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Blog Archive: November 2019


Flames shooting out of a kitchen fire safety trailer during a demonstration

Make the holidays delicious … and safe

Nov. 25

There’s nothing like gathering with friends and family over a delicious holiday meal, warm and cozy in your home, festive candles ablaze. But it just so happens that cooking, heating and open flames – those staples of holiday atmosphere – are also the three leading causes of house fires in Minnesota. In fact, the time from Thanksgiving to New Year’s is often the busiest time for fires; last year, 11 people died in fires in November, December and January alone. The real tragedy of such fires is that they’re preventable. All it takes is a little planning and caution...


Shots of tequila being poured

Find a sober ride on Blackout Wednesday

Nov. 21

Maybe she cooked the best pumpkin pie this side of the Mississippi. Maybe he told jokes so terrible, everyone laughed anyway. But for too many families this holiday season, memories like that will be all they have left of a loved one because of a drunk driver. The night before Thanksgiving has come to be known as “Blackout Wednesday.” People come home from college and go on a bender with friends they haven’t seen for months. Or, knowing they don’t have to work for four days, indulge a little too much because they know they’ll have time to recover from the hangover. Whatever the...


Barb Degnan speaks at a news conference where a broken heart license plate is displayed

How broken hearts can save lives

Nov. 18

The holidays are a time when we need to strike a balance. On one hand, we get to see family and friends we don’t see very often. It’s fun to sit down, maybe have some drinks together, and catch up. But if we then get behind the wheel, we can deprive another family of seeing their loved one at the holidays — or ever again. That was certainly the case for Barb Degnan, whose son Dan was killed by an impaired driver in a crash on Christmas Eve, 1992. He was just 20 years old...


A blanket over a space heater catches fire

This winter, stay warm … and safe

Nov. 14

There’s no getting around it: Winter weather has definitely set in, and you’ve had the heat on for at least a couple of weeks. Staying warm is good, whether it’s from a furnace, fire in the fireplace, or space heater. But the very things that keep us cozy in the cold can endanger our lives. When the temperature drops, the number of fires spikes. Fortunately, like most fires, wintertime fires are mostly preventable if you just take a few precautions on the front end...


A motorcycle training student navigates through orange cones as an instructor watches

Too much motorcycle training? No such thing.

Nov. 7

There are thousands of motorcycle riders throughout Minnesota who have better riding skills than they started the season with. How do we know? Because a total of 4,293 people took Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center (MMSC) rider training courses this season. And although that included a lot of beginners, many said they’d be coming back, and many already have. From site to site throughout the state, motorcycle training participants agreed that their instructors were supportive, knowledgeable and helpful. They said their rider instructors were not afraid to have fun, but took safety...


A car in a snowy ditch and a state patrol squad car parked on the edge of the road

Goodbye fall, hello winter driving safety

Nov. 4

Another autumn is on the books, and winter is coming on faster than we’d like (for some of us, it has already arrived). Before the snow begins to fly in earnest, take some time to get ready for safe winter driving. Over the past five years in Minnesota, law enforcement officers reported snowy or icy road conditions in almost 80,000 crashes, which led to 214 deaths and 20,761 injuries. That’s a lot of reasons to remind yourself about how to stay safe on snowy, icy roads. The bulk of winter driving safety happens before you even get behind the wheel...