Thanksgiving Safety

The kitchen is the heart of the home, especially at Thanksgiving. Kids love to be involved in holiday preparations. Safety in the kitchen is important, especially on Thanksgiving Day when there is a lot of activity and people at home.

Safety tips

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children alone in room with a lit a candle.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

Cooking safety and kids - Thanksgiving is a great time to let kids help out in the kitchen. Download our “Kids in the Kitchen” guide for ideas on what different age groups can do around the kitchen as you prepare your holiday meal.

Turkey fryers - NFPA discourages the use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers.

For more information on Thanksgiving safety information visit the NFPA website.

Source: National Fire Protection Assoication

Change Your Clock – Change Your Battery

Smoke Detector ImageDaylight Savings Time ends Sunday, November 2 at 2 am. The Greensboro Fire Department wants to take this opportunity to remind residents to change the batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms this weekend. Fresh batteries allow smoke and CO alarms to do their jobs saving lives by alerting families of a fire or a buildup of deadly carbon monoxide in their homes.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, 60-percent of fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. That is why it is important to replace batteries at least once every year and to test your alarms every month to make sure they work. Residents are urged to have smoke alarms on every level of their home, outside bedrooms and inside each bedroom.

Carbon Monoxide is called the “invisible killer,” because it is a colorless, odorless and poisonous gas. Because of this, people may not know they are being poisoned. Carbon monoxide is produced by the incomplete burning of fuel in various products, including furnaces, portable generators, fireplaces, cars and charcoal grills.

If you do not have a working smoke alarm, the Greensboro Fire Department offers the smoke alarm and installation free of charge by calling 336-574-4088.

Turning Colder this Weekend

NWS ImageClick the image to enlarge



Cold Weather this Weekend

Weekend Weather

Ready Guilford Website Updated as City and County Officials Monitor Ebola

Ebola Virus ImageCity of Greensboro and Guilford County officials have updated the webpage with information for residents about the Ebola virus. The City is working closely with the Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services (Division of Public Health) along with police, fire, Guilford Metro 9-1-1, local health care systems, schools, and colleges in actively monitoring the public health concerns related to the virus.

In the event of an Ebola case, a coordinated comprehensive management plan is in place thanks to Guilford County Public Health and local hospitals and other public health partners, including healthcare providers and emergency responders. Therefore, if an Ebola case did occur in Guilford County, state and local public health professionals would quickly identify everyone who was potentially exposed and take immediate measures to prevent further spread. Both state and local public health professionals have extensive training and experience with this type of investigation and response.

Residents are reminded of the Guilford Emergency Alert, Notification, and Information System (GEANI). GEANI is an automated system to notify you of urgent and emergency information through your cell phone, home phone, and/or e-mail. The system provides time sensitive, geographically based public safety messages through voice, text, and e-mail, and is available to all residents and businesses within Guilford County (including City of High Point residents in Forsyth, Davidson, and Randolph Counties). To register for the GEANI system or for more information, visit

More information is also available through the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services site at

Dangers Associated with Portable/Stationary Space Heaters

GFD PatchThe Greensboro Fire Department wants to remind residents about the dangers associated with using portable/stationary space heaters. Earlier this week, a Greensboro resident experienced a residential structure fire as a direct result of combustibles being left too close to a space heater. 

As we transition from fall to winter, a few simple heating safety tips and precautions can help residents prevent most heating fires:

  • Keep combustible materials at least three-feet away from heating equipment, like fireplaces, wood stoves, or portable space heaters.
  • Provide a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly.

If you do not have a working smoke alarm, the Greensboro Fire Department offers the alarm and installation free of charge by calling 336-574-4088.

Source: City of Greensboro Fire Department

Governor McCrory Proclaims October 16 as Earthquake Preparedness Day

Governor Pat McCrory has proclaimed October 16 as Earthquake Preparedness Day and is encouraging North Carolina families, business and schools to practice how to protect themselves in an earthquake by using three simple steps: drop, cover and hold.

“Although rare, earthquakes do happen in North Carolina, so it is always best to be prepared,” McCrory said. “This year, the state has already experienced four minor earthquakes. While those were mild, we remember the impacts from the Virginia earthquake three years ago. Knowing what to do will help keep you safe.”

An estimated 100 million people felt the earthquake in Mineral, Virginia on August 23, 2011 that damaged homes and buildings in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

If you feel shaking, emergency management and earthquake officials recommended that you:

  • Drop to the ground
  • Take cover under a sturdy desk or table 
  • Hold on to the desk until the shaking stops. 
  • If there is no table or desk nearby, crouch in an inside corner of a building and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms.  
  • Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, bookshelves, lamps, TVs, cabinets and other objects as much as possible. Such items may fall and cause injuries.   

Do not get in a doorway. It is not safe and does not protect you from falling or flying objects.

Do not run outside. Running in an earthquake is dangerous. The ground is moving making it easy to fall or be injured by falling structures, trees, debris or glass. If you are outside during an earthquake, move to a clear area that is away from trees, signs, buildings or downed electrical lines.

McCrory encouraged North Carolinians to join the other Southeastern states and Washington, D.C., in the third Great SouthEast ShakeOut earthquake exercise, scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 16 at 10:16 a.m.

Families, businesses and schools can register their participation at Participants will be notified of events in their area and receive regular information on how to plan their drill and become better prepared for earthquakes and other disasters.  

More earthquake preparedness tips can be found online at North Carolinians can also download the free ReadyNC mobile app – available for both iPhone and Droid devices – that provides real-time weather and traffic alerts plus readiness tips for a variety of emergencies.

“Ground shaking from earthquakes typically lasts only a minute or two, but aftershocks can continue for several days,” said North Carolina’s Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry.  “It only takes a few minutes to rehearse what to do in such an emergency.” 

Source: North Carolina Division of Emergency Management

Damaging Thunderstorms Possible Tonight and Tomorrow

Widespread showers and storms will accompany a cold front as it tracks into central North Carolina late tonight and Wednesday. An isolated storm could become severe, with a primary threat of damaging winds or an isolated tornado. The potential for severe weather will be greatest early Wednesday morning. Widespread rainfall amounts of an inch or more can be expected due to the slow movement of this system. Minor flooding will be possible,  especially in urban areas. An isolated severe storm will remain possible along the cold front through Wednesday morning.

Severe Weather 10.14

Severe Weather Threat Tuesday (10/14)

The National Weather Service in Raleigh is forecasting severe weather tomorrow (Tuesday 10/14) evening into tomorrow night. The main threat is severe thunderstorms with strong winds and localized flooding. Also, an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out. Please pay close attention to the weather tomorrow! For the most up-to-date information, refer to the National Weather Service and local media outlets. Below is an excerpt from tomorrow’s Hazardous Weather Outlook for Guilford County.


Take time now and prepare for the severe weather threat. For preparedness and safety information, visit the ReadyGuilford website. Also, take time and review your severe weather safety plans with your family and co-workers.

Please prepare now and stay safe!

Ebola Preparedness in Guilford County

The 2014 Ebola epidemic is the largest in history, affecting multiple countries in West Africa. More recently, the first travel-associated case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the United States was confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on September 30, 2014, an event that has understandably led to an increased level of concern in the general public.

Although the risk of an Ebola outbreak in the U.S. is very low, the CDC, the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) and the Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services (GCDHHS), along with key community partners, are taking steps to keep this from happening.

For instance, GCDHHS (Division of Public Health) in conjunction with state and federal agencies, local health care systems, and Guilford County Emergency Services are actively monitoring for cases using a variety of methods, including surveillance of hospital emergency department visits and outpatient clinic visits. Guilford County Public Health has been working closely with local hospitals and other public health partners, including healthcare providers and emergency responders throughout the county to coordinate a comprehensive management plan in the event that an Ebola case were to occur in the area. Therefore, if an Ebola case occurred in Guilford County, state and local public health professionals would rapidly identify everyone who was potentially exposed and take immediate measures to prevent further spread. Both state and local public health professionals have extensive training and experience with this type of investigation and response. To date, no cases of Ebola have been identified in North Carolina.

So what do you need to know about the Ebola virus? Dr. Laura Bachmann, Public Health’s Medical Director and a Professor of Infectious Diseases at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, stresses the following reminders:

  • A person infected with Ebola cannot spread the disease until symptoms appear. Symptoms or signs of the disease appear from 2 to 21 days after exposure though the average time from exposure to symptoms is 8 to 10 days.
  • Symptoms of Ebola include fever, severe headache, muscle pain, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea or unexplained bleeding or bruising.
  • Ebola is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or through mucous membranes such as can be found in the eyes, nose or mouth) with blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with Ebola, and through direct contact with objects like needles or syringes that have been contaminated with the blood and body fluids of a person sick with Ebola.
  • Ebola is NOT spread through the air, through water or through food.

What can you do to protect yourself from Ebola? Dr. Bachmann endorses the current CDC guidance which includes the following steps:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Do not touch the blood or body fluids (for example, urine, feces, saliva, vomit, sweat and semen) of people who are sick.
  • Do not handle items that may have come in contact with a sick person’s blood or body fluids and do not touch the body of someone who has died of Ebola.

Finally, Dr. Bachmann advises the following, “Keep in mind that we are getting into cold and flu season and that many people will have similar symptoms from much more common illnesses – not Ebola! Get your flu shot and other recommended vaccinations. Do not go to work or school if you are sick. Check in with your health care provider should you become ill and make sure to tell your health care provider if you have traveled recently from a country where the Ebola outbreak is ongoing or if you have possibly had contact with a person infected with Ebola.”

For more information and updates, contact Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health at (336) 641-6500.

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