Make time for safety in 2012

By Tyler J. Moffitt
The Safety Advocate

2012 is upon us! Making your home and workplace a safer place to live and work is a resolution we all should strive for.
Being aware of—and seeing—the risks in our day-to-day lives as we go about activities is crucial to others and ourselves.
One of the greatest health and safety concerns facing all Canadians are injuries and injury-related deaths.
Remember: injuries are not caused by accidents, but are the result of predictable and preventable events! If all Canadians embraced just some of the basic safety practices, injuries and injury-related deaths in Canada would be greatly reduced.
For example, every time we travel in a motor vehicle, we put ourselves at risk.
We can help reduce that risk by wearing our seat belt and following all the rules of the road, such as the speed limit, keeping a safe distance between ourselves and the vehicle ahead, as well as driving to the road and weather conditions.
Unfortunately, many of us still drive way too fast, as well as tailgate the vehicle ahead.
As well, many drivers still do not clear their vehicles of snow and ice before driving, which puts the drivers and all occupants at risk, as well as other drivers on the road.
Driving sober, with no impairment of any kind when you’re behind the wheel, is a practice that complements the previous one. However, past surveys done in Canada showed many Canadians are still drinking and driving.
Meanwhile, just before Christmas, I gave a family a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm as they did not have any in their home.
Homes with wood/oil burning or natural gas appliances, such as a furnace, hot water heaters, fireplaces, cooking stoves, grills, and kerosene heaters, need to have at least one CO alarm located near bedrooms.
I like the practice of having one on every level of the home.
Fires continue to claim the lives of Canadians across the country! Many of the victims are children—so many years of potential life lost!
Do you have working smoke alarms installed outside all sleeping areas, and inside bedrooms for people who sleep with door closed?
Do you have at least one smoke alarm located on every level of the home? Do you test all your smoke alarms at least once a month according to manufacturer’s instructions?
Remember: smoke alarms more than 10 years old need to replaced! Ten years is more than 87,000 hours of monitoring the atmosphere.
Safety—we can all make a difference!
Tyler J. Moffitt is a volunteer firefighter and emergency responder, as well as a continuous improvement advocate.

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