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Public Safety News

  • Fires from heating sources account for 36 percent of residential home fires in rural areas annually. Often these fires are due to creosote buildup in chimneys and stovepipes. All home heating systems require regular maintenance to function safely and efficiently, including fireplaces and wood stoves. Remember to allow ashes to cool before disposing of them. Place ashes in a tightly covered metal container and keep the ash container at least 10 feet away from your home and any other nearby buildings. Never empty the ash directly into a trash can. Douse and saturate the ashes with water. Also, install smoke alarms on every level of your home and inside and outside of sleeping areas. Test them monthly and change the batteries at least once a year. Consider installing the new, long-life smoke alarms.
  • Medication abuse is a national epidemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chesterfield County’s percentage of teens abusing medications is higher than the national average, as indicated by the 2012 Community Youth Survey. The survey was conducted by Substance Abuse Free Environment Inc., or SAFE, Chesterfield County’s substance abuse prevention coalition. Two-thirds of teens who abuse prescription medications get them from their families or friends. To help prevent unauthorized use of medications, SAFE, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Health, has launched, “Lock Your Meds,” a media-awareness campaign that encourages parents and grandparents to secure their medications in a locked container or cabinet, and to talk to their children about the importance of using medicines only as directed and the dangers of misuse. Visit http://chesterfieldsafe.org/ for more information.