Child Security

October 5, 2017 in Current News by fpsesafety

The following post is from: Safety & Security

Child Safety & Security Classes

Is your child starting to be old enough to be left at home alone or with a sibling? Are they using the internet alone? The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children offers free online training for kids aged 5-17 on home alone safety, internet identity safety, and cyberbullying. Their website is www.netsmartz.org and they have materials for both kids and parents.

DIY Child ID Kit

Although it is not something you would ever want to have to use, a child ID kit is essential if you ever need law enforcement’s help finding your child. It is also a great tool to have when traveling far distances or if you live in a natural disaster area. Here’s what you need to make one at home:

  • Photo of the child’s face, in color, that has been taken in the last 6 months
    • The photo should be updated regularly, about twice a year
    • You should keep a physical copy on hand as well as a digit copy on a phone or computer that you can easily access
  • Create a description of your child and include their name, nickname, birthday, gender, hair color & style, eye color, weight, height, and any identifying qualities. Identifying qualities can include if they wear glasses, have braces, piercings, and birthmarks.
  • A copy of your child’s fingerprints
    • Grab some fingerprint ink from an office supply store
    • Have your child thoroughly wash their hands and fingertips
    • Roll their finger across the ink pad and then roll their finger across plain cardstock or paper, using firm and even pressure
    • The print should show lines and swirls clearly. If there are smudges, try again
    • Keep these prints somewhere secure. Do not give to anyone (including law enforcement) unless it is an emergency
  • A sample of DNA
    • There are services that you can use to collect and store your child’s DNA in case of an emergency, or you can do one of the following:
      • Have your child use a new toothbrush without toothpaste. Do not rinse it off. Let it air dry and then store it in a brown envelope. Use a self-sealing envelope or have your child lick to seal the envelope, and then store it in a cool, dry location
      • Follow the above instructions but instead have your child exclusively use a new hairbrush for a month. Store it with the hair in the brush
      • Collect a used bandage with a blood sample on it from your child and store it in a brown envelope in a cool, dry place
    • Dental Impressions
      • You can use a clean piece of Styrofoam to collect bite marks from your child. Have them bit down firmly on Styrofoam, so that you can clearly see their tooth impressions. Store somewhere safe, and update every two years until they are 18
    • Medical Reports
      • Keep copies of x-rays, dental records, and documentations of broken bones somewhere safe and accessible

If you can only do a couple of these things, the photograph, description, and DNA sample are the most important things to keep.


Fireworks Day Safety Tips

June 29, 2017 in Current News by fpsesafety

The following post is from: Safety & Security

It is ILLEGAL and DANGEROUS to set off fireworks in St. Louis City limits (ordinance 65824). If you go somewhere outside of the city to set off fireworks, remember these tips:

  • Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
  • Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
  • A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities.  Never give fireworks to children.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.  Save your alcohol for after the show.
  • Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
  • Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
  • Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
  • Never relight a “dud” firework.  Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
  • Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers.
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
  • Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
  • FAA regulations PROHIBIT the possession and transportation of fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage.
  • Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.

And let’s not forget the safety of our pets!

  • Don’t bring your pets to a fireworks display, even a small one.
  • If fireworks are being used near your home, put your pet in a safe, interior room to avoid exposure to the sound.
  • Make sure your pet has an identification tag, in case it runs off during a fireworks display.
  • Never shoot fireworks of any kind (consumer fireworks, sparklers, fountains, etc.) near pets.

 

Visit this website to see what professional firework shows will be happening this Fourth of July: https://explorestlouis.com/july-4th-fireworks-st-louis-2017/

This information was originally posted on http://www.fireworkssafety.org/safety-tips/.

 

Abby Orscheln – Safety and Security Intern


What to do if you are in a fender bender

June 16, 2017 in car accident, Current News, fender bender, insurance, Missouri, st louis by fpsesafety

The following post is from: Safety & Security

It can be scary if you are in an accident, serious or minor. If you haven’t been in one before, it can be a bit confusing to know what to do. Here are 7 tips for what to do in this situation.

  1. Check on yourself and your passengers. If someone is hurt, calling 911 should be your first priority.
  2. Check your surroundings, is it safe to stay where you are? Or should you move to a side street or shoulder on the road?
  3. Once you are in a safe place and if everyone in your car is okay, you should check on anyone else what was involved. But, it is important to not admit guilt or say “sorry”. It is possible the other car involved is trying to commit insurance fraud, and saying “sorry” could be used as an admission of guilt. Just ask, “are you okay?”
  4. Once everyone is checked on, get the other driver’s info. Get their license number, phone number, and insurance information. Get info of witnesses as well. You will also need to give your insurance information, which should be on your insurance card.
  5. Call your insurance company. They will advise you if you should call the police. In Missouri, there are two types of accidents where you are required to call the police (within 30 days of the accident).
    1. If one of the motorists in the accident was uninsured.
    2. If there was a death or injury or more than $500 worth of damage.
  6. Take LOTS of pictures and notes. Take pictures of both cars from all angles, write down the time and place of the accident.
  7. Continue to monitor your condition. Adrenaline rushes can mask symptoms, so keep an eye on yourself and visit your doctor if you don’t feel well.

 

If you are unsure what to do, calling your insurance company can be a big help. Drive safe!

 

Abby Orscheln – Safety & Security Intern


International Travel Safety Tips

May 26, 2017 in crime prevention, Current News, security, tips, travel by fpsesafety

The following post is from: Safety & Security

Get a cellphone with free roaming and a global data plan – AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile all offer these plans. Having access to a cellphone can increase security by allowing you to contact people back home, the police, and your embassy.

Hide or turn off your home’s wifi before you leave – depending on your service plan, this may save you money. But it can increase your virtual security while you’re gone and prevent people from using your internet.

Check the government’s travel warnings and alerts – this list provides comprehensive information on crime, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, disease outbreaks, and more. The government also provides resources on ways to stay safe during these travel warnings, such as recommended vaccinations to get and safe places to go.

Leave your major electronics at home – If you can, leave your expensive tablets and laptops at home; they’re likely to be stolen and contain important information, such as your social security number, credit/debit card numbers, and passwords. If you can’t leave your laptop or tablet at home, secure the device before you go by clearing cookies and browsing history on your browser, removing saved passwords, and encrypting important files. Back everything up to the cloud or external storage device so that if something bad happens you do not lose everything. Always assume the wifi available is unsecure and do not visit websites such as bank websites.

Make photo copies of your passport – and keep a copy on your phone, a USB drive, and in your hotel room in case you lose your passport (or it gets stolen). Carry your passport on you; some police security on train stations in Europe will check your passport. Keep it close to your body in an inside jacket pocket. Don’t keep it with your money or debit/credit cards, and don’t wear it in a bag around your neck. Those are easy targets for pickpockets.

Learn some phrases or download a translation app – Make sure you could find your way to a hospital or embassy in case of an emergency. Translation apps can help you communicate with locals who don’t speak English.

 

 


Stolen License Plate/Sticker Prevention

January 27, 2017 in Abigail Orscheln, Current News, license plate by fpsesafety

The following post is from: Safety & Security

There has been a small spike in license plate and registration sticker thefts in St. Louis this month. Your license plate can be easily taken off of your car no matter where you are parked, home or not. Most thieves only need a screwdriver to take it and there can be major ramifications for you if your plates are used by someone else. For example, if your plates are identified with a crime, you could be a suspect if you haven’t reported them missing.

What do you do if your license plate is stolen?

  1. Immediately report it to the police – call the non-emergency number.
  2. Obtain an incident report number – It is illegal to drive without plates, but if you have your report number or an official copy of the report you can give it to an officer if they pull you over.
  3. Report the stolen plate to the Licensing Office at City Hall – bring your incident report number. There will be a small replacement fee.
  4. Get a temporary tag  or a new license plate.
  5. Secure your new plates with the methods outlined below.

How can you prevent license plate theft?

  1. Get theft prevention screws – Most thieves will carry around a screwdriver to get off plates. If you use special screws that require a particular tool to remove them, it is likely the thief will move on. There are multiple brands, such as Torx Security Screws or Plate Keeper.
  2. Get a plate security frame or cover – These  go around the edge of your plate or cover it entirely and keep people from taking them off. There are multiple brands, such as Lock-Um.

How can you prevent registration sticker theft?

  1. You can obtain enhanced security tabs/stickers that have perforated edges to make them difficult to remove by thieves. They also have your license plate number on them to dissuade thieves. They are free at time of renewal, or you can obtain them later for an $8.50 replacement fee and $3.50 processing fee.
    1. http://dor.mo.gov/motorv/enhancedtabs/
  2. You can slice your old sticker with something sharp, like a razor (be very careful!). This makes them difficult to remove.

St. Louis’ Stolen License Plates Page

Keep safe,

Abigail Orscheln — Safety and Security Intern