Smoke Detectors- This is one of the simplest things you can do to improve your chances of surviving a fire... but only if it works. Whenever you switch your clocks, switch your smoke detector batteries. Make sure to install detectors in every bedroom and the hallway as well - it's the building code.
Wildland Fires- Do you have a defensible perimeter around your house and property? Remove all vegetation within 30 feet, clean gutters and roof debris, trim tree branches 10 feet back, keep woodpiles 30 feet away, landscape with fire-resistant plants, and water regularly. Visit the Fire Safe Sonoma and CDF to learn more steps to save your house in a wildland fire. Download this report, Living with Fire and from the CDF website, download a homeowner checklist (572KB) or video (2.4MB).
Driving in Floods- Please, please, please - do not try and cross a road that has been closed to flooding. Even if your car's air intake is high enough, there is tremendous pressure from the moving water; it can literally lift and carry your car down stream. Floodwaters take hours to recede; don't assume that the water level has decreased since the rain has ended. The County Roads Department put up barricades to prevent such incidents, yet most of our rescues were people that drove around them. This put our volunteer firefighters into jeopardy when the situation was completely avoidable. When you see a Road Closed sign, please detour... it's not worth your life. If you see a Flooded sign- slow down, be ready, watch the oncoming cars cross, and proceed slowly (less than 5MPH). Speeding through standing water, or "getting a running start" as one rescued driver stated, will certainly flood your engine, short out your electrical system, and severely damage your car. Be aware, some insurance companies may not cover the damage, if you knowingly drove past warnings to the contrary.
Holiday Safety (large file, be patient)
- The holidays are a great time of the year. Please make it a safe
one as well. Keep your tree watered, make sure all lights are in good
shape, and keep all flames away. In the video to the right, it only
takes 5 seconds for the tree to become completely engulfed. Within 10
seconds, the furniture catches fire and it only takes 30 seconds for the
entire living room to flashover.
Child Car Seats- There is good news to report. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), 99% of all infants under one are now restrained in car seats as well as 94% of toddlers between 1-4 years old. In 1997, only 85% of infants and barely 60% of toddlers were restrained. Much of the success can be attributed to a national effort to educate and enforce car seat use. For example, infant and child-restraint seats are now mandatory for up through 6 years or 60 pounds and could soon broaden to include 8 years/80 pounds. In addition, a new 2005 law requires all children six and under to be in a rear seat and rear-facing car seats can never be installed where there is a front-seat air bag (e.g. a pickup). One of the newer safety features includes a top strap that secures behind the seat to prevent it from snapping forward during a crash. There is also a new standard, LATCH, for all automobile and child car seat manufacturers, which improves correct installation. With any car seat, make sure to read the instructions thoroughly, both for installation and use. In fact, the CHP will inspect the installation for free at their Rohnert Park office. Give them a call to set up an appointment at 588-1400. In their experience, 95% are installed wrong, thatís 19 out of every 20 seats! For additional information visit the CHP website (www.chp.ca.gov) and www.safekids.org, a national child safety organization. If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a traffic accident, your child seat must be replaced. The belts of the seat are made to stretch upon impact, similar to your seatbelt. Replacement of the child seat (and your seatbelt) is covered by your insurance; make sure to tell the claims inspector/repair shop which seats were occupied during the collision. Thank you for helping reduce this preventable tragedy. It may seem like nothing bothers firefighters, but seeing children hurt affects us more than anything else, especially when itís avoidable.
Earthquake Safety Quiz- http://www.nwcn.com/sharedcontent/features/flash/quake/during.html
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