Use these tips for all types of space heaters.
Gas-fueled heating devices pose extra hazards because of the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Be sure your heater is in good working condition, with no carbon buildup in the exhaust parts. Your heater should have an emergency shut off in case it tips over.
Use ONLY the fuel recommended by the heater manufacturer.
Keep kerosene or other flammable liquids outside your home, in approved metal containers in a well ventilated storage area.
NEVER fill the heater while it’s hot, or operating.
Refuel outside your home.
Make sure all fuel-burning equipment is vented to the outside to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
Install and maintain carbon monoxide (CO) alarms to avoid the risk of CO poisoning.
Learn more about space heaters and their safe use from energy.gov.
Calling all student artists…
Effective fire prevention and survival skills—life skills that can protect young lives now and in their future lives—are more than school fire drills, a session of stop, drop and roll, or a mention of pot holders during a cooking lesson. Children and teens with intellectual disabilities are at higher for preventable injuries, including fire and burns. Teens are an especially important group to reach with effective fire safety skills, because they are approaching an age when many will move into more independent living situations—where their risk increases. This article includes six modules for lessons and classroom activities, discussion prompts and take-home materials that cover the key skills of kitchen safety, smoke alarms and exit plans, and calling 911.
April has been a month of celebrations for the winners of the 2017 Prevention 1st Home Fire Drill Poster Contest. Winners received a pizza party for their classroom as well as Wal-Mart gift certificates.
The winner in the 3rd and 4th Grade Category was Jaylen DeCoste, 4th grader at School 42, while Honorable Mentions went to his classmate William Cody and to Yahir Zaldivara 3rd grader at School 35. Classrooms at both School 35 and 42 celebrated with a pizza party.
The winner in the 5th and 6th Grade Category was Colin Brunson, a 5th grader at School 42, with Honorable Mentions going to classmate Ny’asia Jones and 6th grader Alex Rosario.
Congratulations to our 9th annual Home Fire Drill Poster Contest Winners! Prevention 1st received nearly 200 entries from students from across the Rochester City School District in three grade categories: K-2, 3-4 and 5-6. Winners in each category received two $25 Wal-Mart gift certificates, one for the student and one for their classroom. All posters will be displayed in public spaces throughout Rochester including: Rochester City Hall, the Children’s Center at the Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County, Monroe County Office Building, Canandaigua National Bank, Marketplace Mall, The Mall at Greece Ridge, Greater Rochester International Airport (displayed on the TV monitors), and Rochester Museum and Science Center
Thank you to this year’s judges: New York State Senator Joe Robach, Rochester City Schools Commissioner Liz Hallmark, Rochester Fire Marshal Christine Schryver, and the MAG’s Education Director Marlene Hamman-Whitmore
K-2nd Grade Category:
Winner: Johniel Torres, 2nd grade, School 35
Honorable Mention: Elliot Walsh, Kindergarten, School 35
Honorable Mention: Christian Soto, 2nd grade, School 35
3rd and 4th Grade Category:
Winner: Jaylen DeCoste, 4th grade, School 42
Honorable Mention: William Cody, 4th grade, School 42
Honorable Mention: Yahir Zaldivar, 3rd grade, School 35
5th and 6th Grade Category:
Winner: Colin Brunson, 5th grade, School 42
Honorable Mention: Alex Rosario, 6th grade, School 42
Honorable Mention: Ny’asia Jones, 5th grade, School 42
All participants received a certificate and the chance to win a ride to school in a fire truck, courtesy of the Rochester Fire Department! The lucky winner of that ride is Corey Faison, a 3rd grader at School 35.
Cooking is the most common cause of home fires. Foodlink, a regional food bank serving 10 counties in Greater Rochester, New York, has partnered with Prevention 1st to incorporate safety into its Cooking Matters courses that help families learn about healthy cooking.
Through support from Wegmans Food Markets and Community Health Strategies, Prevention 1st has developed a kitchen and cooking safety curriculum for the program, which serves about 500 families. Here are some of Prevention 1st’s tips for preventing fires and burns in the kitchen, especially when involving children in cooking:
Be Fire Safe in Kitchen—the top fire and burn risks and how to avoid them
Kids in the Kitchen—includes at what ages children can learn to use kitchen appliances and techniques safely
Modeling Kitchen Fire Safety—the top habits for safety in the kitchen
Related Articles and Resources:
When is a Child Old Enough to Use the Stove or Oven? (from our expert partner Community Health Strategies)
In the crowded Lily Café, the Prevention 1st Senior Safety Marshals know how to get and keep the attention of their peers. They begin their presentation with a stark fact: “People our age are 6 times more likely to die in a fire.”
The Senior Safety Marshals then share stories of mistakes they themselves have made that put them at risk—a candle left smoldering, falling asleep while smoking, coming home from a night out and carelessly frying some chicken. Their audience nods in recognition. They have all made careless mistakes that could have turned into tragedies.
Finally, the team shares with their fully engaged audience such simple but effective strategies as keeping a phone next to the bed, having good night lighting, turning off the cooktop if they leave the kitchen while cooking, and taking proper precautions if they have oxygen tanks in their home.
Through funding from the John F. Wegman Fund of the Rochester Area Community Foundation and Prevention 1st donors, Prevention 1st recruited and trained the six Safety Marshals through the Lily Café program run by Lifespan at the Maplewood YMCA. Prior to their six weeks of training together, most of the team members didn’t know each other. Now, “we’re a family.”
They’re spreading fire safety messages throughout their communities. Bill, who lives in a housing complex of four buildings, has recruited three volunteers to work with him as fire monitors, communicating with residents about preparation and response and checking fire escapes to make sure they are clear. Sheron is now regularly posting fire safety information and reminders to her friends through Facebook. Inez is determined to make sure that all of her neighbors have working smoke alarms: “The young think ‘It can’t happen to me’ and the old think ‘It hasn’t happened to me yet.’ Well, it can. I ask my neighbors, did you check your smoke alarm, did you change the battery?”
Robert Crandall, the Prevention 1st trainer who trained the Senior Safety Marshals and who is a retired firefighter, noted the effectiveness of this peer-to-peer strategy: “The fire department tells people these things all the time, but when the information is personalized and comes from a peer and neighbor, people are more motivated to take action.”
As the population 65 and older continues to grow, this model has an important role in community safety and in reducing the burden of caregiving, according to Michelle LeBoo, Lifespan Program Coordinator: “They’re providing a type of caregiving. They are caring for their peers, helping them avoid injuries and remain in their homes safely for a longer time.”
Following their presentation to their fellow Café participants, the team is scheduling additional trainings at area senior centers, residences, and other community program sites. They’re also reaching out to potential sponsors to enhance the program with additional safety giveaways and materials, and to attract others to become more involved in fire safety.
In addition to working with the Lily Café participants, the Prevention 1st training team presented to the staff and key volunteers of an additional ten senior organizations, including the Monroe County Office for the Aging, Refugees Helping Refugees, Ontario ARC, Bay View Family YMCA, Monroe Community Hospital, Catholic Family Center, Charles Settlement House, and the Summit at Brighton, ultimately reaching well over 1,000 older adults.
If you’d like to learn more about the Senior Safety Marshals program, please contact Molly Clifford at (585) 383-6507 or MollyClifford@prevention1st.org