Preventing a House Fire

Between 2012 and 2016, fire incidents have caused 11,670 injuries and 2,560 deaths according to NFPA. Fire incident are very wide spread and can ignite if you’re not aware of your surroundings. Here are some steps you should consider to prevent fire incidents and how to carefully escape during a fire emergency.

  • Be aware of your surroundings – Every time you step foot into another room, you should always make sure that everything is in place, turned off, and candles are blown. One area you should always keep an eye on is the kitchen. Cooking is one of the leading causes for a home fire. Always make sure the stove is off, equipment is unplugged, and kitchen is clean.
  • Turn Off/Unplug electrical appliances – Before leaving the household, it should be second hand nature to check to see if there are any unplugged appliances. For example if an iron was accidentally left on, it could burn or cause an object to catch on fire. Also, if some appliances are left connected for too long, it could cause a power surge outburst. Always make sure to unplug and turn off ant appliances before you leave.
  • Watch your kids – Never leave your child unattended. That should be common sense but at least 300 people are killed per year due to young children playing with fire according to American Red Cross. A great way to prevent your child from a starting a fire is to take them to your local fire department. It’s a fascinating opportunity to allow your child to greet and learn from the firefighters about fire safety.
  • Lock up the pets – Animals left unattended could not ruin your couches, but could lead to a loss of your home. Every year, almost 1,000 houses are burnt down due to pet activity. Dogs and cats are prone to chewing electrical cords, knocking down candles, or electrical appliances. In order to prevent this from happening to you, buy a kennel or gate to keep your pet in one place until you get home.
  • Candle care – According the NFPA, an estimated 8,200 homes were caught on fire by candles per year. Majority of candle fires occur in December between midnight and 6:00 am. Candles may give off a fresh aroma for your home, but if left unattended can give your house a fragrance of burnt wood. A substitute from candles could be a flameless candle as they use batteries and contain no wax, wick, or oil. However, before leaving the house, make sure to extinguish your candles.
  • Fire alarms – It’s very important to check your fire alarm every six months and replacing the batteries frequently. If you were to purchase a new home, you should consider checking the condition, date, and battery life of the fire alarm. If you ever plan to upgrade from your old fire alarm to an advanced version. This is why it’s beneficial: 1) Battery life is significantly longer than older generations. 2) Fewer false alarms would occur. 3) An increase range for detection of smoke. 4) It will last for 10 years or more.
  • Contact the fire department – When in doubt of an emergency, you can always call your local fire department. You should never take on a fire head on as you could spread the fire and harm yourself or others. You can also visit your local fire stations website to learn more on how to prevent and combat fire.
  • Invest in a fire extinguisher – Once you’ve handled the smoke alarm, you should look into purchasing a fire extinguisher. It’s always best to avoid taking on a fire head on, but there are some cases to when you have no options but to deal with it yourself. A fire extinguisher is perfect for small fires and is a great substitute when you have no water nearby or hitting the fire with a rag. You can research to see which fire extinguisher is best suited for you and your home as some can cost as little as $10 or high as $50.

 

 

 

Protecting your house from a fire is no small task and you should always take serious consideration of the condition of your house before you leave. If you’re not observant of your home, then your wallet and living situation could turn into a tragedy in a blink of an eye.

 

Written by Julien Gonzalez

Email Etiquette

At some point, you will have to use your email to communicate both internally and externally. When writing an email, always consider your audience and your intended purpose. Adjust your writing to the situation and who is going to be reading your email. Emails sent to work colleagues should be more formal than emails sent to family and close friends. When you are communicating via email, it’s important to make sure that your message is clear and concise. Here are the top ten tips when it comes to sending and replying to emails.

  • Use the subject line. Your subject line must match the email. Let the receiver know what to expect. The average person receives 121 emails per day. An email with a relevant, specific subject is easier and more likely to be read.
  • Proofread. Use uppercase and lowercase letters accordingly and check your spelling and punctuation. Using all uppercase letters may seem like you are shouting, which is considered rude. If you need to, use the asterisk or exclamation point to emphasize keywords. The emails you send are a reflection of you, so always read over your emails before sending them.
  • Not all email addresses include someone’s name and their company, so it’s important to include a signature. Leave your first and last name and the company you are with.
  • Do not automatically assume that the person who is reading your email knows who you are, so briefly introduce yourself. “Hi, my name is (First and Last name) and I’m with so and so company.” If need be, include contact information, such as a callback telephone number.
  • Respond in a timely manner. Depending on the nature of the email, try to respond within 24 – 48 hours. If you are going to be out of the office, utilize the auto-reply
  • Avoid sending one line emails. “Great.”; “Thanks.”; “Okay.” This can irritate the receiver, and will most likely result in your email being immediately deleted. These do not advance the conversation in any way and it also may not be an acceptable reply for some.
  • Keep it clean. Sending emoticons in a professional business email can come off as unprofessional. Also, avoid using slang and shortcuts/abbreviations.
  • Try to limit the amount of attachments to a maximum of two per email, and give a warning when you’re sending large attachments. Sending unannounced large attachments can fill up the receiver’s inbox. Ask “Would you mind if I sent you this attachment?”
  • Beware of the “reply all” feature. Do not hit “reply all” unless every single person on the thread needs to know.
  • Do not send emails when angry or upset. Ask yourself why you are sending the email in the first place. If it’s not an urgent matter, wait. Emotions are usually short-lived. If you wait it out, your anger will start to go away and you can rewrite the email in a calmer state.

Another thing to remember is that emails are not private. Some things are better discussed in person rather than digitally. If you really need to speak with someone about an urgent matter, see them in person, if possible.

Maintaining a professional image involves proper correspondence – your email behavior has the potential to damage your professional reputation. Following proper email, etiquette is essential in order to prevent miscommunication.

 

Written by Dami Falade

Spring Cleaning

As our homes and lifestyles have changed, so have our cleaning habits. Now that the spring season has officially started and the weather is getting warmer, some may look at it as a fresh start. Spring cleaning is the practice of thoroughly cleaning your home in the spring time – it’s all about clearing out and getting rid of the items you no longer use. You can downsize your home and take on tasks that only need to be tackled once or twice a year.

Deep cleaning your home doesn’t necessarily have to take place in the spring months, but it’s a great time to celebrate the warmer weather. Spring cleaning may seem like a daunting task for some. However, thoroughly cleaning your home and all the nooks and crannies not only sets a healthy environment for your home’s inhabitants, but it also helps to keep your house well-maintained. Here are some ways that you can make spring cleaning as enjoyable as possible.

  • Plan ahead for time-consuming tasks. If you know that some areas of your house are more cluttered than others (garage and kitchen) clean those first.
  • Get mentally prepared to clean – avoid procrastinating. The longer you wait to clean, the harder it will be to actually get started.
  • Start slow – focus on one task at a time. Cleaning more than one section at a time may cause you to feel overwhelmed.
  • Be realistic and break it down – make a list. Utilize a detailed checklists for deep-cleaning the areas of your home that need extra attention. You can skip the items that have already been cleaned recently.
  • Store things based on how you use them.
  • Establish new cleaning habits. Simple 15 minute cleanup routines can be practiced at least once a week, if your schedule permits. This will reduce clutter so that the next time you need to deep-clean your home, you won’t feel as overwhelmed.
  • Clean room by room. Don’t feel pressured to have a specific day where you clean the whole entire house. For example, you can dedicate one Sunday to clean out your garage, and the next weekend you can work on the kitchen.
  • Spring cleaning may be more enjoyable if you have your favorite music playing in the background. Put on upbeat music to dance to and to keep your energy levels high.
  • Gather your supplies –broom, dustpan, sponges, vacuum cleaner, mop bucket and mop stick, paper towels, cleaning gloves, trash bags, etc.

Crossing things off of a to-do-list will feel make you feel good, no matter how small the task. Spring cleaning is a lot of work and can be challenging, but it’s feasible and easier when you have a schedule and a plan. De-cluttering your home will change your mindset and improve your overall productivity.

 

Written by Dami Falade

Effects of Stress on Your Health

Stress is the body’s reaction to unfamiliar situations. Stress is a normal part of everyday life, and so is our response to it. When you feel threatened, a chemical reaction occurs in your body that allows you to act in a way to protect yourself. This reaction is known as “fight-or-flight”, or the stress response. During this process, your heart rate increases, your breathing quickens, your muscles start to tighten, and your blood pressure rises.

Some causes of internal and external stress include major life changes (pregnancy, getting married, or a new job), relationship problems, financial responsibilities, and academic pressure as well. Stress may be affecting your health, even though you might not realize it. Stress can affect your body, thoughts, feelings, and behavior.

The effects of stress on your emotional wellbeing are:

  • Constant worrying
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Irritability (agitated behavior – twiddling your fingers, clenched jaw, grinding teeth)
  • Angry outbursts
  • Social withdrawal – decreased contact with family and friends
  • Overeating or undereating

The most common physical symptoms of chronic stress are:

  • Sweating
  • Headaches
  • Digestion issues – nausea or constipation
  • Muscle tension
  • Increased heart rate
  • Weight gain

Here are some coping mechanisms and ways you can manage your stress better.

  • Identify what’s causing your stress. Ask yourself about your feelings and the problems that you’re having. Is it something that you can control or is it always going to be an issue?
  • Exercise on a regular basis. It’s important to make time to exercise at least 3 times a week if your schedule permits.
  • Utilize techniques for physical relaxation. Activities such as deep breathing, yoga, and meditation will make a huge difference in your overall outlook and help you to relax.
  • Socialize with family and friends. Talk to someone close to you about what’s on your mind. You’ll feel much better when your feelings are out in the open, instead of just bottling them up.
  • Find a hobby that you can enjoy. Read a book, draw, or listen to your favorite music.
  • Journal your thoughts. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone, writing down your feelings is a great way to get it out of your system.
  • Sleep! Getting enough sleep is key. Sleep deprivation can negatively affect your mood. Make sure you are sleeping at least 6 -7 hours per night.

Stress is inevitable. It’s always important to have a plan so that your stress levels aren’t getting too out of control. Finding stress-reducing routines that work well for you is the first and most important step of increasing side effects of stress, both emotional and physical. Learning how to manage your stress takes time and practice.

However, if you have tried all above steps and your stress becomes more difficult to manage, or if you start to develop more serious symptoms (chest pain, difficulty breathing, or irregular menstrual cycle) it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

 

Written by Dami Falade

Hurricane Cleanup Safety

Hurricane season is coming to an end, but areas impacted by heavy storms are beginning the process of rebuilding communities which starts with hurricane cleanup. Whether or not your area was affected by a hurricane this season, it is never a bad idea to stay informed about cleanup hazards. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has compiled a list of tips to ensure workers stay safe and healthy while cleaning up after natural disasters:

  • Use a wooden stick or pole to check flooded areas for pits and holes before entering
  • Conduct a preliminary worksite inspection to verify stability before entering a flooded or formerly flooded building
  • Do not touch downed power lines or any object or water that is in contact with such lines
  • Treat all power lines as energized
  • Beware of overhead and underground powerlines when clearing debris
  • Establish a plan for contacting medical personnel in the event of an emergency
  • Report any obvious hazards such as downed power lines, frayed electric wires, gas leaks or snakes to appropriate authorities
  • Always wear watertight boots with steel toe and insole gloves, long pants and safety glasses during cleanup operations
  • Clean, cool water and sun screen should be available for workers

Educating workers on hurricane cleanup safety allows them to work cautiously at the workplace or when providing assistance to their neighbors and communities. Staying informed about cleanup hazards reduces risk of injury for everyone involved.

Nova Medical Centers solely focuses on occupational health. We pride ourselves in providing exceptional services and helping our clients prioritize their health and safety above all else. Communicating up-to-date OSHA safety regulations and trends to employers and employees allows us to assists clients in creating a safer workplace environment. Contact Us  to learn more about any of our services. Our skilled and friendly staff members are ready to meet all your occupational health needs.

 

Written by Nayda Sanchez

National Physical Therapy Month

Physical therapy plays a critical role in the recovery process of patients who have experienced injury or deformity. Both physicians and patients who have participated in physical therapy know that it is more than just treatment. It is a journey of transformation. American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) established National Physical Therapy Month (NPTM) in 1981 to raise awareness of the life changing benefits it offers to patients. Here are some key facts about National Physical Therapy Month:

  • National Physical Therapy Month is celebrated in October
  • Every year, APTA selects a theme such as lower back pain, posture, balance, fitness and obesity, to be the main focus. This year’s focus is on the #ChoosePT campaign which encourages physical therapist to tout the benefit of choosing physical therapy in lieu of opioid medication
  • A “Day of Service” is designated to give physical therapists an opportunity to engage their communities in activities to promote healthy lifestyles and to spread awareness of the importance of physical therapy
  • Many clinics offer free posture screenings, balance assessments or fun runs
  • 50 Chapter Challenge, Neighborhood blood drives, photo contests, and Miracles Baseball Leagues are some events organized by APTA to make it easier for physicians to get involved during NPTM

Physical therapists deserve recognition for their hard work and dedication to empowering patients to take control of their treatment plans and recovery progress. National Physical Therapy Months allows physicians to spread awareness of the benefits of physical therapy while receiving the appreciation they undeniably earned.

At Nova Medical Centers, our team of highly skilled licensed physical therapy staff is committed to providing the most current treatment to patients. Our program provides one-on-one patient care, which means patients do not share their individual therapy time with multiple patients. We pride ourselves in leading the occupational health industry. Contact us  today for more information about our physical therapy program or any other of our services.

Hurricane Season is Not Over

According to National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center, hurricane season reaches its peak between August and October in both the Eastern Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Basin. You can’t rely on forecast to determine whether or not you should prepare for a hurricane. Let’s face it; Mother Nature is so unpredictable that not even experts can accurately predict her next move.  Staying prepared is the best route. Below are 3 tips to prepare for a hurricane at your workplace:

  1. Having an evacuation plan in place ensures workers can get to safety in case a hurricane affects area. A thorough evacuation plan should include:
  • Conditions that will activate the plan
  • Chain of command
  • Emergency functions and who will perform them
  • Specific evacuation procedures, including routes and exits
  • Procedures for accounting for personnel, customers and visitors
  • Equipment for personnel
  1. Prepare your employees

Having a plan is not enough. Participating in crisis drills where employees practice the evacuation plan better prepares your employees if a hurricane does occur. Constantly practicing and discussing your plan expresses the importance your company places on your employee’s safety.

  1. Test your emergency communication plans

Sending an email, a text alert or testing a public address system ensures you are able to provide critical information to employees if an emergency occurs.  Be sure to include identifiers such as “THIS IS A TEST” to avoid confusion.

Emergency Action Plans help communicate procedures during an emergency to all employees within an organization. Engagement and implementation of emergency plans assists in illuminating confusion during natural disasters. You may not be able to predict when a hurricane might strike, but you can control how you prepare for one.

Nova Medical Centers focuses solely on occupational health. We pride ourselves in providing exceptional services and helping our clients prioritize their health and safety above all else. Our Nova Lunch and Learns  are designed to communicate up-to-date safety regulations to employers and employees and are hosted at one of our facilities regularly. Topics include hurricane or natural disaster preparedness, preparing for an active shooter situation and more.  Contact Us  to learn more about our next event.

 

Written by Nayda Sanchez

Recycling – Benefits of recycling and how to start

Earth is our only home and we have a responsibility to protect it.  One of the simplest ways to reduce strain on the environment is to recycle. According to an article on Recycling Today, 90% of businesses practice a form of recycling. Recycling is the process of breaking down and re-using materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash.  Recycling not only benefits our planet, but also benefits anyone involved.  Below are two major benefits of recycling:

 Environmental Benefits:

Economic Benefits:

  • Recycling programs cost the government, taxpayers, and business owners less money than waste programs
  • Recycling and manufacturing industries help create jobs in the United States
  • People can make money by transporting approved materials to a nearby recycling facility that will pay for the product

Recycling can be done from home, at work, and anywhere you go. Being mindful of packaging, containers, and materials we use can help us be more resourceful. Here are some commonly recycled items and ways to recycle them:

  • Aluminum cans:

Aluminum cans are considered scrap metal and can be collected and brought to scrap yards in bulk.  Some schools who are in need of funding participate in recycling drives where aluminum cans may be donated. What better way to help the environment and your community!

  • Magazines and mixed paper

Most employers have a recycling program in place that includes a recycling bin where you may place all paper products.  You may also drop off bins of paper at your local waste management facility. Some artists use magazines for their work; dropping off magazines at local schools, libraries or family shelters is an option before tossing them in the recycling bin. Any food or liquids on paper products can ruin the entire bale and cause it to become unrecyclable. Separating paper from other recyclable material prevents contamination.

  • Plastic:

Plastic can also be dropped off at local waste management facilities. Ensuring all plastic is rinsed and clean is an important part of the recycling process. A quick rinse before placing it in the recycling bin does the trick!

Recycling is impactful, especially if we all work together. We only have one planet and it deserves to be clean and waste free.

At Nova Medical Centers we specialize in Occupational Health. We pride ourselves in providing instant, personalized care for employees who have suffered work-related injuries.  Helping surrounding communities has been a source of our passion that allows us to keep Nova’s culture alive.  Contact us for more information.

 

Written by Nayda Sanchez

Preparing for Flu Season – Helpful tips to keep from spreading the flu

With fall just around the corner, now is the time to start preparing for flu season. 10% of the population contracts the flu yearly. Though it may not seem like a high percentage, more people are affected than you think. Interacting with people who have been exposed to the flu is inevitable, but it doesn’t mean we can’t better prepare ourselves. Below are 5 tips to help you fight the flu:

 

  1. Get Vaccinated

Vaccinations are the best way to help the prevention of spreading the flu. Nova Medical Centers proudly offers onsite vaccinations. It is important to know the benefits of receiving flu vaccines.

 

  1. Sanitizers are your best friends

During flu season, sanitizing commonly used surfaces such as computer equipment, doorknobs, desks and telephones can help keep from spreading the flu. Use cleaning products and disinfectants to kill germs on surfaces.

 

  1. Wash your hands

Washing your hands several times a day prevents spreading flu germs. Germs can live on anything someone who is infected has touched for over two hours. It is advised to wash your hands several times a day. You soap and water to thoroughly wash hands. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

 

  1. Stay home when you’re sick

If you have the flu, the best thing you can do for yourself and others is to stay home. Staying home prevents the spreading of the flu.

 

  1. Exercise and eat healthy

Feeding your body the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and exercising regularly is proven to help you fight viruses. The healthier you are, the less prone to illnesses you become. Work-out regularly, eat your veggies and get plenty of sleep. Your body will thank you once flu season arrives.

 

Nova Medical Centers specializes in Occupational Health. We want to help you and your employees combat against the flu. Our Onsite Flu Shot Clinics provide flu shots without leaving the office or making appointments. Contact Nova Medical Centers for more information about scheduling an Onsite Flu Shot Clinic.

 

Written By: Nayda Sanchez