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A burned out trailer home in Alexandria after a fatal fire cause by careless smoking

Fire deaths: What a difference a year makes

Jan. 17

Sometimes little changes bring big results. Maybe you started plugging the space heater into the wall rather than that power strip in the basement. Perhaps you’re now keeping a coffee can full of wet sand outside for your smoke breaks, rather than tossing your cigarettes in the garden. Or you took the kids to the store to buy a whole bunch of flameless candles and got rid of all your real ones. We’re not exactly sure why Minnesota fire deaths dropped by almost half (47 percent) from 2017 to 2018 – it was probably a combination of factors – but it certainly doesn’t hurt that you and your...


Standard Minnesota driver's license

What does 'NOT FOR FEDERAL IDENTIFICATION' mean?

Jan. 14

If you got your standard Minnesota driver’s license or identification card on or after Oct. 1, 2018, you’ve probably noticed four new words printed on it: “NOT FOR FEDERAL IDENTIFICATION.” Some people have found that a bit daunting, but don’t worry. We’re here to explain what that means. Those words are on your ID because they’re required by federal law — specifically, the REAL ID Act. But, because Minnesota is REAL-ID compliant, you can actually use your standard Minnesota license or ID...


A Minnesota State Patrol Academy graduate’s young son pins on her badge at graduation

Honoring the heart behind the badge

Jan. 7

We know that law enforcement officers put their lives on the line for us every day. Sometimes it’s dealing with an active shooter situation. Sometimes it’s helping a stranded motorist change a tire on the side of a busy freeway. Simply put, policing is a dangerous job. Those who dedicate their lives to law enforcement – including the 11,000 who do so right here in Minnesota – know what they’re getting into. But accepting those risks doesn’t stop them from being human...


Emergency kit items on a table

Eight resolutions to make 2019 the safest year yet

Jan. 3

Let’s see … lose weight, get in shape, spend less time at the office and more time with the kids … almost everyone makes at least one resolution this time of year. Why not put that time-honored tradition to work for your family’s safety? The perks: New Year’s safety resolutions don’t involve going to the gym every day, and it’ll be hard to beat the peace of mind they’ll give you all year long. Need help getting started? No problem. We have eight suggestions for making 2019 your safest year yet...


A gas meter with snow on it

What do a gas meter and a windshield have in common?

Dec. 27

If you’ve lived in Minnesota for at least one winter, you know that snow and ice affect pretty much every aspect of our lives in the winter months. If you’re not scraping it off your car, you’re shoveling it off your sidewalks or making a snowman from it or simply hiding indoors where it’s warm and cozy. But there’s one more thing affected by snow and ice that you may not think of: your natural gas meter. If gas is what makes your home warm and cozy (or at least runs some of your appliances), you’ll need to give it a little love when it snows...