UPMC Mercy Trauma and Burn Center Fall Safety Tips

Back to School Basics: Bus Safety

Those bright yellow buses that return to the road every fall represent the safest way for young children to get to school — but accidents and even deaths — happen far too often. CBS News recently cited an estimate that American drivers illegally passed school buses more than 13 million times last year.

UPMC Mercy Trauma Center reminds drivers to follow these important safety tips when driving near school buses and approaching school zones:

  • Obey the law: whenever a bus flashes its red lights and extends the stop arm, stop immediately — whether you are behind the bus or approaching it on the opposite side of the road.
  • You must remain stopped until all lights stop flashing and the stop arm is released.
  • Pennsylvania law requires you to stop at least 10 feet away from any bus.
  • Slow down! Be on the alert for reduced speed limits near schools and playgrounds.
  • Reduce your speed at intersections or crosswalks, and stop when children are crossing.
  • Never block crosswalks or force pedestrians to go around you.
  • Parents should exercise caution when dropping off or picking up students. Don’t double park or allow children to exit across the street from the school.

Fall, Furnaces, and Smoke Detectors

Before you turn on your furnace for the first chilly night of fall, UPMC Mercy Burn Center urges you to keep your family safe by scheduling an annual furnace safety check today — and updating your home’s smoke detectors.

  • Remember to replace your alarms’ batteries every 12 months; writing down the replacement date can help you remember when to replace them again.
  • Make sure that smoke alarms are installed on every level of your home, including the basement, inside each bedroom, and outside of each sleeping area.
  • Mount alarms high on a wall or on the ceiling. Don’t install a smoke alarm near a window or door, where drafts can interfere with its operation.
  • Be sure that all members of your family can clearly hear the alarm.

Now is also an ideal time to talk with your family about fire safety. Develop a plan of action for everyone to follow should a fire occur at your house.

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