Safety Information for Your Home
Your safety is of utmost concern to us. We have adopted a culture of being Incident and Injury Free (IIF) and feel it is our mission to ensure our residents have the best possible experience while living with us.We have designed this page to highlight the very important safety features of your home and ask that you take time to review these points with your family members and long-term guests.
In the event of a fire,properly installed and maintained smoke alarms will provide an early warning signal to your household. This alarm could save your own life and those of your loved ones by providing the chance to escape. Early detection allows you to make timely decisions regarding how you will react to a fire. Because fire spreads fast, early detection is vital in extinguishing or escaping from the flames.
Maintenance of your smoke alarms is critical. Smoke alarms can save lives but they won’t work if they aren’t maintained. A good rule of thumb is to change your alarm batteries twice a year. If you’re unsure about the freshness of your batteries, it is best to change them and not take any chances. Never remove the battery unless replacing it. Many people change their batteries when they change their clocks for daylight savings time in the fall. That way they can remember to “Change the Clock/Change the Battery”.
If your smoke alarm starts to “beep” or “chirp” every minute or so this usually indicates a weak battery. Replace the battery immediately with a fresh one and reset the alarm. Simply call your local Maintenance department and we will come out and replace the battery for you. If it continues to chirp, or if at any time a detector is not working properly, please call our Maintenance department so a qualified technician can service the unit.
What if the alarm goes off while I’m cooking?
Then it’s doing its job. Do not disable or tamper with your smoke alarm if it activates due to cooking or other non-fire causes. Tampering with your smoke detector is a serious violation and you could be putting your family’s and neighbor’s safety at risk. Instead, clear the air by waving a towel near the alarm, leaving the batteries in place.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detectors
Often called the silent killer,carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane) burn incompletely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel are potential sources of carbon monoxide. Vehicles or generators running in an attached garage can also produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.
The dangers of CO exposure depend on a number of variables, including the victim’s health and activity level. Infants, pregnant women, and people with physical conditions that limit their body’s ability to use oxygen (i.e. emphysema, asthma, heart disease) can be more severely affected by lower concentration of CO than healthy adults would be. A person can be poisoned by a small amount of CO over a longer period of time or by a large amount of CO over a shorter amount of time. If the CO alarm sounds, immediately move to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for. Call for help from a fresh air location and stay there until emergency personnel arrive.
A portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing the fire until the fire department arrives;but portable extinguishes have limitation's. Because fire grows and spreads so rapidly, the number one priority for residents is to get out safely.
Only use a portable fire extinguisher when the fire is confined to a small area,such as a wastebasket, and is not growing; everyone has exited the building; the fire department has been called or is being called; and the room is not filled with smoke. Read the instructions that come with the fire extinguisher and become familiar with its parts and operation before a fire breaks out. To operate a fire extinguisher, remember the word PASS:
P PULL the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism
A AIM low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire
S SQUEEZE the lever slowly and evenly
S SWEEP the nozzle from side-to-side
As you go about arranging your belongings in your home, please take the time to inspect your electrical cords before plugging in the item. While a seemingly trivial problem, frayed and damaged power cords or cords that have had their ground prong removed pose a significant risk to residents and can pose a threat of electric shock and present a fire hazard. Power cords can become frayed or damaged from heavy use and age and should be inspected regularly.
Frequently, mishandling (such as pulling a plug from a socket by jerking the cord rather than removing the plug carefully by hand) causes the most significant damage to a cord over time, tearing the external protective sheathing or detaching it from the plug head and exposing energized wires.
Less obvious than damaged and frayed cords is the threat posed by missing ground prongs, the rounded third prong on electrical plugs. These ground prongs often break off from mishandling or are removed intentionally to fit a plug into two-prong outlets. Ungrounded plugs can pose a significant electrocution risk.
To prevent electrical accidents at home, follow this safety checklist:
• Replace worn or frayed cords and bent plugs
• Never overload an outlet
• Replace any item hat overheats or gives off smoke or sparks
• When buying electrical appliances, look for the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) seal
• Keep curtains, clothes and all other fabrics away from space heaters and other appliances that generate heat
• Never place furniture in front of an outlet that causes the cord to bend. A bent cord can cause
arcing and start a fire.
Having an evacuation plan is very important for your family. In an emergency, every second counts, so you want to be as prepared as possible. Evacuation plans can be useful for many different types of disasters: earthquakes, flooding, hurricanes, snow storms, and statistically more common, house fires. House fires are one of the most common disasters people face in this country so it is important that everyone has an evacuation or fire escape plan, and practice it regularly. Everyone in your family should know the plan, even the little ones, so set aside an evening when the whole family can get together to make your emergency escape plan.
Important points to remember when creating
an evacuation plan for your home are:
• Identify and mark at least two (2) escape routes from each room.
• Mark the locations of fire extinguishes, smoke detectors, first aid kits, disaster 72 hour kit.
• For people with medical conditions or disabilities, mark their location as well as the location of any special equipment they will immediately need.
• Draw your building’s floor plan, and then draw your evacuation routes and a meeting place.
• Make one drawing for each story of the building. Keep in a safe place and review often with your family.
• Practice using your 72 hour kit supplies.
Make sure you include a good first-aid kit.
Disaster Preparedness Kit (72 Hour Kit)
The following items are recommended for inclusion in your basic disaster supplies kit:
• Three-day supply of non-perishable food
• Three-day supply of water - one gallon of water per person, per day
• Portable, battery-powered radio or television and extra batteries
• Flashlight & extra batteries
• First aid kit & manual
• Sanitation & hygiene items (moist wipes & toilet paper)
• Matches & waterproof container
• Extra clothing
• Kitchen accessories & cooking utensils, including a can opener
• Photocopies of credit & identification cards
• Cash & coins
• Special needs items, such as prescription medications,eye glasses, contact lens
solutions & hearing aid batteries
• Items for infants, such as formula, diapers,bottles & pacifiers
• Other items to meet your unique family needs
In some locations the climate is unique, you must think about warmth.
It is possible that you will not have heat. Think about your clothing and bedding supplies. Be sure to include one complete change
of clothing and shoes per
• Jacket or coat
• Long pants
• Long sleeve shirt
• Sturdy shoes or boots
• Hat, mittens & scarf
• Sleeping bag or warm blanket (per person)
Safe Cooking Tips - Click here for information on Grease Fires
The kitchen can be one of the most hazardous rooms in the home if you don’t practice safe cooking behaviors. Here are some safety tips to help:
•Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
•If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you're cooking.
•Stay alert! To prevent cooking fires, you have to be alert. You won't be if you are sleepy, have been drinking alcohol, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy.
•Keep anything that can catch fire - potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels, or curtains - away from your stovetop.
•Keep the stovetop, burners, and oven clean.
•Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. Loose clothing can dangle onto stove burners and catch fire if it comes into contact with a gas flame or electric burner.
•Plug microwave ovens and other cooking appliances directly into an outlet. Never use an extension cord for a cooking appliance, as it can overload the circuit and cause a fire.
As another means to help keep you and your family safe, we recently launched a window safety awareness campaign providing tips to prevent falls from windows. While windows play an important role in the event of a fire or other emergency, they can also pose a serious risk, especially for young children.
• Keep your windows closed and locked when children are around.
• When opening windows for ventilation, utilize windows a child cannot reach.
• Set and enforce strict rules about keeping children’s play away from windows or patio doors. Falling through the glass can cause serious injury or a fatality.
• Keep furniture — or anything that children can climb upon — away from windows. Children may use such objects as a climbing aid.
• Please leave the child fall hazard decals in the position as is. If it starts to fray or fade or you would like another, please contact your Community Manager.
To learn more about how to keep your family safe check out these informative handouts below:
7 Hidden Home Hazards
Are Your Window Coverings Safe?
Childproofing Your Home