Each June, the National Safety Council celebrates National Safety Month as a time to bring attention to key safety issues. We bring attention to key safety issues all year long. So we are happy to promote the campaign! Thousands of organizations across the country are taking part in the campaign to reduce the risk of the safety issues, including ending prescription drug abuse; preventing slips, trips and falls; being aware of surroundings; ending distracted driving and practicing summer safety. Safety is a high priority for those of us at the RJWestmore Training System by Universal Fire/Life Safety Services. In fact, our motto, #Be #Safe, highlights the priority we put on safety. So we are using this week’s blog posts to celebrate safety:
Week 1: Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse
Prescription drug abuseis the use of a medication without a prescription, in a way other than as prescribed, or for the experience or feelings elicited. I don’t get this one. But maybe that’s because my RXs are always for things like allergies. According to several national surveys, prescription medications, such as those used to treat pain, attention deficit disorders, and anxiety, are being abused at a rate second only to marijuana among illicit drug users. The consequences of this abuse have been steadily worsening, reflected in increased treatment admissions, emergency room visits, and overdose deaths.
According to results from a 2010 national survey on drug use and health:
- 2.4 million Americans used prescription drugs non-medically for the first time within the past year, which averages to approximately 6,600 initiates per day.
- More than one-half were females.
- About a third were aged 12 to 17.
- Although prescription drug abuse affects many Americans, certain populations, such as youth, older adults, and women, may be at particular risk.
- Bacon is not considered a prescription or recreational drug. What a relief!
If you or anyone you know has a problem with prescription drugs, contact the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Week 2: Stop Slips, Trips and Falls
- 15 percent of all accidental deaths per year, the second-leading cause behind motor vehicles
- About 25 percent of all reported injury claims per fiscal year
- More than 95 million lost work days per year – about 65 percent of all work days lost
- Falls are one of the leading causes of unintentional injuries in the United States, accounting for approximately 8.9 million visits to the emergency department annually (NSC Injury Facts 2011).
- Dogs fall too…although not as often as people, I’ve noticed.
Adults 55 and older are more prone to becoming victims of falls, with the resulting injuries often diminish the victim’s ability to lead active, independent lives. The number of fall-related deaths among those 65 and older is four times the number of falling-related deaths among all other age groups.
Most slips and trips occur due to a loss of traction between the shoe and the walking surface, or an inadvertent contact with a fixed or moveable object, which may lead to a fall. There are a variety of situations that may cause slips, trips and falls. Pads on paws help a lot with traction.
Many people have a friend or relative who has fallen, or have fallen themselves. In fact, falls are the second-leading cause of unintentional death in homes and communities, resulting in more than 25,000 fatalities in 2009. The risk of falling, and fall-related problems, rises with age and is a serious issue in homes and communities. So take the time to remove slip, trip and fall hazards to keep your family and/or your tenants safe.
Week 3: Be Aware of Your Surroundings
- Whether it’s driving to the grocery store or going on a daily walk, to be safe, it’s crucial that you make yourself aware of your surroundings. By using simple precautions, you can safely enjoy the time you spend outside of your home. Here are some specific instructions for your safety. (But please remember that, while these tips can be helpful, they do not guarantee your safety. Immediately contact the police if you detect any suspicious behavior.):
- Take a friend (especially a furry one). Walking a dog, especially one inclined to bark at strangers, is better than venturing out alone.
- Take your cell phone with you so you can call 911 if you see something suspicious.
- Let a friend or family member know where you’re going and when you plan to return.
- Avoid walking too closely to bushes or areas with any kind of tall overgrowth.
- Stay attentive to your surroundings and if listening to music, keep the volume at a low level so you can hear what’s going on around you.
- Only run or walk in familiar areas.
- Use caution when out at night. If you are out after dark, always carry a flashlight with fresh batteries.
- Walk on the sidewalk facing traffic. Facing traffic makes it more difficult for someone to drive up behind you without being noticed.
- Before heading to your destination, make sure you have enough gas to get you there and back. You wouldn’t want to be stranded alone.
- If you feel like you are being followed, drive to the nearest gas station or open business. Do not drive home until you are completely sure you are alone.
- Roll up the windows and lock all car doors every time you leave your car.
- When you approach your car, have the key ready.
- Avoid parking in isolated areas especially at night. If possible, park your car under a lamppost.
- Whenever possible, walk instead of drive. This is good for your health and for your canine companion.
If You Are Attacked:
- Noise is your most immediate defense. Not only will sound attract attention to you and make your location known but it may also cause the would-be attacker to flee.
- If possible, run in the direction of help. An assailant usually will not engage in a pursuit because it could increase the possibility of detection or apprehension.
- If the assailant demands your purse, keys or money, give it to him or her. Don’t risk your life.
- Never leave the site of the attack when prompted by an attacker. Don’t believe an assailant that says he or she won’t hurt you if you leave with him or her. Stay where you are, fight and scream.
Week 4: Put an End to Distracted Driving
Bonus week: Summer Safety
It’s only fitting that we cover summer safety before the official start of summer on June 21. But because the topic is rather broad, we will feature the content in next week’s blog posts. So check back. And, in the meantime, #BE #SAFE.
When a disaster of any kind strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. The RJWestmore Training System by Universal Fire/Life Safety Services is a convenient and affordable solution to all of the training needs of your building(s). Choosing our service cuts property management training-related costs by 90% and saves you over 50% compared to conventional training! More importantly, IT SAVES LIVES.