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Blog Archive: October 2017

 

Photo of a jack-o-lantern.As Frankenstein says, 'Fire bad.'

Oct. 30

There are two kinds of scary: The kind where you get a little thrill but you know you’ll be all right (think scary movies and haunted houses). And then there’s the kind of scary where you genuinely fear for your life…like during a house fire. Halloween, despite being a fun holiday, can have a tendency to bring those two types of scary together. But with a few simple precautions, you can make sure the frights are limited to the little ghosts and witches showing up at your door for candy. Here are some fire safety tips that can help your Halloween stay on the fun side of scary...


Photo of a motorcycle rider driving on a training course.That’s a wrap! More than 5,000 riders trained during the 2017 season

Oct. 26

Well, it’s happened again: Another motorcycle riding season has come and (almost) gone. And with it, another motorcycle training season – which means there are 5,728 riders out there with better skills than they started the season with. And no, not all of those riders started this year’s motorcycle riding season as beginners. In fact, the intermediate and advanced/expert training courses saw a 19 percent increase in enrollment this year compared to last year...


Photo of a car crash scene in winterReady to roll: Preparing your car for winter driving

Oct. 23

Let’s see: The window air conditioner units are put away. The vegetable garden is cleared. You’ve mowed the lawn one last time. You’re ready for winter, right? Close – but not until your vehicle is ready too. Winter driving in Minnesota poses its own unique set of hazards, and it’s important to be prepared. For starters, get a tune-up. You want to make sure everything is in good working order. While you’re at it, have your mechanic check the tread depth on your tires (and make sure those tires are winter or all-season) and make sure your headlights and windshield wipers are working...


Oct. 19

You spent summer weekends at the lake and never got around to finishing that Adirondack chair you were making for Mom. And what about that dollhouse you want to make your daughter for Christmas? You’ve got a lot of work to do in the shop this fall! But the garage gets pretty chilly as the weather gets colder, and bringing in a space heater really takes the edge off. But workshops and garages can be particularly dangerous places for alternative heat sources. With all that lumber and sawdust around, not to mention paint and rags, an improperly used space heater could spell disaster...


Photo of firefighter with rado.FirstNet: Lifesaving communication in emergencies

Oct. 16

It’s finally happened: A tornado has torn through your community, destroying buildings and gravely injuring people. Unfortunately, you’re one of the latter, and an ambulance is rushing you to the hospital. The emergency medical technicians (EMTs) need to get vital information about your condition to the emergency room so that they can be ready to save your life. But everyone in the area is using their cell phones to locate or reassure loved ones, call for emergency services, or get information about next steps—the network is jammed, and your EMTs can’t get a signal to send or receive any data...


Photo of 11-year-old MianaSchool buses mean school children. And we have to keep them safe.

Oct. 12

School bus drivers are the ultimate multi-taskers. They’re driving, of course (and not just a little car, but a great big behemoth of a vehicle), and they’re keeping an eye on their young riders to make sure everyone stays relatively well-behaved. But there’s one thing bus drivers do that you may not think about much (although you may want to start): They watch for other drivers. Specifically, in this case, the school bus driver spotted a truck going around the school bus stop arm...


Photo of a family making a home fire escape plan.The best way to use your two minutes

Oct. 9

How far can you move in two minutes?  What if there are obstacles in your way? What if you don’t know exactly which path to take? You certainly won’t get as far. But what if your life depends on it? Unfortunately, two minutes is the amount of time you’ll have to escape a typical home fire from the moment the smoke alarm sounds. And considering that a fire doubles in size every 60 seconds, you won’t want to waste any time getting away from it. That means you’ll need to have your escape routes (yes, that’s plural) planned and practiced ahead of time...


Photo of heroin microcrystalsThe new drug testing method helping get criminals off the streets sooner

Oct. 5

The sooner a drug criminal can be taken off the streets, the better it is for everyone. For those struggling with addiction, getting them off the streets sooner also means getting them into treatment sooner. But sometimes investigations can take time, especially if they’re drug-related. One of the most time-consuming parts of any drug case can be waiting for the results to come back from the lab...



Photo of relief supplies for hurricane survivors in the Florida Keys.Minnesota and Hurricane Irma: 'Just call me, and I’ll be there'

Oct. 2

Harvey. Irma. Maria. You have no doubt looked on in helplessness as the horrors from recent hurricanes unfold in photos and videos. It’s natural to want to help your fellow humans in times of disaster, which makes it that much harder to feel that there’s so little you can do. It may help to know, then, that Minnesota has heeded the call of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) after Irma made landfall in Florida. EMAC is a mutual aid agreement among all 50 states. Here’s how it works: A requesting state asks for specific resources, such as people or equipment...