Keeping Safe in Leeds this Autumn
As summer draws to a close and we move into Autumn, many people welcome this time of year with temperatures cooling and the beautiful scenery with trees losing their leaves in pretty autumnal colours. It is also an exciting time with the build-up of festivities running up to Christmas. With the weather changing we look at some of the effects and important things to be aware of in the home, on your travels and at local events with our guide to staying safe in Leeds this Autumn.
Beware of Carbon Monoxide in the home
With the cooler weather now upon us it will be no surprise many people will be heading towards the thermostat and switching back on the heating. But when it comes to heating your home it is important to be aware of the risks of carbon monoxide and also the signs in the event of a leak so you can act quickly.
Carbon Dioxide (CO) known as ‘the silent killer’ is a colourless and odourless gas also without taste and so is undetectable. It is formed when domestic fuels such as coal, gas, wood and charcoal are burned. When oxygen is used up in a closed room and is replaced with carbon dioxide the fuel burning is constrained which leads to the production of carbon monoxide.
The headway.org site states there are 400 admissions to hospital each year from carbon monoxide poisoning resulting in around 40-50 deaths. Binding tightly to haemoglobin in red blood cells, it reduces the amount oxygen that can be carried inhibiting oxygen moving around the body to vital organs and tissue with the heart and brain at biggest risk. CO exposure can also lead to anoxic brain injuries.
The most common household appliance at risk is our boiler. It is important to have this installed and inspected yearly by a Gas registered engineer. It is also advisable to have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted in your home near to the appliance and to have regular checks this is on working order.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, dizziness, nausea, loss of breath and may lead to collapsing unconscious. If you suspect you might have a carbon monoxide leak there is a easy to remember checklist under the abbreviation TASK as follows –
Turn off the appliance
Air make sure you ventilate the room by opening as many doors and windows as possible
Seek medical advice if you have suffered any of the symptoms above
Keep appliance switched off until they have been serviced by a gas safe engineer
Firework Fun Festivities
However it is known to you as fireworks night, Guy Fawkes or Bonfire night the skies will be lit with bright sparkly festivities yearly on the 5th November. You will find local firework events in your area but many people still opt to purchase and enjoy their own from home. With fireworks made available even in your local supermarket you will see warnings being published leading to this event in the prevention of injuries to keep this a happy occasion. Also, fireworks might feature at many upcoming events near you over Autumn/Winter such as Christmas, New Year and winter weddings.
Here we have some of the guideline for staying safe with fireworks this autumn.
Make sure you are fully prepared for your event. Keep all fireworks out of the way especially from children, never in pockets and kept away from naked flames until they are due to be used. Read and follow all instructions and light as directed with a taper and stand at a distance and make sure to keep any naked flame including cigarettes away from fireworks.
Once the fireworks have been lit it is advised to never go back to them. Keep spectators at a distance and direct fireworks in the opposite direction when lighting. Make sure your set up is complete before lighting and never throw fireworks. Once your firework show is complete wait until all flames are out before returning and clearing the site.
Keeping Safe with Sparklers
Aimed at children sparklers are a main feature of any bonfire night. Whilst you might think they are safe it is important to remember these can reach high temperatures whilst being held in hands and close to your face and body.
It is important to use sparklers responsibly. Recommended for children over 5 it is important to supervise at all times and advisable not to hold young children and babies whilst using a sparkler . Wearing gloves and holding sparklers out at arm’s length gives better protection for the body but make sure to keep a safe distance from other people. It could be useful to keep a bucket of cold water handy and somewhere to dispose of the sparklers after use.
Beware the Bonfires
When setting up your bonfire it is important to find a setting away from wooden fences, playing equipment and sheds. Always make sure children are supervised around a bonfire and keep to a safe distance. Use firelighters to light your bonfire is the safest approach and refrain from using fuels such as petrol or paraffin. Make sure your are dressed appropriately especially if you are in charge of the fire avoiding loose clothing and keeping hair tied back. Make sure you have water close by either in a bucket or hose in the case of an accident and at the end of your event use water to put out the fire rather than leaving to burn down unsupervised.
With the colder, darker mornings and evenings drawing in it is important to take care if you are travelling at these times. With the clocks due to change in October darker periods will be seen over rush hour traffic times. The dark will lead to reduced vision making it harder to see road signs, objects/bumps in the roads and unexpected turns. Make sure your car is in a roadworthy condition with clean, working lights and windscreens/mirrors. Also be aware of your surroundings and drive slower so you have time to manoeuvre or give way appropriately. Have caution for cyclists, motorbikes and pedestrian especially on poorly lit roads and country lanes.
With Autumn upon us the weather might start to create more hazardous driving conditions going into winter. Frosty mornings can make the roads slippery and with the danger of black ice. Take your time driving in these conditions and if necessary give yourself more time for your journey. If your car windows have become frosted wait for this to fully clear before starting your journey to avoid the risk of impaired vision. Adverse weather conditions over recent years have seen more hazardous conditions such as snow, lingering snow drifts and floods. If you are on long journeys it is important to remember conditions can change on the course of your route so to be prepared and plan ahead. Not everyone will be confident in driving in adverse weather conditions so it is important to take your time and drive safely. If you have suffered in the event of road traffic accident consult accident claims solicitors to see if you have grounds to claim for compensation.