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Oct 25 2012

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Driving Safety Tips – The Garage Plan Shop

Filed under Miscellaneous,Safety

Traffic SignsWith the fall and winter holiday’s fast approaching, many car drivers will soon be taking to our roadways, highways and interstates whether it is for seasonal shopping or a long road trip to visit family and friends. When you’re on the road this holiday season (or anytime) keep these safety tips for car drivers in mind as recommended by the US Department of Transportation.

Buckle up: The most important and easiest safety rule/precaution for all of us to follow is to buckle up. Wearing your seat belt is the best protection you have if involved in a car crash. It will keep you from hitting your head or windshield or dashboard and it will prevent you from being thrown around in the car or even ejected from the vehicle. Likewise, those traveling with small children should follow all car seat laws for young passengers.

Appoint a designated driver: We’ve all heard it a million times, drinking and driving can be a lethal combination. Consumption of alcohol negatively affects a driver’s ability to make coherent and responsible decisions when driving from changing lanes to stopping at a stoplight. When you chose to drink and drive not only are you putting your own life at risk, but you are endangering the lives of others on the road. Be responsible and appoint a designated driver before you head holiday party or family gathering if you plan to drink alcohol.

Avoiding cutting other drivers off: Cutting other drivers off on the road can create an emergency breaking situation for other cars around you which can sometimes result in a serious or even fatal accident for you or another driver. Before you changes lanes, but sure there is plenty of room between and the vehicle behind you by checking your mirrors first.

Be aware of aggressive drivers: When you are on the road, keep an eye out for aggressive drivers. Speeding, cutting other drivers off, changing lanes erratically, and running stop signs and stoplights are just a few of the signs of an aggressive driver. These kinds of behavior can lead to dangerous situations for the aggressive driver and others on the road. Keeping a safe distance away from this drivers will lesson your risk of danger and in extreme circumstances, you could prevent a potential accident by reporting the driver to local law enforcement or the highway patrol.

Be an attentive driver: When you are diving, the safest policy is to focus on the road only. If you need to handle another situation, pull off the road at a rest stop, parking lot, etc., where you can safely handle the situation at hand without putting yourself, your passengers or other drivers in harm’s way. Inattentive drivers can be just as dangerous as aggressive drivers because they are not paying attention to what is happening around them. Driving too slowly, ignoring brake lights and turn signals, texting while driving and talking on a cell phone while on the road are all things that can that inattentive drivers do that often result in emergency braking situations and even accidents for the inattentive driver or others around them on the road. When you’re behind the wheel, it is your duty to know what is going on around you and concentrate on getting to your destination safely.

For more information about these tips and others, please visit the US Department of Transportation and learn about how you can share the road safely.

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Dec 14 2011

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6 Health Tips for the Holiday Season – The Garage Plan Shop

Washing HandsMost of us think of the holiday season as a fun and enjoyable time of the year. But others think of it as stressful and sometimes plagued with illness and poor health. There are many simple things you can do to maintain good health throughout the duration of this exciting and busy time of year. The Garage Plan Shop recommends reviewing the following health tips for a happy and healthy holiday season.


  1. Wash Hands – Keeping your hands clean is perhaps the easiest and most important thing you can do to stay healthy and prevent spreading germs to others. During the holidays we find ourselves in more public places more often than usual. Grocery stores, airports, restaurants, and shopping malls are filled with germs. Experts recommend washing your hands often with soap and warm water. Scrub for at least 20 seconds and rinse well. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer. You can even keep a travel size hand sanitizer in your purse or pocket when you go out.
  2.  Stress Management – The holidays are a wonderful time to have fun, be cheerful, participate in special activities and enjoy the company of family and friends. But don’t let all your extra activities wear you down mentally and/or physically. Maintain a relaxed and positive attitude about holiday activities. Manage your time between work, home and fun. Avoid over-committing to too many people and activities. Be sure to get plenty of rest. Finally, make sure to manage your holiday budget as over-spending will surly add more stress to the holiday season.
  3. Practice Food Safety – When preparing holiday snacks, cookies, meals and other edibles, keep you, your family and your friends safe from food-related illnesses. Wash your hands and food preparations surfaces often. Thoroughly clean cookware, cooking utensils, and dishes in between uses. Avoid cross-contamination by keeping poultry, seafood, meat and eggs (and their juices) away from ready-to-eat foods. Be sure to cook foods to their proper temperatures. Refrigerate leftovers right away. Do not leave perishable foods out for more than two hours.
  4. Dress Warm – For most of us, changing temperatures and colder weather coincide with the holiday season. Cold temperatures can cause serious health problems. They are especially dangerous for the elderly and infants and small children. Using several layers, dress warm whenever you go outdoors and stay dry. Be sure to cover your hands and head.
  5. Be Active, Eat Healthy – Moderation is the key to following a healthy diet during the holidays. Substitute your favorite piece of fruit for candy. Eat small portions so you can enjoy a small taste of all your favorite holiday meals. When it comes to dessert, choose one or two of your favorites from the plethora of sweets and treats at holiday parties. Make an effort to schedule a half hour of exercise every day. Also, encourage your family to participate in fun, healthy activities like ice skating, sledding or taking a walk through the neighborhood after dinner to look at holiday light displays. Organize an afternoon family game of football or kickball. Keep in mind, a little fresh air will do some good for everyone.
  6. Medication Management – It is easy to get off track, change your schedule or skip your daily routines during the holidays due to so many different special activities and gatherings. If you take daily medications, it is important to stick to your medication schedule. Take medications on time and as prescribed. Do not make changes in how you take medications. If you always take your medications with breakfast, makes sure you continue taking them with breakfast. If you are traveling out of town for the holidays, don’t forget to take your medications with you. It is important that you do not skip doses.


Following these simple tips will help you stay healthy and enjoy the entire holiday season.

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Dec 07 2011

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Shedding Light on Holiday Lights – The Garage Plan Shop

LED Christmas LightsAre you planning to decorate your home, yard and garage with those old strings of incandescent lights this holiday season? According to the St. Louis County Health Department, it is time to make the switch to LED lights. Most strings of incandescent lights are wrapped with a hard plastic PVC coating, which protects the wire inside. This coating is a problem for our landfills taking up to 500 years to breakdown. In addition, PVC is heat resistant and sometimes contains metals such as lead, cadmium and tin that are harmful once they make it into the ground.


So what are the benefits of using LED lights for your holiday decorating and light displays? Consider the following facts about LED lighting as reported by the St. Louis County Health Department:   


  • LED lights use one tenth of the energy when compared to a traditional strand of holiday mini-lights. Using less energy means a lower electric bill.
  • They last two times longer than incandescent lights – that’s up to 20 years!
  • LEDs can withstand, heat, cold and moisture making them ideal for outdoor displays.
  • These energy efficient lights are cool to the touch reducing the risk of fire.
  • The brightness of LED lights does not fade over time.
  • They are durable and harder to break than traditional holiday lights.
  • LEDs can be found at most home improvement centers and hardware stores.


Before you throw those old light strands in the trash, check locally for a recycling/collection program. Many hardware stores and home improvement stores offer collection programs, and some even give a discount on the purchase of new LED holiday lights for every strand of old lights you recycle.


So, be earth-friendly this holiday season and decorate your house, garage and yard with LED lights.

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Nov 27 2011

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Featured Garage Plan: Handy Motorcycle Garage – The Garage Plan Shop

Motorcycle Garage Plan 006G-0001If your motorcycle is your prized possession, chances are you don’t want to store it in your garage where there is a lot of activity. Face it. Typical garages might be a good place to protect your cars from the elements or store lawn and garden tools, outdoor games for the kids, bikes and other items, but do you really want to take the chance or getting a scratch or a ding on your motorcycle? This motorcycle garage plan is the perfect solution. Because it is designed for a bike, you’ll be less likely to store anything else inside, therefore having a place to protect your motorcycle from Mother Nature’s fury and ensure it doesn’t take any other “abuse” from everyday family activities in the car garage. A service entry allows easy access inside and a pair of double doors works well for pulling your motorcycle in and out of the garage. Small in size, this motorcycle storage garage fits neatly into most backyards.


Now, if you’re not a motorcycle enthusiast, chances are you don’t own one. In that case, this motorcycle garage would work well as a backyard storage shed or garden shed giving you plenty of room to store lawn and garden equipment, fertilizer, potting supplies, etc. Its flexible design allows for other uses besides cycle storage, and its traditional charm allows it to blend nicely with a variety of homes.


If you are looking for flexibility, this motorcycle garage plan or storage shed plan is ready to accommodate your needs.


Browse all of garage plans and shed plans to find the one that is right for you.

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Nov 16 2011

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Are You Ready to Use Less Stuff? Use Less Stuff Day – The Garage Plan Shop

Did you know the Thursday before Thanksgiving is Use Less Stuff Day? It is a day for us to commit or pledge to reduce our resource consumption during the holiday season. It is time for all of us to start a new holiday tradition. Get your kids, family and friends involved and make the commitment to work toward an earth-friendly holiday season.


These ideas should help you get started:


  • Plan to recycle. Set up bins to collect gift boxes, wrapping paper, holiday greeting cards and envelopes, beverage cans and bottles. Tell your guests what to recycle and where to place the items so they don’t end up in the trash can.
  • Use fewer disposable paper products and eating utensils. Rent dinnerware, glassware and silverware for a large holiday party or ask guests to bring their own for a smaller gathering. This will eliminate paper plates and plastic cups, forks, knives, etc. from going in the trash.
  • Use less energy. A large crowd will warm your home. Turn the thermostat down a few degrees before guests arrive.
  • Don’t buy too many groceries or prepare too much food for a holiday gathering. If you do prepare too much, send leftovers home with guests or reheat them the following day for yourself. Try your best not to throw away usable food.


The commitment is easy. Tell your friends and family about Use Less Stuff Day and make a pledge to participate in an earth-friendly holiday season without sacrificing the fun and joys all of us look forward to each year.


For more ideas about Use Less Stuff Day, please visit

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