News and Tips
October - Fire Safety
Did you know that, according to Ready.gov,"Each year more than 2,500 people die and 12,600 are injured in home fires in the United States. But unlike other disasters, home fires can be prevented!"
Every October, Harper College holds an annual Fire Drill. Everyone on campus is required to participate, and the goal is to exit your building within three (3) minutes. The Palatine Fire Department assists and conducts an evaluation to see how we do against the three minute goal. Staff members who have volunteered as evacuation personnel, should review their evacuation duties.
Learn more about what you can do at home to stay safe - from preventing a fire, to responding to a fire emergency, to getting help in the aftermath of a fire:
- The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is a global nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. If you would like to learn more information check out their public education Safety Tips Sheets, Fire Prevention Week website, or the NFPA Journal. "Look. Listen. Learn. Be Aware. Fire Can Happen Anywhere."
- The Red Cross provides shelter, food, health and mental health services to help families and communities recover after a disaster. The American Red Cross website also covers Home Fire Safety, Recovering After a Home Fire, and Fire Safety for Kids.
- UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute is dedicated to increasing firefighter knowledge to reduce injuries and deaths in the fire service and in the communities they serve. Click on the Public Educational Resources link, or watch their video, "Close Before You Doze!"
- The Department of Homeland Security has their webpage ready.gov, which provides information to help you plan ahead for any type of disaster. Select, Home Fires, to visit their webpage to learn more on fire safety.
November - Holiday Decorating Safety
The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that there are about 14,700 holiday decorating related emergency room treated injuries during the holiday season of November and December. The most frequent causes for injury during decorating includes falls (41%), cuts or lacerations (10%) and back strains (5%).
If you have a cut tree in your home, don't forget the importance of watering it during the holiday season. Watch this video, showing the difference between having a wet or dry tree during a house fire. For more information on Holiday Decorating Safety Tips, check out the Consumer Product Safety Commission's brochure.
Harper College Holiday Decoration Requirements
- Open flame candles and incense are not allowed inside any campus buildings
- Any space heater shall be UL rated, have a tip-over safety feature and be plugged into a wall outlet.
- Holiday Decorations shall not block any emergency exit signage, fire alarm pull stations or fire extinguishers.
- Decorations are not allowed to hang from sprinkler heads or the ceiling grid.
- All holiday lights shall be LED and are UL approved.
- Connect no more than three (3) strands of lights for every one (1) extension cord (See extension cord safety).
- Be sure to use a proper step stool or ladder when putting up holiday decorations in high places, DO NOT stand on office chairs or desks.
- Only small artificial, fire resistant trees and greenery are allowed inside campus buildings.
Extension Cord Safety
- Extension cords are for temporary use only.
- Do not daisy chain extension cords together.
- They should be in good condition, no exposed wires or broken plugs.
- The extension cord should be equal to or larger than the cord you plug into it. If in doubt, use a heavy duty cord.
- Do not tack or staple an extension cord to the wall or woodwork, this will damage the cord and present a fire hazard.
- Make sure cords do not dangle off of tables or across floors, this presents a trip hazard.
December - Slips,Trips and Falls
With winter months, comes the possibility of snow and ice. Please be careful walking to and from your vehicles, as well as walking around campus. Contact Facilities Management, 847.925.6350, to report any ice hazards or any seasonal safety issues.
SIMA, the Snow & Ice Management Association, is a non-profit trade association with a focus on training, events and best practices related to snow plowing, ice management and business management. Here is their top 10 tips for safe walking in the snow and ice:
- Wear proper footwear. Proper footwear should place the entire foot on the surface of the ground and have visible treads. Avoid smooth soled shoes.
- Plan Ahead. Walk consciously and occasionally look around you for other hazards instead of staring at your feet.
- Make sure you can hear approaching traffic or other noises that signify a hazard is approaching, like oncoming traffic or snow removal equipment.
- Accessorize to see and to be seen. Wear sunglasses so you can see in the reflective light of snow and wear bright colors so drivers can see you.
- Anticipate ice. Black ice may appear as wet pavement. Ice often appears in the morning or in shady spots where the sun cannot melt it.
- Take slow steps, hold onto handrails firmly when going down stairs, and plant your feet firmly.
- Enter buildings carefully, there may be wet floors at the entrance that are slippery from melted snow and ice.
- Take extra care when you shift your weight, like when stepping off a curb or getting into a vehicle, ice may cause an imbalance and result in a fall.
- Avoid taking shortcuts, these paths may be dangerous because it is likely to be in a place where snow and ice removal is not possible.
- Look up above you and be careful what you might be walking under. Falling snow and ice may happen when the wind blows and breaks parts away from awnings and buildings.