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Safety

Take ownership in your safety:

Be safe at home.

  • Lock doors and windows even when not at home and at night.
  • Know your neighbors. Neighbors who know each other look out for each other.
  • Avoid telling people you are not at home. Don’t leave messages indicating you’re away and when you’re returning.
  • Keep addresses off key rings.
  • Avoid leaving keys in hiding places because thieves can find them.

Be safe when walking.

  • Walk in groups at night and keep track of people in the group.
  • Stay on well traveled paths.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Rely on your intuition. If something doesn’t feel right, go with that feeling.
  • If a car is following you, change direction. If a person is following you, turn and look at the person. This lets the person know that you are aware that you are being followed. Walk to a public place.
  • Be vocal. Shout or scream if someone tries to hurt you. Do not go anywhere with the attacker.
  • Have a plan and be prepared for different situations.
  • Report suspicious activity by calling 911.

Be safe when on break.

  • Keep property and valuables safe while on break:
  • Ask trusted neighbors to watch your place.
  • Store valuables in a safe place.
  • Keep windows and doors secured.
  • Have the post office hold your mail.
  • Set up a light timer so the house looks occupied while gone.

Be safe when shopping

  • When taking out your wallet, don’t show money or credit cards.
  • Don’t leave purses or wallets unattended in a car, on the back of restroom doors, or in a shopping cart where it can be easily taken.
  • Keep keys separate in case your purse is lost or stolen.
  • After placing packages in your vehicle, move it to another location and then continue to shop. This helps prevent someone who may be watching you from breaking into your vehicle once you’ve left.
  • Put as little information on check blanks as banks allow. By leaving out information, you will be asked for identification. This makes it more difficult for someone to forge checks if they are stolen.

Be safe in your vehicle

  • Visually check your vehicle before getting into it.
  • Lock doors once in the vehicle.
  • If someone tries to break into your vehicle while you’re in it, honk the horn and try to drive away.
  • Don’t leave packages labeled with your address in your vehicle in plain sight. Place  packages in the trunk.

Be safe online and on the phone

  • Do not give out personal information over the Internet in chat rooms.
  • Do not give out financial information over the phone unless you are speaking to someone that you have called.

Know your neighborhood police officer and firefighter. To find out who this is, call 507-387-8780 or view an online map.

Fire safety

Smoke detectors

  • Make sure smoke detectors are working properly. Test the batteries at least once a month. Batteries should be changed once a year.
  • Smoke detectors should be located on every level of the home and inside each bedroom.
  • Never remove the battery to silence an alarm. Instead, if a detector is in an area where nuisance alarms happen, consider replacing it with a detector that has a silencing button. Note: removing a battery or disabling a smoke detector is a misdemeanor. See Mankato’s city code.
  • If a detector is activating unnecessarily because of cooking, consider replacing it with one that uses a photoelectric sensor. These types are less susceptible to nuisance cooking alarms.
  • Report a non-working smoke detector to landlord within 24 hours of discovering it.

Cooking safety

  • Avoid cooking if sleepy, have taken medication that causes drowsiness, or after drinking alcohol.
  • Grease fires are a leading cause of fires in Mankato. Never use water on a grease fire. If a grease fire occurs, put a lid on the pan to smother the fire. Shut off the burner when safe to do so.
  • Unattended cooking is another cause of kitchen fires. Do not leave food cooking on a stovetop unattended.
  • Keep combustibles such as pot holders, rags and dish towels away from cooking surfaces.
  • Turn pot handles away from the stove top edge, so they aren’t bumped.

Carbon monoxide detectors

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be potentially fatal. This gas is produced by fuel burning appliances such as gas stoves, furnaces and clothes driers. Symptoms include headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.

Carbon monoxide detectors should be placed within 10 feet of each bedroom. If carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected, call 911.

Recreational fires

  • Keep recreational fires between two feet high and three feet wide and at least 25 feet away from buildings, items that can combust and grass, trees and shrubbery.
  • Stay with recreational fires so they don’t get out of hand. Make sure to have a way to put the fire out, such as a garden house, fire extinguisher, dirt, sand and a shovel.
  • When having a recreational fire make sure to only burn wood from trees, small branches, brush or charcoal. Items that cannot be burned are grass clippings, construction debris and garbage.
  • Keep neighbors in mind because heavy smoke may reach their personal properties.
  • A police officer or firefighter may have the fire extinguished if the above guidelines are not followed.

Grilling

  • Use and store barbecue grills outdoors.
  • Avoid grilling on any balconies above ground level (for apartments with three or more units).
  • When grilling on the ground level, place the grill at least 15 feet away from the building. An exception is given if the deck or patio has a sprinkler system.
  • Store charcoal briquettes in a dry area because damp or wet charcoal can spontaneously heat when dried.
  • Allow charcoal briquettes to cool naturally after use for 48 hours before disposing.
  • Store lighter fluid away from a home’s living areas.
  • Keep propane cylinders outside, and at least 20 feet from doors and windows.

In case of fire call 911.