On behalf of all of us at the agency we want to wish you a Happy New Year! Be careful this week-end when driving; and, if you are planning on drinking, please have a designated driver.
Let's all keep our roads safe and start the New Year off right.
The non-profit, World Against Toys Causing Harm, has released its 2017 list of the ten most hazardous toys. W.A.T.C.H. says consumers buying toys on the Internet are already at a disadvantage, as they are unable to touch and physically inspect a toy and its packaging at the time of sale for more obvious hazards. In some cases, limited product information on e-commerce sites can lead to misinformed, and potentially dangerous, consumer toy purchases.
Here's their list:Briana Babydoll - potential hazard - choking Jetts Heel Wheels - potential hazard - blunt impact and fire-related burn injuries Oval Xylophone - potential hazard - ingestion and choking Slackers Slackline Classic Series Kit - potential hazard - strangulation and fall-related injuries NERF Zombie Strike Deadbolt Crossbow - potential hazard - eye injuries Spider-man Spider-drone Official Movie Addition - potential hazard - eye and body impact injuries Hand Fidgetz Spinners - potential hazard - choking injuries Wonder Woman Battle-Action Sword - potential hazard - blunt force injuries Pull Along Pony - potential hazard - cord measuring 19 inches rather than 12 inches which is the industry standard - no warning listed Hallmark's "Itty Bittys" Baby Stacking Toy - potential hazard - choking injuries
Be careful when ordering toys online and carefully read the manufacturers warnings.
Source: Property Casualty 360
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a Holiday Decoration Safety Tips Flyer and here are some tips to keep in mind as you decorate your home and business for the holidays:
CandlesKeep candles away from flammable decorations Never leave them unattended Always use non-flammable holders
TrimmingsUse non-combustible or flame-resistant materials Wear gloves when applying spun glass/angel hair to avoid irritation Avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food Avoid glass or sharp, breakable ornaments
FiresRemove all greens, paper or decorations from the fireplace area. Make sure the flue is open Use a screen in front of the fireplace at all times
PaperDo not burn papers in the fireplace Never place trimmings near open flames or electrical connections Use materials labeled non-combustible or flame-resistant
TreesKeep trees away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. Cut off two inches of the trunk to expose fresh wood for better water absorption Place the tree out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways Use thin guy-wires to secure a large tree to walls or ceilings
SnowArtificial snow sprays can irritate lungs if inhaled To avoid injury, read instructions carefully
LightsCheck each strain for cracked sockets, frayed cords, or bare wires Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, houses, walls or other firm support to protect from wind damage Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord Never use electric lights on a metallic tree
Follow these tips to enjoy a safe holiday season.
With the holidays upon us, online shopping is predicted to increase 7 to 10%, or as much as $117 billion this season. If you are among these online shoppers, here are a few safety tips to protect yourself from a cyber-crime.Make sure the website is secure - that means sites with HTTPS. Use secure passwords Don't shop on public Wi-Fi networks Use Pay Pal Don't buy from websites you've never heard of Check prices in another browser Avoid public terminals Beware of coupon scams offer free products or significant discounts - never divulge your social security number to any offer
Follow these tips and be secure in your online holiday shopping.
Source: MAC blog and PC Magazine
Tomorrow is Veterans Day and all of us at the agency want to thank our veterans for their sacrifices in keeping our country safe. We are the home of the free because of the brave.
Originally named Armistice Day, the day marks the end of World War I at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. The holiday's name was changed to Veterans Day at the end of the Korean War to honor all veterans.
Take a moment to remember our veterans. While we don't know them all, we certainly owe them all.
It's that time of year when we gain another hour's sleep by reverting to Standard Time. Don't forget to turn your clocks back one hour Saturday evening. Standard time begins at 2:00 am on Sunday.
Daylight Savings Time was first conceived by Benjamin Franklin following his trip to Paris where Europeans were changing their clocks to enjoy more daylight in the morning. DST also saves energy. According to the Department of Transportation, DST trims the entire country's electricity usage by a small but significant amount, because less electricity is used for lighting and appliances.
Enjoy your extra hour sleep knowing you are saving energy. Who would have thought?
Here are some tips to get ready for Halloween to insure you have a safe outing.Go During Safe Trick Or Treat Times
You don’t have to wait until it is pitch-black outside to go trick-or-treating. A good trick or treat time is right after an early dinner and just before dusk when you can keep better track of your children and you are able to see the others that you encounter on the street. Besides, if you are the first person there, you will have the best selection of candy! Steer Clear Of Masks
While masks are a fun part of many costumes, do your best to recreate the mask with face paint. Having a mask on can sometimes impair the vision of the child wearing it. With face paint, it is easier for your child to see where they are going and they won’t have to lift their mask to have a conversation with a fellow trick or treater. If your child absolutely must wear a Halloween mask, make sure it’s a snug fit, is ventilated and has large enough eyeholes so they can see all around them. Be Visible
If your kids will comply, choose costumes that are brightly colored so that they are easier to see in the dark. If they really want a dark costume, apply some reflective strips to their costume. You could also have them wear glow necklaces or carry glow sticks and flashlights. Never Go Alone
It is important that your children have an adult chaperon at all times while trick or treating. You should also discreetly add some emergency identification information such as the child’s name, address & phone number to their costume or on a bracelet in case your child happens to get separated from the group. Walking Tips
Be sure that your children understand simple traffic rules, such as stopping and looking both ways before crossing the street, and staying in a crosswalk if one is available. If you have to cross at a light, make sure you have the proper “walk” signal before you proceed. Inform your children that they should never assume that they have the right away when crossing the street, especially at night on Halloween. Knock On Doors That You Know
Encourage your children to only trick-or-treat at homes where they know the inhabitants. If they know everyone on the street, except for one house, they could ask the neighbors about that one house. If a home is dark or has no Halloween decorations, that is typically a good sign that they are not up for trick-or-treaters. Don’t Go Inside
Trick-or-treaters always seem to run across a house or two where someone invites them to “come in”. Remind your little ones that they should never go inside anybody’s home while trick-or-treating. They can easily get the candy they seek from the porch or if the homeowner is persistent, inform them to simply turn and walk away. Stay On Track
It might be tempting to take a short cut through an alley or cut through someone’s yard, but that can sometimes pose a danger. Stay on streets and in neighborhoods that are well lit and where there are plenty of people around. Say No!
If you’re children are old enough to trick or treat in a group without you, be sure and designate a time for their return. Teach your children that if a stranger offers to give them a ride or take them to a Halloween Party, they should say “no”. Stranger danger is important to remember no matter how old your kids are, even while trick-or-treating. Taste-Testing Patience
Make sure your little goblins know that trick or treating is for gathering candy, not eating it as they receive it. You know they’re going to be tempted to take a taste before you’ve had a chance to inspect it, so pack a goody bag with some of your own Halloween candy so they have something to snack on if they just can’t wait until they get home.
We hope you and your family enjoy Halloween. Have fun!
More than 120 golfers enjoyed a day of golf at Oronoque Country Club in Stratford and helped make a difference in the lives of others. The 12th Annual DiMatteo Family Charitable Foundation Golf Tournament was successfully organized by the DiMatteo Group in Shelton for the benefit of three local non-profits.
The DiMatteo Family Charitable Foundation raised over $31,000 and the following area charities each received a $10,500 donation: the Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley in Shelton, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Connecticut based in Trumbull, and Valley Community Foundation in Derby.
To read the entire press release from the Valley Independent Sentinel, click here.
Fall is a great time to prepare the trees on your property for winter. The trees in your yard can enhance your property, provide shade and offer abundant environmental benefits. However, trees can also pose a safety hazard to your family and your home if they are not properly inspected and maintained.
Trees can present a particularly significant danger during a storm. Wind, lightning, snow and ice can all transform a tranquil row of trees into an imminent threat to your property. Proper tree maintenance involves more than pruning and trimming overgrown branches. These are some of the key steps you can take to protect your trees and prevent them from becoming a safety hazard. Look for these characteristics:Cracks in the trunk or major limbs. Signs of hollowing and decay. Mushrooms growing from the bark. Significant leaning to one side. Limbs in contact with power lines. Branches hanging over your house. Although the branches may not be touching your house under normal conditions, high winds can cause trees and branches to bend or break.
Take the time to do a walk-through of your property and examine your trees for any signs of deterioration. If you are enable to prune or eliminate damage, consult a professional tree-care service or arborist.
Sources: Clatterbuck, Wayne. "Storm-Damaged Residential Trees: Assessment, Care and Prevention." Extension.Tennessee.edu. The University of Tennessee; Coder, Kim. "Storm Damaged Trees: Prevention & Treatments." Warnell.Forestry.UGA.edu. The University of Georgia.
Being prepared for fall's inclement weather and hazardous driving challenges is half the battle.Watch your speed: Drive a bit slower when faced with fall driving hazards, especially if you're driving around a school bus. Keep your distance: Leave a little more space between you and the car in front on rainy or foggy days, during dawn or dusk, and in areas with wet leaves. This will give you more time to react. Stick with low beams: Keep your headlights on low when driving in the fog (and rain). High beams will only cause glare. Clear frost away from your windows: Frost can reduce visibility and response time on the road. Approach traffic lights carefully: Sun glare can make it harder to see traffic lights change, so approach them with more than the normal care. Avoid using products that increase gloss: Washing and waxing with these products can magnify the fall's sunny glare and make it hard to see. Clean your windshield, inside and out: When your windshield's illuminated by sunlight, dust particles, streaks, and smudges become magnified, making it hard to see the road. Watch for wildlife: especially in the early morning and evening hours. Check your tire pressure: Since fall weather rapidly changes from warm to cold, your tires will often expand and contract. This can lead to a loss of pressure.
Knowing what to look for and using these tips can help you avoid weather-related car accidents in the fall.