Category Archives: Safety

4th Of July Safety

Fireworks Safety

Fireworks Safety

We are rapidly approaching that time of year when we wish America a Happy Birthday.  One would be hard pressed to find a single American who doesn’t have fond memories of the Fourth of July.  The excitement, the music, the baseball games, the family picnic … oh yeah, AND the fireworks.  Their sheer beauty alone makes the day worth it.  It is all fun and games.  Well mostly.

Anything with the word “Fire” in its name should command attention and respect.  As you approach the holiday, consider this:

  • Before you do anything, check the law to see if home use fireworks are legal in your state. Or even your city. Many large metropolitan suburbs have varying laws between cities and you can be fined for violation of illegal fireworks.  There are many good reasons for these laws.  For one, they are a safety risk that many people underestimate.  In drought ridden areas of the country, they present a real fire threat to homes and lives and the environment.
  • If you do live in an area where home fireworks are legal, remember that this is primarily an adult activity. Children love the lights and sounds of fireworks but should not be allowed to utilize fireworks without close adult supervision.  Even fun things like sparklers can present a threat to safety.  Hot metal wire on gentle children’s skin just doesn’t mesh well.  Sparklers can get as hot as 1800 degrees … enough temperature to melt gold.
  • Always make sure that you have a garden hose and a bucket of water close by. The bucket is perfect for dropping extinguished fireworks and sparklers in to totally deactivate them.    Remember too that the “dud” firecracker you have may just be slow!  Always wait 20 minutes before approaching the failed firecracker … and then drop it immediately into that bucket of water.  Over 3000 children are injured by fireworks every year … and most of those are around July 4.  Fire men and women respond to over 50,000 fires annually caused by fireworks.
  • If you are using more powerful fireworks, make certain that all children and other adults are at a safe viewing distance. Children, even the “adult” ones, are drawn to the excitement of fireworks.  Maintain a safe distance.  That includes distance from your home or flammable grasses, brush or leaves.    It takes just a small spark to ignite a fire.  Which brings to mind that you should NEVER carry fireworks in your pocket.  Once again, a small amount of friction can set off an explosive firecracker.  You really don’t want that experience.
  • Purchase your fireworks from only reputable dealers. In the 1966, many types of fireworks were banned but yet they are still produced illegally and find their way into the hands of teenagers and adults.  Even worse, many people make their own fireworks.  And putting explosives under metal bean cans or glass just makes it worse.  Just don’t.

One other great tip:  Use your Smartphone as a safety tool.  LifeFone offers a great application that can help you get immediate help with the push of a button if something goes wrong.  If you are safe and smart, you won’t need it.  If you are SMART, you’ll have the bases covered.  Enjoy!

LifeFone Mobile Apps

Halloween Safety Tips

family-guard-fitted-people-4It’s that time of year again with costumes, haunted houses, parades, tricks and treats, and parties for Halloween.  Kids love Halloween – they love spending the night out and about with their friends, sometimes leaving parents worried about the dangers they may face on the most frightful night of the year. So parents, how do you better ensure your child’s Halloween safety when you’re not around? Fortunately for you,  there are discussions you can have with your kids and technologies you can invest in that can help keep them safety, track their whereabouts, and give you greater peace of mind throughout the night.

Here are just a few Halloween safety tips to help ensure a fun and safe night:

Set a curfew – Give your child a curfew and call-in times when they need to check in with you and give you an update. Making your child accountable for where they are and what they are doing is important if they are old enough to trick or treat on their own. Oh, and be sure they carry a fully-charged smartphone!

Get friends contact information – Be sure to ask your child who they are going out with – and get first and last name, phone number and parent’s phone number in case curfew rules are broken. Halloween can be chaotic holiday – so arm yourself with as much information as possible.

Establish boundaries – Set limits (city or town limits, zip codes, county lines, etc) to where your older children can and cannot go. Some neighborhoods may have high crime and/or trafficking rates, and should be avoided especially on a holiday like Halloween night.

Download personal security app – To ensure they abide by curfews and boundaries without being a nag, we recommend to parents to download a personal security app to their child’s smartphone. With a SmartTek app such as that offered though LifeFone Family Guard™ , once downloaded to your phone and your child’s phone, you are not only able track their location right from your cell phone, but also have added security knowing that a 24-7 professionally monitored call center is ready to assist you or your child in case of an emergency or cause for concern.

LifeFone’s Family Guard™ not only allows you to monitor real-time locations of family members, but also comes equipped with a personal panic button. With the press of the button, you are connected to the LifeFone call center which staffed 24/7 by professional monitoring personnel, who are able to quickly pinpoint their location and respond accordingly – often more quickly and accurately than calling 9-1-1.

Family Guard™ is a subscription app that is easy to use, intuitive and offers immediate access to assistance if needed. Download LifeFone’s Family Guard™ App for FREE on iTunes and Google Play.

Wishing you and your kids a safe and happy Halloween!

Senior Safety Tips And Advice

As we age, some individuals can become the target for a financial crime, identity theft, home break-in or some other scam.  Boomers raised in an era where being rude to a solicitor on the phone or door to door can actually put them in a more vulnerable position.  In some cases, those who would perpetrate a crime against the elderly will either rely on charm or bullying tactics to get the information that they seek. While a financial crime is a devastating time for anyone, it can be even worse for the elderly as they may not only question their ability to remain independent but will become fearful of living alone.

As a caregiver, there are steps you can take to protect your elderly loved ones:

  1.  Make sure the home is secure. Check the locks on doors and windows. Install a home alarm system with motion detectors and automatic indoor & outdoor lights. Make sure to post signs alerting vandals to the fact that the home has a security system. Another safety measure is to equip your relatives with a emergency medical device; these medical alert pendants provide a lifeline to outside help and assistance in the time of need.
  2. Trim all bushes around the house to eliminate any potential hiding places for a would-be burglar. Install doors with peepholes and advise them to not open the door to strangers. Never put keys under a door mat or other outdoor hiding spot. These are too easily discovered. Ask a trusted neighbor or friend that lives close to hold onto the extra key.
  3. Make certain the house number is painted in bright colors and large numbers to make it easy to find if emergency responders need to visit.
  4. Make certain additional cash isn’t left lying around the house. Keep enough cash on hand for daily needs, but keep large sums in the bank.
  5. Warn your elderly relatives to never give any personal or financial information over the phone. Make sure they are aware that no one – other than a family member – would ever be calling to solicit financial information. If your relatives are tech savvy and have signed up for online banking, make sure they are knowledgeable about the scams where it looks like their financial institution is asking them to sign in using the provided link. Their bank would never make this request, it is a scam.
  6. Don’t let your relatives make deals with door-to-door sales people. The scams perpetrated on the elderly involve everything from being overcharged for putting a new roof on the home to sealing the driveway to simply letting someone into the house so they can get the “lay of the land” and break in later. If, for example, your relatives need a new vacuum cleaner or a roof or driveway work, they should talk to you to help them get estimates from reputable contractors or take them to the store to make their purchases.
  7. If your relatives are still mobile and drive themselves to their appointments make sure they never carry more cash with them than what they need for that excursion. Also, advise them to not travel into areas with which they aren’t familiar. They should also always lock their car doors each time they get out. In some cases, it’s a good idea to lock the doors when driving along in unfamiliar locations.

These safety tips that will provide both the caregiver and the aging relative with peace of mind as they continue to age in place.


Steps To Prevent Bathroom Accidents and Injuries

Slips and falls in the home are the biggest cause of injury for adults over age 65, and when you factor in that more than 250,000 individuals suffer falls in the bathroom, it can be a dangerous place for the elderly.

For the elderly, a slip or fall in the bathroom or shower can lead to broken bones and in rare instances, death. Consider how often you drop the soap while in the shower. Add loss of mobility to the mix for older adults and your relatives run a high risk of bathroom accidents. The best way to avoid these incidents is to prevent them from happening in the first place.

Here are some steps you can take to make the bathroom and shower more senior-friendly
Remove unsafe bathtub and shower features. If there are no grab bars installed, individuals will grab whatever is handy, towel bars, tub fixtures, soap dishes, etc. These fixtures will not provide the stability needed.

  • Grab bars should be installed on the shower walls and even on the sides of the bathtub itself. Suction handle safety grips should never be used as these typically work themselves free. Handles and grab bars should be securely fastened into the walls and shower area.
  • Test to see if anything that looks as if it could be “grabbed” is actually able to bear weight.
  • Keep the floors dry to prevent falls. If the room is not carpeted, you will want to install non-slip bathmats around the room to soak up water and provide a place for sure footing. Don’t forget to put one in front of the toilet as well.
  • Handrails should be installed in several locations in the bathroom (and throughout the whole house).
  • While glass shower doors are decorative, they are not safe. If your aging relative grabs onto the door for support it might not be able to bear their w
    eight and if the glass breaks serious injuries can occur.
  • The door on the bathroom should remain unlocked and be left open in the event they fall and need to call out for help.  The best way to enhance bathroom safety is by equipping your aging relative with a waterproof medical alert pendant. If he or she suffers a slip or fall in the bathroom, at the push of a button emergency personnel will be dispatched.
  • If possible, remodel the bath and install a walk-in tub to make it easier for your aging relative to get in and out without having to straddle the side of the tub.
  • Simple changes such as using liquid soaps rather than bar soaps are also a safer bet for aging individuals.

Just because your parents are aging doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy the relaxation offered by a soothing bubble bath or a long, luxurious shower, the room simply needs to be made more senior friendly.