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Tag Archive | "prevention"

Wildfire season is here


This wildfire started a house on fire in Nelson Township 5 years ago last week.

This wildfire started a house on fire in Nelson Township 5 years ago last week.

Wildfire prevention week April 20-26

 

Most of Michigan’s wildfires occur in the spring – April, May and June. According to the Department of Natural Resources, which is responsible for wildland fire protection on 30 million acres of state and private land, April is when wildfires start becoming a problem. During the state’s annual observance of Wildfire Prevention Week, April 20-26, the DNR reminds the public about the dangers of wildfires.

“One out of three wildfires in Michigan is caused by someone burning debris who did not take proper precautions or obtain a burn permit,” said Paul Kollmeyer, resource protection manager within the DNR’s Forest Resources Division. “Many people look outside and think the snow and spring rains have taken the edge off the wildfire danger.”

That’s not the case, Kollmeyer said.

“The dried leaves, needles and brown grass from last year are still there. When the weather is warm, folks want to get out and clean up their yards. They don’t realize that all it takes is one strong wind gust catching an ember to ignite a wildfire.”

Kollmeyer said this is why planning is so vital before a match is even lit.
A person is required to get a burn permit prior to burning brush and debris in Michigan. Residents in the northern Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula can obtain a free burn permit by www.michigan.gov/burnpermit. Residents in southern Michigan should contact their local fire department or township office to see if burning is permitted in their area.

In addition to obtaining a burn permit, the DNR recommends people take the following steps to reduce the risk of wildfire to their home and property:

Clear leaves and other debris from gutters, eaves, porches and decks. This prevents embers from igniting your home.

Keep your lawn hydrated and maintained. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire. If it is brown, cut it down to reduce fire intensity.

Remove fuel within 3 to 5 feet of your home’s foundation and out-buildings, including garages and sheds. If it can catch fire, don’t let it touch your house, deck or porch.

Remove dead vegetation surrounding your home, within the 30- to 100-foot area.

Wildfire can spread to tree tops. If you have large trees on your property, prune them so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet high.

Don’t let debris and lawn cuttings linger. Chip or mulch these items quickly to reduce fuel for fire.

When planting, choose slow-growing, carefully placed shrubs and trees so the area can be more easily maintained.

Landscape with native and less flammable plants. For more information about making fire wise landscaping choices, visit www.firewise.msu.edu.

“Be safe and smart when it comes to fire,” Kollmeyer said. “Fire prevention is everyone’s responsibility.”

For more tips in safeguarding your home and property from wildfire risk, www.michigan.gov/preventwildfires.

 

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Poison prevention means keep out of reach for pets, too


Doctors from Michigan Veterinary Specialists are encouraging people to also remember their pets during National Poison Prevention Week.

National Poison Prevention Week started Sunday and runs through Saturday. The purpose is to create awareness and prevent injury or death due to poisoning.

“While many precautions are taken to prevent humans from being exposed to toxins, it is equally important to remember to take precautions for pets,” said Dr. Sayra Reyes, senior emergency clinician at Michigan Veterinary Specialists. “A good way to do this is to know what types of items can be toxic to pets.”

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the top 10 pet toxins of 2012 were:

Prescription human medications

Insecticides

Over-the-counter human medications

Veterinary products and medications

Household products

People food

Chocolate

Plants

Rodenticides

Lawn and garden products

Additionally, garlic, grapes, macadamia nuts, onions, raisins, the sugar substitute xylitol, and raw or undercooked food can create major problems for pets.

While rodenticides may not be intended for pets, they are designed to attract animals. Should pets encounter these indiscriminate poisons, the condition is life-threatening and the pet must be treated by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Antifreeze is another toxic substance pets are often attracted to due to its sweet taste. If ingested, pets can almost certainly die if the condition is left untreated.

If a pet does ingest something that may be toxic, make sure to bring the label or packaging of the substance with you to your veterinarian. For example, there are different types of rodenticides with different forms of treatment. It’s important for veterinarians to know what substance they are treating for.

“Most importantly, if you believe your pet has gotten into something that may be toxic, get him or her to your veterinarian or an emergency veterinarian immediately,” said Dr. Reyes. “Time can ultimately be the difference between life and death.”

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Colon cancer: awareness and screen are key to prevention


Spectrum Health United Hospital hosts free informational events

Knowledge and action have become important tools in reducing the incidence of colon cancer, which is the focus of National Colon Cancer Month in March.

On Wednesday, March 9, Spectrum Health United Hospital is hosting two complimentary community health talks with the focus of:  Colon Cancer: Be Informed, Take Action. Sessions are scheduled for 1:00-2:00pm and 6:30-7:30pm. Both sessions will take place at Spectrum Health United Hospital’s Conference Center located within the hospital.  Refreshments will be provided.

Presenter Dr. Theodor Asgeirsson will focus on answering questions such as:
•    What is colorectal cancer?
•    What are the risk factors?
•    How often should I be screened?
•    Can colon cancer be prevented?
•    What treatment plans and options are available?

Dr. Asgeirsson joined the medical staff of Spectrum Health United Hospital in June 2010. He specializes in a wide variety of digestive disorders including colon and rectal cancer and screening, proctology, diverticulitis, and inflammatory bowel disease. He has extensive experience in minimally invasive colon and rectal surgery. Dr. Asgeirsson is board certified in general surgery.

Community Health Talks are free to attend, but registration is required. To register please call: 616.225.6822 or register online at spectrum-health.org/colon-cancer-seminar-1.

When registering, please identify which session you will be attending.

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