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Building Safety Week 2008 Day 5

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Building Safety Week Day 5 - NeighborhoodAs Building Safety Week comes to a close, I want to share a short, personal story with you that illustrates why building safety is so important; why we are celebrating building safety at BDS this week.

It was February and we had just moved into the neighborhood.  I was the mom of a curious, active 20-month old toddler.  One day, my husband and I took her for a walk.   Suddenly, she bolted from the sidewalk and ran across a neighbor’s yard.  Time stood still.  I remember seeing her run, stop, lean over something and disappear. 

We didn’t know that our neighbor had a 4’ deep ornamental fish pond in their front yard that ran the length of their house.  You couldn’t see it from the sidewalk.  Wearing warm clothes and a heavy winter coat, Elizabeth sunk straight to the bottom face first.  My husband jumped in and was able to pull her out.  It was probably only a matter of seconds, but it seemed like an eternity.  We have never forgotten that day.

Fish PondSince then, I’ve heard stories on the news twice where children drowned in ornamental ponds.  My heart aches for those parents who were visiting friends and relatives and probably never thought twice about the pond out front.  I know we never did until that February day.  Ponds represent tranquility and natural beauty – but for small children, they can be an attractive and sometimes deadly nuisance. 

I hope the tips and information that we have shared on the blog this week, as well as my own story, will encourage every Portland homeowner to look around your house and neighborhood this weekend and think of building safety and hidden dangers. 

At BDS, public safety is one of our main concerns.  During Building Safety Week and all year long, building safety staff is here to help protect Portland’s citizens.  If you have questions or concerns about building safety or fire prevention codes, give us a call at (503) 823-7300.

Alisa Cour
Pubic Information Manager

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