As the new school year kicks off, let’s all come together to ensure the safety of our children on the roads. Drivers – keep a watchful eye and follow these tips:
- Slow down: Be extra cautious around school zones and bus stops. Obey posted speed limits.
- Stop for buses: When a school bus extends its stop sign, it means kids are getting on or off. Wait until the sign is retracted and the bus starts moving again.
- Watch for crosswalks: Always stop for pedestrians at crosswalks and be especially cautious around school zones.
- Stay Alert: Kids can be hard to predict – they might run into the road unexpectedly. Stay focused, attentive, and ready to react.
- Put your devices away: Distracted driving is dangerous driving. Keep your phone and other distractions out of reach while behind the wheel.
Let’s drive carefully this school year and set a good example for our young and new drivers!
Parents and caregivers, balancing fresh air and safety is key, especially when it comes to our little adventurers. Safeguard your home by installing sturdy window locks or guards/stoppers. While these are important to prevent falls, in the event of a fire, an escape through a window could also save a life. Teach your children about window safety as they grow, while also establishing an emergency escape plan that may include a window as an exit. Practice unlocking windows or removing stops/guards that are designated as secondary emergency exits on upper floors, as well as how to safely escape using a fire ladder. A few additional tips to prevent window falls:
- When young children are around, keep windows closed and locked.
- Always supervise children and keep areas around windows free of furniture that may enable climbing.
- Encourage play away from windows and balconies.
- Window screens are meant for bugs – they won’t prevent a fall and may create a false send of security.
We all know that curiosity is a natural part of a child’s growth journey, and sometimes that curiosity might lead them to explore objects like lighters and matches. Here are some essential tips to keep your little ones safe around fire-related items.
- Make sure lighters and matches are stored high up and out of your child’s sight and reach. A locked cabinet is a great option to prevent access.
- Invest in childproofing tools to secure areas where you store lighters and matches.
- Teach your kids about fire safety from a young age. Lighters and matches are not toys. Explain that these items are tools for adults only.
Lastly, teach your children what to do in case of a fire emergency. Help them understand that fire is not a toy, and knowing how to respond appropriately is crucial. Let’s keep those curious minds safe and sound.
Wildfire season is here, and it’s crucial to take steps to protect your property and promote a fire-safe environment. Here are some key tips to help you prepare now:
- Create defensible space: Clear out any dry vegetation, debris, and dead plants around your property. Maintain a buffer zone of at least 30 feet between structures and flammable vegetation.
- Note! It’s too dry to safely burn yard waste piles.
- Trim trees and shrubs: Regularly prune tree branches, ensuring a minimum of 10 feet of clearance from chimneys, roofs, and power lines. Remove any low-hanging branches near the ground.
- Clean your roof and gutters: Clear leaves, needles, and debris from gutters and roofs. These can easily ignite and contribute to the spread of fire.
- ⭐⭐⭐ Fortify your roof! Install or replace your roof with a Class A-rated roof with noncombustible coverings.
- In the event of fire, have a plan to access water: Purchase and install external sprinkler systems with dedicated power sources or a water tank, if no water source is available. Connect garden hoses long enough to reach any area of the home and fill garbage cans, tubs, or other large containers with water.
As we gear up for the summer heat, we want to keep pool safety on our minds. Before you jump into the pool, take a moment to read these important tips:
- Always supervise children when they’re in or near the pool. Never leave them unattended, even for a moment.
- Keep electrical devices away from the pool area. Never use electronic devices, such as radios or phones, while in the pool.
- In case of an emergency, call 911 immediately. If someone is in trouble, throw them a floatation device or use a long stick to pull them to safety.
Remember, pool safety is everyone’s responsibility. Stay safe and stay cool!
LIFEJACKET LOANER PROGRAM
Benton County Fire District 4 is one of several agencies that offer loaner lifejackets. Please call Slita Superawesome at (509) 967-2945 to arrange a pick-up time/location. Due to station renovations/repairs underway at Station 420, please call in advance so we can have lifejacket ready for you to pick-up. We cannot accommodate drop-ins this summer as Station 420 is not open to the public during construction.
ACT TO SAVE A LIFE CLASSES
ACT stands for “Antidote, CPR and Tourniquet” program. This one-hour class focuses on three skills you can use to save a life during the first few minutes of an emergency.
• Antidote for suspected opiate overdoses.
• CPR and AED training for cardiac arrest.
• Tourniquet for bleeding control.
Benton County Fire District #4 offers classes for interested parties. Contact us at (509) 967-2496 for more information.
SLIP AND FALL PREVENTION
According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than one-third of adults over 65 years of age fall each year. Falls can lead to hip fractures, traumatic brain injuries, and are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries in older adults – and they are mostly preventable. That’s why Benton County Fire District 4 has launched a program to reduce injury from slips and falls.
Firefighter/EMTs will now visit residents’ homes at their request and perform a comprehensive evaluation of the property exterior and interior. The inspections take approximately an hour. Once the survey is complete the Firefighter/EMT will sit down with the homeowner and review a list of recommendations to reduce the risk of injury from a fall. This initiative is the first step to Benton County Fire District 4 launching its own medical emergency prevention program called “FD Cares” (Fire Department Community Assistance, Referral and Educational Services) to reduce calls to 911 and lower health care costs. Historically, the fire district was simply there to put out fires. Now, a large part of what it does is prevention-related including safety inspections, educating the community about fire prevention through local schools, homes and area businesses, and now reducing injuries.
If you would like to schedule a complimentary fall prevention inspection, please contact Lieutenant Gaidos at (509) 967-2945 or [email protected].
- Always check for local fire danger and/or restrictions
- Never allow young children to handle fireworks
- Older children should use them only under close adult supervision
- Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear
- Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands
- Never light them indoors
- Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person
- Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting
- Never ignite devices in a container
- Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
- Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding
- Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire
- Never use illegal fireworks
Operational smoke alarms are your family’s first line of defense in case of fire. Benton County Fire District #4 encourages residents to purchase and install smoke alarms with 10-year Lithium 9V batteries. Take a few minutes today to ensure your home has the appropriate number of smoke alarms and that they are properly located, regularly tested and maintained.
• Place smoke alarms outside each sleeping area, inside any bedroom where the door is typically shut and every story of the house, including the basement.
• Test smoke alarms monthly.
• Clean smoke alarms regularly by vacuuming them with a brush attachment.
• Replace smoke alarms every 10 years to achieve optimum performance.
The fire district will change batteries and install new smoke alarms if a homeowner is unable to do so. Our ability to visit is limited due to the pandemic; however, your safety is our priority. Please contact Kevin Gaidos for more information about this program at (509) 967-2945 or [email protected].
Learn how to change batteries, smoke alarms, and troubleshooting for chirping detectors:
- Candles are safe products, but unless they are used safely and watched carefully, they can lead to an accidental fire.
- More than 15,000 candle fires are reported annually. According to fire experts, the bulk of candle-fire incidents are due to consumer inattention to basic fire safety or to the misuse of candles.
- The National Candle Association urges consumers to be careful when burning candles, and to following these rules for burning candles safely.
- Always keep a burning candle within sight. Extinguish all candles when leaving a room or before going to sleep.
- Never burn a candle on or near anything that can catch fire. Keep burning candles away from furniture, drapes, bedding, carpets, books, paper, flammable decorations, etc.
- Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets. Do not place lighted candles where they can be knocked over by children, pets or anyone else.
- Trim candlewicks to ¼ inch each time before burning. Long or crooked wicks cause uneven burning and dripping.
- Always use a candleholder specifically designed for candle use. The holder should be heat resistant, sturdy and large enough to contain any drips or melted wax.
- Be sure the candleholder is placed on a stable, heat-resistant surface. This will also help prevent possible heat damage to counters and table surfaces and prevent glass containers from cracking or breaking.
- Keep the wax pool free of wick trimmings, matches and debris at all times.
- Always read and follow the manufacturer’s use and safety instructions carefully. Don’t burn a candle longer than the manufacturer recommends.
- Keep burning candles away from drafts, vents, ceiling fans and air currents. This will help prevent rapid, uneven burning, and avoid flame flare-ups and sooting. Drafts can also blow lightweight curtains or papers into the flame where they could catch fire.
- Always burn candles in a well-ventilated room. Don’t burn too many candles in a small room or in a “tight” home where air exchange is limited.
- Don’t burn a candle all the way down. Extinguish the flame if it comes too close to the holder or container. For a margin of safety, discontinue burning a candle when 2 inches of wax remains or ½ inch if in a container.
- Never touch a burning candle or move a votive or container candle when the wax is liquid.
- Never use a knife or sharp object to remove wax drippings from a glass holder. It might scratch, weaken, or cause the glass to break upon subsequent use.
- Place burning candles at least three inches apart from one another. This is to make sure they don’t melt one another, or create their own drafts that will cause the candles to burn improperly.
- Use a candle snuffer to extinguish a candle. It’s the safest way to prevent hot wax from splattering.
- Never extinguish candles with water. The water can cause the hot wax to splatter and might cause a glass container to break.
- Be very careful if using candles during a power outage. Flashlights and other battery-powered lights are safer sources of light during a power failure. Never use a candle during a power outage to look for things in a closet, or when fueling equipment – such as a lantern or kerosene heater.
- Make sure a candle is completely extinguished and the wick ember is no longer glowing before leaving the room.
- Extinguish a candle if it smokes, flickers repeatedly, or the flame becomes too high. The candle isn’t burning properly and the flame isn’t controlled. Let the candle cool, trim the wick, then check for drafts before re-lighting.
- Never use a candle as a night light
Heat Lamps Use – Prevent Fires
If you are using a heat lamp outdoors this winter, please keep these safety tips in mind:
Do not plug extension cords together. This creates a fire hazard. Instead purchase an extension cord in the correct length for your heat lamp needs.
Check your extension cord for damage and check the wattage limit.
Keep heat lamps away from combustible fuels
Make sure that your lamp is safe for indoor use before using it inside of buildings.
Ensure that your lamp is secured into place and can not be knocked over by animals or pets.
Keep Cozy and Safe this Winter!
According to the National Fire Protection Association , home fires happen more often during the winter months than any other time of the year. With winter on its way, we want to share a few tips to keep your home safe this heating season:
Have your heating system checked annually and regularly maintained.
Ensure you have working smoke alarms installed in every bedroom and on every level of your home.
Make sure you have a carbon monoxide monitor.
Have yearly chimney inspections and cleanings.