Safety Tip Reminders
With warmer weather arriving soon, we’d like to remind you of some safety tips:
- Nationwide every year we read about children being left behind in a car, almost always with tragic results. Many times the parents/caregivers are caring people who are busy and/or stressed and just forgot that their child was with them. Researchers at Stanford University determined that temperatures in vehicles can rise 19 degrees in only 10 minutes. When it’s 85 degrees outside, after only 10 minutes it can be as hot as 104 degrees inside a vehicle. Studies have shown that brain damage and death can occur when the body temperature reaches 104 degrees. Here are a few tricks to remember to check your car seat:
- Leave a large stuffed animal in your car seat. When you put child in the car seat, remove the stuffed animal and put it in the front seat with you. This will serve as a visual reminder that your car seat is occupied!
- Make it a habit to put your purse/wallet (or better yet, your phone) in your back seat. When you exit your vehicle you will grab your wallet/purse/phone and see that your precious cargo is still in the seat.
- Put the diaper bag in the front seat with you. Again, this acts as a visual reminder that you have your child with you.
- Do NOT leave animals unattended in your vehicle. Unlike with unattended children who are many times unintentionally left behind, we usually see this done intentionally by animal owners. Many times the pet owners think that their pet will be fine if they leave the windows cracked open. Temperatures escalate quickly inside vehicles, even with windows opened slightly. If you need to stop at the store, leave your pet at home. Trust me, your dog will be much happier sleeping on your couch in your house with the AC or fan on than he will be sitting in a hot vehicle in the parking lot waiting for you to run in to the store to buy milk! If you don’t think the temperatures rise that quickly, the next warm day throw on your winter coat and drive around for some time. Then open the windows 3”, turn the car off and sit in the car for15 minutes (OUR SOLICITOR WOULD LIKELY ADVISE US TO PUBLISH THE FOLLOWING DISCLAIMER: DO NOT TRY THIS. THIS IS DANGEROUS. THIS IS MEANT AS SARCASM AND NOT TO BE TAKEN AS A SUGGESTION). Not real comfy, right? So imagine how your dog feels when he can’t take off his winter coat and turn the AC back on!! If you’re not sure how quickly the temperature rises in vehicles, re-read the 1st bullet point!
- Always lock your doors and windows in your home. There’s nothing better than some fresh spring air (unless, of course, you have allergies. Then the air isn’t so “fresh.”). However, open doors and windows are an “open invitation” to burglars. If you need to leave the windows cracked open, install some window security pins to prevent the windows from opening far enough to allow human entry. This is a good idea for all seasons, as most window locks are relatively easy to defeat. You can also install a security bar for sliding doors. A cheaper solution would be to use a 2”x4” piece of wood (or even a broken hockey stick) to wedge between the edge of the sliding door and the frame. It might not be as aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but it would work in a pinch.
- Be aware of distraction burglaries. Quite often burglars will work in pairs. While 1 burglar distracts you, another will enter your home and take whatever they can. These distractions can occur several different ways. One common method is for 1 burglar to knock on your front door to get you to answer the front door. While this person is distracting you, his or her partner enters another door of your house. Another common method is for one suspect to come to your house and offer some sort of service (roof repair, driveway re-finishing, etc.). Quite often they will have you come outside to look at the roof/driveway (or whatever they are offering to “repair”) to distract you while their partner enters your home. Sometimes these burglars will look rather official and communicate with 2-way radios. Again, be aware of these methods and always keep your doors locked!
- When you’re out in the yard, make sure you secure your house. You may be surprised how many burglaries occur while the victim is right outside their home. Too often a victim is in the backyard relaxing or working in the garden while a burglar walks in an open front door or garage to help themselves to whatever is close.
- Establish your driveway as a “No Play Zone” for small children to decrease the likelihood of running over a child. Teach your kids to not play on the driveway to help minimize the risk of injuries.
- When you’re outside, remember to stay hydrated.
All of us at West Lampeter Township Police Department hope you have a safe, happy and fun summer!!