Holiday Season Safety

The National Safety Council offers these suggestions to help make your holiday season merry and safe.

Decorations

Wear gloves while decorating with spun glass “angel hair.” It can irritate your eyes and skin. A common substitute is non-flammable cotton. Both angel hair and cotton snow are flame retardant when used alone. However, if artificial snow is sprayed onto them, the dried combination will burn rapidly. When spraying artificial snow on windows or other surfaces, be sure to follow directions carefully. These sprays can irritate your lungs if you inhale them.christmas_tree_by_dreamingindigital-dg01qd1

Fireplaces

You should not try to burn evergreens or wreaths in the fireplace or in a wood stove to dispose of them. They are likely to flare out of control and send flames and smoke into the room. Also, do not burn wrapping paper in the fireplace because it often contains metallic materials which can be toxic if burned.

Candles

Never use lighted candles near trees, boughs, curtains/drapes, or with any potentially flammable item.

Toys & Gifts

Be especially careful when you choose toys for infants or small children. Be sure anything you give them is too big to getChristmas_presents_2416800b caught in the throat, nose or ears. Avoid toys with small parts that can be pulled or broken off. If you are giving toys to several children in one family, consider their age differences and the chances that younger children will want to play with older kids’ toys.

Older Adults

Select gifts for older adults that are not heavy or awkward to handle. For persons with arthritis, make sure the gift does not require assembly and can be easily opened and closed. Choose books with large type for anyone with vision impairment.

Plants

Small children may think that holiday plants look good enough to eat. But many plants can cause severe stomach problems. Plants to watch out for include: mistletoe, holly berries, Jerusalem cherry, and amaryllis. Keep all of these plants out of children’s reach.

Food and CookingChristmas-dinner-kates-place

The holidays often mean preparing large meals for family and friends. Wash hands, utensils, sink, and anything else that has come in contact with raw poultry. Keep in mind that a stuffed bird takes longer to cook. For questions concerning holiday turkey preparation and cooking call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-800-535-4555. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers in covered shallow containers (less than two inches deep) within two hours after cooking. Date the leftovers for future use.

Alcohol, Parties & Driving

Being a smart party host or guest should include being sensible about alcoholic drinks. More than half of all trafficchristmas-glasses fatalities are alcohol-related. Use designated drivers, people who do not drink, to drive other guests home after a holiday party.

Stress

The holiday season is one of the most stressful times of the year. You can’t avoid stress completely, but you can give yourself some relief. Allow enough time to shop rather than hurry through stores and parking lots. Only plan to do a reasonable number of errands. When shopping, make several trips out to the car to drop off packages rather than trying to carry too many items. Take time out for yourself. Relax, read, or enjoy your favorite hobby at your own pace.

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Don’t Be Spooked by Halloween Hazards

Halloween is a cherished tradition but the excitement of the night can cause children to forget to be careful. There is no real “trick” to making Halloween a real treat for the entire family. The major dangers are not from witches or spirits butHalloween-Candle rather from falls and pedestrian/car crashes. Many communities officially designate a “Beggars’ Night” and assign specific hours for trick-or-treat activities. Both children and adults need to think about safety on this annual day of make-believe.

Motoristsprius 1_1

iidon Security Associates urges motorists to be especially alert on Halloween.
• Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs.
• Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
• At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.

Parents

Before children start out on their “trick or treat” rounds, parents should:
• Make sure that an adult or an older responsible youth will be supervising the outing for children under age 12.
• Plan and discuss the route trick-or-treaters intend to follow.
• Know the names of older children’s companions.
• Instruct your children to travel only in familiar areas and along an established route.
• Teach your children to stop only at houses or apartment buildings that are well-lit and never to enter a stranger’s home.
• Establish a return time.
• Tell your youngsters not to eat any treat until they return home.
• Review all appropriate trick-or-treat safety precautions, including pedestrian/traffic safety rules.
• Pin a slip of paper with the child’s name; address and phone number inside a pocket in case the youngster gets separated from the group.

Costume Design

• Only fire-retardant materials should be used for costumes.
• Costumes should be loose so warm clothes can be worn underneath.Halloween_trick_or_treaters_0
• Costumes should not be so long that they are a tripping hazard. (Falls are the leading cause of unintentional injuries on Halloween.)
• If children are allowed out after dark, outfits should be made with light colored materials. Strips of retro-reflective tape should be used to make children visible.

Face Design

• Masks can obstruct a child’s vision. Use facial make-up instead.
• When buying special Halloween makeup, check for packages containing ingredients that are labeled “Made with U.S. Approved Color Additives,” “Laboratory Tested,” Meets Federal Standards for Cosmetics,” or “Non-Toxic.”
• Follow manufacturer’s instruction for application.
• If masks are worn, they should have nose and mouth openings and large eye holes.

Accessories

• Knives, swords and other accessories should be made from cardboard or flexible materials. Do not allow children to carry sharp objects.
• Bags or sacks carried by youngsters should be light-colored or trimmed with retro-reflective tape if children are allowed out after dark.
• Carrying flashlights will help children see better and be seen more clearly.

On The Way

iidon Security Associates urges motorists to be especially alert on Halloween.
• Do not enter homes or apartments without adult supervision.trick-or-treaters-safety-tips
• Walk; do not run, from house to house. Do not cross yards and lawns where unseen objects or the uneven terrain can present tripping hazards.
• Walk on sidewalks, not in the street.
• Walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic if there are no sidewalks.

Treats

• Give children an early meal before going out.
• Insist that treats be brought home for inspection before anything is eaten.
• Wash fruit and slice into small pieces.
• When in doubt, throw it out.

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A Good Term

How to Minimize Risk During a Termination

Terminations are typically difficult for all of those involved. The termination meeting is usually stressful for the person being terminated, but often, it’s also the same on feeling the other side of the table. This stress can be alleviated byTerm Paper having a process in place ahead of time and following some simple tips. This should help your company reduce liability and conduct the termination as safely as possible.

Location
Terminations should usually be done on site and in person. The termination should also be conducted in a secure and private area not within view of other employees as this allows for the person being let go to save face as well as not damaging the morale of the rest of the office. By conducting the termination on site, you will be in control of the environment and will also be able to gather any company property or information from the employee.

Timing
While there is never a “good” time to be fired or laid off, some times are better than others. Anytime right before or after holidays, vacations, or other major events should always be avoided. As much as a Friday may make sense for atermination sad termination meeting due to pay schedules and other details, it often isn’t the case. An employee terminated on a Friday will have a weekend to let that bad news simmer and will not have an positive avenue to direct those feelings. Whereas an employee terminated on Monday, will have the ability to immediately begin their job hunt for their next opportunity and to file for unemployment benefits as well as take care of other personal business. In most office settings, early to mid-afternoon often works best as there are fewer people in the office than in the mornings, so that the disruption to the work environment and the potential embarrassment for the person being terminated are kept to a minimum.

Participants

Who all should be there? Typically there only needs to be the manager or decision maker present along with a HumanAngry Term Resources representative and the employee being terminated present during the meeting. Avoid using legal or the company attorney during the termination meeting as they then become a witness and an involved party. If there is reason to believe there is risk of a violent reaction, security should be notified, but kept largely out of sight until needed. If the employee being terminated is a member of a union, then he or she may have a right to a representative during the meeting.

Communication

Announce your decision. Bear in mind that being terminated is often one of the most stressful times in a person’s life. You should work to make sure that your own feelings and emotions do not make their way into the meeting. State the reason for the termination, your obligation to the company to follow through with the decision, and do not apologize. Be confident and speak clearly. It is simply a business decision and should be treated as such.

Answers

Be prepared for the question of “Why?”. Even in cases where the cause of termination appears to be obvious to everyone involved, which may not be the case with the person being terminated. To prepare, review the past personnel history of the person being terminated beforehand. There should be a clear process including cause and effect laid out ahead of time. A termination should not come as a complete surprise except possibly in the case of layoffs. Never refer to the personal characteristics of the person being terminated or cite an opinion as a reason for the decision. Stick with the personnel and performance history and do not attempt to change the reasons to protect the terminated person’s feelings.

Follow Through

As soon as the termination meeting is concluded, you may feel that the process is finished, but it is not. Your goal needs to be to get the terminated person out of your office with as few problems as possible and with the least amount ofWalk out embarrassment for them. Try to never allow an employee to stay and get things in order. The HR representative should conduct the escort for the walk out, never use the decision maker in this function, it will only prolong the stress of the termination and will possibly lead to personal issues coming to a head. If you have the ability to ship the person’s personal belongings to them, then the employee can be walked out immediately. If not, then the HR representative should escort the person to their desk and pay close attention to the items being taken. A proper termination requires preparation. IT should be notified ahead of time to remove access and possibly assets during the termination meeting. An employee has no legal right to retrieve personal information stored on a company computer. Payroll should have a final paycheck prepared as well. If the terminated employee relies on public transportation, you may want to inquire as to whether the company would be willing to provide a taxi to alleviate stress and demonstrate empathy.

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Heat Stroke: Prevention

From WebMD

When the heat index is high, it’s best to stay in an air-conditioned environment. If you must go outdoors, you can prevent heat stroke by taking these steps:

• Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing, and a wide-brimmed hat.hydrate

• Use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or more.

• Drink extra fluids. To prevent dehydration, it’s generally recommended to drink at least eight glasses of water, fruit juice, or vegetable juice per day. Because heat-related illness also can result from salt depletion, it may be advisable to substitute an electrolyte-rich sports drink for water during periods of extreme heat and humidity.

• Take additional precautions when exercising or working outdoors. The general recommendation is to drink 24 ounces of fluid two hours before exercise, and consider adding another 8 ounces of water or sports drink right before exercise. During exercise, you should consume another 8 ounces of water every 20 minutes, even if you don’t feel thirsty.

• Reschedule or cancel outdoor activity. If possible, shift your time outdoors to the coolest times of the day, either early morning or after sunset.

• Monitoring the color of your urine. Darker urine is a sign of dehydration. Be sure to drink enough fluids to maintain very light-colored urine.Sweaty Guy

• Measuring your weight before and after physical activity. Monitoring lost water weight can help you determine how much fluid you need to drink.

• Avoid fluids containing caffeine or alcohol, because both substances can make you lose more fluids and worsen heat-related illness. Also, do not take salt tablets unless your doctor has told you to do so. The easiest and safest way to replace salt and other electrolytes during heat waves is to drink sports beverages or fruit juice.

• Check with your doctor before increasing liquid intake if you have epilepsy or heart, kidney, or liver disease; are on fluid-restricted diets; or have a problem with fluid retention.

• If you live in an apartment or house without fans or air conditioning, try to spend at least two hours each day –heatwave-fan preferably during the hottest part of the day — in an air-conditioned environment. At home, draw your curtains, shades, or blinds during the hottest part of the day, and open windows at night on two sides of your building to create cross-ventilation.

• If you’re a senior who either can’t afford to buy or run an air conditioner, check with your local Area Agency on Aging for programs that can assist you. One such program is the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

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Fireworks Safety

Independence Day generally isn’t usually complete without the image of fireworks bursting in the sky to a chorus of “oohs” and “ahs” from an awe filled crowd below. This is a long ongoing tradition and has brought generations of AmericansFireworks Family together to celebrate the birth of our nation since, well, the birth of our nation. While the word “fireworks” may conjure images of eye patches and missing digits to the more cautious of you, there are some tips to make sure that your Fourth is as safe and enjoyable as possible.

First off, know your local laws about where you can buy and use fireworks. Many local municipalities outlaw even the POSSESSION of fireworks within city limits. Burn bans and drought conditions can also affect the legality of using fireworks at a location where it would otherwise be legal. No one wants to end their family fireworks show by going to jail or explaining how a wildfire got started.

Common Sense Fireworks Safety Tips:
Courtesy of the National Council on Fireworks Safety

• Know your fireworks; Read the warning labels and performance descriptions before igniting.

• Have a designated shooter to organize and shoot your family show.fireworks

• Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.

• Parents and caretakers should always closely supervise teens if they are using fireworks.

• Parents should not allow young children to handle or use fireworks.

• Fireworks should only be used outdoors.

• Always have water ready if you are shooting fireworks.

• Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.

• Wear safety glasses whenever using fireworks.

• Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.

• Soak spent fireworks with water before placing them in an outdoor garbage can.

• Never attempt to alter or modify consumer fireworks and use them only in the manner in which they were intended.

• Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.

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Active Shooter Response

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While exceptionally rare, an active shooter event is often what most people fear and think of when it comes to workplace security. These events unfold quickly and often unpredictably. Do NOT wait for an announcement if you believe you may be in an active shooter incident. Take action immediately. Having a plan in place ahead of time can help you transform that fear into action. The easiest thing to remember is the Run, Hide, Fight mantra of this video produced by the City of Houston Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security.

Run/ Evacuate:
• Have an escape plan in mind.
• Leave your belongings behind.
• Keep your hands visible.
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Hide Out:
• Turn off the lights.
• Silence all cell phones.
• Stay silent.
• Hide in an area outside the shooter’s view.
• Block entry to your hiding place and lock doors.

Take Action/ Fight:
• Only as a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger.
• Attempt to incapacitate the shooter.
• Have the will to survive.
• Use available tools in the room to survive.
• Speed is essential.

Arrival of Law Enforcement:
• Remain calm and follow the officer’s instructions.
• Immediately raise hands and spread fingers.
• Keep your hands visible at all times.
• Avoid making quick movements towards officers such as trying to hold onto them for safety.
• Avoid pointing, screaming, or yelling.
• Do not stop to ask officers for help or direction when evacuating. Just exit in the same direction from which the officers are entering the area.
• The first officers on the scene are there to stop the shooter, medical help will come later.

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Heat Stroke: Symptoms and Treatment

From WebMD

Heat stroke is the most serious form of heat injury and is a medical emergency. If you suspect that someone has heat stroke — also known as sunstroke — you should call 911 immediately and render first aid until paramedics arrive.heat-therm
Heat stroke can kill or cause damage to the brain and other internal organs. Although heat stroke mainly affects people over age 50, it also takes a toll on healthy young athletes.

Heat stroke often occurs as a progression from milder heat-related illnesses such as heat cramps, heat syncope (fainting), and heat exhaustion. But it can strike even if you have no previous signs of heat injury.

Heat stroke results from prolonged exposure to high temperatures — usually in combination with dehydration — which leads to failure of the body’s temperature control system. The medical definition of heat stroke is a core body temperature greater than 105 degrees Fahrenheit, with complications involving the central nervous system that occur after exposure to high temperatures. Other common symptoms include nausea, seizures, confusion, disorientation, and sometimes loss of consciousness or coma.

Symptoms of Heat Stroke
The hallmark symptom of heat stroke is a core body temperature above 105 degrees Fahrenheit. But fainting may be the first sign.

Other symptoms may include:
• Throbbing headache
• Dizziness and light-headednessheatstroke
• Lack of sweating despite the heat
• Red, hot, and dry skin
• Muscle weakness or cramps
• Nausea and vomiting
• Rapid heartbeat, which may be either strong or weak
• Rapid, shallow breathing
• Behavioral changes such as confusion, disorientation, or staggering
• Seizures
• Unconsciousness

First Aid for Heat Stroke

If you suspect that someone has a heat stroke, immediately call 911 or transport the person to a hospital. Any delay seeking medical help can be fatal.

While waiting for the paramedics to arrive, initiate first aid. Move the person to an air-conditioned environment — or at least a cool, shady area — and remove any unnecessary clothing.

If possible, take the person’s core body temperature and initiate first aid to cool it to 101 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit. If no thermometers are available, don’t hesitate to initiate first aid.

You may also try these cooling strategies:
• Fan air over the patient while wetting his or her skin with water from a sponge or garden hose.heat-stroke
• Apply ice packs to the patient’s armpits, groin, neck, and back. Because these areas are rich with blood vessels close to the skin, cooling them may reduce body temperature.
• Immerse the patient in a shower or tub of cool water, or an ice bath.
• If emergency response is delayed, call the hospital emergency room for additional instructions.

After you’ve recovered from heat stroke, you’ll probably be more sensitive to high temperatures during the following week. So it’s best to avoid hot weather and heavy exercise until your doctor tells you that it’s safe to resume your normal activities.

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