People’s Law Talk

National Fire Prevention Week

smoke detectorIs your home and family ready if a fire were to break out? Are you aware of how to prevent some common household fires? If not, it’s not too late. This week is National Fire Prevention Week and it’s a great time to get informed.

National Fire Prevention Week was started with a proclamation by President Calvin Coolidge in 1925. He expanded on National Fire Prevention Day, started in 1920 by President Woodrow Wilson, after he declared 1924 the greatest year of fire loss in history. 1924 saw a loss of more than 15,000 lives and $550 million in property loss all as a result of fires.

Why is National Fire Prevention Week now? Many attribute it back to the Great Chicago Fire on October 8, 1871. That fire burned 3.3 square miles, took more than 200 lives, and left 100,00 homeless. However, there were even greater losses on that exact same day from large fires. In Peshtigo, WI the deadliest wildfire in history killed an estimated 1500, ruined 10 communities, and burned 1875 sq. miles (50 percent larger than Rhode Island). This large fire spawned fire tornadoes and burned at more than 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. Also on that day, another fire burned with significant damage in Holland, MI.

But fires are not just history. In 2017 there were 1.3 million fires $23 billion in property damages and a loss of 3400 lives. Did you know that 60 percent of deaths from home fires come as a result of no smoke alarms in the home?

So how can you stay safe? This week is a great time to get informed and make a plan with your family.

  • Check your electrical cords for frayed wires
  • Do not overload outlets
  • Keep cloth off lamps and other heat producing appliances
  • Make an escape plan with at least two routes out of each room
  • Keep a UL approved collapsible ladder upstairs for multi-story homes
  • Keep a fire extinguisher accessible and keep it maintained annually
  • Keep smoke alarms on every floor and check the batteries at least twice a year

Learn more by listening to Kevin King as he talks about National Fire Prevention Week and important fire safety information on People’s Law Talk.

Want to hear more talks from Peter and Kevin King? Tune into WCIS 1010 AM Columbus, IN the first and third Friday of every month for People’s Law Talk.

There are many other great resources for National Fire Prevention Week Including:

National Fire Prevention Association

National Safety Council

Symbolic Free Speech: Beyond the First Amendment

As Americans we learn from a young age about the Bill of Rights and the first ten amendments to the Constitution. First and foremost is the freedom of speech. Ratified December 15, 1791 it states,

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” 

Freedom of speech and the First Amendment is ingrained into the fabric of our society, so much so you’ve probably heard it used as an argument for the controversial kneeling during the anthem at NFL games. While not a literal act of speech, the kneeling is protected as an act of symbolic speech. Symbolic free speech has woven its way in and out of court cases over the last half a century. From Tinker v Des Moines to Spence v Washington, acts that communicate elements from the first amendment and attempt a message with a likelihood to be understood have been protected.

Listen in as Kevin King discusses symbolic free speech, where it came from, and its relation to the current kneeling controversies in football on People’s Law Talk.

Want to hear more talks from Peter and Kevin King? Tune into WCIS 1010 AM Columbus, IN the first and third Friday of every month for People’s Law Talk.

Heads Up on Youth Sports Concussions

With eight million boys and girls playing high school sports in 2016 and 2017, it’s expected that some will get hurt. What’s unexpected is the number of concussions that are happening. Annually, there are 3.8 million concussions from competitive sports and as many as half of them will go unreported in youth sports. That’s a lot of concussions and a lot of recovery time for young athletes.

Football is commonly associated with concussions, but they come from many other sports as well. The leading organized sports at the cause of most concussions are football, wrestling, soccer, and girls’ basketball. Females in playing basketball and soccer have higher concussion rates than males because the female anatomy is different. Youth are also different in their concussions in the fact it can take them much longer to recover due to their developing brains. 

As a parent or a volunteer, inform yourself about the prevalence of concussions then learn how to recognize, prevent, and treat them as needed. Listen in as Kevin King discusses all about concussions, including what causes them as well as how to recognize, prevent, and treat them, all on People’s Law Talk. 

For more information and resources on youth concussions and prevention visit the CDC’s Heads Up website. Also review this articles:

Want to hear more talks from Peter and Kevin King? Tune into WCIS 1010 AM Columbus, IN the first and third Friday of every month for People’s Law Talk.

Backyard Pools: Keeping the Fun Safe

Backyard pools are a staple of summer pastimes but pool and water safety must be addressed. We’ve shared about pool safety before but we’ll risk sounding like a broken record to share again to help keep summer safe and fun.

  • In 2017 200 children ages 1-14 died in pools and spas.
  • Drowning is the leading cause of death for children 1-2.
  • Drowning is the second leading cause of death for ages 5-24.
  • It only takes two minutes for child to lose consciousness.
  • There are approximately 800 spinal cord injuries from diving annually.

So how can these tragedies be prevented? First, pool owners should ensure their backyard pool is safe with appropriate water barriers and water sensors. Keep young children from reaching the pool unsupervised. Second, remove diving boards from backyard pools. You need a minimum of 18-20 feet for safe diving but most backyard pools have a maximum depth of 8.5 feet. Next, move any pool slide to the deepest end of the pool. Adults need at least seven feet of water for safe use of a slide in a sitting position. Everyone should use the slide feet first and one person at a time. 

Outside of the pool, ensure any installed decks are water resistant or have a way to manage water. Slippery decks can lead to slips, falls, and drownings. Also, pool owners should be trained in CPR. Being prepared by knowing CPR and keeping life saving equipment around the pool could save a life in the event of an emergency.   

These are starting points for proper backyard pool safety. Listen in as Kevin King discusses pool safety and our risk perceptions on People’s Law Talk to learn more about keeping your pool safe and fun.

For more information and resources on pool safety design visit the National Safety Council and the CPSC‘s websites.

Want to hear more talks from Peter and Kevin King? Tune into WCIS 1010 AM Columbus, IN the first and third Friday of every month for People’s Law Talk.

How Cold is Cold?

OSHA. The cold stress equation. 1998.

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on Groundhog’s Day and says we’re going to have another six weeks of winter! That means many can expect cold weather through February and into March. How much of this cold can we really handle?

In terms of safety, there are limits to how much cold a person can handle at any given time. While it may vary slightly from person to person, the general rule of thumb is 15 minutes inside for every hour spent outside working in the cold to prevent cold stress like hypothermia, frost bite, trench foot, chilblains, and angina. As the temperature drops, however, these time frames need to change to prevent cold stresses.

Outside workers should consider three key factors of temperature, wind, and moisture when determining how much time outside is safe. OSHA and NIOSH have both created Cold Stress Equation guides to reference for more details in terms of temperature, wind, and safe time frames to be outside.

Learn more about cold stress, cold stress symptoms, and how cold is too cold by listening to Kevin King on People’s Law Talk.

For more information on cold stress and safety, review these articles:

Want to hear more talks from Peter and Kevin King? Tune into WCIS 1010 AM Columbus, IN the first and third Friday of every month for People’s Law Talk.

Fire Alert: House Fires and Cooking Dangers

It’s almost time for feasts and celebrations of all the things we hold dear. At the same time many will be celebrating all they have, some will be losing their material possessions and those they love. Thanksgiving Day is the leading day for house fires.

While there is an average of 490 cooking fires per day in the United States, on Thanksgiving that number jumps to approximately 1800! That’s 3.5 times the daily average. The day before Thanksgiving as well as Christmas also see a jump to approximately 850 cooking fires. 

The majority of Thanksgiving day cooking fires start on range tops or cooking tops, including ovens. Another leading cause of Thanksgiving day fires are Turkey Fryers. While popular for a delicious turkey, they are the leading cause of extensive fires on Thanksgiving. Due to the use of hot oil, lack of a regulator, and lack of stability, turkey fryers can very easily cause a catastrophic fire. Underwriters Laboratory will not certify a turkey fryer for consumers. Watch the video below to learn more about their research and the risks that come with turkey fryers.

Listen in below for more cooking safety information. Kevin King discusses cooking fires, turkey fryers, and how to extinguish fires properly to keep your family safe and thankful during the holidays.

For more information on kitchen fires and safety for your Thanksgiving, review these documents:

NFPA Cooking Fire Safety Infographic
NFPA Thanksgiving Safety Tips
NFIRS Snapshot: Thanksgiving Day Fires in Residential Buildings
NFPA Report Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment

Want to hear more talks from Peter and Kevin King? Tune into WCIS 1010 AM Columbus, IN the first and third Friday of every month for People’s Law Talk.