Archive for the 'Safety' Category

Jul 08 2014

Profile Image of M.K. Tenney

Family Boating Safety Tips – The Garage Plan Shop

Filed under Boating,Safety

BoatingNow that you are an experienced boater, you will most likely enjoy sharing that enthusiasm with your family or friends. Whether taking along children or pets, below are some boating safety tips to protect you and your loved ones, including your furry friends.

  • Provide Shade – Both animals and little ones will need refuge from the sun. If your boat has a cabin you’re set. If not, you will have to provide some shade for them. Try a small pop-up tent or umbrella.
  • Protect Feet – The surfaces of boats can get very hot in the sun. Dogs absorb that heat through the pads on their feet. Cool down the surface before letting your pet on board or provide something for him to walk on like a piece of carpet. Children can also be more sensitive to that heat than adults, so don’t forget some comfy shoes for them.
  • Drinking Water – Of course you will want to keep plenty of fresh water available for all of your guests, but don’t forget to provide it for the pets too. The motion of the boat may make it difficult to keep a water bowl full, so check it often.
  • Potty – Before you board, walk your dog so he can relieve himself. Depending on the amenities of your boat, it may be a good idea to get everyone relief before taking off.
  • Short Trips – To get both children and pets used to the movement of the boat, make the first few trips short or make frequent stops at shore for short rests.
  • Life Jackets – Not all dogs can swim and some dogs tire easily, so you may want to provide them with a life jacket. Let them get used to it by taking them for a test run in the water before boarding the boat. To be effective, life jackets need to fit correctly. They should fit snugly and for children, have a crotch strap and also a collar to keep them face up in the water. Choose bright colors for visibility. You may want to attach a whistle and instruct them on sounding it in emergency situations.
  • Learn to Swim – Knowing how to swim is important for water safety, but it is not a substitute for wearing life jackets in the boat. Teach your children that swimming in open water is different than in a pool. There are underwater hazards and there can be undertows even in still water. No diving, as you cannot be sure of the depth. Most recreational areas have designated areas for swimming for safety purposes.
  • Rules – Specify the rules like no running and keeping hands and feet in the boat before embarking. Older children can benefit from a boating safety course.
  • First Aid – For peace of mind in protecting your family, take a first aid course that includes CPR training. Don’t forget that the effects of hypothermia can occur more quickly for the young ones.
  • Carbon Monoxide Alarm – Just like in your home, this can be a life saver on a motorized vessel.
  • Alcohol – Coping with the pets and kids in the enclosed environment of a boat all day may drive you to drink, but be smart and wait until you are on dry ground.

No responses yet

Jul 08 2014

Profile Image of M.K. Tenney

Tips for Hurricane Preparation – The Garage Plan Shop

Filed under Safety,Seasonal

Hurricane ImageHurricane season begins in June and lasts to the end of November. If you live in a coastal area, of course you will want to prepare ahead of time. Below are eight hints and tips to help you prepare:

  1. Plan – Create a plan for your household and review it with all of its members. Include a place away from home where everyone can meet if they cannot get home. Also, designate a contact away from your immediate area that everyone can call in case of emergency. Keep hard copies of emergency numbers in case cell phone batteries fail.
  2. Emergency Kit – Put together an emergency kit in a waterproof container and keep it in a handy place. Include items like a battery operated radio, first aid kit, water, non-perishable foods and flashlights.
  3. Utilities – Know the procedures for shutting down electric, gas, water, etc. Prevent damage from sewers and septic systems with a backflow device.
  4. Stormproof – Consider reinforcing roof trusses, garage door openings and other vulnerable areas. You may want to install storm shutters. If you board up windows and other openings, have your supplies ready to go. Secure outdoor items. Keep the trees near the house trimmed and consider replacing landscaping gravel and rocks with softer items like bark or mulch.
  5. Evacuation Route – Review the safest and most direct route to your community shelter should you have to evacuate. Plan to avoid dangerous areas like dams or levees and know alternate routes should yours be blocked.
  6. Pets – Collars and chips should include your current contact information. Have leashes and carrying cases ready in case of evacuation.
  7. Check Information – You may be able to sign up with your local government for emergency alerts via phone or email. Make a record of important phone numbers to call for assistance.  Don’t forget to have your insurance information handy just in case.
  8. Cash – When disasters hit and power is out for prolonged periods, cash is king. ATMs don’t work, businesses may not be able to process credit cards for a while and banks may be damaged or closed. Plan ahead and have a reasonable amount of cash available.

No responses yet

Apr 01 2014

Profile Image of M.K. Tenney

Protect Pedestrians with Safe Driving – The Garage Plan Shop

Protect Pedestrians with Safe DrivingSometimes we become so preoccupied at watching out for the other driver that we forget how many pedestrians are on the road. Whether walking, running or biking, they may not be immediately visible or may accidently step or fall into the street. April 4th is National Walk to Work day. A greater number of pedestrians are expected to be using our sidewalks, crosswalks and road on this special day. Below are some reminders for drivers to help keep pedestrians safe on April 4th and every other day of the year:

1. Be especially alert when driving anywhere there are groups of people moving about like residential areas, school zones, bus stops, or near parks.

2. Avoid distractions like using cell phones or tuning the radio.

3. Give pedestrians the right-of-way. They are assuming that you see them.

4. Slow down when entering and exiting driveways and alleys. Take an extra look when pulling out of a parking space whether it is on the street on in a parking lot.

5. Be prepared to stop when entering a crosswalk area.

6. Use extra caution when visibility is limited at night or when it’s raining.

7. Don’t pass vehicles that have stopped for pedestrians.

8. When passing disabled cars on the side of the road give them some space. If you are not stopping to help, move over into the next lane.

9. At intersections, wait for pedestrians to cross. Look them in the eye so they know that you have seen them but don’t wave them to cross in front of you. Drivers coming from the opposite direction or from behind you may not stop.

10. If you see a ball or toy suddenly roll into the street, be prepared to stop. There is often a youngster close behind it.

No responses yet

Mar 25 2014

Profile Image of M.K. Tenney

8 Boating Safety Tips – The Garage Plan Shop

Filed under Boating,Safety

Boating SafetyWith boating season quickly approaching, even the most experienced boater needs to keep safety in mind before hitting the water. So, before you head out to your favorite river, lake, bay, etc., review the eight boating safety tips below:

1. Be Weather-wise – Always check the forecast before departure to make sure conditions will be safe for you to be on the water. If you notice sudden changes in the wind or clouds or dropping temperatures while on the water, head back to shore.

2. Check and Double Check – Make a checklist to follow before every trip. Include items like checking fuel lines for leaks and hoses for connections. Make sure the battery is charged and the fuel tank is filled properly. Check that all safety devices like a first aid kit, drinking water, life jackets, and fire extinguisher are present and accounted for on your boat.

3. File a Float Plan – Write down your intended departure and return times, your intended route, a description of your vessel and its registration number, and the names and contact numbers of all of your passengers. Leave this information with a friend or family member or the local marina in case of an emergency.

4. Designate a Second in Command – Make sure at least one other person on board is familiar with the operation of the watercraft, location of the safety devices, and boating safety rules.

5.  Know the Rules – Every state has its own set of rules for boating safety and certification.  Don’t limit yourself to them. Take a boating safety course. Seventy percent of boating accidents are due to operator error.

6.  Learn to Swim – Of course you need to have proper life jackets for all your passengers, and they should be worn at all times when on the water. Eighty percent of fatalities on the water can be prevented by wearing life jackets. Being a good swimmer will make you more comfortable in the water and increase your odds for survival.

7.  Vessel Check – Consider having your boat professionally checked. The US Coast Guard Auxiliary provides a free safety check for your boat and provides safety tips and recommendations.

8.  No BUI – Boating under the influence is dangerous for both the skipper and the passengers. Not only does consuming alcohol accelerate impairment, but most people have less experience on water and that increases the danger of accidents.

When you head out on the water with family and friends this boating season, remember to follow safe boating practices

No responses yet

Dec 17 2013

Profile Image of M.K. Tenney

Prepare Your Home for the Holidays – The Garage Plan Shop

Filed under Safety,Seasonal

Flashlight and NightlightThe holidays are an exciting but hectic time of year. Don’t let the hustle and bustle of the season override the safety of your family and guests. Prepare your home ahead of time and embrace the holiday cheer. Below are some tips to help you:

  • Light the Way – Welcome your guests and reduce the risk of falls with bright outdoor lighting on steps and walkways. Help overnight visitors find their way around your house with ample use of nightlights or flashlights if need be. Avoid the use of candles especially around children. The addition of holiday lights and decorations bring the hazard of extension cords. Make sure that they do not cross the floor where anyone might be walking and do not cover them with rugs.
  • Watch the Pot – Unattended cooking is one of the leading causes of home fires. Entertaining can pull you away from the kitchen, so designate a pot watcher who can also keep the little ones from underfoot and away from the heat.
  • Mind the Fire – Of course it is so cozy to fire up the fireplace, but do so only if someone can stay in that room to mind it. Of course you will want to follow all the rules of fireplace safety, like having the chimney cleaned and inspected. Don’t allow anyone to throw paper plates or wrapping paper on the fire. Make sure your fire and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order.
  • Childproof – Even if you already have children in the house, prepare for visiting children who may not know or follow your rules. Lock up any potential poisons like cleaners and medications and don’t forget that some plants can be poisonous also. Be mindful that toddlers are fascinated by holiday decorations that could hurt or burn them. Keep an eye out for choking hazards like small toy parts, leftover foods, alcohol, and cigarette butts.
  • Senior-proof – Eliminate tripping hazards like throw rugs and hallway runners. Be wary of what an older person might touch to steady themselves, and remove items that teeter or roll. Use nonslip mats in the bathtub and consider installing grab bars in the shower if they will have an extended stay.
  • Pet-proof – You may already know what not to feed your pets, but your guests may not. To be safe, remind them to avoid feeding pets any “people food,” including coffee, alcohol, and candy. Be aware of new hazards like glass ornaments, ribbons, tinsel, plants, and chemicals in the tree water. Pets may need to be isolated in another part of the house, if the excitement of company is too much for them.

Keeping these tips in mind, we wish you and yours a safe and happy holiday season!

No responses yet

Older Posts »