Home Safety Information
Carbon Monoxide Detectors Required
Amanda’s Law took effect on Feb. 22, 2010, and it requires that one-family homes, two-family homes, dwellings located in condominiums or cooperatives, and multiple dwellings must have a carbon monoxide detector installed regardless of the date of construction or sale.
The law was named after Amanda Hansen, a teenager whose life was tragically ended by a carbon monoxide leak from a defective boiler while she was sleeping at a friend’s house in January 2009.
The new law requires that the carbon monoxide detector be a device meeting New York State standards, and that it be installed in an operable condition in dwellings where there are appliances or systems that may emit carbon monoxide or have an attached garage.
Prior to Amanda’s Law, carbon monoxide detectors were required in one-family dwellings, two-family dwellings, and dwellings located in condominiums or cooperatives only if they were constructed or offered for sale after July 30, 2002. For multiple dwellings (such as a tenement, hotel, and dormitories) carbon monoxide detectors were required if they were constructed or offered for sale after August 9, 2005.
As a result of Amanda’s Law, a carbon monoxide detector will be found in nearly all residential structures in the state. This law will create a safer living environment for New York residents and a greater awareness of home safety issues that are intensified by seasonal heating issues prevalent in the Northeast.
• Place detectors near sleeping areas, where they can wake you if you are asleep.
• Never use generators, barbecues, propane heaters and charcoal, etc. inside the home! They generate dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.
• When using your fireplace to stay warm, make sure the flue is open so that the byproducts of combustion can vent safely through the chimney.
• Ensure that generators are properly installed and operated outdoors.
• Do not idle cars inside the garage, and do not allow snow to block the tailpipe when operating a vehicle outdoors.
• Make sure water heaters and other natural gas appliances have proper ventilation. Older appliances and room heaters that are not vented externally should be inspected annually.
Propane/Gas Grill Safety
Watch the video (below) about what can go wrong when using a propane/gas grill.
If your gas grill flame goes out for any reason, turn off the grill and WAIT at least 5 minutes! This will allow the gas to dissipate before you attempt to re-ignite the grill. Very important!
Water Safety Tips
Did you know that every year about 6,000 people die from drowning in the United States? But what is most shocking is that two-thirds of those drowning victims never intended to be in the water! Things can go wrong very quickly! Don't become a drowning statistic -- always wear a life jacket or PSD (personal floatation device) when you are around water.
BASIC SURVIVAL TIP: Because most drowning victims had no intention of getting in the water, and most people drown within 10 to 30 feet of safety, it's important that you and everyone in your family LEARN HOW TO SWIM!! Even if you just learn how to float on your back, you'll have a better chance of survival. Here are some additional tips:
• Always wear a life jacket when you are on or around the water!
• Never rely on inflatables such as inner tubes, floats, or water wings to stay afloat.
• Don't take any chances by overestimating your swimming skills.
• Swim only in designated swimming areas.
• Never ever swim alone!
NEVER DIVE INTO LAKES OR RIVERS – Every year, more than 8,000 people have diving accidents and suffer paralyzing spinal cord injuries – and another 5,000 die before they reach the hospital.
WATCH SMALL CHILDREN – Each year, about 200 children drown and several thousand others are treated in hospitals for submersion accidents, which can leave children with permanent brain damage and respiratory health problems. Watching your child (or someone else's child) go through such an experience is heartbreaking. Remember, it only takes a few seconds for a small child to wander away. So when around water, please watch your children at all times.
ALCOHOL: THE FUN KILLER – It's a fact: alcohol and being in or on the water do not mix. Unfortunately many people ignore this fact and each year about 3,000 of them are wrong... dead wrong! More than half of all the people who drown had consumed alcohol not long before.
And you don't have to be all that intoxicated for alcohol to be a threat to your safety. Just one beer will impair your balance, vision, judgment, and reaction time, thus making you a potential danger to yourself and others.
Research shows that after just 4 hours of boating (exposure to noise, vibration, sun, glare and wind), you can experience what is commonly known as "boating fatigue," which slows your response to emergency situations. If you actually add alcohol to the 'boating fatigue' condition, it intensifies the effects and increases your accident risk! So remember, don't drink alcohol if you are planning to be in or on the water!
COLD WATER SURVIVAL – Your life may depend on a better understanding of cold water. It's a fact that many drowning victims actually die from cold exposure or hypothermia. Hypothermia is a condition in which the body loses heat faster than it can produce it. Violent shivering develops which may result in confusion and a loss of body movement. To avoid hypothermia:
• During cool or cold temperatures, you'll stay warmer in wool clothing
• Wear rain gear when out in the rain and try to stay dry
• Seek a warm environment at the first sign of hypothermia (usually mild shivering)
• If you fall into the water, don't discard your clothing - keep clothing on to help insulate you
• If you fall into the water while wearing your life jacket, draw your knees and arms together into the HELP posture (Heat Escape Lessening Posture)
THE FOUR MAJOR CAUSES OF DROWNINGS ARE:
• Not wearing a life jacket
• Drinking alcohol on or near the water and falling in
• Lack of sufficient swimming skills
ERR ON THE SIDE OF CAUTION whenever around water!