BWG Consumer Alert: October 2011

Enjoy a Safe Halloween
Halloween is a fun night. Kids get to trade in their school clothes for ghost and goblin costumes and circle the neighborhood collecting candy with friends. What's better than that? Enjoy this night with your children with our safety tips:

  • Supervise children. Never let children go trick-or-treating without adult supervision. 
  • Remember street safety. Remind children to use sidewalks and crosswalks whenever possible. 
  • Do not let your children cross the street in front of you. Make sure you are parallel to them so you can really see what is happening on the street.
  • Take along flashlights, glow sticks and reflective clothing. 
  • Reflective safety vests, arm bands and hats will also stand out to cars.

Click here for information on safe costumes from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.


Think Fire Prevention As You Prepare For Winter
Many of us are fully enjoying fall as the leaves change to vibrant shades of reds and oranges. But winter will soon be upon us and it is time to unpack those winter jackets, check home heating oil tanks and winterize your home.

Think fire prevention as you prepare for the changing seasons. One house fire is reported every 87 seconds in the United States. Many of these blazes occur during the late fall and winter months. Here are some steps you can take to protect your family and home:

  • Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms. Make sure your home has working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors on every floor.
  • Broken Cords. Check your appliances for broken parts and worn or cracked cords. Pull out winter-related products, such as space heaters and electric blankets. Never use a space heater with broken parts or cords. Throw it away. 
  • Inspections. Have fireplace flues and chimneys inspected now for leakage and blockages from debris.
  • Fire Escape Plan. Create a plan and do a practice drill twice a year.
  • Vents. Take a walk around your house and check your vents. Commit to keeping your vents clear when it snows so carbon monoxide cannot build up in your home.
  • Tenants. If you rent an apartment, check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. Look over any materials you received from your landlord when you first moved in about these alarms and fire safety. Many tenants often forget to check these alarms.
  • Landlord Concerns. Make sure you have two safe ways to exit the apartment. This is really important because we have handled cases where landlords have blocked off doors so they can rent out an extra room and make more money, in violation of fire regulations.
  • Contact Your Landlord or City Building Department. If you have any questions about fire safety, contact your landlord. If they are unresponsive, contact the city building inspector's office. They may be able to come out and inspect your apartment to make sure everything is up to code. If you are a college student, you may also be able to contact your school's student housing office.

State Law on Smoke Alarms, Carbon Monoxide Detectors As Daylight Saving Time Ends
On Nov. 6, we turn the clocks back an hour as Daylight Saving Time ends. The change is an important reminder to protect our family and homes by checking our smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Read more tips on our blog.

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