March 3, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - “Now is the time to change your smoke detector battery reminds Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. Day light savings is the traditional time to do this. A working smoke alarm can help you and your family escape a deadly home fire. A working smoke alarm never takes time off as it continuously scans the air for smoke, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It never sleeps.”
February 28, 2014 (San Diego)--There’s good news forecasted for this week – Rain! Two storms are possible this week says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. As the rain is very much welcome and needed, it’s important to keep safety in mind. It will be hazardous.”
February 17, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--“On average 20,000 deaths and 21 million medical visits occur annually, reminds Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. Firefighters and Paramedics respond to thousands of accidents every day.”
Follow some of these tips to help prevent accidents in your home:
February 7, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--It’s Valentine month and February is also American Heart Month. Cardiovascular Disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Now is a good time to take preventive steps and beat it!
January 5, 2013 (San Diego's East County) -- The flu season is here and like a wildfire, it seems to be spreading rapidly. Symptoms may include: A 100 oF or higher fever or feeling feverish (not everyone with the flu has a fever), a cough and/or sore throat, runny or stuffy nose. headaches and/or body aches, chills. fatigue. nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea (most common in children).
December 31, 2013 (San Diego) – New Years Eve is a special evening, however it’s no special pass to overdo it. “These Safe and responsible tips should be practiced year round,” says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.
December 23, 2013 (San Diego) -- It’s finally here! Everything is out and up, presents are wrapped and time to eat and enjoy (if only it were that easy…) Here are some tips to keep your feasts safe during this Holiday season:
Go wash your hands! Use hot soapy water to wash your hands, utensils, and work surfaces (including cutting boards). Repeat this throughout your preparation to ensure you aren't spreading bacteria around.
December 19, 2013 (San Diego) – We’re all kids at heart, but one of the first questions you should ask is, “What is the toy appropriate age?” says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. It's essential to adhere to the age guidelines indicated on toy packaging, because even a toy for a 3-year-old could have parts too small for a 2-year-old to handle properly.
Are there any small, loose parts that your child can swallow? If you're not sure, consider the toilet paper tube test: anything that can pass through the tube is too small to be given to a child under 3 years old. Marbles, coins and balls are common culprits.
December 11, 2013 (San Diego) – “Now that the outdoor decorations are in place, let’s look at a few indoor safety tips,” says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.
When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label “Fire Resistant.” When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. When setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces and radiators. “Heated rooms dry live trees out rapidly, be sure to keep the stand filled with water,” reminds Chief DiGiovanna. Do not block doorways. Use only lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory. Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections, and throw out damaged sets. Always replace burned-out bulbs promptly with the same wattage bulbs. Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord.
December 11, 2013 (San Diego) – It’s the Holiday season, and many of us will begin hanging decorations. “This week, we’ll start from the outside and work our way in,” says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. One of the most common causes of holiday-time house fires results from these bulbs being too close to gutters filled with dried out leaves. Make sure that the strings of lights you are using outside have built-in fuses on the lines. Check the actual plug. Make sure you are using lights designated for outdoor use only. Use Christmas lights and electric equipment that has been tested and verified by a reliable testing laboratory.
November 25, 2013 (San Diego) – Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, when holiday gift buying begins. Sales offering big discounts lure customers into stores, often beginning in the early hours of the morning. “Unfortunately, Black Friday (and most major shopping days) is a day when shoppers may become victims of crimes and injuries,” says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.
November 21, 2013 (San Diego) – Thanksgiving signifies the beginning of the Holiday Season and many of us will be spending more time in the kitchen preparing for the Holidays over the next week according to Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. “Let’s start thinking safety as Thanksgiving Day is the leading day for home cooking fires, with three times as many occurring on Thanksgiving as any other day of the year. Thanksgiving is a fun, festive holiday, but it’s also very hectic says Chief DiGiovanna. All the entertaining and distractions make it easy to forget about what’s cooking on the stovetop.”
November 14, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) –Electrical failures cause thousands of home fires every year, says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. Those fires cause death and injuries and close to $1.5 billion dollars in property damage. One simple way homeowners can prevent costly electrical fires is with a home fire inspection. Many fire departments offer this service—often free of charge.
Ask your local department about having an inspection for potential electrical issues and recommend steps for improving fire safety. An inspection should review all fire hazards in your home, from testing smoke detectors to making sure curtains and other flammables are a safe distance from heat sources.
October 31, 2013 (San Diego) – Halloween is upon us and safety should be the number one priority for trick-or-treaters, says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. Here are some tips for choosing the right costumes:
Costumes purchased should be made of flame retardant material (check the label). Hemlines should be short enough to prevent tripping. Glow-in-the-dark reflective tape is great for night time costumes.
October 3, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Homeowners in hillside communities, you can help your firefighters by creating defensible space around your home as we experience our first Santa Ana Wind event of the season. There are currently Red Flag Warnings in effect and more to come as we head into dry, warm and windy weather over the next few days.
September 12, 2013 (San Diego) – School is now back in session and along with it comes sports! With over 30 million youths participating in sports, injuries are very likely to occur. Most sports related injuries can be prevented with some basic preventive measures says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.
Keeping in shape “prior” to the season is a good start. It’s still hot, so take it easy on hot or humid days and keep hydrated. Warm up prior to engaging is also important. Many schools require a physical exam before starting a school sport. Check with your child’s school. You may even want to have your child get a physical from your family physician.
September 5, 2013 (San Diego) – Are You Prepared? Jeeepers, What Next?
It seems there are so many things we need to be prepared for, says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. How do you keep up and prepare with all these life and worldly events?
September is the 10th Annual National Preparedness Month, which means that public safety agencies are busy working on a number of events to ensure that their communities are educated, informed, and ready to face any type of crisis situation. “This year’s national theme is ‘Be Your Own Hero,’” says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.
August 29, 2013 (San Diego) – Next weekend is the start of Labor Day Weekend. In order to ensure your Labor Day is a good one, there are some simple safety precautions to consider, says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. Anyone want to barbecue or picnic? Keep a close eye on the grill to ensure safety at all times. Keep children away. Keep the grill away from combustibles and vegetation.
July 30, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – We are in the monsoon season, where pop-up thunderstorms can quickly and unexpectedly bring flash floods no matter where you live, warns Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. Though part of natures beauty, these storms can be very dangerous.
“July has been dedicated National Grilling Safety Month…”
July 24, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – “Dad, the burgers are burning, and so is the house!” Not something one wants to hear. While gas grills contribute to a higher number of home fires than their charcoal counterparts, all grills pose a risk for fires and burns, says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.
July 1, 2013 (San Diego) – If your pets could talk, chances are they “wouldn’t” give you a “lick in,” says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. Dogs can develop heat stroke and sunburn in the hot weather, but one danger to dogs that's frequently overlooked is the potential for paw pad injuries and burns from walking a dog on hot pavement or sand. Walk the dog in the early morning or evening to avoid paw pad burns. Avoid walking the dog in the heat of the day, when the sun beats down, heating the pavement and sand. Walk the dog on the grass; it’s cooler for you and them. Are you taking your dog hiking? Would you like to hike barefoot in the heat on rocky terrain? Maybe your dog wouldn’t either! Make sure you have water for your dog while hiking and do so during a cool hour and “watch those paws!”
July 1, 2013 (San Diego) – With warm weather and family events, the Fourth of July can be a fun time with great memories. But before you and your family celebrate, make sure everyone knows about 4th of July safety, says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. If not handled properly, fireworks, barbeques and heat can be dangerous and cause injuries to kids and adults. The best advice: “Attend public fireworks displays, and leave the lighting to the professionals,” says Chief DiGiovanna.
June 28, 2013 (San Diego) – The Heat is on and looks like it will be with us for a while!
If you work or play outside, you should know about heat stress safety tips. Heat stress is caused by over exposure to hot climates. You might not think it is possible, but you can suffer from heat related injuries inside as well as outside. Heat stress occurs when your bodies core temperature rises above normal.
June 17, 2013 (San Diego) – It’s summer time, and time for a vacation! Many of us may be ready for or planning a vacation for the summer months. Here are some safety tips to help make your vacation safe and enjoyable says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. Vacation safety actually begins while you are still at home and begins with planning for safety!
June 12, 2013 (San Diego) – Every day Fire and EMS personnel respond to workplace accidents resulting in injury and even death. It’s estimated that nearly 4 million employees suffer from a workplace injury and employers spend more than $170 billion on associated costs each year. Many of these accidents could be avoided if an education and prevention program were in place says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.
It’s safe to say Summer is here! Memorial Day is behind us, schools getting out for summer break and Hot Weather is ahead. Many of us will certainly be headed for the pools! Before you take the plunge, read this says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.
May 27, 2013 (San Diego) – Its graduation and summer break time once again; its celebration time! This can be expensive, however, cost is a minor concern for most parents when it comes to these events says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. "Their biggest concern is the risky behavior associated with graduation events and school break parties – drinking and driving, distractions while driving, drugs, unsafe sex." Yes, it happens and it's critical that parents talk to their graduates about these dangers. Here are a few tips that can help keep your teen safe and make this time of year something they fondly remember:
1. Know who’s driving all evening: Are your kids or a friend driving, is there a designated driver, or will they be renting a limo?
May 3, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – We are currently under severe fire conditions. Homeowners are advised to do the following if there are reports of wildland fires:
• Listen to local radio or TV stations for updated emergency information. Follow instructions of local officials regarding the safest escape route. (It may be different than you expect; wildland fires can change direction and speed up suddenly.)
• If you have one, turn on your FRS Radio and set it to your neighborhood’s channel and code. Check in, and continue to monitor for new information. Channel ______ Code _______
• If you believe the fire is too close to your location, evacuate immediately. (The fire may be moving too fast for officials to issue evacuation notifications.) Choose a route away from the fire and other potential fire hazards.
April 30, 2013 (San Diego's East County)--We will be experiencing an extremely high fire danger for the next 72 plus hours. High pressure is building over Southern California. Lack of rain has resulted in critically low fuel moisture content level. Warm temperatures with strong gusty off-shore winds will increase the threat of wildfire.
Wildfires affect everyone as resources from areas not serving in wildland urban interface (WUI) are called to assist leaving areas short staffed until personnel can be recalled. Please advise homeowners to do their part by: