Archive for the ‘Life Safety’ Category


Monday, January 31st, 2011

You’ve seen it in movies: A girl walks through an isolated parking garage. Suddenly, an evil-looking guy jumps out from behind an SUV. Girl jabs bad guy in the eyes with her keys — or maybe she kicks him in a certain sensitive place. Either way, while he’s squirming, she leaps into her car and speeds to safety.

That’s the movies. Here’s the real-life action replay: When the girl goes to jab or kick the guy, he knows what’s coming and grabs her arm (or leg), pulling her off balance. Enraged by her attempt to fight back, he flips her onto the ground. Now she’s in a bad place to defend herself — and she can’t run away.

Many people think of self-defense as a karate kick to the groin or jab in the eyes of an attacker. But self-defense actually means doing everything possible to avoid fighting someone who threatens or attacks you. Self-defense is all about using your smarts — not your fists.

Use Your Head

People (guys as well as girls) who are threatened and fight back "in self-defense" actually risk making a situation worse. The attacker, who is already edgy and pumped up on adrenaline — and who knows what else — may become even more angry and violent. The best way to handle any attack or threat of attack is to try to get away. This way, you’re least likely to be injured.

One way to avoid a potential attack before it happens is to trust your instincts. Your intuition, combined with your common sense, can help get you out of trouble. For example, if you’re running alone on the school track and you suddenly feel like you’re being watched, that could be your intuition telling you something. Your common sense would then tell you that it’s a good idea to get back to where there are more people around.

De-Escalating a Bad Situation

Attackers aren’t always strangers who jump out of dark alleys. Sadly, teens can be attacked by people they know. That’s where another important self-defense skill comes into play. This skill is something self-defense experts and negotiators call de-escalation.

De-escalating a situation means speaking or acting in a way that can prevent things from getting worse. The classic example of de-escalation is giving a robber your money rather than trying to fight or run. But de-escalation can work in other ways, too. For example, if someone harasses you when there’s no one else around, you can de-escalate things by agreeing with him or her. You don’t have to actually believe the taunts, of course, you’re just using words to get you out of a tight spot. Then you can redirect the bully’s focus ("Oops, I just heard the bell for third period"), and calmly walk away from the situation.

Something as simple as not losing your temper can de-escalate a situation. Learn how to manage your own anger effectively so that you can talk or walk away without using your fists or weapons.

Although de-escalation won’t always work, it can only help matters if you remain calm and don’t give the would-be attacker any extra ammunition. Whether it’s a stranger or someone you thought you could trust, saying and doing things that don’t threaten your attacker can give you some control.

Reduce Your Risks

Another part of self-defense is doing things that can help you stay safe. Here are some tips from the National Crime Prevention Council and other experts:

  • Understand your surroundings. Walk or hang out in areas that are open, well lit, and well traveled. Become familiar with the buildings, parking lots, parks, and other places you walk. Pay particular attention to places where someone could hide — such as stairways and bushes.
  • Avoid shortcuts that take you through isolated areas.
  • If you’re going out at night, travel in a group.
  • Make sure your friends and parents know your daily schedule (classes, sports practice, club meetings, etc.). If you go on a date or with friends for an after-game snack, let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to return.
  • Check out hangouts. Do they look safe? Are you comfortable being there? Ask yourself if the people around you seem to share your views on fun activities — if you think they’re being reckless, move on.
  • Be sure your body language shows a sense of confidence. Look like you know where you’re going and act alert.
  • When riding on public transportation, sit near the driver and stay awake. Attackers are looking for vulnerable targets.
  • Carry a cell phone if possible. Make sure it’s programmed with your parents’ phone number.
  • Be willing to report crimes in your neighborhood and school to the police.
  • Take a Self-Defense Class-

    The best way — in fact the only way — to prepare yourself to fight off an attacker is to take a self-defense class. We’d love to give you all the right moves in an article, but some things you just have to learn in person.

    A good self-defense class can teach you how to size up a situation and decide what you should do. Self-defense classes can also teach special techniques for breaking an attacker’s grasp and other things you can do to get away. For example, attackers usually anticipate how their victim might react — that kick to the groin or jab to the eyes, for instance. A good self-defense class can teach you ways to surprise your attacker and catch him or her off guard.

    One of the best things people take away from self-defense classes is self-confidence. The last thing you want to be thinking about during an attack is, "Can I really pull this self-defense tactic off?" It’s much easier to take action in an emergency if you’ve already had a few dry runs.

    A self-defense class should give you a chance to practice your moves. If you take a class with a friend, you can continue practicing on each other to keep the moves fresh in your mind long after the class is over.

    Check out your local YMCA, community hospital, or community center for classes. If they don’t have them, they may be able to tell you who does. Your PE teacher or school counselor may also be a great resource.

A Guide to Eldercare Options:

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009


Quick summary

Evaluating your parent’s living needs — and abilities — is an ongoing process. And there’s a range of eldercare options available to meet those shifting priorities and concerns — from the freedom of living on one’s own (perhaps in a smaller place) to the supportive environment of assisted living to the round-the-clock care available at skilled nursing facilities. Each offers something different, so sorting out your options is the first step.

Approximately 30 million families are providing care to an older relative, a number that’s expected to double over the next 25 years. Planning ahead for eldercare can help cut down on the financial and emotional toll of caring for a parent. If your parent is starting to show even a few signs of needing more support, it’s time to start exploring the maze of options.

Independent living

Sometimes called "aging in place," this is the route that the great majority of older Americans say they hope to take. Your parent is likely to need some support if he chooses to continue living on his own, although how much help he’ll need will vary tremendously depending on his health and how connected he is to the community.


A good place to start looking for support is the federal Department of Health and Human Services Eldercare Locator, which can connect you with public and community-based agencies that offer services to elders in the area. You may also want to look at simple home renovations, such as adding a railing next to the toilet, as well as the growing list of gadgets that can make independent living safer and more comfortable as your parent ages.

  • Is this the right option for my parent? "A good candidate has family members who are able to check on him every day," says Pat O’Dea-Evans, COO of Paxem, a Chicago-based company that helps seniors who are contemplating a move. Your parent’s health is a central factor to consider — one you’ll need to re-evaluate periodically as he ages. Parents who are healthy enough to perform basic functions such as cooking and bathing and who can get around safely may do well living independently.

Also look at the kind of support your parent has in the community — does he live near important services like a grocery store, pharmacy, doctors, and a hospital? Is he connected to others in his neighborhood, or has he become socially isolated?

Moving to a new home

As parents age, they’ll sometimes choose to move into a smaller, perhaps single-story home, sometimes in a different state in order to be closer to their children. If this is something your parent would like to pursue, consider enlisting the aide of a senior move manager, a professional who specializes in the relocation needs of aging adults.

  • Is this the right option for my parent? If you or another family member wants to offer support to your parent but live too far away, relocation may be a good solution. If your parent is already living nearby and is committed to living independently, it may be wise to downsize as he gets older and a larger home becomes harder to navigate and maintain.

In-home care

If your parent wants to stay in his home but is beginning to need more help, he has a number of options — from a personal care attendant, who can assist with tasks such as cooking and cleaning, to a certified nursing assistant, who can monitor your parent’s medical condition and help with activities like bathing and dressing.

  • Is this the right option for my parent? If your parent places a high value on privacy or the familiarity of his home and neighborhood, this may be the best choice. Finding the right match may take some time and effort, however. If your parent is cognitively impaired, you’ll want to be especially cautious before going this route. Although most caregivers are trustworthy, you’ll need to make sure he doesn’t get taken advantage of.

Moving your parent in with you: Eldercare at home

If you have the space and can handle the day-to-day care of your parent, you may want to think about inviting him to come live with you.

  • Is this the right option for my parent? Whether to move your parent into your home is an intensely personal decision. You need to think about the nature of your relationship with your parent, as well as his relationship with your partner and children.

The layout of your home is an important consideration: Do you have an in-law unit or even just an extra bathroom that your parent can use exclusively? Privacy can be very important to seniors, as well as to you and your immediate family.

You’ll also need to consider your schedule and your parent’s care needs and level of mobility. If you work full-time and your parent can’t get around on his own, he may feel more isolated living with you than he would in a eldercare community where he could socialize with other residents and participate in on-site activities. But if you and your parent communicate well and enjoy each other’s company, and you and your family have the time and ability to care for him, sharing your home with your parent can be a wonderful way to stay close as he ages.


Independent living communities

Usually apartment or condominium complexes, these communities generally offer on-site amenities such as beauty salons, banks, fitness programs, and communal meals. They may even have a doctor who makes regular rounds.

  • Is this the right option for my parent? If your parent values his independence and isn’t in need of daily care — but perhaps is ready to stop driving, is starting to worry about his safety, or just wants more support and companionship — an independent living community can be a great choice.

Assisted-living facilities

These eldercare facilities cover the middle ground: They serve elders who need more support than they can get living independently but who don’t need complex medical care on a daily basis. Most offer meals, housekeeping, and planned activities. Many will remind your parent to take medications but won’t do things like give injections.

  • Is this the right option for my parent? If your parent is finding daily life increasingly challenging but doesn’t have a serious medical condition that requires round-the-clock monitoring, assisted living may be the right choice. As with all eldercare housing communities, assisted-living facilities vary greatly, so make sure you know exactly what a particular location does and doesn’t offer before making a commitment.

Continuing-care communities

There’s a wide variation in what continuing-care communities provide, but most offer a range of eldercare options as your parent ages, from independent living units to assisted living to skilled nursing, all in one place. These facilities can be costly to start — most charge an entrance fee and may require your parent to purchase his apartment or condominium — but because many promise to care for your parent for the rest of his life, even if his needs change, they also offer security.

  • Is this the right option for my parent? A continuing-care community is a good choice for a parent who wants assistance making some of his healthcare decisions, says O’Dea-Evans. It’s also a good choice if you don’t feel able to manage your parent’s care on a daily basis — perhaps because you live far away — as everything he’ll require as he ages is generally on-site, and trained staff will help him move from one phase to another as the need arises.

Family care homes

These are usually private homes that have been converted to provide eldercare for a small number of seniors. An alternative to a skilled nursing facility, they generally offer all meals and round-the-clock staffing, sometimes at a lower cost.

  • Is this the right option for my parent? If your parent lives in a small town or rural area without a skilled nursing facility and wants to stay in the area, this may be the best option. Family care homes are also a good choice for people who need lots of personal attention from caregivers who know them well, says O’Dea-Evans. Such seniors might not thrive in a larger facility with different staff members coming in and out.

Skilled nursing facilities

These eldercare facilities provide round-the-clock medical care, usually administered by registered nurses and aides under the supervision of doctors. Your parent may also receive physical, speech, and occupational therapy, as well as assistance with activities of daily living.

  • Is this the right option for my parent? If your parent needs help from trained medical personnel on a daily basis — such as insulin monitoring and injections for diabetes, or intravenous medication — or if he’s unable to feed, bathe, and dress himself, he may need to be in a skilled nursing facility long-term. A limited stay in a skilled nursing facility may be necessary after a medical crisis requiring hospitalization.

Memory care or Alzheimer’s care facilities

These specialized eldercare facilities serve Alzheimer’s patients and those with other forms of dementia. They are generally secure, so that a patient who is confused can’t wander off the grounds. The staff is specially trained to provide eldercare to seniors with cognitive issues.

  • Is this the right option for my parent? If your parent suffers from Alzheimer’s, dementia, or a condition such as Parkinson’s or a stroke that has caused permanent cognitive impairment, he may well need this kind of specialized eldercare. But be sure a neurological exam confirms that any impairment is permanent before you make this decision. If a parent were to regain cognitive function, as may be possible after a stroke, this kind of setting wouldn’t be right long-term.


Faulty appliance blamed for fatal Centereach house fire

Monday, May 25th, 2009

 Faulty appliance blamed for fatal Centereach house fire —


A malfunctioning kitchen appliance is being blamed for a house fire in Centereach early Saturday that killed an elderly mother and her daughter, Suffolk police said.
Dorothy Reinhard, 77, and her daughter, Elaine Moore, 60, were both unconscious when police and firefighters reached their smoke-filled home on Fulton Street shortly before 5 a.m.
They appeared to have been overcome by smoke, according to Det. Sgt. John Twiname. Both were later pronounced dead at Stony Brook University Medical Center.
Suffolk patrol officers responding to a 911 call forced open a locked door to find Reinhard collapsed in the kitchen; Moore was close by in an adjacent hallway.

"It appears some sort of kitchen appliance was the issue," Twiname said. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but it appeared to start in the rear ground floor kitchen, filling the house with thick smoke, he said.
Police believe that Moore and Reinhard were likely asleep when the fire began and lost consciousness in the heavy smoke after being alerted to the blaze. The cause of death is to be determined by the county medical examiner.
Reinhard’s son and Moore’s brother, Karl Reinhard, 49, of Port Jefferson Station, took pictures of the damage and greeted neighbors as fire officials removed yellow police tape lining the property.
Reinhard said the house was recently renovated and had been outfitted with new appliances and fire alarms.
"Everything was brand new, so what happened?" he said. Police said it was not clear if a smoke or other alarm sounded. The house is about two blocks from the Centereach Fire Department headquarters on South Washington Avenue.
The fire was discovered by Jennifer Greco, a tenant who lives in a second-floor apartment, police said. She awoke to find smoke about 4:45 a.m. and rushed downstairs, only to be blocked by a locked door.
Greco was able to get out of the home and then went to a neighbor who called 911. She was hospitalized for minor smoke inhalation, police said, but was back at the house by midmorning. Fire marshals removed a dead cat from the property.
Reinhard said his mother was a housewife, while his sister worked in a factory. They have lived together in the house for many years, according to several neighbors, and the family was among the first to live on the block.




Carbon Monoxide Detectors Save Lives!

Monday, May 4th, 2009

My Carbon Monoxide Detector Beeps Once Every 5-10 Minutes, Even After I Put In Brand New Batteries!
When carbon monoxide detectors were first introduced into the market, they had a limited lifespan of 2 years However technology developments have increased this and many now advertise up to 7 years. Newer models are designed to signal a need to be replaced after that time span although there are many instances of detectors operating far beyond this point.
According to the 2005 edition of the carbon monoxide guidelines, NFPA 720 [5], published by the National Fire Protection Association, sections and, all CO detectors “shall be centrally located outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms,” and each detector “shall be located on the wall, ceiling or other location as specified in the installation instructions that accompany the unit.” CO detectors can be placed near the ceiling or near the floor as CO is very close to the same density as air.
If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector in your house…get one today. for all your Burglar Alarms, Security Systems, Camera CCTV Systems and Surveillance needs!