Lake Forest/Mitylene Forest Neighborhood News
Prepare for a Happy Holiday Season
Dear Neighbor Visitor,We hope you have a joyous holiday season!
President's MessageWe hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Now we're looking forward to continuing the holiday celebrations with family and friends.
The neighborhood entrances at Lake Forest and Mitylene Forest have been decked out in their holiday finery and things are starting to look a lot like Christmas!
While everyone is enjoying the season, it is important to remember to stay safe. This issue of your newsletter provides information about protecting yourself and your home during colder weather, as well as from decorations that could prove to be dangerous.
Topics included in this newsletter include using space heaters safely, how to protect pets and pipes in freezing temperatures; holiday home safety, in particular fire prevention, and toy safety. There are links to some excellent resources for more information on each of these subjects.
Also, please remember that this is YOUR newsletter. We'd love to hear your feedback about what you'd like to read about. Also, please visit the Association website at www.lakeforesthomeowners.com for additional information between newsletters. You will also find all the contact information there for your Association officers.
Thank you for being a part of our homeowners' association! Happy Holidays!
Craig Banks, President
National Fire Protection Association Safety CampaignThe National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a resource for information on fire, electrical and related hazards, provides a wealth of safety information to ensure your holiday season is a safe one. Between indoor and outdoor decorations, and holiday cooking, the chances for danger increase this time of year. NFPA statistics illustrate this point:
Here are a few of the tips the NFPA provides to help ensure safety:
There is much more valuable information on the NFPA website.
Protect Your PipesWinter weather in Alabama is unpredictable. At the time of this newsletter writing, it was seasonably cold, but by the time you read it, it could be 71 again! But it's only a matter of time before the cold weather moves in to stay for a while. You can save yourself a lot of time, trouble and expense by being prepared.
One of the dangers - which is easily preventable - is frozen pipes. The American Red Cross provides this helpful information to get you ready:
Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also subject to freezing.
There are many more tips for protecting pipes, and also information about what to do if your pipes freeze, on the Red Cross website. If your pipes have frozen and you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
Pets: If You're Cold, They're Cold!
Just because they've got their own fur coats doesn't mean your pet is comfortable when the thermostat drops. A good rule of thumb is that if your feet are cold, their feet are probably cold, too! Be kind and bring your pets indoors in freezing weather.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), just like people, pets’ cold tolerance can vary from pet to pet based on their coat, body fat stores, activity level, and health. Be aware of your pet’s tolerance for cold weather, and adjust accordingly. You will probably need to shorten your dog’s walks in very cold weather to protect you both from weather-associated health risks. If you need help determining your pet’s temperature limits, consult your veterinarian.
Cats and dogs should be kept inside during cold weather. It’s a common belief that dogs and cats are resistant than people to cold weather because of their fur, but it’s untrue. Like people, cats and dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia and should be kept inside. Longer-haired and thick-coated dog breeds, such as huskies and other dogs bred for colder climates, are more tolerant of cold weather; but no pet should be left outside for long periods of time in below-freezing weather.
This is also a good time to make sure your pet has had his or her wellness check-up at the veterinarian. Cold weather may worsen some medical conditions such as arthritis. Your pet should be examined by a veterinarian at least once a year, and it’s as good a time as any to get him/her checked out to make sure (s)he is ready and as healthy as possible for cold weather.
For more information about keeping your pets safe and healthy this winter, visit the AVMA website.
What to Know Before You Gift a Toy
Before you choose a toy for that special boy or girl on your Christmas list, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends you take a moment to consider three important safety factors.
1. Is it age appropriate? Toys should be labeled to indicate the age of the child for which it is recommended. Some toys have small parts that could be ingested by a curious toddler, causing serious injury or even death. This is especially true for children younger than 3.
2. Provide helmets and other safety gear for riding toys. Popular gifts include scooters and bicycles. Remember to include the proper safety gear as part of your gift so children can jump right into the fun. In particular this year, an item on many kids' wish lists is a "hoverboard," a type of motorized skateboard. Doctors are reporting many people trying to get the hang of this new contraption tend to fall backward off the board, causing the potential of a serious head injury if the rider is not wearing a helmet. Injuries are no fun!
3. Toys containing small magnets may pose a particular hazard. The CPSC has banned some magnet sets because of the high incidence of reports of children and young adults swallowing them. However, there are still many products on the market containing small magnets. Whether marketed for children or adults, building and play sets with small magnets should be kept away from small children.
For more information about toy safely, download the CPSC "Play it Safe" information sheet, or visit the CPSC website.
Space Heater Safety
A portable space heater is a great solution to banishing a winter chill, but if not used safely, they can quickly cause property damage including a home fire. The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that from 2008 to 2010,
portable electric heaters were involved in approximately 1,200 fires per year. All it takes is a little caution to prevent a tragedy. The CPSC provides the following tips to keep you safe:
These are just a few of the safety tips for space heaters. A full list and additional helpful links can be found on the CPSC website.
© Lake Forest Home Owners Association.
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