Top 10 Summer Fun Safety Tips
There is no denying, the Alabama summer has finally arrived! Although the weather has been awesome the last few weeks, it is still a good idea to practice summer safety. Just because the temperature is only a 80-90 degrees doesn’t mean the sun is any less intense. Check out our Top 10 Summer Fun Safety Tips to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy for the summer!
1.) Always practice good pool safety:
*Make sure all fences surrounding your pool or other safety/alarm devices are in working order.
*If you plan to hang out by the pool, don’t do it alone and of course, NEVER leave children unattended at the pool, even for a second!
*Learn CPR – you could safe a life.
2.) Sun protection:
*The sun in Alabama is brutal! Even just a few minutes of sun exposure can cause a sun burn. If you plan to be outside for any length of time, apply a generous amount of sun block before you go out. Even if you have water proof sun block, it is wise to re-apply after you have been in the pool.
*Wearing protective, light colored clothing will also help prevent too much sun exposure.
*Buy a good sun block – not all brands are the same and some can cause more damage then we realize. Read the labels and research before you buy. A higher UV rating does not always mean its going to be the best choice for maximum protection.
3.) Drink plenty of water:
*We should consume at least 64 ounces of water per day – during a summer in Alabama this amount could easily be doubled to prevent dehydration.
*Keep plenty of water available for kids and guests.
*If you are traveling in the car, keep a cooler stocked with bottles of cold water.
4.) Think before you eat:
*Before you dive into the plate of food that has been sitting out, consider the temperature. Keep all perishable foods in the refrigerator or cooler and leftovers should not be left out for more than an hour or two.
*Be sure to wash your hands before preparing or serving any food. Make sure your children wash their hands, or at least use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, before eating.
*Never cross-contaminate. Do not allow any raw meat or poultry to come into contact with any other food or plates or utensils.
5.) Invest in some "cool" shades:
*Not all sunglasses need to be outrageously expensive to provide protection from the extreme sun in Alabama. Read the labels and look for the UV ratings. You’ll be surprised at how many inexpensive shades are available!
*Don’t forget the kids – even children need to protect their eyes from the sun. And they’ll think its pretty “cool!”
6.) NEVER leave your pet in the car:
* Dogs can’t sweat—they control their body temperature by panting. If the air in the car is near or above the dog’s body temperature (about 100°F), the dog will be unable to cool itself, and its body temperature can quickly rise to fatal levels (over 107°F). Heatstroke symptoms in dogs include: heavy panting, salivation, disorientation, agitation, rapid heart beat, lethargy, vomiting, seizures, coma and death.
7.) Pets need sun protection too:
*Whether your furry 4-legged family member is an indoor or outdoor pet, make sure they have plenty of shade and fresh, cool water available at all times.
8.) Stranger Danger:
*If you are headed to a place where you know there will be lots of crowds, review some ground rules before you get there. Make sure your kid(s) knows what to do in case you get separated or lost from one another.
*Teach them to look for a person who can help them like a uniformed police officer, park worker or even a mother with children.
*Pick a spot upon your arrival and designate it as your meeting place in case someone gets lost.
*Teach your children what to do if a stranger should approach them. Have a game plan and make sure everyone knows the rules!
9.) Alcohol and the sun don’t mix:
*Alcohol can seem like a good idea when hanging out at the pool or on the boat at the lake. But it can be a dangerous combination with the sun! If you plan to have alcohol be a part of your summer fun, make sure you keep hydrated first with water!
*Take extra precautions to keep your family, friends and guest safe. If you are on the boat, make sure everyone is wearing the proper life jackets. If you are at the pool, make sure you follow good pool safety and NEVER leave anyone unattended!
10.) Have an emergency medical kit & fire extinguisher on hand:
*A simple medical kit can be purchased at Walgreens, Target, Walmart, etc for just a few dollars. If an accident happens, it is better to be prepared ahead of time.
*A fire extinguisher can stop a bad situation from becoming a nightmare. Don’t let your summer fun be ruined because of an accident which could have been prevented!
Top 10 Summer Fun Safety Tips
Are you Ready for a Storm?
One of the biggest lessons of the April 27 tornadoes that raved the state was that you can never be too prepared for an emergency. Many people had to go days without electricity, gas, telephones, and/or water. The Department of Homeland Security recommends that you have an emergency plan in place. You plan should include an emergency kit with essential survivals items. Here are some handy tips that can help your family prepare for emergencies.
When preparing for a possible emergency situation, it’s best to think first about the basics of survival: fresh water, food, clean air and warmth.
Recommended items to include in a basic emergency supply kit:
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First Aid Kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust Mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter in place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers
Additional items to consider adding to an emergency supply kit:
- Prescription medications and glasses
- Infant formula and diapers
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Important family documents, such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
- Cash or traveler’s check and change
- Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from www.ready.gov
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate
- Complete change of clothes, including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to on part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
- Paper and pencil
- Book, games, puzzles or other activities for children.
For more details on preparing an emergency plan for your family, go to www.ready.gov
(Provided by State of Alabama Real Estate Commission)
Holiday Safety Tips for Home and Away
The Christmas holiday season is one of the most anticipated times of the year. Unfortunately, criminals also look forward to the season as more people are out shopping and leaving their homes unattended during holiday travel. Combine this season of opportunity with yet another holiday in a bad economy, and crime rates for things such as burglary, theft by snatching, etc. are particularly high.
Here are several holiday safety tips to protect you and yours this holiday season, and into the new year.
Safety Tips Around the House
Before traveling, contact your local law enforcement agency and ask to have your home placed on “vacation watch.” Most municipalities offer this service. The nearest patrol officer will ride by your home for a safety check once during their shift. Be sure to notify authorities when you have returned. Note, please do not call 911 to discuss this service. A non-emergency number should be listed in your phone book.
Try to make your house look lived in while you are away. Consider picking up some inexpensive timers for lights and radios, and have them come on at times when you are normally home. I even suggest staggering the timers so that living room lights come on and off early in the evening and bedroom lights come on later. This is consistent with most schedules, but adapt it to fit your family’s routine.
Ask a friend or neighbor to pick up your mail. And while they’re at it, maybe your newspaper and garbage can, too (if you left it by the curb). It is possible to have your mail and paper delivery held, but doing do may just be another tip off that you are away. Don’t forget your neighbor’s act of kindness when shopping for souvenirs.
Do not broadcast your plans to everyone. You may be proud that you are taking your family on a week-long cruise over the holidays, but don’t brag too much. You never know who might be taking note of your travel plans. Don’t mention your trip on Facebook or Twitter until you have returned. Ask kids not to discuss holiday travel plans at school.
Leave a spare key and emergency telephone number with a trusted neighbor or friend. In an emergency it may be necessary for someone to enter your home (water heater leak, etc.), so it is a good idea to leave a key with someone local.
Pay someone to rake up leaves and/or blow off your drive way. Tall grass in the summer and down leaves in the winter are a sure sign of an unoccupied house.
Silence the ringer on your home telephone. One trick of the criminal trade is to stake out a house and call the phone number. If the phone rings and rings with no answer it is a safe bet no one is home. If the phone doesn’t ring at all, crooks may suspect they are dialing the wrong number, or someone is home and using the phone. Do not mention your travel plans on voicemail or answering machines.
Remove garage door openers from cars parked in the driveway. It is a good idea to leave a second car parked in the driveway, but be sure to remove the garage door opener. Burglars can easily bust out a window and open your garage with the click of a button.
Lock garage entry doors. If you live in a home with an attached garage, lock the door from the garage to the home when leaving for Christmas vacation. Garage doors have been known to malfunction, or be manually forced up, allowing access to your home.
Trim shrubbery and trees close to your home. Overgrown shrubs provide the perfect cover for a burglar working to pry open a window.
Do not leave remnants of Christmas morning by the curb. Large appliance boxes and containers are a sign Santa was really good to someone in the neighborhood! They are also a sign to thieves that the house just got a new plasma television for Christmas. Break down boxes and put them in cans or black garbage bags to conceal the products that were inside them.
Holiday Shopping Safety Tips
Use the buddy system. It is always a good idea to shop in pairs as thieves are less likely to target two or more individuals.
Lock your gifts in the trunk. An electronics store bag filled with goodies sitting on the back seat in plain view is tempting for a smash-and-grab burglar.
If shopping at an outdoor mall or outlet stores, consider moving your car when you drop off presents. No one likes to lug around too many items from store to store, so most people return to their cars several times to drop off purchases and resume shopping. When you do this, consider moving your car a few lanes away. Thieves like to stake out parking lots for people leaving purchases in their car and returning to stores. If they see you get in and drive away they will likely assume your shopping trip is over and look for another target.
Don’t flash your cash. I love to see others shopping with cash instead of plastic, but I don’t like to see their entire wad of cash when paying for a $15 DVD at the electronics store. Remember, others are watching. Leave your cash envelope locked in the glove box of your car and only take into the store what’s necessary, or keep some cash in your pocket and the rest in your wallet, so you don’t have to show your entire hand at the register.
Ask for a security guard escort. If you approach your car and see an unsavory character staked out nearby, return to the store and ask for someone to walk you to your car. Most store security personnel are used to this, so there is no need to feel embarrassed. Besides, better to be safe than sorry!
Keep credit and debit cards close. One of the most popular forms of counterfeit credit card fraud is to swipe a credit card in a “dummy” reader to capture the magnetic strip information before swiping in a legitimate card reader. A counterfeit card is then produced offsite using this electronic data, and before you know it, you are shopping the streets of Thailand while the real you is home in Nebraska. This is much easier to pull off if you hand your card over to a restaurant server, or a clerk who has to “go to the back” to run the charge. Consider using cash, and if using cards, alert your credit card company to any suspicious behavior by merchants.
Have keys ready, and don’t take your time getting in your car. There is nothing I hate to see more than a single woman approaching her car while digging through a purse for her keys. With her head down and her attention diverted she is such an easy target. Find your keys before you leave the store and have them in hand. Walk quickly and confidently to your vehicle, and unlock, enter and lock the doors in quick fashion. Once safely inside you can verify receipts, store your purse, etc.
Park in well-lit areas. If you know you will be shopping for a long time, anticipate coming out into a dark parking lot and look for light poles to park under. Besides providing light, light poles also serve as a reference point in a crowded parking lot to remind you where you parked your car.
Parents, park next to the shopping cart return area. When you are finished shopping it is nice to put Junior in the car seat and return the shopping cart one lane away, rather than walking fifty feet away with Junior alone in the car, or you toting him and three bags of groceries.
These are just a few things to keep in mind while out and about this holiday shopping season. Actually, they are good tips for any time of the year, but especially during times when criminal activity is high.