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.

Looking Up: An Eye on Ladder Safety

Gutter cleaning and holiday decorating seasons are upon us. These quintessential fall and winter outdoor home projects have one thing in common, a lot of ladder usage by homeowners like yourself.

With more than 500,000 people treated in emergency departments each year due to ladder falls, it’s clear ladders pose safety hazards of which many consumers are not aware. In the construction industry alone, there are approximately 115 deaths annually due to falls from ladders. Falls like this cost society more than 24 billion dollars annually for medical bills, legal costs, lost wages, etc.

For many though, ladders are a necessary part of life to complete work and chores. Even with the safety hazards they pose, ladders will continue to be used so it’s up to manufacturers to design safer, easier to use equipment. Consumers like yourself should also know how to choose and use the correct equipment for the job.

Listen in as Kevin King discusses the hazards ladders pose, what designs to look for when choosing a ladder, and how to safely use your ladder.

For more information on choosing a ladder and ladder safety:

Read OSHA Report 3625

Also, don’t forget to download the Niosh Ladder Safety App before you begin using your ladder.

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.

Railroad Right-of-Ways and People

It seems simple enough. Train right-of-ways are for trains. They allow trains to safely pass through towns and cities, over well-traveled streets, safely, without stopping. But, even though the name even specifies they’re for trains, many pedestrians have taken to using these crossings to access train tracks, creating very dangerous situations.

While vehicle collisions with trains have decreased over the last 20 years, the same cannot be said for pedestrian incidents. In 2012, 850 people suffered casualties while on railroad right-of-ways.  With pedestrians accessing railroad crossings and increased train traffic around the country, this number will continue to rise.

Even with posted signs, people will continue to access railroad tracks because they find it’s convenient and they don’t perceive any danger in it. Signs cannot be the answer to preventing serious injuries and/or death because of this human factor. Behavioral changes, like getting people to not cross railroad tracks or getting people to use seat belts, can take decades.

Listen in as Kevin King discusses this growing nationwide issue, how it’s affecting his local community in Columbus, IN, and what can be done to prevent a disaster.

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.

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt: You Have Jury Duty

Have you ever seen your neighbor walk away from their mailbox with a look of discontentment or frustration? Likely causes for his less than happy demeanor: an unexpected bill or jury summons. A majority of adults would probably make the same face if they received a jury summons too.

While jury duty is not at the top of the fun to-do list for many, it is a very important civic function. Serving on a jury allows accused persons their constitutional right to a timely, impartial jury and a chance to face their accusers.

Remember, every accused person is supposed to be assumed innocent until proven guilty. That’s where the jury comes in. It’s the role of a jury to pass judgement on the accused, determining if they are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Turn up your volume and listen in to Peter King and guest attorney Jay Hoffman as they discuss juries and reasonable doubt on People’s Law Talk. Listen now and you’ll be informed the next time you’re called to fulfill your civic duty.

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.