Safe Spot: December Reminders

As winter and the holidays approach we need to be reminded of several topics concerning safety. Take a look below to keep yourself and others safe this winter.

Packages

The porch pirates are on the lookout for your Amazon deliveries! They may even be following your delivery person. Ways to be sure YOU are the one to get the packages you order include asking the delivery service to notify you when something is delivered so you or a trusted neighbor can pick up your box. You can sign up for this service at:

UPS: www.ups.com/us/en/services/tracking/quantum-view/notify.page? FedEx: www.fedex.com/apps/fdmenrollment/

Additionally, there are lockers set up at the 7/11 at Gravois and Jefferson to accept safe delivery of packages. For another option, you might consider having packages delivered to your work place.

Porch decorations can provide an area to hide packages from plain view. A camera that notifies you of movement at your delivery site (which also allows you to speak through the camera) can hinder would be porch pirates. If you see them taking your delivery and speak out they will not only be aware that they have been recorded but it also startles them away from an easy pick up.

Cars in Cold Weather

Warming your car up while you wait inside is asking for trouble. It only takes a moment for an opportunist to climb into your car and be off. This is one of the biggest complaints of police at this time of year. Cars today don’t require a long time to warm their engines. If it’s cold enough to need to warm the interior of your car before entering it you need to dress more warmly before getting in. Warmer clothes will also allow you to be prepared for engine trouble or an accident. A coat, scarf and mittens will keep you warm enough to be safe for the 5 minutes it will take for the cabin of your car to warm up.

Pets

With the few exceptions of dogs that are specifically bred for very cold weather, your pet gets just as cold outside as you do. If you’re able, get a coat on your dog before going for that walk in cold weather. Dog boots may look funny, but they can protect your dog’s feet from having snow or salt stuck between his toes at the start of the walk causing trouble by the time you get around the block. Never leave dogs outdoors for more than a few minutes unless you are out there with them. When you get cold, know that they are cold as well and you both need to go in.

Outdoor or feral CATS need special attention, as well. Along with feeding them and making sure their water supply doesn’t freeze you can make a shelter to keep them warmer. You can get information about this from St Louis City Kitties www.stlouiscitykitties.org

Staying Warm Indoors

Every home should have a working smoke and carbon monoxide detector. The St Louis Fire Department installs, free of charge, long life smoke alarms with lithium power cells, which are designed to last a maximum of 10 years without battery changes. To request a smoke detector for a residential home or apartment, St Louis City residents can call the STLFD Smoke detector hotline at 533-3406.

Space heaters are the second most common cause of fire in the US. If you use a space heater to keep your home warm it is important to plug it directly into a wall, not into an extension cord or power strip. Be very careful to keep them away from anything that might catch fire, such as curtains, bedding, clothing or paper. Put it on a flat floor, not furniture or a carpet which could catch fire. Never leave a space heater unattended. Unplug and safely store the heater when it is not in use.

In general remember that a closed door will give you valuable extra minutes to escape a fire on the other side of the door.

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Benton Park West Neighborhood Association (BPWNA) was incorporated in 1998 with the state of Missouri and the IRS to be a 501(c)3 organization. © 2014 by Benton Park West Neighborhood Association. All rights reserved. Webmaster at info@bentonparkwest.org.

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