Update: Jan. 6, 2014: Winter weather and extreme cold have been crossing the U.S. If you lose power, keep portable generators outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors. See below for more safety information. If you use a space heater to stay warm, follow these tips.
First Posted: Dec. 6, 2013
Dangerous ice and snow is sweeping across the plains, south, and heading east. There are expected to be widespread power outages associated with this large storm.
Are you planning on using a portable gas generator to help you during or after the storm this week?
When dealing with severe winter weather and power outages some people take unnecessary risks. Do not take extra risks with your generator. It can be deadly. (Take a look at this infographic to see just how deadly.) Its invisible odorless CO exhaust can kill you and your family in just minutes.
Be safe. Put your generator:
- OUTSIDE! Keep it at least 20 feet* away from windows and doors.
- Do NOT put generators in garages or basements. An open door does NOT provide enough ventilation to save you from deadly carbon monoxide gas.
When you use a generator, be sure to have a working CO alarm in your home. (Note: You should do this anyway.)
Finally, know the initial symptoms of CO poisoning:
- Shortness of breath
Get outside into fresh air quickly and call 911 immediately. Know what to do.
* Minimum distance recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Here’s more information on carbon monoxide.
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2014/01/winter-weather-alert-generators/
Do you have these wall-mounted IKEA children’s lamps in your home?
IKEA is recalling these lights and supplying you with free self-adhesive fasteners to attach the lamp’s cord to the wall.
Two children, a 16-month-old and a 15-month-old, got tangled in the lamp’s cord while the children were in their cribs. One child died, the other nearly strangled. In both of these instances, the children pulled the lamp cords into the crib.
Take down these lamps until you get and install the free repair kit from IKEA. Here’s IKEA’s contact information:
- Toll-free phone: (888) 966-4532 anytime
- Online at www.ikea-usa.com and click on the Recall link at the top of the page for more information.
This recall is the second in the past month involving cords strangling young children. In November, Angelcare announced a recall to repair movement and sound baby monitors after two deaths. Keep all cords possible at least 3 feet away from your baby’s crib. Here are more @OnSafety blogs explaining various kid/cord issues.
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2013/12/ikea-reporting-child-death-involving-wall-mounted-lamp-recall/
Blog in Spanish
Thanksgiving Day cooking fires are triple the number of cooking fires on an average day.
See the pan on fire:
Here’s what happens when you try to put out the fire with water:
The pan fire explodes.
Stand by your pan. In the event of a fire:
- Cover the pan with a lid to smother the flames.
- Turn off the stove.
- Call 911.
- Do NOT use water or flour on the fire. They can make the fire worse.
- Keep an extinguisher nearby and use it if necessary.
Similarly, a turkey fryer can go from start to fire in less than a minute.
- Never use a turkey fryer in a garage or on a porch.
- Always use the fryer outside and away from your home.
- Don’t overfill the fryer with oil.
- Don’t put a frozen turkey in hot oil.
For more fire safety tips, visit CPSC’s Fire Safety Information Center
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2013/11/stand-by-your-pan-thanksgiving-cooking-fire-prevention/
Blog in Spanish
Who doesn’t love fall Time Change Sunday? We get an extra hour. What are you going to do with your newfound time?
Here’s a thought: When you wake and find yourself with that extra hour, change all of the batteries in your smoke and CO alarms. Talk about time well spent.
Yes, it’s that important safety time of year, when we government folks, along with fire and other safety officials around the country, recommend that you spend some time focused on safety. There’s good reason for this, as these alarms save lives. Remember, they can only do their job if you do yours.
When you do this:
Take a few moments to do this, too:
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2013/10/replace-your-smoke-alarm-and-co-alarm-batteries-this-sunday/
Earlier this week, we participated in a #CordSafety Twitter chat. These chats are useful to spread safety advice. Chats also give everyone insight into what parents are doing in their homes. Here’s an important question that was posed in the chat:
The number of people who said they tie up the cords and place them up high surprised us. Here’s a sample of the responses:
- When my kids were smaller, we tied up the cords to top of the blinds. Revisited often.
- I tie them up and keep them out reach. From window cords to appliance cords.
- Answer – rooms with blinds have the cords tied up at the top of the window.
- I tie them in a loose bow, well out of reach. Keep furniture away, that they could stand on, teach safety
Tie ‘em up is risky. It gives parents a false sense of security. Cords can, and do, get tangled. Sometimes, this happens after parents tie the cords up to childproof the cords.
One child strangles in window cords nearly every month. Kids can easily wrap dangling or accessible cords around their necks and get tangled. Even cords tied up and high can be accessible to young children. There have been incidents of well-intentioned, tied up cords that have ended tragically.
Take a look at our blog on Kids and Cords from 2010. In there, we tell you about parents who regularly tried to tie hanging window covering cords up so that they did not hang down. Dad left his 22-month-old son for about 10 minutes, only to find him strangled in tangled cords.
This incident is not the only tragic tale of the “tie them up” approach. That’s why we recommend the following options for families with young children:
- Cordless: Self explanatory. This is the safest option.
- Shades with inaccessible cords: You shouldn’t be able to grab onto a cord in any way.
The top two are the best options. If new window coverings truly aren’t an option in your budget install a retrofit kit. These kits are a short-term fix, especially for mini-blinds made before 2000. Just remember that these kits do not address all the hazards posed by cords.
Exposed cords must be inaccessible to children. Tying them up and/or knotting them up can be dangerous. Look for products that are specifically designed to keep the cords out of sight and reach. If you don’t go cordless now, make the cords in your home inaccessible.
For more information on window covering cord safety, please visit CPSC’s Window Covering Cords Information Center.
This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2013/10/window-covering-cords-dont-tie-them-up-get-them-away-from-children/