Safety Matters: Promoting a culture of safety and health throughout the Yakima School District.
Are You Firewise?
The concept of the home ignition zone was developed by USDA Forest Service fire scientist Jack Cohen in the late 1990s. The home itself and everything around it up to 100 – 200 feet is known as the 'home ignition zone.' In areas across the country where the risk of wildfire is high, the home ignition zone extends up to 200 feet beyond the actual home structure. Within this 200 foot area, there are three zones:
- Zone 1 encircles the structure and all its attachments for at least 30 feet on all sides.
- Zone 2 is 30 to 100 feet from the home, and plants in this zone should be low-growing, well irrigated and less flammable.
- Zone 3 is 100 to 200 feet from the home and this area should be thinned, although less space is required than in Zone 2.
Please visit the Firewise website (link below) for information on the home ignizition zone and what you can do to improve the safety of your home.
Safety Tip: Water Safety
Water Safety Tips Courtesy from the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF)
- Teach children water safety and swimming skills as early as possible.
- Always brief babysitters on water safety, emphasizing the need for constant supervision.
- Appoint a designated watcher to monitor children during social gatherings at or near pools.
- Equip doors and windows that exit to a pool area with alarms.
- Install a poolside phone, referable a cordless model, with emergency numbers programmed into speed-dial.
- Post CPR instructions and learn the procedures.
- Keep rescue equipment poolside. Don’t wait for the paramedics to arrive because you will lose valuable lifesaving seconds. Fort to six minutes without oxygen can cause permanent brain damage or death.
- Keep a first aid kit at poolside.
For a complete list of tips and water safety flyer, please down the tip PDF.
Safety Tip: Emergency Preparedness Kit
Ask student if they have ever heard of an emergency kit. Do they know anyone who has one? Why could it be important to have one?
- Have students brainstorm what items would be useful in a disaster kit. Ask students to discuss what would go in a kit in different scenarios, what to consider for the number of people in each family, and provide rationale for their ideas. Make sure to emphasize that the kit must be prepared ahead of time, not right before or during an emergency. Also ask them to think of entertainment items that don’t require electricity, since a kit would be used in the event of a loss of power.
Suggested ideas: First Aid pack, Hygiene supplies, 5-year shelf life drinking water pouches, vacuumed sealed food bars, survival blankets, flashlights, whistles, dust masks, phone chargers, prescriptions/medication…
- Update backpack every 6 months – 1 year.
Safety Tip: Landslide
You are hiking in the mountains. All of a sudden, you hear trees cracking. What do you do?
This could be a debris flow or landslide. During debris flow or landslide,
- Listen for unusual sounds like trees cracking or boulders knocking together. If you hear something, tell and adult immediately!
- Move away from the path of a landslide or debris flow as fast as you can.
- Avoid river valleys and low-lying areas.
- If you can’t escape, curl into a tight ball and cover your head with your hands and arms.
Safety Tip: Blackout
The power just went out at your house and you’re hungry. What do you do about a snack?
This is a blackout. During a blackout,
- Don’t open the fridge or freezer! You’ll let out whatever cold air is in there and food will go bad quicker.
- Don’t eat any food that was in the refrigerator if you were without power for more than a day. Food could have spoiled and will make you sick.
- Don’t use the telephone unless you have to’ text instead. You should conserve battery power and leave the phone line open for emergency responders.
Safety Tip: Cellphones
Ask students what they would do right after an emergency has occurred. If they have a cellphone, explain that they should text their parents or family members to let them know they are OK. Ask them to discuss why it may be better to text instead of calling during an emergency. (Conserves battery power).
During an emergency, when phone lines are needed by emergency workers, they are often jammed. Texting or using social media are good alternatives, as they use lower bandwidth and can quickly reach a wider audience. Phone calls should be used for emergencies only so that responders (like 911) can get to those who need urgent help.
If they have a cellphone, give students time to put emergency contacts in their phones. Ask: What happens if your phone runs out of juice, or gets lost? Have you memorized any phone numbers? Which ones and what for? Have students note important numbers that should be memorized, just in case.
Student Safety Tip: Flash Floods
The rain is coming down hard outside and the radio is warning of flash floods. You live in a low-lying area next to a river. What do you do?
During a flash flood:
- Tell an adult that you heard a flood warning on the TV or radio.
- Listen to authorities and safety officials.
- If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground.
- Help your family move important items to an upper floor.
- Do not walk through moving water. Even 6 inches of water can make you fall.
If you have to walk through water, walk where it is not moving.
Student Safety Tip: Winter Storms
It’s wintertime, and the temperature is dangerously low. The weather report is predicting strong winds, sleet, and freezing rain later in the day. What do you do?
During a winter storm:
- Help your parents sprinkle sand on sidewalks and walkways. This helps to make them less slippery.
- Make sure you dress warm and have extra blankets!
- Bring pets inside.
- Sidewalks can be very slippery and you can hurt yourself if you fall down.
- If you are outside helping to shovel snow, make sure you wear a hat. It helps keep you from losing body heat.
- Mittens are warmer than gloves.
- Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs from the cold air.
- Put on dry clothes as soon as you come inside.
- If you can’t feel your fingers, toes, ears, or nose, or they appear pale white, tell a grown-up immediately – you may need to see a doctor.
Tell a grown up immediately if you can’t stop shivering, have trouble remembering things, feel tired, or talk funny. You may have hypothermia, which can be very dangerous.