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Tag Archive | "safety"

Is your yard wildlife-friendly?


DIG-Is-your-yard-wildlife-friendly-Bluebirds

(StatePoint) Being a good neighbor means more than being friendly to the humans across the street, it also means being friendly to the animals in your yard. Making your yard a safe place for local wildlife should be a top lawn care priority.

With that in mind, here are some tips for creating a healthy habitat for local critters.

Be a Valuable Rest Stop

Stock your garden with small native species of trees, shrubs and flowers to give wildlife needed nourishment, as well as cover from predators.

A source of water can also be a great resource for visiting fauna. Whether it’s a pond or a bird bath, be sure this zone is well-maintained so you don’t inadvertently create a haven for unwanted species. In the warmer months when mosquitoes are most active, you should change the bird bath water even more often.

Promote Safety

A bird feeder in your backyard, full of water and seeds, will be the perfect invitation for beautiful migrating and local birds to stop by.

Just be sure your property is safe for birds. Unfortunately, birds don’t see clear glass. As a result, millions of birds die every year by striking glass. Don’t let your sliding glass doors or other windows become a death trap for birds.

To protect birds, apply special decals that reflect ultraviolet sunlight. For example, those from WindowAlert have the appearance of frosted glass, but glow like a stoplight for birds, so you don’t have to compromise your own view out your window. The brand also makes a high-tech liquid called WindowAlert UV Liquid, which should be applied between decals.

“Wildlife can beautify your garden and be a sign that your yard is healthy” says Spencer Schock, founder of WindowAlert. “But birds and other wildlife need food, shelter, and safety.”

Get out the binoculars! With a few small actions, you can make your yard or garden a wildlife refuge.

Posted in Diggin' Spring, FeaturedComments Off

10 tips to safely sell a car online


CAR-Ten-tips

(BPT) – Looking for a new set of wheels? Need to raise some cash for a home improvement project? Heading back to college?

Last year, a whopping 42.5 million used cars were sold in the United States, many by private owners. And 94 percent of those transactions involved an online search, according to leading online car website CarSoup.com.

While the Internet has made it easier than ever to buy a used car directly from a private party, buyers and sellers need to take precautions to ensure their safety and to prevent fraud.

The new e-book, “How to Safely Sell Your Car,” available on Amazon as well as through CarSoup.com, offers a number of specific tips on how to safely sell your car online, as well as suggestions on selling your car faster and for top dollar.

“Thousands of people safely sell their cars online every day, and you can too,” says Brian Bowman, chief technology officer of CarSoup.com. “Selling safely is the best way to make the most money and ensure a great sales experience for you and your buyer. The key is trust. The more trust you can build, the more satisfaction both parties will experience with the transaction.”

To sell your car safely and quickly online, Bowman offers these tips:

1. Go where the serious car buyers are. Avoid rummage-style websites and advertise your car on well-known, trusted websites that appeal to serious auto shoppers. For example, 54 percent of the active shoppers on a dedicated auto website like CarSoup.com buy a vehicle within 90 days.

2. VIN numbers reduce risk. Advertise your car with dedicated auto shopping websites that require a vehicle identification number (VIN). These websites help prevent fraud by matching the VIN numbers of cars advertised on their websites with public records to spot cars that have been reported stolen or cannot be legally sold.

3. Write an honest ad. The secret to preparing a great online ad, says Julie Spira, America’s cyber-dating expert, whose online advice is featured in the book, How to Safely Sell Your Car, is to clearly state what’s in it for the buyer and why you’re selling. Like online dating ads, Spira says, use lots of photos, add a heart-warming or funny story, and be honest to avoid surprises.

4. Ask lots of questions. Ask the buyer lots of questions, both by email and phone. Carefully listen to find out if your car will help fulfill their needs. Listen for evasive answers to questions about the buyer’s current driver’s license and auto insurance. Do a quick online search for the buyer’s name and location to check for any legal problems.

5. Don’t get too personal. When talking to a potential buyer, avoid revealing your address and other personal details. Don’t post photos of yourself with your car, or photos that show your home or valuable contents in your garage.

6. Get your paperwork ready. Have all of your paperwork (title, bank lien, driver’s license, car insurance, etc.) in order before meeting a buyer to finalize the sale. Tell the buyer to bring a current license and proof of auto insurance.

7. Meet in a public spot. Suggest meeting in a neutral public spot, during the daytime, to make you both feel safer. Invite a friend along and let the buyer know this ahead of time. If the buyer doesn’t have, or won’t let you review, their driver’s license and auto insurance card for the test drive, skip it. There will be plenty of other buyers, but there is only one you.

8. Remove personal items. When you clean your car for the test drive, clear out all valuables, including items in the trunk. Do not leave your wallet or smartphone in the vehicle.

9. State, up front, the test-drive route. Clearly state the test drive route and allotted time you have before getting into the car with the buyer. Sit in the backseat of the car to make the front of the car feel less crowded for the buyer during the test drive.

10. Complete the sale at the DMV. The sale of your car is not complete until you transfer the title of your car to the new owner, says Bowman. If a buyer takes possession of your car before the title is legally transferred, you will be held liable in the event that the buyer gets into an accident.

Posted in Auto Life, FeaturedComments Off

Snow blower safety starts before you power up your equipment


 

Tips from OPEI 

Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI)

According to weather forecasters, the winter of 2014–15 will see below-normal temperatures for about three-quarters of the nation. That means snow blowers could be getting a workout this winter. The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) offers the following safety tips to assist homeowners, contractors and business owners as they power up their snow removal equipment.

Make sure your snow blower is in good working order, before the first flakes fall. Change the oil. Install a new spark plug and inspect the belts to be sure they are in good working order. If you forgot to drain the fuel last winter before storing your snow blower, drain the tank now. Check the auger (always in the “off” position) and adjust any cables. Make sure it starts.

Review your owner’s manual. Read your owner’s manual and review safe handling procedures from your manufacturer.

Before it snows, clear the pathways you intend to use. Snow can sometimes hide objects that might clog the chute of a snow blower, or cause damage to the machine or people nearby. Remove doormats, sleds, boards, wires, and other debris from the pathways you intend to clear.

Use the right fuel. It’s important to have the proper fuel on hand, as filling stations may be closed if there is a power outage after a snowstorm. Store fuel properly and buy the type of fuel recommended by your equipment’s manufacturer. It is illegal to use any fuel with more than 10 percent ethanol content in outdoor power equipment (for more information on fueling properly see www.LookBeforeYouPump.com).

Handle fuel carefully. Use non-spill containers with spouts. Fill up the fuel tank outside before you start the engine and while the engine is cold. Never add fuel to a running or hot engine. Store fuel in a clean, dry, ventilated area, and never near a pilot light, stove, or heat source. Never smoke around fuel.

Dress properly for the job. Wear adequate winter garments and footwear that can handle slippery surfaces. Put on safety glasses, and avoid loose fitting clothing that could get caught in moving parts. Tie back long hair.

Operate your snow blower in visible conditions. Never operate the snow blower without good visibility or light.

Aim carefully and avoid people and cars. Never throw snow toward people or cars. Do not allow anyone to stand in front of your snow blower. Keep children or pets away from your snow blower when it is operating.

Use extreme caution on slopes and hills. Do not clear snow across the face of slopes. Be cautious when changing directions on slopes. Do not attempt to clear steep slopes.

Turn OFF your snow blower if you need to clear a clog or repair it. If you have to repair your machine, remove debris or unclog built up snow, always turn off your snow blower. Wait for all moving parts to come to a complete stop. Disconnect the spark plug wire or power cord.

KEY SAFETY TIP: Never put your hands inside the auger or chute. Use a clean out tool (or stick) to unclog wet snow or debris from your snow blower. Your hands should never go inside the auger or chute.

 Know where your cord is. If you have an electric powered snow blower, be aware of where the power cord is at all times. Avoid tripping. Do not run over the power cord.

Fact Sheet: Safe Operation Practices for Snow Blowers:

http://opei.org/content/uploads/2014/11/Snowthrower_safety-sheet_FINAL.pdf

About OPEI

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) is an international trade association representing more than 100 power equipment, engine and utility vehicle manufacturers and suppliers. For more information, visit www.OPEI.org

Posted in OutdoorsComments Off

Hunter orange clothing a good choice for everyone


Michigan DNR stresses importance of safety for everyone

Hunting season is well underway in Michigan and now is a good time to remind everyone that it is wise to wear hunter orange clothing when you are out enjoying the state’s trails and forest lands. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources does not close trails or pathways during hunting season, and it is legal to hunt throughout these areas if you adhere to the laws regarding safety zones.
It is required by law that hunters wear “hunter orange.”  There is no similar law for recreationalists, but because so much of state land borders private lands and the DNR allows hunting on portions of state-owned land, it is imperative that individuals take precaution and dress themselves and their pets in brightly colored clothing.
“Due to the very popular activity of deer hunting, now is not an advisable time to take a quiet, unassuming walk in the woods,” says Bill O’Neill, field coordinator for the Forest Management Division of the DNR. “Be smart about where you choose to go, wear brightly colored clothing and let hunters know that you are in the area. We must all work together to have a safe and successful hunting season in Michigan.”

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Backpack safety tips for kids


Growing children shouldn’t carry more than 20 percent of their weight.

(StatePoint) School may be a figurative pain in the neck for many children, but what about a literal pain in the neck — and back?

These days, the answer is yes, and backpacks are to blame. Or more specifically, the improper use of backpacks.

“The average child carries a backpack that would be the equivalent of a 39-pound burden for a 176-pound man, or a 29-pound load for a 132-pound woman,” says Dr. Rick McMichael, president of the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). “Growing children should only be carrying 10 to 20 percent of their body weight.”

Heavy backpacks can negatively affect your child’s health by pulling on ligaments and muscles that cause neck and back pain and can possibly cause deformity of the spine, according to the ACA.

Parents who want to protect their children from these painful injuries can follow these tips:

• Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back. They should be adjustable so the backpack can be fitted to your child’s body. Straps that are too loose can cause the backpack to dangle uncomfortably and cause spinal misalignment and pain.

• Encourage your child to use both straps. Lugging the backpack around by one strap can cause a disproportionate shift of weight to one side, leading to neck and back spasms.

• Pack light or at least smart. A backpack with individualized compartments helps in positioning the contents most effectively, keeping pointy objects away from the back.

• Check to see if your children’s textbooks are available on e-readers — it’ll save their backs, as well as paper. Or consider buying a second set of textbooks for your student to keep at home, perhaps used ones.

• Learn some back-strengthening exercises to build up muscles. Sit-ups are great since strong abdominal muscles can share the load and take the strain off back muscles.

• Encourage your child or teenager to tell you about any pain or discomfort he or she may experience. Do not ignore any back pain in children or teenagers simply because they seem too young.

If you or your child experiences any pain or discomfort resulting from backpack use, call your doctor of chiropractic, who is licensed and trained to diagnose and treat patients of all ages. In addition, doctors of chiropractic can also prescribe exercises designed to help children develop strong muscles, along with instruction in good nutrition, posture and sleeping habits.

You can find more backpack safety tips and learn about treatment for back pain at             www.acatoday.org/patients.

And lastly, examine your own backpacks, handbags and diaper bags. Parents are as likely to suffer back pain from excess weight or improper carrying as are their children.

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