Friday, November 16, 2012

Home Safety

All photos and images for this article obtained for this article courtesy of "Google Images". Slides and are composed by F.B. Noodleman.  Special thanks to "Wikipedia", "USA Today"and "The Indianapolis Star" for some of the
information contained in the article.

 by Felicity Blaze Noodleman
Now that winter has beset us and we are staying indoors more at home, now this might be a good time to review some rules to help us remain safe while we are in what should be our safest place in the world!  With the holidays approaching and while we are preparing for the customary festivities with all their decorations to celebrate the season we should also prepare for the unexpected and be ready for the worst should it occur.  I’ve heard it said that more accidents happen in the home than any other place.


I’ve prepared some slides to remind us of the basic areas where we need to practice caution and be prepared in the event of an accident.  Remember that is why we call them accidents, because we never plan for them to happen!  It is hard to know where to begin when we discuss safety because there are so many areas where we need to exercise caution in our everyday lives.  My first few tips will cover a lot of ground and are some of the most basic things we can do to be safe.  They are also simple and very elementary.


The first of these rules is to read the instructions which accompany new items we purchase to bring and use in our home.   The manufactures instructions can alert us to the safe and sometimes unsafe uses and the care needed when using their products.  Reading the instructions means everything no matter how mundane it may seem.  Everything  from shampoo to electrical appliances. 


The second of these two rules is just simple good housekeeping.  A neat and well kept home will not hide accidents which are just waiting to happen;  where as a cluttered and messy home will foster all kinds of unsafe conditions for us, our children and pets.  If we can manage to  observe these two basic rules we will be well on our way to becoming safe in our homes.
Become familiar with the most up to date first aid techniques.


First aid is our starting point and is our front line of defense for any emergency which may occur in the home.  Besides stocking our medicine cabinets with the usual band aids and disinfectants for treating cuts and scrapes, try to keep a professional first aid kit in your home.  The bigger the better.
Try to think of treating every member in your family should it become necessary.  Keeping a good first aid kit in your automobile is also a good idea because accidents can happen any where.  Seek out any training available in your community so you will be knowledgeable in all of the latest techniques of first aid.  Many things can be learned on the net too so take a look!


One other important thing to mention about first aid.  In case of a wound suffered with massive hemorrhaging, always apply a large cloth and use pressure to try and stop or slow the bleeding until you can reach a Doctor, Hospital or Paramedics to help.  Never under any circumstances do you need to apply a tourniquet as they can stop the blood flow to the whole area of the wound.  Tourniquets can result in the unnecessary amputation of a limb which the Doctor will not be able to save.

Calling 911 is a must in any emergency. Report your problem clearly as possible and follow any directions the operator may give to you. When paramedics arrive then you may relax a bit. They will be in contact with a doctor or other specialist as they respond to your call.

We hope you don't have to see the Fire Department at your home.


Fire is always the biggest danger in the home.  Any open flame is a hazard.  Fires can begin in so many unexpected ways and spread faster than you can imagine.  You should keep at least two fire extinguishers in your house and be sure they are always in good operating condition.  Again; it is a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher in your automobile.  Be sure that all gas appliances are is proper operating condition and are free from leaks and are well ventilated.  If you suspect there might be a problem and are unable to fix or tighten a leak, call your local gas company for assistance, it's free!

A word about candles.  Many people love them but they can be very dangerous.  I don't recommend their use in the home, however they can be good to have around in case of a power outage of natural disaster to provide light and heat.  Use candles which are enclosed in a glass container of some sort as they are the safest and most useful.

The kitchen is the most likely place in our homes for a fire to begin!  Take every precaution when cooking.  Use extra caution when cooking with grease to avoid a potential grease fire.  Turn off all burners when finished cooking and turn off any electrical appliances such as deep fryers, blenders, and crock pots.  Unplug these appliances when finished cooking and before washing or storing them.  Microwave ovens are usually fairly safe but keep a watchful eye on them when in use and also be sure they have been set up in a safe area of the kitchen so they are not a hazard and in the way of other cooking activities. 

Lastly; kitchen safety should include the presence of a fire extinguished near all stoves and ovens.  If you don't have a fire extinguisher than "baking soda" will put out most small fires.  Many times just putting the lid on a pan which has caught fire will be sufficient to stop the burning.  Be careful when trying to put out small fires because they could easily spread.  Hot burning cooking oil and grease is in a very fluid state and needs to be dealt with very carefully.  Don't burn yourself!

Diagram illustrates how smoke detectors work. 
Smoke detectors are available in many types.  Fire extinguishers are
available in many different sizes.  Your home supply hardware store will be
able to help you with your selection.

Fires can and do happen because of a phenomenon known as "spontaneous combustion".  Spontaneous combustion is a type of combustion which occurs by self heating (increase in temperature due to exothermic internal reactions), followed by thermal runaway (self heating which rapidly accelerates to high temperatures) and finally, ignition.  Let me give you an example for one type of spontaneous combustion.  It's a bright sunny winter day.  Sunlight shines into your living room onto your reading glasses which you've left sitting on the magazine you were reading.  The sun light is magnified through your glasses and begins to burn on the open page you were reading.  Before anyone knows, a fire has started.  Sun light can be magnified to this intensity by a number of sources, usually some kind of glass object.  Remember:  It's a good idea to have a safe place for everything in your home and have everything in it's place.  Good house keeping pays off!
Smoke detectors are an important safe guard in home fire prevention.  Newer smoke detectors can also sense carbon dioxide in the home.  Carbon dioxide is a silent killer and has no smell or taste and usually occurs when gas appliances are not venting properly.  Make sure smoke detectors are tested twice a year and be sure the batteries are new as possible.  It really is advisable to have all of your gas appliances checked on a regular basis and also remember to change the air filter on your furnace at least yearly.  Twice yearly is better; you'll breath a lot easier!  It's a good idea to have a window open a bit somewhere in the home to allow fresh air in during the winter months.
Below is a news article of a home explosion in Indianapolis, IN.  This is and accident which should have been prevented with the proper precautions.  A sad senseless tragedy. 
Teacher, husband presumed
dead in Ind. Explosion

USA Today
By Vic Ryckaert and Barb Berggoetz and Jill Disis
A blast that could be heard for miles around ignited a huge blaze, devastating neighborhood.
  This aerial photo shows the two homes that were leveled and the numerous neighboring homes that were damaged from a massive explosion that sparked a huge fire and killed two people Sunday in Indianapolis.(Photo: Matt Kryger, Indianapolis Star)

Story Highlights

  • Mayor: Damage from blast goes "for blocks on end"
10:25PM EST November 11. 2012 -
INDIANAPOLIS -- Authorities from various Indianapolis, Indiana and federal agencies scoured the rubble Sunday searching for clues to just what caused a massive and deadly explosion late Saturday night on the Far-Southside of the city.

But if answers were elusive -- no official cause has been determined -- the devastation was evident.

Neighbors, volunteers, investigators and others who traipsed through the area or viewed it from above were confronted with horrifying images of destruction.

The toll: Five homes destroyed; an additional 26 homes significantly damaged; 200 people forced from their homes; seven people injured; two people -- presumed to be a second grade teacher and her husband -- dead.

Fieldfare Way, a street in the heart of the Richmond Hill neighborhood, was the center of the blast that shattered windows and crumbled garage doors a block away.

Three houses on the street essentially were reduced to charred foundations.

Tony Burnett, 49, was laying in bed watching the Notre Dame football game a little after 11 p.m. Saturday when the explosion shook his home, knocked down doors and blew out windows.

He said he ran outside and saw that the house across the street was gone. Houses on either side were in flames.

Debris fell like snow.

"When I got outside it was still snowing, with all the pieces of insulation and vinyl siding coming down," Burnett said.

Burnett, his wife and their two dogs escaped without serious injury.

His neighbors, Jennifer L. and John D. Longworth, were believed to have died. Two bodies were removed from the Longworth home, but police and fire officials refused to confirm that they were the presumed victims.

Nontheless, about 100 educators, students and parents gathered Sunday night for a candlelight vigil at Southwest Elementary School, where Jennifer was a second grade teacher.
"You can
 tell teaching wasn't just a job for her," said Jessi Hersinger, whose son Levi was in Longworth's class last year. "She put her heart into it."

Greenwood Schools Superintendent David Edds called Jennifer "a wonderful teacher."

The Marion County, Ind., coroner's office will review dental records and consult with an expert before officially identifying the victims, said Chief Deputy Coroner Alfie Ballew.

Ballew declined to confirm the names, but she said the coroner's office has met with the family of the presumed victims.

Jennifer's father, Donald E. Buxton, declined an interview Sunday.

Another couple was rescued from the rubble of a home Saturday, said a co-worker.

Glenn and Gloria Olvey survived but were "battered, bruised and sore," said David Frazier.

"They were both trapped in the house and had to be evacuated," Frazier said.

Attempts to contact the Olveys were not successful.

According to records and Burnett, who lives across the street, Monserrate R. Shirley lives at the other destroyed home. Shirley was contacted by telephone Sunday but also declined an interview.

While three homes were leveled, two others were heavily damaged and must be bulldozed, city code inspectors said. About 26 more homes need extensive repairs before residents can return.

By Sunday morning, firefighters began allowing people back into about 50 of the least damaged homes. They could stay, but the homes were without power for part of the day.

Firefighters escorted others into more heavily damaged homes to retrieve medicine, pets or identification. But they had to seek shelter elsewhere.

The most heavily damaged houses, marked by a red tag, remained off limits.

Police, Indianapolis Fire Department arson investigators, federal agents and Citizens Energy crews remained in the neighborhood late Sunday.

The cause of the explosion remained a mystery, but attention focused on natural gas lines.

Dan Considine, spokesman for Citizens Energy, said the company's crews shut down the gas main along Fieldfare Way after the blast and on Sunday morning found no leaks.

If the blast was a gas explosion, it would add to a long and deadly string of such accidents in Indiana. The deadliest disaster in Indianapolis history was the Oct. 31, 1963, gas explosion that ripped through the Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum, killing 74 people and injuring about 400 others.

Nearly five years later, on April 6, 1968, a gas explosion wiped out much of downtown Richmond, Ind., killing 41 and injuring scores more.

Last month, a vacant home in in Indianapolis was leveled by a ruptured gas line that caused an explosion.
Contributing: Ryan Sabalow, Robert King and Tim Evans, The Indianapolis Star

USA Today

I never know what to say about this slide!  It's so obvious.  One look gives me shudders.


I think electrical accidents are the second biggest danger to our homes since they are also a source for fires to begin.  As we always seem to need more and more electrical outlets to power our appliances, the best multi plug devices are the power strips because they are built with circuit breakers and will prevent an electrical over load which could begin a fire.

Also; here's a special tip from me to you!  Try to set up a recharging station in your home to centralize all of your rechargeable devices.  A station which is organized where you can "dock" these devices and their cords.  This is much more preferable than having cords strung about threw out your home  creating obstacles for safe passage.

With the yule holidays approaching now is the time to be on the look out for potential electrical hazards with our holiday decorations.  Make sure all lights and chords are in good condition.  Remember; while decorations have been stored away for the past eleven months the electrical chords may have become dry and brittle.  If you even suspect this may be the case, replace these decorations today!  As we have also mentioned, don't overload your electrical out lets and leave plenty or room around your  tree, so forth and ect!


Institutes such as Underwriters Laboratories and Good Housekeeping
test all kinds of products used in our homes for safety.

When it comes to electrical accidents the bathroom could on of the most hazardous place in the home.  As we are washing, showering and bathing be careful of plugged in electrical hair dryers, shavers and other grooming aid appliances.  Don't let them fall in the sink or bath tub.  It could be a real shocking experience!  Also check when purchasing any electrical devices for the home to see if the appliances and extension chords have been tested and carry the "UL" (Underwriters Laboratories) seal of approval as seen in the opening slide of this article.  Underwriters also tests many other products and their seal is a plus for any purchase.  I have also found the "Good House Keeping" seal of approval useful when shopping.

Now this is a place in the home where we need to take a good critical look around.


Home offices are something relatively new and can be fraught with hazards.  To much clutter and to many electrical devices within a small area.  Make sure all computers and so forth are plugged into a reliable power strip with a circuit breaker to eliminate electrical overloading.  Keep your working area as clean and safe as possible.  If you've accumulated to many items over the years then it's time to upgrade with a clean up and store or trow away some of that old junk! 

If you don't need them then get rid of them!  Cleaning supplies, solvents and paints should not be accumulating in your home.  Keep these items to a minimum.  Old medicines should be discarded when no longer needed.
How many of these scenes can we find in our own home?  Probably all of them.  We need to take special precautions in any and all cases when there are small children and pets in the home.  Remember; Murphy's law never sleeps!  If it can happen, it will unless we take the proper steps to insure safety is enforce.  Always keep children in your sight and presence and don't let them get off on their own where you can't watch them.  You are ultimately responsible for their safety. 
Be ready in the event of a natural disaster.  Keep yourself informed by radio or TV
and know the proper responses for you, your family and pets.


Disaster can and do happen especially in the United States.  From coast to coast and the north to the south.  Be familiar with the procedures for disasters which are typical for your area of the country.  Be prepared for any eventuality and be well stocked with plenty of food, water and medical supplies.  If you are ables to afford a generator than get one.  Keep plenty of flash lights and candles as they will prove their usefulness.

Here is a special tip:  in parts of the country where tornadoes and hurricanes are the norm, keep windows partially open and that will prevent the least amount of damage to your home.  Homes which were not at ground zero of the storm or tornado suffer damage because they exploded.  The air pressure in the home will be greater than the pressure out doors during these kinds of disasters.  So don't worry about the rain, try to save your home!

Something we have learned here in California with our earth quakes is to secure all large items to the walls so they don't become unstable hazards during a disaster.  Things to consider are:
  • Water Heaters
  • Washer and Dryers
  • Refrigerators
  • Stoves
  • Televisions
  • Large Book Cases and China Cabinets 

Do what ever you can to render aid after a severe natural disaster and follow the directions from fire and law enforcement officials. Above all make sure you are safe and do not put yourself in any danger.  Check local radio or television stations to receive any further information and instructions which may include shelter locations and so forth if needed.

 Earth Quakes can happen any place in the word but happen in certain regions more than others.  Know what your response should be in case a quake should strike in your area.
Freeze!  You're in an earth quake.  What do I do now you may wonder.  I always take a quick look around to see what ever hazards there may be and then duck and seek cover under a table or desk until it's over.  Be as prepared as possible following the suggestions mentioned in the above sections.  Try to have a plan in place for your family and pets.  Pets are dependent upon you and should not be left to themselves after a severe earth quake.  Animals can be a good indicator preceding a natural disaster so beware if they should become anxious of unusually excited and fearful. 
Again; do what ever you can to render aid after a severe earth quake and follow the directions from fire and law enforcement officials.  Above all make sure you are safe and do not put yourself in any danger.   Check local radio or television stations to receive any further information and instructions which may include shelter locations and so forth if needed.

 Always be sure your pool area is equipped with the right life saving
equipment and that some one in your family is trained in water
safety and first aid!
Did you know that a person can drown on only a tea spoon of water?  It's true!  Any place water is present in the home presents many hazards.  From "slip & fall" accidents to a swimming drowning catastrophe.  Accidents are ever present when water is around.  From the shower and bath tub to the kitchen and laundry room beware of water hazards.  If you live in a region of the country where flooding happens it might be a good idea to have a good quality water pump which can handle the evacuation of flooded areas of the home. 
For those who have swimming pools, weather permanent or portable children's pools, drowning accidents are always a possibility.  Be sure adults are present while children are using them.  Swimming classes are available and advisable.  Water safety classes are also offered through the Red Cross among other agencies and schools.  As we've already mentioned in our electrical section, keep all electrical devices away form the pool area! 
 State and Federal agencies are a good place to start finding information on all
safety related matters.  They are free and available on the Internet for all
types of safety related issues.


The US government has a wealth of sources and information to educate and inform us on being safe.  Below I've tried to put together a list of hipper links that we could store on our computer and on our cellular devices for quick reference in a file we should simply call "My Safety".  Search the web and add sites as you like so that we will always be ready for that unexpected accident.

This article has been addressed to safety issues in the home and the basics of safety.  Safety is a major concern in the work place as well with different occupations specializing in specific areas of safety for which they are responsible.  Also; we come in contact with specific rules for safety when driving and in our daily commute.  The more we know the better off we are. 

We may learn much about safety and how to become prepared through our local news and even in our entertainment such as television programs and movies.  Many times we will see a scenario being played out which may serve to train us in the event we should become involved in a similar situation.  So congratulations; you've just graduated from the Noodleman school of home safety.  Be well and safe in the coming next few months and the year 'round.  I'm Felicity watching out for your safety with the Noodleman Group!

·       FIRST AID
·       FIRE



We're so happy to have Santa visiting our Blog.  Santa should be visiting you're
home over the holidays and he wants you to be safe not only over the festive
season but all the year 'round!  (Thanks to Coca-Cola for the use of their
Santa Clause art)


* “The Noodleman Group” is pleased to announce that we are now carrying a link to the “USA Today” news site.We installed the “widget/gadget” August 20, and it will be carried as a regular feature on our site.Now you can read“Noodleman” and then check in to “USA Today” for all the up to date News, Weather, Sports and more!Just scroll all the way down to the bottom of our site and hit the “USA Today” hyperlinks.Enjoy!

 Safety can be found with Google and so can the Noodleman Group
on Google "Blogger"

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