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Fire Safety: How to Protect Your Home During the Holiday Season

During the holidays, all too often in our rush to get everything done to make the season special we overlook some of the basic safety precautions necessary to make everything magical. Home fires is one of the leading causes of holiday disasters and these fires are more often than not, completely preventable. Rapid Refile, LLC, a document restoration and disaster recovery service, has put together a very helpful fire prevention guide for home owners to follow this holiday season to ensure a safe and disaster-free celebration.

The following is some of the recommendations they have compiled (see full article for references):

Christmas Tree Safety and Fire Prevention:

* Keep trees securely upright in a stand to ensure that it will not accidentally tip over or be knocked over by children or pets.

* Keep your tree away from any and all heat sources.

* Make sure natural trees are well watered.

* If you have purchased an artificial tree, please make sure it is labeled "fire retardant".

* Unplug the tree lights before leaving your home or before going to bed.

* Avoid using real candles on a tree. Real Christmas trees contain natural oils that are very flammable, especially if the tree is dry.

* Use a maximum of three strands of tree lights on a single extension cord.

Holiday Lighting Safety:

* Unplug any lighting, indoor and out, before going to bed.

* Never leave any candles unattended.

* Avoid using live candles with a flame on windowsills and mantles.

* Do not let pets or children chew on strands of lights.

* Make sure the cords used for lights and other decorations are not frayed.

* Do not run electrical wires under rugs.

* Make sure all candles are in sturdy holders that will not tip over and are placed away from furniture and other home accessories.

* Trim candle wicks to a ¼-inch in height.

Fireplace & Woodstove Fire Prevention:

* Have a professional inspect your fireplace annually.

* Inspect your stove or fireplace for any cracks regularly.

* Always use a screen in front of your fireplace while it is burning.

* Do not burn your Christmas tree, wreaths, or leftover wrapping paper in a fireplace or stove.

Additional Fire Prevention and Fire Safety Tips:

* Exercise caution if using a space heater in a bedroom. Never place a heater next to a bed, as blankets could ignite. Place the heater in a place where a sleepy person getting up in the middle of the night will not trip over it.

* Keep fire extinguishers handy on every level of your home in a place where they can be easily accessed. Keep an extinguisher in your kitchen and by any fireplaces or stoves.

It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of the season and forget some of these basic and not so basic rules for keeping a home and your family safe from a potential fire hazard. Take the time to look over your family room, bedrooms and any other place where you may have a fireplace, heater or Christmas tree to ensure you have a fire disaster-free holiday season.


Uses For An Led Flashlight In Your Car

When you are navigating the roadways, it's important to remember that anything can happen to you and your vehicle at any time. Your vehicle could breakdown, you could get a flat tire, you could be in an accident or you may come across one. When any of these events happen to you, it helps if you are prepared. One of the ways that you can be prepared for any eventuality is to have an emergency kit in your vehicle. You can purchase them at a hardware or outdoors store - a compact emergency kit that fits nicely into your vehicle without being in the way. They usually contain candles, an emergency blanket, flares, road cones, waterproof matches, and a flashlight or emergency light source.

There are, of course, many uses for a flashlight or emergency light sources in your vehicle, especially if you are in a collision, have a flat tire, or if your vehicle breaks down. Where any light source will come in handy, most experts recommend having a LED flashlight or light source in your car because of they have a longer battery and bulb light than traditional flashlights, have a brighter, further-reaching light beam, and come in smaller, compact forms that are easier to carry in your car.

For a vehicle breakdown, a flashlight or emergency light source can help you:

* Flag down traffic for assistance

* Keep your vehicle visible if you have no working lights. You can use the flashlight to act as a taillight. This will allow oncoming traffic to see you and be able to get out of the way and avoid hitting you.

* Act as a flashing signal light - many of the emergency light sources have a flashing light on them as well that can act like hazard lights on your vehicle, once again alerting other drivers of your whereabouts.

* See what's wrong with your vehicle. If you have no power, you may be able to fix it yourself, but it's quite difficult to do on a dark road at night with no light. A flashlight or emergency light source can help you look into the problem with your vehicle and maybe even aid you in making the repairs.

* Help you fix a flat tire - while the flashlight won't be able to loosen those lug nuts for you, it can certainly shed some light on the situation. Also, because you will be crouching and sitting on the side of the road, other motorists may not see you. Having a flashlight or emergency light source will alert other drivers that you are also on the roadway and increase your safety while you are changing the tire.

In the event that you are in an accident, a flashlight can come in handy for many reasons. It can help to survey the damage of your vehicle or the other vehicle or vehicles involved in the collision. You can also use it to flag down other vehicles and warn them of your presence on the roadway. In some cases, you may also need to navigate uncertain terrain, such as a field, either to get to a collision scene to help, or escape from one. A flashlight can help light your path and avoid falling, tripping and other injuries that walking over uneven terrain could cause.

Flashlights and emergency light sources are very helpful for many reasons - and having one in your vehicle, that is reliable and works, is important. You never know when you're going to need a flashlight or emergency light source.

~Ben Anton, 2008


Cause of Slip-and-Fall Injuries

At some point in life, most people have tripped and fallen to the ground. Most slip-and-fall injuries are caused by a sudden or unexpected change in the walking surface. An accident can occur if we are not previously aware of a change in the surface making us unable to change our behavior to avoid the fall. When a fall is caused by the carelessness of another person, then the fall can be cause for a slip-and-fall claim.

'Slip-and-fall' is a term used for a personal injury case in which a person slips and falls and is injured due to the negligence of another person. These type of accidents fall under the broader legal term, 'personal premises liability.' 'Premises' means that the fall took place on someone else's property. The owner of the property may be held legally responsible for the accident. Properties can include a home, business, government facility, public property, town or city property,etc.

There are many situations that can result in a person falling. This can include poor lighting, wet floor, narrow or damaged stairs, a change in the surface of the floor, and torn carpeting. Hazardous conditions such as snow, ice, or rain on the ground, a pothole, cracked pavement, and damaged stairs or escalators, can result in a slip and fall incident.

When walking in a public place or on another person's property, we have the right to be informed about any hazards that may likely cause us harm. If we are aware of a dangerous situation, and choose to proceed, we assume some risk. If we are not informed of a hazardous situation, and we are in an accident, the owner may be held liable for the accident.

When determining whether a business or property owner knew of a hazardous condition, the following must be proved:

- The owner was responsible for creating the dangerous situation
- The owner was fully aware of the hazardous situation and failed to remove, repair, or properly inform people about the hazard
- The hazardous situation existed for a long enough time that the owner should have become aware of the situation and took the necessary steps to correct it.

There is no accurate way to determine slip and fall negligence. Generally, for a person to be held liable for another's slip and fall accident, it must be shown that the owner was careless in preventing a trip and fall condition and the victim had no way knowing about the hazard so they could not take the necessary steps to avoid the accident. A dangerous condition must present an unreasonable risk to a person on the property. For example, if a person falls because they were not looking where they were walking, the owner may not be at fault even if a serious injury occurs.
Slip-and-fall claims can be quite complicated. They can involve giving depositions, filing the appropriate paperwork, enlisting expert witnesses, and using the services of professionals who reconstruct slip-and-fall accidents. A personal injury attorney will be able to determine whether or not you have a personal injury claim. An attorney who has experience with slip-and-fall claims will know how to handle all of the details involved with proving a claim.

It is important to be aware of your environment when you are out and about. Unfortunately, there are situations where you may not be aware of the dangers. This can result in a slip and fall accident. If you suffer an injury from a slip and fall, seek medical attention immediately. If you feel someone else is responsible for the accident, consult with a personal injury lawyer.


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