From Across the Field: 1-1-2020

New Year’s Checklist

Happy New Year. Much like it was a year ago, another wet start to the start of calendar. Here’s hoping that that trend will not carry into late spring this go around. The beginning of the year is always a good time to check up and a take care of a couple things around the home. By doing a couple of simple checks an some annual maintenance one can reduce the risk for accidents and injury.

This is the time of the year when fuel-burning devices are at peak utilization, along with that come the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas that can cause sudden illness and death. The Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of State Fire Marshal, warns of following devices that may produce dangerous levels of CO gas: fuel fired furnaces (non-electric); gas water heaters; generators; fireplaces and wood stoves; gas stoves; non-electric space heaters; gas dryers; charcoal grills; and motorized automobiles and equipment.

Carbon monoxide cannot be detected without a carbon monoxide detector/alarm. It can present itself like other illnesses. Common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, get to fresh air, and call 911 or consult a health care professional.

What can you do to prevent CO poisoning? The Center for Disease Control and the National Fire Protection Association have extensive lists of guidance to follow to keep you and your loved ones safe. See the key points below:

Install a battery-operated or battery back-up CO detector in your home and check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall. Place your detector where it will wake you up if it alarms, such as outside your bedroom. Consider buying a detector with a digital readout. This detector can tell you the highest level of CO concentration in your home in addition to alarming. Replace your CO detector every five years.

New this year I have put together a series of morning programs designed to look at some of the current issues that are being seen in agriculture. These meetings will be held on the first Monday of each month. This month on January 6 at 8:00 a.m. we will take another look at the 2018 Farm Bill and ARC/PLC Decisions. These programs are free; however an RSVP would be appreciated as we start out in 2020.

Those with pesticide certifications should have received our NW Ohio Extension newsletter/course offerings booklet over the holidays. Program flyers and details can be found on our county website as well. I’ll end this week with a thought from Benjamin Franklin:“ Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.” Have a great week and a happy New Year.

Upcoming Events

1/6 Current Issues Coffee Break
1/23 Beef Quality Assurance
2/7 NW Ohio Crops Day

Garth Ruff,

Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator

OSU Henry County Extension

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