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Week of April 22, 2019

Drones for military use are an effective means of surveilance of an area that is unsafe and also a great way to avoid casualties.  When it comes to OSHA, the use of drones is becoming more of a reality!  Initially they were being used following worksite accidents and for areas that were considered too dangerous to enter.  But now it is becoming an efficient way to scope out a facility for inspection.  Currently OSHA can only use drones when it is agreed to by the employer.  There is a fine line that OSHA or any organization should not cross so that its trade secrets cannot be compromised.  Unless an emergency warrants the use of a drone or an employer agrees to the use of a drone during an inspection, then that strategy should be acceptable.  Drone use is going to increase dramatically in the very near future.  It just depends on how far the reach goes.  When used as a helpful tool to help save lives and used as the first line of access to a hazardous situation, it can only benefit everyone.  But there needs to be a rules so that rights are not violated.  Read more in EHS Today about OSHA Drones.


Fire Safety Planning For Your Family


Fire Statistics are Alarming

Most people think that a fire will never happen in their home. Statistics do not support that belief.  Each year 1.5 million people are injured in fires. Most of them will never return to a normal life.  Fire protection of your home takes some careful planning in the area of fire safety.  There are simple steps that you can take to ensure that your family is protected.

Smoke Alarms Are Your First Line Of Defense

The first step in a fire safety plan is to equip your home with smoke alarms. Test the alarms at regular intervals.  Choose a day of the month and mark it on your calendar.  Do the testing of the smoke alarms every month on the same day. If you have battery operated smoke alarms change the batteries in the spring and fall when you change your clocks.

Wireless Smoke Alarms Offer Even More Protection

Newer homes built after 1993 were required to be built with an interconnected smoke alarm system. This law enhances the fire safety of most new homes. Houses that were built prior to 1993 were not required to have an interconnected system. If your house was built after 1993, the new wireless interconnected smoke alarm system should be a consideration.  It is much less costly than an interconnected smoke alarm system that is built into the walls.  The system is easy to install and not very expensive. It offers maximum protection for your family in case of a fire. The added fire safety feature with an interconnected smoke alarm system is that once one alarm in the system sounds, every alarm sounds. Your family is alerted of danger much sooner and therefore has a better chance of being able to get out of the house.

Have A Fire Extinguisher On Hand
Install a fire extinguisher within ten feet of your kitchen. This is a law in many states.  If a fire was to start, the fire extinguisher would be there to aid in putting out the fire. Be sure that all family members know how to use the device.
Fire Escape Ladders Provide A Means To Escape


Included in your fire safety plan, a fire escape ladder should be in all rooms in floors above the first level.  As with all fire protection and fire safety products, be sure that each family member is instructed in the use of the ladder.  These ladders are extremely compact and will fit neatly under a bed. They are sold for both second and third floors.  If smoke and fire have engulfed the first floor, a fire escape ladder can aid in the evacuation of your family from the house.
Make Sure That Your Family Knows What To Do
Practice fire drills with your family.  Be certain that they would know what to do in this type of emergency situation.  It’s a good idea to make children aware of the dangers of fire. They should know about the importance of fire safety starting at a young age.  This knowledge would be there for them to use if they are away from home.  If your child is at a friends house sleeping over for the night, rest assured that they know the urgency of evacuating the house immediately upon hearing the sounding of a smoke alarm.
Candles Can Be Dangerous
Be extra careful when using candles.  Many senseless fires occur in homes where candles are burning too closely to curtains and linens. When placing a candle in your home to burn, be sure to position it in an area away from any item that could catch on fire.  Never leave a candle burning unattended.  If you leave the room, blow the candle out for fire safety.
Inspect Your Electrical Cords And Outlets


Electrical outlets should be checked periodically for overheating.  They should be unplugged immediately if the outlet is overheated. Do not overload the outlets.  Power strips are available with an over current protector that will automatically shut off when too much current is being drawn. Inspect all electrical cords and plugs for damage as you execute your fire safety plan.  If damaged, do not tape it; replace the cord!  Whenever extension cords are needed, tape the cord along the baseboard to prevent the furniture legs or wheels from cutting into the cord which could cause a short and possible fire.
Automatice Shut-Offs Offer Peace Of Mind


Appliances with automatic shut off features should be purchased when planning for fire safety.  If you are in a hurry and forget to turn off an appliance, at least you can be assured that the automatic shut off feature will take over and the appliance will shut off automatically.
A Fire Safety Plan Ensures Your Family's Safety


Don’t let your loved ones be one of the 1.5 million people injured in a fire this year!  Careful fire safety planning will ensure the safety of your family.  If a fire ever did start in your home, your family would have all of the necessary knowledge about fire safety and the necessary fire safety products available to help them quickly and safely escape.
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