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:
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
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.
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.”
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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:
- Have working smoke alarms on every level of your home, and be sure everyone in the home can hear them.
- 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.
- 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.
TO KICK OFF FIRE PREVENTION MONTH, PREVENTION 1ST ANNOUNCES “FILMS ON FIRE!”
Short Film Competition for Middle and High School Students Highlighting Fire Safety
Rochester-area non-profit Prevention 1st is kicking off Fire Prevention Month on Monday by opening “Films on Fire!,” a short film competition encouraging local middle and high school students to create entertaining and educational videos to teach young people about fire safety. The contest, which has a poster component for elementary school students, will be judged by local filmmakers and community leaders in February, with cash prizes going to the winners in each category.
“With the recent news that New York State is second in the nation for the most deadly house fires, it’s more important than ever to make sure every member of the family knows how to prevent fires, but also what to do in the event they break out,” said retired RFD Lieutenant and Prevention 1st Vice President Robert Crandall.
Interested young people and those who work with them are encouraged to visit www.prevention1st.org/fof2019 to find out the details and requirements for the contest. Included are content suggestions, so that students focus on the key messages that are most important for people to remember around fire safety.
“We are excited to see the creativity that students bring to their videos,” Crandall said. “Whether it’s practicing an exit plan, testing smoke alarms, or cooking more safely, we know that young people are more likely to learn from their peers. This should be an innovative and entertaining way to teach some skills that youngsters often take for granted.”
Of particular interest to young people may be the cash prize of $100 each for the winner of the middle school and high school “social media” category for students whose videos get the most “likes” on Facebook, YouTube or other sites. The winning videos judged by the contest panel will each win $250.
See attached flyer for both the video contest and poster contest. Please share!
Lt. Crandall (cell 748-6331) and Prevention 1st President Molly Clifford (cell 233-3699) will be available for comment any time during the week of October 1.
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.
Abrams Fensterman, LLPB
Buckingham Properties, LLC
Shapiro, DiCaro & Barak, LLC
Cooley Group, Inc.
Cathy & Jack Dinaburg
Ernstrom & Dreste, LLP
Woods Oviatt Gilman, LLP
Community Health Strategies
Abrams Fensterman, LLP
Barclay Damon, LLP
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
First American Title Insurance Company
Flaherty Salmin CPAs
The Glazer Family
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
Senator Joe Robach
Rochester Area Community Foundation
Rochester Hardwood Floor
Heather & Brett Rogoff
Ruda Investment Group
Sage Rutty and Co.
Shapiro, DiCaro & Barak, LLC
Sharon P. Stiller
Upstate Special Needs Planning
Webster Schubel Meier Elder Law
Prevention 1st, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, invites young filmmakers to submit a short film on the topic of INJURY PREVENTION, FIRE PREVENTION, or FIRE SAFETY to the Prevention 1st Short Film Competition. No entry fee. No purchase necessary to enter or win.
- Films on Fire Poster – Send to potential filmmakers!
- Official Rules (This webpage in easy-to-print PDF format)
- Messaging Sheet
- Filmmaking Info Sheet
- Actor Release Form
- Actor Release Form DOCX
- Music Release Form PDF
- Submission Checklist
SUBMIT YOUR FILM
Films on Fire proudly accepts entries via FilmFreeway.com, the world’s best online submission platform. FilmFreeway offers free HD online screeners, unlimited video storage, digital press kits, and more. Click to submit with FilmFreeway.
The competition is open to residents of the greater Rochester, New York area, defined as Rochester, Monroe County, and the surrounding Livingston, Ontario, Orleans, and Wayne counties.
This competition is open to individuals, classes, or groups. In the case of a class or a group, a team leader or teacher should be named as representative for submission purposes.
Staff members of Prevention 1st and their family members, as well as members of the Jury and their family members, may submit Entries, but such Entries are not eligible to be a Winner.
Middle School (grades 6 through 8)
High School (grades 9 through 12)
As this is a competition for young filmmakers, all entrants under age 18 must have a parent or guardian sign off on entries. In the case of school classes or other groups, the adult in charge is responsible for securing the permission of participants’ parent or guardian.
Each video submitted to the competition must be under three minutes in length, and must comply with the rules. Entries should be “G-Rated,” containing no inappropriate language or violence.
Video Submissions must be submitted via FilmFreeway with a Vimeo or Youtube link.
Video Submissions of all genres and styles will be accepted. The videos may be recorded in any language, but English subtitles are highly encouraged for those not produced in English. All video submissions must tell a story to help raise awareness about injury prevention, fire prevention, or fire safety, as further described by the judging criteria.
Entries must be original works. If the submission contains media (including music) created by someone else, permission must be obtained and provided upon request. Prevention 1st encourages the use of royalty-free or Creative Commons music.
Whenever making a film that will be shown online, it’s important to get permission from anyone who appears in the final piece. That applies to music used within the film as well. To that end, Prevention 1st offers simple MUSIC RELEASE and TALENT RELEASE forms. If your film is to be considered as a finalist, you must be prepared to provide Prevention 1st with those completed forms.
Entries must be submitted via the Prevention 1st website between 6:00 p.m. EST on October 1, 2018 and 11:59 p.m. EST January 25, 2019. The first 200 entries received will be considered for competition. See our website www.prevention1st.org/fof2019 for official rules, release forms, guidelines, and submission link. Submissions will be accepted through Film Freeway at www.filmfreeway.com/prevention1st
Prevention 1st shall organize a Competition Committee. The Competition Committee will verify that the Entrant and the Entry meets the eligibility criteria. The Competition Committee may disqualify any Entry that it deems inappropriate.
JUDGING CRITERIA AND SCORING PROCEDURE
Prevention 1st will organize a committee of individuals (the “Jury”), to decide winners based on the competition criteria. Criteria can include, but are not limited to, writing, acting, educational value, editing, production value, and artistic expression. All decisions of the competition committee and jury are final.
SOCIAL MEDIA VOTING
The Competition Committee will announce its list of eligible films via email and social media. Filmmakers competing for the social media prize should share their video on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtags #Prevention1st and #FilmsOnFire. Number of shares will be counted on February 25, 2019.
Middle School Category:
Jury winner: $250
Social media winner: $100
High School Category:
Jury winner: $250
Social media winner: $100
NOTIFICATION AND RECEIPT OF PRIZES
Winners will be announced March 1, 2019 via email and social media. Every reasonable attempt will be made to deliver prizes before April 1, 2019.
Each entrant (with parent/guardian) grants to Prevention 1st a non-exclusive license to use the film for the festival and other promotional or educational purposes for all media, worldwide in perpetuity. Filmmakers retain the copyright to their works.
The entrants shall hold Prevention 1st harmless, and discharges those involved with the competition from any and all claims, losses, or damages.
GUIDELINES FOR CONTENT
See our MESSAGING SHEET for ideas! It contains possible phrases and topics to make your movie about. Since we emphasize fire safety, the use of actual fire is prohibited in any video entry. Visit www.prevention1st.org/fof2019
See our FILMMAKING INFO SHEET for tips on as storyboarding, script-writing, good shooting practices, recording audio, editing, and finalizing your video. Visit www.prevention1st.org/fof2019