Safeguarding Your Summer: Backyard Bash Safety ūüŹ° ūüéČ

With summertime upon us, many are considering yard parties. ¬†Fun in the sun, grilling, outdoor sports, and swimming all sound grand this time of year and that’s because it is grand!

Most outdoor parties come and go without a hitch, but unfortunately accidents do happen.  With that in mind, here are some simple ways to avoid accidents and host a worry free backyard bash:

  • outdoor-entertaining.jpgThoroughly inspect your yard for any things that could be a danger such as wasp nests, standing water (mosquito breeding grounds),anthills, holes, trip hazards, rotting trees or limbs that could fall, rusting equipment, low hanging electrical wires, or anything you can see as a danger – particularly to small children or adults who may be under the influence. (It’s a party, there will be alcohol!) Remove the hazards, cover them or flag them with reflective materials.
  • Be sure moving vehicles are away from your guests. ¬†If possible, have a pedestrian entry to your party distanced from the parking.
  • Be prepared to accommodate children if your party is family friendly. ¬†There’s more to this than just saying it’s ok to bring your children because once they are there if they are not occupied they will be underfoot and more likely to have or cause accidents. ¬†Consider the age ranges and have play areas set up for little ones and some outdoor sports for the teens. ¬†Be sure there are no choking hazards with any of the toys you provide. ¬†Perhaps, ask guests in advance, what they recommend for their children or suggest their children bring their own entertainment to share.
  • Food safety is key to avoiding a party gone wrong!¬†If your outdoor fun includes grilling hamburgers, play it safe by handling raw ground beef carefully. First, be sure you keep the meat cold (40 degrees F or less) until it is cooked. Second, cook ground beef to a safe temperature of¬†160 degrees¬†F so that bacteria such as E. coli are killed. Poultry products, including ground poultry, should always be cooked to at least 165 ¬įF internal temperature as measured with a food thermometer; leftovers should be refrigerated no more than two hours after¬†cooking.¬†When preparing food, never use the same dish for raw meats and foods that will not be cooked.¬†Don‚Äôt let perishable food sit out while swimming or during other activities. If the temperature is above 90 degrees F, food is not safe to sit out longer than one hour!¬†Keep hands and all utensils clean when preparing food. ¬†To learn more about grilling safely, check out our previous blog about Backyard Grilling Tips.
  • Be responsible with alcoholic beverages.¬†¬†Adult beverages go hand in hand with adults partying and there’s nothing wrong with that, but as a host there are certain precautions you should take to prevent any incidents caused by alcohol. ¬†First and foremost you want to make sure none of your guests get behind the wheel after heavy drinking. Of course, it’s best to prevent heavy drinking if you are able. ¬†Some easy ways to do that are;
    Make food more easily available than alcohol. ¬†When your guests have a full tummy it slows the effects of alcohol and when alcohol isn’t right at the forefront of the party guests will likely drink less.
    Have a bartender or someone in charge of serving the drinks so that guests won’t be able to overpour the alcohol or consume it at a faster rate.
    To learn more about hosting a party with alcohol as well as being a guest who likes to consume alcohol, check out our Holiday Party Safety Blog!
  • If you have a swimming pool on your property, be aware of the dangers and kids-at-swimming-pool.jpghow you can prevent accidents.¬†Prior to your party, make sure you have adequate anti-entrapment drain covers for your pool. ¬†During your party, have a designated adult who knows how to swim watching over swimming pool¬†activity at all times. Do not allow people who have consumed a lot of alcohol in or close to the pool. ¬†If at all possible, have someone at your party who has been CPR/First Aid trained. ¬†Learn more about swimming pool safety not just for your party, but for year round safety on the pool safety website.
  • Is your pet ready to party? Pet safety at parties is easy to overlook. Of course you¬†want to include your¬†pet in the festivities, but it‚Äôs important to honestly assess your pet before adding him or her to the guest¬†list. If your pet is aggressive in any way,¬†overly excitable, or very shy, he or she may not be a good¬†guest at the party and may be better off at the sitters for the day. ¬†Also, consider if any of your guests have allergies to pet dander. ¬†And, lastly, consider if your beloved pet can avoid eating the wrong things at a party. ¬†With so many guests and so many plates of food surrounding, your pet may snatch a bite of something you would never give him/her under normal circumstances or your guests may think it’s fun to give him/her some of the food available. ¬†Some food that we humans enjoy is toxic to our furry friends, so be sure that if your pet is wandering around your party someone is 51dhlAusXTL._SL500_.jpgwatching over him/her carefully to be sure no dangerous food is gobbled up.
  • A first aid kit is always important to have on hand in any household, but most especially when the number of people on your property is larger than usual. To learn how to build a first aid kit for you home (as well as your for your vehicle) and for other helpful first aid information visit the Healthy Essentials Website.
  • Earthquakes happen! Obviously your party would be the worst time for one, but it’s always best to be prepared! If you and your quests should be outdoors in the event of an earthquake, remember to¬†Move away from buildings, structures and utility wires. Once in the open, ‚ÄúDrop, Cover, and Hold On.‚ÄĚ Stay there until the shaking stops.¬†When the shaking stops, look around. If there is a clear path to safety, leave and go to an open space away from damaged areas.¬†If you are trapped, do not move around just call out for help so others at the party can locate you and assist. ¬†Be prepared to ‚ÄúDrop, Cover, and Hold on‚ÄĚ in the likely event of aftershocks. ¬†Once safe, monitor local news reports for emergency information and instructions. ¬†To learn more about earthquake safety and preparedness, please be sure to check out our earthquake safety blog for insightful information about preparedness and safety before, during an after an earthquake.

189f930fba5525b43a8a6d61fe82d65dThe best way to enjoy a party is safely.  Being prepared for emergencies and using preventative tactics is the easiest way to ensure a safe but great time for you and your guests.

Close Range Safety Training Academy shares helpful blogs about your safety and health regularly and we’d love for you to follow our blog! We look forward to you having a safe, healthy and happy celebration and life!

 

Safeguard Your Home with These Organizational Tips for a Secure 2017

Among all the resolutions we make for a new year, keeping a safe home for our loved ones and ourselves should be a priority. These simple tips will help prevent accidents that occur every day in homes across America.  

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Many of us tend to forget recommended seasonal responsibilities, but often want to start fresh and more organized in the new year. It’s easy to overlook basic household items so reminders are always a great way to refresh your memory. We recommend you print this list of tips and refer to it every three months to keep your home safe and happy in the new year.

  • Verify that your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working and have new batteries.
  • Change any outside lights that have burned out.
  • Look around for anything broken — and fix it or get rid of it!
  • Review all medications and discard anything that is out of date.
  • Verify that your fire extinguisher(s) is up to date and working; replace if necessary.
  • Prevent fires by removing any empty air fresheners that are used in electrical sockets.
  • Review your Family Escape Plan with all family members (including the furry ones)— might be a good idea to practice it too.¬† Include at least 2 ways to escape from each room and define a specific meeting place outside.
  • Update your first aid kit with any missing items.¬† Be sure to have¬†bandages, gloves, scissors, tweezers, antibiotic treatment, a cold pack, disposable bags, and a first aid manual.
  • Are there any trip hazards in your home? Move cables, electrical cords and similar items out of the way by placing them inside your walls, against your baseboards or under your carpet.
  • Check your home for mold (in and around your bathtubs, underneath your faucets, and¬†your attic and basement) – if you locate mold, contact a professional service to have it removed.
  • Check your home for rodents or droppings (in cabinets, closets, attics and basements). ¬†Not only are rodents a burden, but their droppings can be toxic to the air you breathe.
  • Your air quality also depends on your furnace and air conditioning filters as well as the ducts that circulate the air throughout your home – be sure to check the condition of these important items and make necessary replacements.
  • Verify that all your computers have up-to-date anti-virus and identity theft protection software active.
  • If there are small children in your household, make sure all dangerous items (such as chemical cleaning supplies) are in child proof/locked cabinets.
  • Make sure windows are locked when not opened and when opened be sure a screen is in place to protect you from outdoor rodents from entering your home and to protect small children and animals from escaping
  • Also, if you use blinds on your windows did you know the cords can cause strangulation in small children and pets? Be sure the cords are tied and placed out of reach.

The National Safety Council reminds us to be certain you update your safety plan and make sure all of your safety equipment is functioning seasonally. 


Be sure to follow us for more safety tips and information throughout the year! 

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Tis the Season for a Home Inspection: DIY Tips for a Safe and Secure Home

Experts say that a little home maintenance goes a long way and saves you money.  For example, trimming away tree branches near or touching your roof can extend the life of your shingles.  This example and many other items also happen to be the minor issues that can make or break the value of your home.  Did you know that poor home maintenance can signify lack of pride in ownership, which can lower the value of your home and legally is a breach of your home insurance contract?

Contractors recommend seasonal detailed inspections of your home along with a regular routine of simply paying attention to the little things. (Regionally the things you need to check may vary.  Most property insurance companies offer regional checklists for homeowners.)

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Here is a recommended list of things you should check out on your home regularly as well as seasonally:

Check your roof for leaks or damage 

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Check for things like¬†peeling shingles or holes.¬† Be sure to check around vents, skylights and chimneys carefully to be sure there are no gaps or leaks.¬† If you discover any issues, resolve them as quickly as possible.¬† If you can’t resolve immediately, patch the area to protect from further damage while you await repairs.¬† Also, if you discover damage, be sure to check the interior of your home in the same area for ceiling damage

Keeping the air moving in your attic is a must!

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If you don’t have a ridge vent, be sure you keep your gable vents open year round for proper ventilation.

Keep your gutters clean!

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Clogged gutters and drain pipes can also result in damage to your home. Make sure downspouts drain away from your foundation and are clear of debris.

Replace your Air Conditioning filters!

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Filtering the air is only a small part of the necessary filtering for home maintenance.¬† Not only should you replace your Air Conditioning filters¬†once a month¬†but also check your dryer ventilation and stove ventilation to make sure passageways are clear without obstruction and working properly.¬† Check these both internally and externally. ¬†Most of us don’t think about this until a problem occurs, but with light maintenance you can extend the life of your unit and avoid possible home damage from flooding units. ¬†Keeping your dryer vent clean saves energy and extends the life of your dryer as well.

Detectors are critical! 

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Ensure that all your smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers are in good working order.  Replace batteries as needed.

Regularly check your plumbing 

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Feel¬†the pipes for leaks and looking underneath.¬† If you find a leak, do your best to prevent damage and repair.¬† Often pipes spread or loosen over time as your home shifts and most of us don’t think to check this on a regular basis.¬† You will be surprised at the minor leaks you can discover under a sink.¬† And, though a leak can be minor, the damage can be major over time.¬† While checking your plumbing, be sure to check the hose connections for your washing machine and dishwasher and the tubing connections for your ice maker.

Check for Mold! 

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In the bathrooms, be sure to check shower and tub surrounds for any signs of damage or mold as well as your toilet supply/shut-off valve.

Window Seals Needed! 

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Regardless of the season, drafty doors and windows cost money! A large enough draft invites damaging rodents into your home, but even a small draft can suck away energy costing you hundreds! Replace seals as needed.

No Holes Allowed! 

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Check the exterior of your home for cracks or holes in your siding or paint.  Replace caulk immediately if you see areas where it has cracked or fallen away leaving a gap without a seal.  Also, when you discover any damage Рverify that it is caused by wear and tear instead of rodents.

Know Your Water Heater Condition! 

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Check your water heater thoroughly to verify that it is in proper running condition without leaks.  At least once a year you should drain the water heater and remove sediment from the bottom of the tank.  This will also extend the life of this very expensive appliance.

No Pests Allowed! 

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Check your home for termites and other rodents by doing a full walk around inspection of the exterior of your home and also checking your attic if able.¬† Signs would include droppings, heavy dust piles, and holes. Remember, never store firewood within 2 feet of your home and always store it at least 18″ above ground to prevent termites.

Check the Sockets! 

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Electrical fires remain one of the main reasons for total home losses due to house fires.  Prevention is key and takes little effort.  Walk around your home to check all of your outlets for proper hot, neutral and ground.  Check all electrical cords to ensure there is no damage.  Remove outdated electric air fresheners from outlets and do not leave active air fresheners in outlets when not in use.


Staying on top of regular home maintenance helps you avoid costly repairs or worse! Scheduling seasonal inspections is a great way to start doing what you can to prevent hazards and expenses that you don’t need while also making your home a better place to live. ¬†Now is the time to get your home back to 100% so you can relax and enjoy your family and friends!

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