As nearly everyone in America now knows, the grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri, decided not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Yesterday, November 25, 2014, rumors circulated that the jury had reached a decision and many waited eagerly to find out what would happen. Despite pleas from community first responders, Brown’s family, and dozens of others, violence erupted in the streets shortly after the grand jury decision was made public. The violence in the streets became so intense at times that are firefighters struggled to put out flames in Ferguson.
Vandalism, Looting, and Fires Broke Out in the Streets
When the violence started, it began with smashing windows and screaming in the streets. Shortly after, police cars and public buildings were damaged while police used armored vehicles to disperse crowds using tear gas. Eventually, buildings began to burn in Ferguson and firefighters were overwhelmed with the amount of structures that needed attention. So far, a storage facility, a pizza shop, a beauty supply store, and two auto part stores have been set on far.
AP Photographer Watched as Firefighters Retreated Amongst Gunfire
Firefighters in the area did their best to control fires, but the violence in the streets was intense. At one point, an AP photographer watched as firefighters arrived on scene and quickly had to retreat due to gunfire. According to St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar, he said police did not fire on the crowds, but there were still about 150 shots fired. Early this morning, November 25, 2014, Police Chief Jon Belmar said at least a dozen buildings were burned to the ground and two police cruisers were “melted” due to fire.
Destruction Moved Beyond Ferguson to Nearby Dellwood
Unlike the riots that erupted immediately after Brown’s death on August 9th, the violence from last night didn’t stay in Ferguson. In fact, vehicles in a used car lot in nearby Dellwood could be seen burning in the distance. Reportedly, at least one building in Dellwood was also set on fire.
Crowd Waited for Grand Jury Decision to be Announced
Shortly before 9pm last night, hundreds of people began to gather around the Ferguson Police Department building where they gathered around a car that was broadcasting the news conference led by Bob McCulloch, the St. Louis County Prosecutor. Atop the car, was Lesley McSpadden, Michael Brown’s mother. When the decision was made public, McSpadden was visibly upset and quickly whisked away by supporters.
Brown’s Family Begged for Peaceful Protests
After the decision was announced, Brown’s family issued a statement begging the public for peaceful protests. In fact, the family of Michael Brown has issued the same type of statement for months. The statement clearly said “answering violence with violence is not the appropriate action.”
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The holidays are a festive time that, for many families, includes a great deal of time in the kitchen. Whether roasting a turkey in the oven or baking dozens of Christmas cookies for friends and family, your family’s oven is probably getting ready for a workout. With this in mind, it’s important to think about fire safety, and more specifically how to avoid a kitchen fire.
Facts about House Fires
While no one wants to think that a house fire can happen to them, the truth is that fires don’t discriminate, which means it is important for everyone to know how to avoid and know what to do if a kitchen fire breaks out. Still not convinced you need to finish reading this blog…check out the fire stats below.
- Every 23 seconds a fire department somewhere is responding to fire
- 9 people die every day due to fire related injuries
- 90% of all fire-related fatalities are a result of injuries sustained in a house fire
- 42% of all house fires started in the kitchen
Below, we will go over how to avoid a kitchen fire at home or work.
When you are cooking, it is important to make sure the area near your stove is free of combustible materials. The most common culprits of kitchen fires include:
- Oven Mitts
By keeping your stove area free of these flammable materials, you can greatly reduce the risk of an accidental fire.
Avoid Wearing Loose Clothing
While we have probably all worn our robe while cooking at some point or another, this isn’t actually a good idea, especially if you have a gas stove. Loose clothing can catch on fire easily. Instead, it’s much better to wear clothing that isn’t too loose or likely to get in your way while cooking.
Never Leave Food Unattended
We understand that the holidays are a busy time, and may require you to step out of the kitchen for a minute or two, but the truth is…you should never leave food unattended. While it’s true a fire can break out even if you are standing in front of the stove, you have a much better chance of containing the fire quickly and reducing risk to your structure and family, if you are actually in the kitchen while you are cooking.
Never Leave Children Unattended in the Kitchen
Little kids like the kitchen. In fact, you may spend a great deal of time in the kitchen with your kids, nieces and nephews, and grandkids too. By no means are we saying don’t cook with your kids, but you definitely shouldn’t leave kids unattended in the kitchen. With babies and toddlers, you shouldn’t leave kids in the kitchen unattended ever…knives, microwaves, heavy refrigerators, there are a ton of potential dangers in a kitchen, and with older kids, you shouldn’t leave them unattended while food is cooking. Kids don’t have the maturity or know how to handle a kitchen fire and could get seriously hurt or even killed, if not monitored while cooking.
Kitchen fire extinguishers are inexpensive, easy to store and can help nip a fire in the bud before it gets out of control. However, it’s important to buy a fire extinguisher, learn how to use it, and store it in a place that is easy to access. Otherwise, if you store the fire extinguisher in the cabinet above the stove, you might not be able to get to it in case of fire. Secondly, if you have to read the instructions on the fire extinguisher while a fire is getting out of control on the stove, it probably won’t do you any good and you just wasted time that could have been spent calling 911. So, in conclusion, buy a kitchen fire extinguisher, read the directions, make sure you understand the instructions, and store the extinguisher in a place that is easy to reach.
Buy Smoke Detectors, Use Them, and Check Them Frequently
I know what you are probably thinking…duh, smoke detectors save lives, but you’d be surprised to find that many house fire investigations find that there weren’t smoke detectors in a home that suffered a house fire, or there were smoke detectors in the home, but they weren’t working. The bottom line is smoke detectors do save lives and should be an integral to a home as light bulbs. Buy smoke detectors for your home, always make sure to put one in the kitchen, and make sure to check it regularly to ensure it is in good working order.
By following the tips to avoid a house fire mentioned above, you can help keep your family and your home safer. Please feel free to add your own tips, comments, or concerns in the blog below.
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If you have kids, you understand that kids forget things when they leave the house for school…for instance, their lunch. However, not many of us would have chased down a school bus and pulled it over to give their high school-aged son or daughter their lunch. In Illinois, a police officer is now under investigation after he used his unmarked police vehicle with activated police lights to pull over his son’s school bus to deliver a forgotten lunch.
Illinois Bus Driver Files Complaint Against Police Officer
When the officer pulled over his son’s bus driver, on November 11 at 7am, to deliver the forgotten lunch, he was outside his jurisdiction. The stop occurred on McCullom Lake and Ringwood roads in Johnsburg, Illinois. According to the Johnsburg Police department, this was about nine miles outside the officer’s jurisdiction.
To get the bus driver’s attention, the officer activated the emergency vehicle lights on his Dodge Charger. Then according to the Chicago Tribune, the officer got out of his Charged, walked onto the bus, delivered his lunch to his son, and told the bus driver to carry on.
Police Department has Ordered an Internal Investigation
After receiving the complaint from the bus driver involved in the stop, the police department has ordered an internal investigation into the incident. While the general public may never know the outcome of the investigation, it does make one ponder if the police officer abused his power to pull over the school bus, especially considering the reason the officer made the stop was to simply deliver a forgotten lunch.
First Responders Must Use Emergency Lights Responsibly
At 911 Signal USA, we encourage all drivers to use their police and fire lights responsibly. In a time when many civilian drivers simply ignore or don’t see police lights on the road, it is vital that first responders and others that utilize warning lights as part of their tactical arsenal only use this type of equipment when it is absolutely necessary.
Feel free to weigh in on the subject by leaving your comments at the bottom of the blog.Read More
For days, people all over the country have had their eyes on the news. What many people are waiting to hear is whether the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown will has charges filed against him. In preparation of this grand jury decision, Missouri’s Governor, Jay Nixon, has activated the National Guard in an effort to negate more upset in the Ferguson.
Mayor Nixon is Being ProActive
Over the last several months, Mayor Nixon has received much criticism for the way he handled the eruption of protests in Ferguson. To help prevent more violence in the streets, he has decided to activate the National Guard before the decision from the grand jury is handed out.
Ferguson is in a State of Emergency
Ferguson is once again in a state of emergency, but Mayor Nixon has created a different plan this time. The first time Nixon declared a state of emergency, he put the State Highway Patrol in charge of police command and later activated the National Guard to provide security around the command center. This time, the St. Louis County police department is in charge of security. The High Patrol and city police will work with the county police. The united goal of all three law enforcement agencies is to “protect civil rights and ensure public safety.”
Nixon is Still Hopeful that Peace Will Prevail
Despite what has happened in the last few months, Nixon is hopeful that “peace will prevail.” He later adds that the reason for activating the National Guard is to plan for any contingencies that may happen. The plan is for the National Guard to protect life and property in the wake of more protests. The thought process behind this is that if upset occurs, the National Guard can protect fire stations and police stations and free up more first responders for active calls. It is not Nixon’s intention to have the National Guard interact with protestors.
Grand Jury Could Announce Ferguson Decision at any Time
If it seems that people in Ferguson have been waiting for a grand jury decision for quite a long time, it is because there is no time restraint for when the decision must be revealed. Most professionals including St. Louis County prosecutor, Bob McCulloch, expect the Ferguson Grand Jury decision to be revealed somewhere between mid and late November 2014.
In addition to the Ferguson grand jury decision, the US Justice Department is also completing their own investigation. The US Justice Department is looking into civil rights violations and the police department’s practices. Specifically, the department is considering whether the shooting officer violated civil rights and if the department used excessive force and discriminated against citizens. There has been no word on how long it may take the US Justice Department to conclude their investigation.
Summary of Events that Led to Ferguson Protests
By this time, nearly everyone on the planet is aware of what led up to the incident that spurred the Ferguson protests. If you aren’t, or are still unclear of the events, they are as follows. A Ferguson police officer spotted Brown and a companion walking in the middle of the road. The officer asked the two to move to the side of the road and they did not. The police officer was reportedly in contact with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch during the series of events. It appears at some point, the police officer realized Brown matched the description of a person that had committed theft at a nearby convenience store just a few minutes before. At this point, there was a confrontation between
en the police officer and Michael Brown. During this confrontation, Brown was shot and killed. After the incident, it was determined that Brown was unarmed and according to witnesses, had his hands in the air when he was fatally shot.
Racial Tension was High in Ferguson Before Michael Brown was Shot
After Michael Brown’s death, the town of Ferguson erupted in protest that were made worse by long-simmering racial tension in the area. In Ferguson, 2/3 of the popular is black, but the Ferguson police department is primarily white. After the shooting, riots, looting, and protests erupted in the area and were met with heavily armed police presence. Many believe that it was the police’s heavily armed presence that added flames to the already tense protests.
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Being in the emergency vehicle light industry, we get to talk to first responders on a regular basis. One of the most common topics that come up is that civilian drivers don’t get out of the way when ambulance, fire trucks, and cruisers are responding to emergencies. While drivers failing to move over for emergency vehicle lights are a common first responder problem, the same problem is also common with tow truck drivers and utility workers using warning lights on their vehicles as well. To help educate drivers and enforce Move Over laws, a local police department in NJ borrowed a fire truck.
NJ Police Use Fire Truck to Educate Drivers on Move Over Laws
Sgt. Eric Nelson of the Woodbridge, NJ police department conducted a Move Over Law experiment on November 1st on Route 1. During this operation, a Woodbridge Fire Department was parked on the shoulder of the road. Under New Jersey’s Move Over Laws, drivers need to move over one lane or slow down, to under the speed limit, in this situation. Next, police watched to see if drivers would move over as the law in NJ requires, or slow down, if it was impossible to get over safely.
Drivers Who Refused to Move Over or Slow Down Were Given Warnings
During the operation, drivers that made no effort to move over or slow down were given summons to appear in court. Other drivers were given warnings along with a pamphlet explaining New Jersey Move Over Laws, and others were given praise for doing exactly what they are supposed to do.
NJ Drivers Who Don’t Move Over for Emergency Vehicles, Tow Trucks, and Construction Crews Face Monetary Fines
Drivers who violate NJ Move Over Law can face hefty fines that range from $100 to $500. New Jersey enacted this law in honor of State Trooper Marc Castellano. Castellano was struck and killed by a car in the summer of 2010. At the time of his death, Castellano was standing on the side of I-195. After his death, Castellano’s mother, Donna Setaro became an advocate of the Move Over Law and has fought to bring awareness to over 20,000 people.
Learn More About New Jersey’s Move Over Laws on YouTube
New Jersey Drivers Knew Move Over Law Enforcement was Coming
Prior to the Woodbridge Police Departments enforcement of Move Over Laws, drivers knew the operation was coming. In fact, for several months prior to the Move Over Law enforcement, the Woodbridge Police Department bough space on three billboards around town to raise awareness to the issue. The billboards were located on Route 9 and two billboards on Route 1 were the first Move Over Law enforcement operation took place.
Move Over Law Enforcement Operation Revises Criticism from NJ National Motorists Association
While most first responders, tow truck drivers, and construction workers are most likely proud of the Woodbridge Police Department’s efforts, not everyone was a fan of the way the enforcement took place. Steve Carrellas, the coordinator of the state’s chapter of National Motorists Association quested whether decoy enforcement is the best way to educate drivers about Move Over Laws. Carrellas goes on to say that he thinks using decoy vehicles sends a message to civilian drivers that Move Over Law enforcement is all about the revenue and misconstrues the perception of the law.
Increase Your Visibility with 911 Signal USA Emergency Vehicle Lights
At 911 Signal USA, we understand that visibility is first responders’ best defense when parked on the shoulder of a road or while en route to an emergency. To help meet this need, we have created LED warning lights that are made to increase visibility during daytime or nighttime hours in any type of weather. When you shop our online store, you will find visor lights, dash lights, light bars, grille and surface mount lights, and more. Check out our inventory and you are sure to find exactly what you need to increase your visibility on the road and do it at affordable prices.Read More
At 911 Signal USA, we specialize in emergency vehicle lights for first responders, especially police lights. Whether you are a fleet manager or in charge of outfitting your own police department vehicle, you can find all the police lighting you need in our online store. Below, you will find the most popular LED police lights in our online store.
The F61-1 deck light can also be used on the dash of a cruiser. This emergency light is small in size, but big in flash. Altogether, you will receive 12-watts of amazing LED output and won’t go broke doing it.
No police vehicle is complete without a traffic advisor. The C4-6 reflex traffic advisor is made with impressive technology, which allows it to be seen at great distances. This LED traffic advisor is created with six C4 light heads and every bulb in this LED warning light is a Generation III bulb.
The LV100-9 LED visor light is one of the most popular warning lights in our online store. Not only is this powerful LED perfect for police cruisers, but it’s also a great deal since it comes with a pair of Echo 48 surface mount lights with purchase. With this front-facing visor light in place, you will be able to create 67.5 watts of amazing light output. To customize this light to meet the emergency light state statutes in your area, we offer this LED in many split and solid color combinations. To choose the right color combinations for your vehicle, use the dropdown menu on the product page.
Check out the LV100-9 Visor Light in Action
C9 Reflex Surface Mount Lights
Like the C4-6 Reflex Traffic Advisor that we recommend for police above, the C9 reflex surface mount lights are offered with unique reflex technology. Reflex technology is a great option for police because it allows you to create bendable light. For instance, if you are traveling down a dark alley, or need more impressive light while traveling through intersections, you can get it with the C9 surface mount lights. In addition to 180-degree light, the C9s will product 27-watts of hard to miss LED light output. Like all the other LED police lights suggested above, you can choose from split or solid color combinations.
Learn More About Reflex Technology from Our YouTube Channel
Police vehicles need hideaways lights and our ANT 6-6 LED hideaway strobes are perfect for this occupation. Although the ANT 6-6 LED light looks tiny, it will impress you with it’s amazing output, even in nighttime hours.
The PAR 36 5mm measures 4.25” in circumference and is perfect for surface mount lighting or fog mount lighting. Choose from split or solid color choices in our online store and then select the mounting gear from the drop down menu. It’s important to note that you will have to choose from no mount, surface mount, or fog hole mount.
Check Out the PAR 36 5MM Surface Mount or Fog Mount Light in Action on YouTube
Finally, the most relied on and recognized police light on a cruiser is the full-size light bar. Our Skyline LED light bar is a full-size emergency light that is stealthy and extremely powerful. With this sleek, light bar, you can count on 360-degree light output no matter where you go. Since the light bar is made with LED technology, you can also count on it to last a very long time and require little to no maintenance.
Check out the Skyline LED Light Bar in Action on our Dodge Charger Demo Vehicle
Buy Police Lights for Less at 911 Signal USA
Make sure to check out each and every option we have suggested in the blog above. While we have strived to create the perfect police cruiser set-up, it’s the same set-up we have on our Dodge Charger demo vehicle, we understand that you may have unique needs. If so, feel free to browse our online store and make substitutions as you see fit. No matter what LED police lighting you choose for your emergency vehicle, you can buy warning lights at 911 Signal USA for less.Share Tweet Read More