By Jon Nehring
June is National Safety Month, and I believe it’s important to recognize how much we each can do to create safer homes and businesses and a healthier Marysville community. Together with the Marysville Police Department and Marysville Fire District, we want to share some concrete things you can do this month to be safer year-round.
•Prepare for the unexpected: Plan for possible emergencies. Create emergency kits for your home and car. Discuss a home emergency plan with your family and know how to shut off utilities. Learn first aid and CPR.
Change the batteries in your smoke alarms at least once a year. A working smoke alarm cuts your odds of dying in a home fire in half, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
•Prioritize your wellness: Work physical activity into your daily schedule by going for a walk at lunch or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Get seven to nine hours of sleep each day. Get regular medical checkups, including an annual physical and age-appropriate tests. Talk to your doctor about alternatives to opioid pain medications. Visit www.marysvillewa.gov/147/Parks-Culture-Recreation to find fun, local options for exercise classes offered by the city. From belly dance to kettleball, tennis to yoga, we’ve got something for everyone.
•Prevent slips, trips and falls: Falls are the third-leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths for all ages and the No. 1 cause of death for those over 65. Remove clutter, electrical cords and tripping hazards from walkways, stairs and doorways. Install night lights in bathrooms and hallways. Clean up spills immediately. Avoid looking at or using your cell phone while walking, especially near intersections and busy areas. If you need to use your phone, find a safe place to stop walking and stay there until you are done.
•Always drive safely: Up to 94 percent of vehicle crashes involve human error. Avoid driving impaired, whether by alcohol, lack of sleep or drugs, including over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Don’t use your cell phone while driving. Never leave a child alone in a car and always lock it when not in use. Always wear a seatbelt. In 2016, 48 percent of vehicle occupants killed on the road were not wearing seatbelts.
Of course this is just a small sample of many things you can do to increase your safety at home and at work. I encourage you to take a day to look for hazards and opportunities in your own life.
One good online resource is the National Safety Council at www.nsc.org, which offers much more detailed information and suggestions. Locally, you can also review the city’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan and learn how to get involved in Map Your Neighborhood, Community Emergency Response Team and Amateur Radio Training at www.marysvillewa.gov/317/Emergency-Management. Here’s to a safer Marysville community.
Jon Nehring is the mayor of Marysville. His column runs monthly.