Monthly Safety Considerations
Various times of year have different personal and home safety concerns. This list helps identify things that you might consider each month - or at the start of a given season - to be safer.
Note that some items below are links to articles that provide more details.
New Year's Eve & New Year's Day. If you're out celebrating, please don't drink & drive. Take a cab, get a ride from a sober friend, or sleep it off before going home. Our winding mountain roads only make the risk higher. And if you're driving after those celebrations, use extra caution on the road as others may not be sober.
School's out. Kids may be out and about at unusual times, so keep an eye out for them when driving, particularly in residential areas.
LE-100 Inspections and Fire Safety, 100' clearance rules - trim those trees and clear that brush before fire season.
Clean up flammable debris around your home before fire season starts. Move firewood stacks at least 30 feet from your home.
Mountain visitors: beach traffic starts sometime around now, and keeps going for a few months on the weekends. Highway 17 sees the worst of it, but Soquel San Jose, Summit, 35, Bear Creek, and 9 also get their share. Use caution and leave extra following room as lots of drivers don't know the roads.
LPVFR BBQ. While not technically a safety concern - we hope - the first Sunday in June is the annual LPVFR BBQ. You can come have a great meal, meet your neighbors, play games, participate in the raffle, and support your fire department.
Know your fire safety checklist. Visit http://readyforwildfire.org/ for help in preparing for possible wildfire.
Fireworks and July 4th are a tradition, but they are also completely illegal in both counties in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Even the "safe & sane" kind. Our woods are a fire risk even in the wettest of years, so please don't use them, and many injuries occur every year as well. Leave the fireworks to the professionals.
Heat Stress - heat in the summer months can be more than just inconvenient. Use caution and avoid a trip to the hospital.
Mountain Resident's Night Out. The first Tuesday evening in August. Lots of safety information and talks from local safety and law enforcement professionals.
Back to school. Watch out for changes in traffic patterns. Leave extra time to get to work or school in the morning so you won't be late.
Fall Safety - Check your car's tires. Make sure you have plenty of tread left before the rainy season starts. Also check windshield wipers, headlights, brake lights, & turn signals. Get your furnace checked & cleaned in preparation for the winter.
Clean your gutters (carefully!) in preparation for rain. And re-clean them as needed during the rainy season.
Chimney Fires - get your chimney cleaned to avoid a fire.
Downed Power Lines - as winter gets going, rain will bring down trees and that will bring down wires. Don't get near them and never drive over them.
Mountain visitors: lots of people come to our mountain to buy Christmas trees starting right after Thanksgiving, and many don't know the roads. Use patience and caution when driving, particularly on weekends.
Holiday Safety - candles, Christmas trees, lights etc. Also be careful of toxic holiday plants (like poinsettia) and pets.
Holiday depression. Not everyone is happy over the holidays. Seek professional help if needed.
Holiday celebrations - again, please don't drink & drive. And use extra caution when driving on those evenings. You may be sober, but not everyone on the road is.
Earthquake Preparedness - quakes don't happen at predictable times, so be ready whenever they happen.
Once a month
Check your car's tire pressure. Under inflated tires waste fuel. Over inflated tires can be a hazard. While doing this, check your oil too, just to be sure you have no new leaks.
Once a year
Replace smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries. Often people do this on the daylight savings time change. But smoke detectors need to be replaced every 10 years anyway, and some newer models come with a lifetime battery. If you have one of those, when it starts beeping to tell you the battery is low, it's time to replace the whole thing.