Now’s the Time to Check–Maybe Replace–Your CO Alarms

Test your CO alarm today

In 2011, laws passed almost simultaneously in many states required the installation of carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in most houses, apartment buildings, rental dwellings and hotels. Since most CO alarms have a lifespan of no more than 7 years, yours might be expiring right now.

Old units lose efficiency and can put your family at risk of fatal CO poisoning. CO is invisible and odorless, so an early warning from a working CO alarm is crucial. CO can be created when fuels used in heating and cooking equipment don’t burn completely. Vehicles or generators running in an attached garage can also produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

Some questions you should ask yourself:

  1. Do I have enough CO alarms (and smoke alarms)? The US Fire Administration recommends installing CO alarms in a central location outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of your home (including the basement).
  2. Do all alarms comply with manufacturer instructions and current guidelines about their shelf life? Check the manufacturer’s recommendations (usually on the back of each unit) for how often your CO alarm will need to be replaced. It’s usually 5 to 7 years.
  3. Do I know that every alarm—both CO and smoke alarm—is working? Even units that have life-long batteries or are hard-wired still need to be checked at least every six months. The US Fire Administration suggests checking each alarm once a month. Learn how to test your CO alarm here.
  4. Will everyone in your home always respond immediately and appropriately when any alarm activates? Have you planned your escape route? Have you practiced it? Could everyone do it even if the alarm sounds in the middle of the night?
  5. Can everyone living in my home hear every alarm from any location—especially from their bedrooms? For those that have significant hearing issues, bed shakers and strobe lights can supplement alarms. For all homes, interconnected alarms are recommended. You can convert existing units, both smoke and CO, to be wirelessly interconnected using products available in stores and online. Learn more from manufacturers First Alert and Kidde.

Protect Your Home From Electrical Fires

The cold weather and darkness this month have us turning on lights, heating and appliances. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, that may be why January is the leading month for electrical fires. Today’s electrical demands can overburden the electrical system in a home, especially homes more than 40 years old that have older wiring, electrical systems, and devices.

Protect yourself and your family by making sure all electrical work in your home is done by a qualified electrician and following these tips from USFA:

  • Always plug major appliances–such as refrigerators, stoves, washers and dryers–directly into a wall outlet. Never use an extension cord with a major appliance.
  • Unplug small appliances when you’re not using them.
  • Keep lamps, light fixtures and light bulbs away from anything that can burn.
  • Use light bulbs that match the recommended wattage on the lamp or fixture.
  • Check electrical cords on appliances often. Replace cracked, damaged and loose electrical cords.
  • Don’t overload wall outlets.
  • Never force a three-prong cord into a two-slot outlet.
  • Install tamper-resistant electrical outlets if you have young children.
  • Use power strips that have internal overload protection.

Find more home fire prevention tips and information at USFA’s electrical fire safety outreach materials webpage: https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/electrical.html.

 

Girl Scouts Learn to Lead With Fire Safety

This fall Prevention 1st trainers delivered the first sessions of the Leadership Development program in fire safety which they developed for the Girl Scouts of Western New York (GSWNY). Sessions held in Rochester and Buffalo, NY drew 34 Scout Cadets, from 6th-graders to 12th graders, eager to learn leadership and fire safety skills. They will each now present 3 training sessions with younger Daisy and/or Brownie troops.

“This is a chance to up their leadership skills and be role models for younger girls,” said Lauren Bush, Assistant Director of Girl Experience for GSWNY. “And fire safety is so important, it’s good for them to hear it from their peers. As leaders, as adults, we can tell kids these things about fire. But when they hear it from their slightly older peers, it really sticks.”

“They were so enthusiastic and committed to playing a role in their community,” said Bob Crandall, Prevention 1st trainer. “For that age group it was very impressive.”

The Prevention 1st training will count toward the senior Scouts’ leadership awards, and toward the younger Scouts’ play safe! be safe! Fire Safety Education patch. Training sessions were held on a day off from school, with some entire troops attending as well as individual girls interested in the training. The Rochester session was sponsored by the John F. Wegman Fund and the Buffalo session by Prevention 1st.

Molly Clifford taught the girls strategies for teaching younger children and presentation skills to keep their audience engaged and learning. Bob Crandall presented the specific fire safety skills they would need to teach the younger Scouts, drawn from the curriculum of the play safe! be safe! fire safety program. The girls then worked in small groups to develop and rehearse their own presentations.

“They came up with creative ways to be “hands on” with skills,” Crandall recalled, “like using newsprint to make “smoke” and then demonstrating the correct way to Stay Low and Go under smoke.”

Bush hopes that as the younger Scouts learn, they will later step up to do the same training for others:

“There’s no better way to show their leader skills. It’s a “pay it forward” skill.”

Clocks Change Nov. 3: Get Ready to Practice Your Fire Drill!

Practice Your Home Fire Drill!

If you assume you’d know what to do if a fire happens in your home, listen to the Oct. 13 podcast featuring Dr. Robert Cole, fire safety expert, on House Smarts on radio station WABC-AM (start at 26 minutes in).

Lou Manfredini, the show’s host, recalled a friend who had a fire on her stovetop:  “Her initial reaction was to grab the pan and take it out of the house. All she did was spread the fire.”

When something unexpected happens like a fire, or the smoke alarm going off in the middle of the night, it can be hard to remember what to do.

“Without having thought things through, people can make the wrong choices,” said Dr. Cole. “We need to get people to think that a fire can happen to them, think about what they would do, and practice.”

His most important tips:

  1. Have working smoke alarms on every level of your home, and be sure everyone in the home can hear them.
  2. Everyone in your home needs to know what to do if the smoke alarm goes off, especially if that happens at night when people are asleep. It’s important to be able to get out quickly.
  3. You need to practice your home escape. First, to be sure everyone can do what they need to do to get out safely (especially important when young children, older adults, or people with disabilities are part of the household). And if they’ve actually practiced, then in an emergency they will have that memory of what they should do.

“The risk of fire is real, and these are reasonable things to do to prepare,” said Dr. Cole. “You don’t want to be the family that gets caught off guard.”

Prevention1st.org has many Safety Resources, especially for families with children, to help them understand the risks and stay safe from fire, including Homefiredrill.org, a website to help you plan and practice your escape.

Golf Tournament Raises $38,000+

The 2018 Jane and Larry Glazer Memorial Golf Tournament to benefit Prevention 1st raised more than $38,000 to support key injury prevention programs.

This year’s silent auction raised $455 for a new fund memorializing Stephen Rogoff, who along with Harvey Bunis conceived of, developed and co-chaired the Golf Tournament since its beginning in 2013. The inaugural Golf Tournament held in 2013 was Prevention 1st’s first major fund raiser.

Our thanks and congratulations to Jessica Holly and Michael Chatwin, who will co-chair next year’s event. Congratulations to our winning foursomes and outstanding golfers:

1st Place Men’s (60):  Rick Glazer, Jeff Rubens, Jordan Morgenstern, Adrian Morgenstern

1st Place Mixed (76):  Kevin Lillis, Shelly VanLare, Joan Updaw, Wendy Guinn

Closest to the Pin # 4 (Men):              Matt Diberaradinis (3’ 4”)

Closest to the Pin # 4  (Women):       Marie Michaels (40’ 00”)

Closest to the Line #7 (Men):             Chris Wensley

Closest to the Line #7 (Women):        Shelly VanLare

Thanks to all of our golfers and attendees, to Midvale Country Club for their outstanding service and support, to Abrams Fensterman for donation of tote bags and Buckingham Properties for donation of roadway multi-tool gifts for all golfers and attendees, Shapiro, DiCaro & Barak for donation of on-course snacks and beverages, Ralph Honda for sponsorship of the Hole in One Contest, Sage Rutty for golf cart sponsorship, and to our 2018 Golf Committee: Harvey Bunis, Jessica Holly, John Eilertsen, Michael Chatwin, Rick Glazer, Kristin Fulford, Sarabeth Rogoff, Scott Rogoff, and Joan Updaw.

Tournament Sponsors

Abrams Fensterman, LLPB

Buckingham Properties, LLC

Sage Rutty

Ralph Honda

Shapiro, DiCaro & Barak, LLC

 

Flag Sponsors

Cooley Group, Inc.

Cathy & Jack Dinaburg

Ernstrom & Dreste, LLP

Woods Oviatt Gilman, LLP

Community Health Strategies

 

Tee Sponsors

Abrams Fensterman, LLP

Barclay Damon, LLP

Bell Cornerstone

Browncroft Family Restaurant

Buckingham Properties, LLC

Harvey S. Bunis, Esq.

Canandaigua National Bank

Friends of Molly Clifford

Robert Cole & Daryl Sharp

Community Health Strategies

Developmental Disabilities Giving Circle

DJP Development LLC

CurAegis Technologies

Eagle Cleaners

EkoStinger

First American Title Insurance Company

Flaherty Salmin CPAs

The Glazer Family

Golf Weekly

Heritage Financial Services, LLC

Kevin & 3 Ladies

Kiwanis West Central

Al Mason, Photographer

Mengel Metzger Barr & Co, LLP

Thomas H. Neilans, Ph.D.

Palmer Food Services

Debbie & David Pelusio

Perlo’s Restaurant

Pickle Factory

PointClickCare

Ralph Honda

Senator Joe Robach

Rochester Area Community Foundation

Rochester Hardwood Floor

Heather & Brett Rogoff

Ruda Investment Group

Sage Rutty and Co.

Shapiro, DiCaro & Barak, LLC

Sign Design

Sharon P. Stiller

Trillium Health

Upstate Special Needs Planning

Webster Schubel Meier Elder Law

State Fire Marshals Learn How People With Disabilities Can Be ‘Safe at Home’

Prevention 1st’s “Safe at Home” individualized home safety program for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) drew plenty of interest at the National Association of State Fire Marshals’ Annual Conference last month. People with intellectual disabilities are 4 times more likely to die in a fire than the general population, and their risk increases as they move toward more independent living.

“Many people were surprised to learn how far and how fast the shift to more independent living is moving,” said Bob Crandall, who presented the program to the audience of fire marshals and fire safety educators. Several attendees signed up for more training in the Prevention 1st Safe at Home model, which targets the highest fire risk injuries by addressing both environmental hazards and safety skills.

From 1988 to 2008 there was a 311% increase in adults w/IDD living in residences of 6 or fewer, and the number of those renting or living in their own home has doubled. Along with greater independence, their vulnerability for fire and burn injury is increasing. In New York State, for example, 75% of people with I/DD live semi-independently in noncertified settings—which are not subject to strict fire safety regulations.

Learn more about the Safe at Home training model.

Still Time to Register for Sept. 17 Golf Tournament

The 2018 Jane & Larry Glazer Memorial Golf Tournament to benefit Prevention 1st will be held on Monday, Sept. 17 at Midvale Country Club. There are still a few spots available for foursomes. Sponsorships are also available, and non-golfers are welcome for dinner and silent auction following the tournament.

Download the flyer and registration form here.

Golfers will have a “hole in one” opportunity to win a car donated by Ralph Honda. All participants including golfers and dinner guests will receive a tote bag donated by Abrams Fensterman. Shapiro, DiCaro & Barak is donating on-course snacks and beverages. Silent auction items include a Rochester Amerks package, shoe donated by a Buffalo Bills wide receiver, hotel packages, riding lessons, golfing at many major golf courses in the area,  and more.

This year’s event will also honor the memory of Stephen Rogoff, founding co-chair of the Prevention 1st Golf Tournament, who passed away on August 14.

Prevention 1st Teams Up With Girl Scouts

Prevention 1st is creating a Leadership Development program for the Girl Scouts of Western New York (GSWNY) focusing on fire safety and prevention. Senior Girl Scouts will develop and practice their fire safety presentations, then train Daisy and/or Brownie troops. The trainings will count toward the Senior Girl Scouts’ leadership awards, and toward the younger Girl Scouts’ BIC play safe! be safe!® Fire Safety Education Patch.

“GSWNY believes the Leaders in Prevention program will help retain Senior Girl Scouts, build relationships between the younger and older girls, and motivate the junior Girl Scouts to stay with scouting beyond the elementary grades,” said Scarlett Webb, Girl Experience Specialist at GSWNY.

Prevention 1st will host two leadership development training sessions, one in Monroe County sponsored by the John F. Wegman Fund of the Rochester Area Community Foundation, and one in Erie County sponsored by Prevention 1st. At these the Senior Girl Scouts will learn about: the fire risk in young children, approaches to teaching young children, presentation skills to keep their audience engaged and learning, and resources to assist in teaching. They will develop a presentation and practice it in front of the group, then work with GSWNY to schedule presentations for Daisy and/or Brownie troops to ultimately train 900 junior Girl Scouts.