Complete clauses 1 - 3 and any four other clauses which provide a personal challenge to you.

Clause 1 Know how to turn off the main utilities in your home ie gas, electricity and water. Know what to do if you suspect a leak.

Before I started this badge I had no idea. If have now found that:

Gas - In the gas board cupboard by the front door pull the big leaver down.

Electricity - Flick the red switch on the board of switches in the garage

Water - Turn the tap head which is by the water meter in the downstairs toilet

Clause 2 Understand how simple smoke detectors work, why they should be installed in the home and where they should be sited. Ensure your home is fitted with them! Know how to test them and remember to change their batteries on a regular basis.

We have a smoke detector at the top of the stairs which is tested weekly by pushing the button. Unfortunately it was fitted in the house before we move in and although I can poke it with a broom handle to test I cant change the battery as the step ladder/chair would be too close to the edge of the stairs for safety. Luckily my husband is 6ft five and has no problems. We usually change the battery once a year and occasionally vacuum it. Smoke detectors detect smoke particles coming from smoking objects before a fire becomes visible. The alarm emits a very piercing shriek loud enough to wake people from their sleep. A chamber in the detector contains a source of radioactivity that creates a low electric current in the air of the chamber. Smoke particles interrupt the electric current, triggering the alarm.

Clause 3 Hold a current first aid certificate.

I have a currently first aid certificate which is due to expire in March 2006. This is a first aid at work certificate and I will automatically be booked on a refresher course.

Clause 4 Be able to identify six types of substance that can be poisonous and are in the kitchen, bathroom or garden. Know how these should be stored, and take the necessary precautions. Know what to do if these are swallowed by a child or pet. Know what to do if a dangerous or poisonous substance is spilled.

Our bathroom has a number of pain killers, cough medicines and creams which although not poisonous if taken correctly could be hazardous if overdosed. All medications are in date and stored in a lockable cabinet.

Our kitchen has a number of cleaning fluids which range from cream cleaners to bleaches to Mr Muscle oven cleaner. All these are stored in cupboards with safety catches.

We have no garden chemicals but the garage has paint, white spirit and turps. The paints are stored in the loft space above the garage. The white spirit and turps are in high cupboards in the garage (I need to use the step ladder to reach them) The garage doors are always locked if we are not there.

All medicines, chemicals and cleaning fluids are stored in their original packaging. If anyone swallowed/overdosed on anything I would take them to A&E/Vets immediately together with evidence of what had been taken. Under no circumstances would I try to make them sick or dilute substances with water.

If any of the substances we have were spilled I would wipe up (making sure I was warring rubber gloves) as much as possible and wash thoroughly with water. Any clothes etc used would be sealed up and disposed of.

Clause 6 Evaluate the areas of your home that a visitor with a small child may use. (e.g. living room, garden). Identify potential hazards for a small child. Identify some ways in which you could reduce the danger, and try to implement some of them.

As we have a young child our home is fairly child friendly. All chemicals/medicines are stored in lockable cupboards. Downstairs floors are vacuumed regularly. Anything we don't want broken is out of reach. We do have breakable items within ours sons reach but he never touches them, if we had visitors these would obviously be moved. The back garden has no poisonous berries and there are no garden sheds therefore no chemicals or dangerous tools. We don't have a dog so there shouldn't be any danger of the garden being fouled. The neighbours have three cats are often seen in garden so any poo would be removed. I don't know if any of the plants have poisonous leaves so obviously children would need to be watched. We do however have a number of fruit trees and bushes which could cause stomach upsets if over consumed. The kitchen has many potential hazards (sharp knives, boiling kettles, hot hobs to name a few), never leave a child unsupervised in the kitchen. The same applies to the bathroom as children can easily fill the, we usually keep our plug out of reach from small hands. Stair gates are also useful in preventing children getting up/downstairs.

Clause 8 Know how to correctly deal with the following situations

A fat or chip pan fire

When a person's clothes are on fire

" A barbecue "out of control"

" Spillages of meths, lighter fuel, petrol or other flammable liquid

Fire needs heat, fuel and oxygen to burn removing any of these three items will put the fire out. If the fire gets out of control evacuate the building/area and call the fire brigade from a safe place.

A fat or chip pan fire I don't own a chip pan, the only time I cook with oil is when I make roast potatoes. Chip pan fires should be covered with a either a fire blanket or damp cloth and turn off the source of heat.

When a person's clothes are on fire Roll person on the floor in a fire blanket/rug/blanket. The person should be seen by a medical professional. Do not remove clothes

A barbecue "out of control" Put the lid down, turn off gas or electric if appropriate. Spraying coal with water should help reduce the risk of a BBQ getting out of control "

Spillages of meths, lighter fuel, petrol or other flammable liquid Do not turn on any electrical appliances or use naked flame. If inside keep the room well ventilated. Clean up and dispose of safely. Do not put chemicals down the drain

Clause 9 Have your gas appliances serviced by a CORGI registered engineer. Know why carbon monoxide is dangerous, what sort of detectors are available and where they should be fitted.

Gas boiler has been serviced by a CORGI engineer. Having suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning as a child I understand the dangers. Carbon monoxide ) is produced by the incomplete combustion of the fossil fuels - gas, oil, coal and wood used in boilers, engines, oil burners, gas fires, water heaters, solid fuel appliances and open fires. Dangerous amounts of CO can accumulate as a result of poor installation, poor maintenance or failure or damage to an appliance in service. Having no smell, colour or taste it's really important that CO detectors are used, that all appliances are maintained regularly and that ventilation isn't blocked. A number of detectors are available and should be fitted in the hall way it mustn't be cover by curtains or furniture. Corners where air does not circulate are best avoided.

The effects of CO in the air are as follows:

Concentration of CO in air Inhalation time and toxic developed 50 parts per million (ppm) Safety level as specified by the Health & Safety Executive 200 PPM Slight headache within 2-3 hours 400 PPM Frontal headache within 1-2 hours, becoming widespread in 3 hours 800 PPM Dizziness, nausea, convulsions within 45 minutes, insensible in 2 hours Extended exposure leads to death.

Clause 10 Go through your medicine cabinet and evaluate the contents. Are there any expired medicines, or ones which you no longer need? If so, return them to a pharmacist DO NOT FLUSH THEM DOWN THE TOILET! Are all your medicines in their original bottles, child-proofed etc?

All the medicines are currently in date and all are still required. If I have any that I could return to the pharmacy I would. Flushing them down the toilet had never occurred to me. All medications are in their original packaging together with any instructions. All bottles have child proof tops.

Clause 11 Perform a safety check on all sockets in the house. Are they over loaded? If so, evaluate whether you need a new socket there, whether you can move an appliance or …… Are power breakers available or fitted to things like lawnmowers, drills etc? Are all power cables secure and in good condition? Do you have trailing wires?

One plug one socket as a rule in our house. The only exception is the TV/Video/DVD player which share two sockets. My husband says that this is perfectly acceptable and is perfectly happy to explain why it is not overloaded.

Clause 12 Perform a "Burglar Check" on your home. Check the locks on your doors and windows. Do you have a safety chain and/or peephole fitted? Do you use it? Are you sure who has keys to your house - if not, change the locks! Do your windows lock? Do you ensure that ALL doors and windows are locked every time you leave the house? Do you have an alarm? Has it been serviced recently? Do you always set it? Do you have security lights? Challenge yourself to improve one of these things over a month.

All downstairs windows have duel locking handles plus an additional lock. These are kept locked all the time All upstairs windows have a single locking handle as well as an additional lock, these are always kept locked. The skylight windows are kept shut but don't have any additional locks. Two windows that can't be seen from the house also have decorative iron work fitted to them. The two patio doors have double locks and can't be lifted out by a spade. The backdoor and conservatory door have five bolts that lock into place when the handle is lifted. The front door has four bolts two chains and two peep holes, one at my husbands height and one at mine. Any windows that have been opened are shut and locked when we go out, we also use the alarm every time we go out. We have two alarms one for the house which triggers if there is movement in the kitchen or hall or the contacts on the patio doors in the lounge or dining room are broken. A second alarm has been fitted to the garage and study and will trigger if the doors are opened or there is any pressure applied to a pressure pad below the study window. We have security lights on the garage, back and both side of the house which are trigger if there is movement and its dark. The lights on the side and back of the house are fitted high up so that they cannot be disconnected. There is a similar security light be the front door which is set to dim when switched on, when it's triggered it goes bright.

The next door neighbour leaves windows open when she goes out, doesn't lock her back gate, has a large dog flap and some windows are not closed properly as there are cables running to the back garden and never puts her alarm on making her property much more attractive to would be thieves.

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