibility to the point where the sky, the air, and the ground become one white blur of snow. All you can see in any direction is white snow. The winds and snow cause disorientation and, especially in rural areas, sometimes you can wander just a few feet from your front door and not be able to find it.

What are the necessary steps that should be taken to prepare for a blizzard?

Most things are usually on hand but should be stocked up and easily accessible. If it turns out the blizzard has turned to rain or snow flurries by the time it reaches your area, at least you will have known you were ready.

If your city or town is in imminent danger of a very heavy snowfall or blizzard, most likely your local weather and news media have let you know in plenty of time. They will be issuing warnings and alerts and, again, should be taken seriously. Here are a few things to consider before the blizzard arrives:

  1. Prepare for power outages and blocked roads. Winds, ice and snow tend to bring down power lines. Make sure that you have candles, matches or lighters, a flashlight, a battery-operated radio, and emergency food supplies and tons of blankets. Think about where you’ll put candles to keep them lit and safe. Have plenty of food staples like powdered milk and protein bars. If your water supply depends on an electric pump, bottled water may be a good idea.
  2. Staying warm when the power goes out may be a problem. Don’t think you’re immune if you don’t use electricity to heat your home. Many people don’t realize that their heating system depends on a boiler that is powered by electricity. Electric stoves and gas stoves that depend on electricity will be powerless if the storm knocks the lines down. Be prepared with alternative heat sources and plenty of blankets.
  3. Traveling in a blizzard is just not a good idea. If you are on the road during a blizzard look for a hotel or motel nearby and stay off the road until driving conditions are safe again.
  4. If you get stranded in your car during a bad snow storm be prepared with plenty of warm clothes and packaged snack foods. It may seem sensible to leave the engine running to keep warm, but it isn’t. The danger of carbon monoxide poisoning is high. Snow can block your exhaust pipe and fill the car with deadly fumes. Keeping one window open just a bit will help avoid this. If you keep the engine running you may run out of gas before the storm is over.

    A better idea is to run the engine in short bursts. Turn the engine on long to keep the car warm and then turn it off. Keep this routine up until the conditions are stable enough for you to get back on the road.

  5. Designate a spot, in the hall closet, to keep a bag of warm clothes for each person in the household. If the lights are out, it will be hard to find that really warm turtle neck or a pair of warm socks or gloves…in the dark. Count on the power being out for at least a day or two and have some board games and a deck of cards on hand. Arts and crafts are always fun for the kids (especially if there isn’t any television to distract them) so make sure you have some of those supplies easily available.
  6. Along with warm clothes and blankets, consider stocking your Blizzard Kit with the following: batteries, flash lights, battery operated radio/television, bottled water, toilet paper, nonperishable foods such as cereal or crackers, canned goods, a non electric can opener, a small cooler, candles, prescription medicines and any over-the-counter remedies you use regularly; and if you have young infants or toddlers – diapers, baby wipes, formula, baby food.
  7. Stock up on shovels and snow removal equipment before the snow storm. You may also want to cover the windows and spaces around the doors to keep drafts at a minimum in the event the heat shuts off.
  8. If you live in an area that gets bad storms regularly consider investing in an emergency generator. Having an alternate source of power if the main lines go down can be a life saver.
  9. A cellular phone is a ‘hot’ commodity for the snowbound. If you have a cell phone, make sure it is charged and easy to find. Now is the time to add emergency numbers in your phone’s memory for easy access when you need them. Even if the phone and power lines go out you can get word out that you are stranded and need help.
  10. Finally, STAY INSIDE. However tempting it may be for kids to go out and make snow angels or play in the falling snow, use caution. Those blowing winds – both before and after a blizzard – are cold enough to cause frostbite, and snowdrifts may hide dangers children might otherwise see. Stay indoors where it’s safe, and warm!

Blizzards are serious business. Weather forecasters can only predict so much. Educate yourself and stay on top of the updates in your area. There is no harm in being overly cautious. In most cases where a blizzard is concerned, it truly is better to be safe than sorry.


Winter Home Heating Hazards

Consumers may experience a warmer than average winter this year according to the latest forecasts. But even if furnaces, space heaters, or fireplaces aren’t working as hard, consumers still need to remain vigilant against carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and fires in their home.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are urging consumers to schedule a professional inspection of all fuel-burning heating systems, including furnaces, boilers, fireplaces, wood stoves, water heaters, chimneys, flues and vents.

“Protect your family this winter,” said CPSC Acting Chairman Nancy Nord. “The best way to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning is to have a professional inspection every year and install working CO alarms in your home.”

“Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. This colorless, odorless, poisonous gas kills nearly 500 U.S. residents each year, five times as many as West Nile virus,” according to Dr. Howard Frumkin, Director of the National Center for Environmental Health at the CDC. Dr. Frumkin said, “CO poisoning is a persistent and tragic public health problem that can be eliminated if people become aware of the danger and take some simple steps to protect themselves, their families and their pets.” Dr. Frumkin noted that CO poisoning is most common during the winter months, as this is not only when furnaces are most used, but also when the second leading source of CO poisoning, vehicles, is most likely to kill or injure people as they warm up their cars and trucks inside garages.

Each year, at least 15,000 Americans suffer from unintentional, non-fire related CO exposure, according to CDC estimates. CPSC reports that an estimated 188 people died in 2002 from CO poisoning associated with consumer products. The leading source of these poisonings is heating systems. According to the CPSC an estimated 103 deaths were associated with home heating systems that use liquid propane gas, natural gas, kerosene, oil, coal or wood. According to CDC, the most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. CO poisoning can cause loss of consciousness and death. People who are sleeping or intoxicated can die from CO poisoning before ever experiencing symptoms.

Gasoline-powered generators used during winter weather-related power outages can also be a source of carbon monoxide poisoning. In fact, according to CPSC, the largest percentage of CO deaths associated with portable generators take place in the winter months. Carbon monoxide from generators resulted in at least 64 deaths in 2005. CPSC and CDC urge consumers to use generators outside, far away from their homes. A generator’s exhaust contains deadly carbon monoxide which can kill in minutes.

Home heating equipment is one of the most common causes of residential structure fires, second only to cooking fires. CPSC statistics show that fireplaces and chimneys are the number one source of home heating equipment fires. They account for about 21,600, or 60 percent, of the nearly 36,000 estimated home heating equipment fires each year from 1999-2003.

Portable heaters, including space heaters, are the top cause of deaths in home heating equipment-related fires on average. Portable heater fires were responsible for about 100 of the total 240 estimated deaths each year associated with home heating equipment from 1999-2003.

To help prevent deaths and injuries, CPSC and CDC also urge consumers to:

  • Have your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.
  • Install battery-operated CO and smoke alarms in your home.
  • Locate CO alarms outside the bedrooms in each separate sleeping area.
  • Locate smoke alarms on each level of the house and inside every bedroom.
  • Replace smoke and CO alarm batteries when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall and check batteries monthly.
  • If an alarm sounds, leave your home immediately and call 911.
  • Seek medical attention immediately if you suspect CO poisoning and are feeling dizzy, lightheaded or nauseous.
  • Have flues and chimneys inspected before each heating season for leakage and blockage by creosote or debris.
  • Open the fireplace damper before lighting the fire and keep it open until the ashes are cool. Never close the damper if the ashes are still warm. An open damper may help prevent build-up of poisonous gases inside the home.
  • Store fireplace ashes in a fire resistant container and cover it with a lid. Keep the container outdoors and away from combustibles.
Space heaters
  • Place the heater on a level, hard and nonflammable surface (such as ceramic tile floor), not on rugs or carpets or near bedding or drapes. Keep the heater at least three feet from bedding, drapes, furniture and other flammable materials. Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
  • To prevent the risk of fire, NEVER leave a space heater on when you go to sleep or place a space heater close to any sleeping person. Turn the space heater off if you leave the area.
  • Use a space heater that has been tested to the latest safety standards and certified by a nationally-recognized testing laboratory. These heaters will have the most up-to-date safety features; older space heaters may not meet the newer safety standards. An unvented gas space heater that meets current safety standards will shut off if oxygen levels fall too low.
Charcoal grills
  • Never burn charcoal inside of homes, vehicles, tents, or campers. Charcoal should never be used indoors, even if ventilation is provided.