Monthly Safety Tip — October


Halloween Safety — Don't Let "Boo" turn into "Boo Hoo"


Halloween has so much to offer kids of all ages — from the make-believe of costumes to the bags full of tasty treats. But there can be dangers parents should be aware of. To help ensure the holiday stays fun-filled for all, we'd like to offer some helpful safety tips, complements of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).


ALL DRESSED UP:

  • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flames.
  • Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.
  • Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes.
  • When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories, look for and purchase those with a label clearly indicating they are flame resistant.

 

CARVING A NICHE: 

  • Small children should never carve pumpkins. Instead, small children can draw a face with markers, then parents can do the cutting.
  • Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin. If you do use a candle, a votive candle is safest.
  • Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects — not on a porch or any path where visitors may pass close by. And they should never be left unattended.

 

HOME SAFE HOME:

  • To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over, such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.
  • Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.


ON THE TRICK-OR-TREAT TRAIL:

  • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
  • Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
  • If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
  • Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.
  • Because pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween, remind trick-or-treaters:
    • Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
    • Remember reflective tape for costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
    • Carry a cellphone for quick communication.
    • Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
    • If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
    • Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom). Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.

 

HEALTHY HALLOWEEN:

  • Consider purchasing non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books, or pens and pencils.
  • Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.


Regularly check the vitals of your home, and encourage your friends and loved ones to do the same!

Visit the National Electrical Safety Month section of the website for additional resources and suggestions for facilitating a local electrical safety awareness campaign.

Give Your Home an Electrical Safety Checkup

- See more at: http://www.esfi.org/resource/give-your-home-an-electrical-safety-checkup-227#sthash.9sl7XxPG.dpuf

Just as regular wellness checkups are critical for maintaining your health, routine safety checkups are critical for the safety of your home.  Use ESFI's handy Electrical Safety Checkup list to ensure that you can identify and correct potential electrical hazards around your home before an electrical fire or incident can result.  

Regularly check the vitals of your home, and encourage your friends and loved ones to do the same!

Visit the National Electrical Safety Month section of the website for additional resources and suggestions for facilitating a local electrical safety awareness campaign.

Give Your Home an Electrical Safety Checkup

- See more at: http://www.esfi.org/resource/give-your-home-an-electrical-safety-checkup-227#sthash.9sl7XxPG.dpuf

Just as regular wellness checkups are critical for maintaining your health, routine safety checkups are critical for the safety of your home.  Use ESFI's handy Electrical Safety Checkup list to ensure that you can identify and correct potential electrical hazards around your home before an electrical fire or incident can result.  

Regularly check the vitals of your home, and encourage your friends and loved ones to do the same!

Visit the National Electrical Safety Month section of the website for additional resources and suggestions for facilitating a local electrical safety awareness campaign.

Give Your Home an Electrical Safety Checkup

- See more at: http://www.esfi.org/resource/give-your-home-an-electrical-safety-checkup-227#sthash.9sl7XxPG.dpuf

Monthly Safety Tip — April

Credit Cards — What you don’t know CAN hurt you!

Credit cards are necessary in today’s world. Used responsibly, credit cards can be helpful in an emergency and for establishing a credit history. Yet all credit cards are not equal. In recognition of “Financial Literacy Month,” here are some tips on using credit wisely.

Just Say “NO”

Credit card company representatives will compete for your business by handing
out T-shirts, coffee mugs, CDs and other enticements. Such incentives may appear attractive, but before you sign anything, read the fine print in the credit contract. Ask yourself if having the credit card is worth the incentive. In many cases, it is not.

Be Aware of “Teaser” Rates

Credit card companies sometimes offer low introductory interest rates to attract new customers. These rates typically last for only a few months and then jump as high as 20 percent, so it’s important that you carefully compare offers from several different issuers before selecting a card.

Stick with One Credit Card

Just because it’s easy to apply for multiple cards doesn’t mean you should. This is especially tempting when department stores offer you discounts on purchases if you apply for a credit card. It’s easier to manage one credit card and pay off only one bill at the end of the month. Besides, even just applying for multiple credit cards can hurt your credit rating. Also, using one credit card to pay off another is a dangerous practice that should be avoided.

Pay in Full Every Month

Get in the habit of paying the balance in full each month, which means don’t charge more than you can pay off at the end of the month.

Pay on Time

Send the credit card payment several days in advance of the due date to allow for mailing time. Late penalties are costly and some companies will increase the interest rate after one or two overdue payments.

Pay Online

Take advantage of online bill-paying or check services that most banks and credit unions have. These services allow you to schedule payments in advance and will automatically pay your bills when due. You can schedule recurring payments to ensure that you never will have to pay late fees.

Protect your Credit history

As soon as you start using a card, the payments — whether paid on time, late or not at all — become part of your credit history. A poor credit history can affect your ability to rent an apartment, get a job or buy a car or house. What’s more, the mark stays on your credit record even if the bill is later paid.

Don’t Exceed the Credit Limit

This helps avoid penalties and ensures that you will have credit available in the event of a true emergency. A $2,000 credit limit doesn’t mean you can afford to carry a $2,000 balance.

Review Statements Carefully

Immediately inform the credit card company of any discrepancies or errors on your monthly statement.

Report a Lost or Stolen Card Immediately

Keep a copy of your credit card account number and the financial institution’s name and customer service telephone number in a convenient place in case your card is lost or stolen.

Avoid Cash Advances

Be aware that the interest rate on cash advances can be much higher than the rates charged on purchases.

Protect Personal information

Never provide your credit card number unless you make a telephone, mail order or online purchase. If you receive a call from someone who says he or she represents your credit card company and needs your credit card number or security code to verify your account, hang up. Likewise, if you receive an e-mail requesting you click on a link so as to verify your account, do not click on the link and delete the e-mail. No legitimate credit card issuer will directly request such information by phone or e-mail. Also, never let anyone else use your credit card and don’t charge purchases for other people.

Learning how to use credit wisely will help you avoid serious credit problems.

For more information, please visit http://www.calcpa.org/~/media/public%20resources/files/dollars%20and%20sense/dsmain.pdf?la=en.

Used with permission by and appreciation to: A joint project of CalCPA Institute and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, www.calpca.org/FLC