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Safety Guide

       

General Home Safety Guide

Home fire safety checklist: 1. Leave stove top clean and free of clutter. Never leave cooking area unattended. Try not to cook when sleepy, drinking a lot of alcohol or when on medication that makes you drowsy. 2. Keep counter-top appliances (cords) in good repair and have adequate electrical circuits for all heat producing appliances. 3. Are space heaters at least three feet away from walls and anything else that can burn? 4. Be careful with smoking materials. Wet contents of ashtrays before disposing and hide matches and lighters from children � stored up high in locked cabinet. Never smoke in bed. 5. Has fireplace and chimney been inspected or cleaned in the past 12 months? 6. Are bathroom and kitchen wall outlets protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI)? 7. Have your fuses or circuit breakers professionally inspected to make sure they match the circuit capacity of house wiring. 8. Are paints, gasoline and other flammable liquids stored away from flames and sparks in a proper safety container outside the home in a shed or garage? 9. Do you have smoke detectors installed on every floor of your home and outside all bedrooms? Test them monthly and change the batteries every year. *It�s easy to remember to change batteries when time changes to day light savings time. For false alarms, fan smoke away from the detector but do not remove battery. Replace smoke detectors every 10 years. 10. Are all portable fire extinguishers handy and fully charged? Do you know how to use them properly? Refer to the owner�s manual beforehand or remember the acronym PASS. P- pull the pin. A- aim nozzle or hose at base of flames standing 6 to 10 feet away. S- squeeze the lever (or button) above the handle to discharge. S- sweep the nozzle or hose from side to side moving carefully toward the flames extinguishing agent at the base of the fire. Once the fire goes out, watch carefully and be prepared to repeat the process if the fire re-ignites and then back away carefully. Always call fire department first and make sure everyone else is out of the house before attempting to fight a fire. It is best to have been trained and to have practiced beforehand before attempting to fight a fire. 11. Do you have a fire escape plan? Have you practiced your plan at least every six months? Are there two unobstructed exits (including windows) from each room in your home? Do you have a portable escape fire ladder for all second story bedroom windows? 12. Have you considered installing an automatic home fire sprinkler system? 13. Do you know where your flashlights are on each floor and how to find them in a power outage? Are they working? Don�t carry lit candles. 14. Do you have carbon monoxide detectors on each floor? Should the carbon monoxide detector sound an alarm, immediately open all windows, call the fire department and evacuate the home. Carbon monoxide is an odorless and silent killer. Some potential areas of concern are cracked heat exchangers in a furnace, leaking, blocked or clogged hot water tank and gas dryer flews or chimney flews. Have all hot water tanks, dryers, furnaces and fireplaces checked regularly. Additional home & fire safety tips can be reviewed online at www.sparky.org & www.nfpa.org/ & www.pittsburgh.bbb.org/ & www.info.gov/  & www.americanheart.org/ & www.strokeassociation.org/ & www.diabetes.org/ . .

(This safety and medical information is not all inclusive. Please consult with your Doctor.)

For further helpful safety & consumer information call:

EMS � Emergency Monitoring Systems @ 1-800-813-9691

Federal  Government  Advisory  @  1-800-FED-INFO

BBB � Better Business Bureau @ 412-456-2700

American Stroke Association @ 1-888-478-7653

American Heart Association @ 1-800-242-8721

General Medical Information Guide

Heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases claim the lives of over 950,000 Americans each year. Every 53 seconds, someone in America has a stroke. In 3.3 minutes, someone will die of one. That means about 600,000 Americans will have a new or recurrent stroke this year � and about 160,000 of them will die. In fact, stroke is our nation�s No. 3 killer � behind heart disease and cancer � and one of the leading causes of disability. Know the warning signs of a stroke: (1) Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body (2) Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding (3) Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination (4) Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes (5) Sudden severe headache with no known cause. What is a stroke? Stroke is a type of cardiovascular disease. It affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it starts to die. Clots that block an artery cause ischemic (is-KEM-ik) strokes. This is the most common type of stroke. Ischemic strokes account for about 70-80 percent of all strokes. Ruptured blood vessels cause hemorrhagic (hem-o-RAJ-ik) or bleeding strokes. When part of the brain dies from lack of blood flow, the part of the body it controls is affected. Strokes can cause paralysis, affect speech and vision, and cause other major problems. What is a TIA? A TIA (transient ischemic attack) is a �warning stroke,� sometimes called a �mini-stroke.� A TIA can occur days, weeks or months before a major stroke. TIAs are very strong predictors of stroke risk- they signal about 10% of strokes. Compared with people who have not had a TIA, people who have had a TIA are nine times more likely to have a stroke. A TIA is like a stroke with symptoms that occur rapidly and usually lasting a short time. More than 75 percent of TIAs last less than five minutes. The average is about a minute. Unlike stroke, when a TIA ends, the blood clot resolves itself and the symptoms disappear, leaving no permanent effects. Risk factors that contribute to stroke are carotid or other artery disease, atrial fibrillation, coronary heart disease or heart failure, enlarged heart, heart valve disease and some types of congenital heart defects; also TIAs, certain blood disorders, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, smoking, excessive alcohol use and illegal drug use. Risk factors you cannot change are age (the older you are, the greater your risk for stroke), sex (stroke is more common in men than in women, however more than half of total stroke deaths occur in women), heredity and race (higher risk if a parent, grandparent, sister or brother that has had a stroke � African Americans have a much higher risk of death from a stroke than Caucasians do; in part due to having higher risks of high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity), prior stroke (someone who has had a stroke is at much higher risk of having another one) and heart attack victims (have higher stroke risk). Can a stroke be stopped? If stroke signs are recognized and immediate medical help is attained, (�time is critical�) a clot-dissolving drug known as TPA (short for tissue plasminogen activator) needs to be given within three hours after an ischemic stroke starts, it can reduce long-term disability. Key points to remember: (1) Stroke is a medical emergency. Every second counts! (2) Know the warning signs (3) Note the time when the first warning signs occurred (4) Respond quickly � call 911 if your able to get to a phone or push your help-alert button immediately if you have one and help will be sent by an emergency response specialist according to your emergency response procedure as previously arranged by you.

TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!

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For additional helpful information:

EMS - Emergency Monitoring Systems 1-800-813-9691

 
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