Tagged in: safety

pool safety

How to Keep Your Home Pool Safe This Summer

Summer is in full swing, and if you’ve got a pool at home, it’s probably already getting a large amount of use! Do you have a bunch of family and neighbors over constantly? Your back gate may almost be like a swinging door as people are going in and out at all times of the day. While having your own home pool is awesome for you and everyone you know, it’s also a huge responsibility. The last thing you want is for a friend or family member to get hurt while playing in your pool. Make sure you’re following these tips for keeping your home pool safe all summer long

 

Secure Your Pool

Make sure your pool is completely surrounded by a fence at least 4-feet high. You also want the gate to be self-closing and self-latching. This can help prevent smaller children from making their way into the pool area if that’s not where they’re supposed to be. You might even consider getting a cover for your pool when it’s not in use to help prevent anyone from falling in.

 

Always Keep an Active Watch on Children

It’s so important to stay incredibly alert while kids are in the pool. Even if they do know how to swim, anything could happen. Make sure you know where they are at all times. Adult supervision is one of the most important factors in ensuring the safety of younger kids. You should stay within an arm’s reach of small children. Keep in mind that anything can happen in the blink of an eye.

 

Make Sure Everyone Knows How to Swim

You might enroll your kids in swim lessons. If the neighbor’s kids don’t know how to swim – handle it in a way you feel comfortable with. Perhaps you ask their parents to be in the pool with them at all times, or you may simply not allow them in your pool at all. Remember that if anyone gets hurt on your property, you could be held responsible.

 

Keep Rescue Equipment Next to the Pool

Safety rings and long poles are crucial to have by your pool in the event of an emergency.

 

Teach Kids How to Dial 9-1-1

If your kids don’t already know the importance of 9-1-1 in an emergency situation, now is probably the time to teach them. If a worst-case scenario was to take place and you were dealing with the situation in a hands-on way, you would want to be able to tell them to dial 9-1-1 and make sure they knew how to handle the conversation with the operator.

 

Get CPR Certified

Getting CPR certified is so important. If someone went underwater and drowned or passed out, being able to provide CPR before an ambulance arrived could literally save a life. These situations can be incredibly time-sensitive and require immediate attention.

 

auto accident claims

Involvement of Multiple Vehicles Affects Auto Accident Claims

There are hundreds of accidents involving multiple vehicles in the United States each day. It only takes fractions of a second to cause major property damage and injury. There are a multitude of factors that may cause these accidents and affect liability.

Common Causes of Multiple Vehicle Car Accidents

While auto accidents can be caused by a wide variety of issues, weather and road conditions are frequently at the root of an accident that involves multiple vehicles. Speeding, failure to yield and aggressive driving are also causes of multi-vehicle wrecks. Impaired drivers certainly contribute to multiple vehicle auto accident statistics, as these drivers are a hazard to anyone sharing the road with them.

Processing Claims for Multi-Vehicle Accidents

When multiple vehicles are involved in an auto accident, the claim is handled differently than it is for a two-car collision. This makes the process slightly more difficult and certain steps must be followed to ensure claims are viable and properly finalized. Delays, non-payment and other hassles can be caused by improper filing or handling of claims for multiple vehicle auto accidents.

Determination of Fault in Multiple Vehicle Accidents

When several vehicles have been involved in an auto accident, extensive fact checking is needed for the claim to be developed. Close investigation is necessary for any auto accident, but particularly so in these cases. For multi-vehicle collisions, several legal representatives, insurance adjusters and other investigators will be working at the same time to determine what caused the accident and who holds liability. When three or more vehicles are involved in a rear-end collision, the final vehicle to collide may not be considered to carry any fault. Chain reaction collisions often require close examination to determine who is liable. Rules for these accidents vary from state to state and even among jurisdictions within individual states.

Property damage from the accident may be inspected by insurance adjusters, accident investigators and others. Witnesses will be questioned and support for accident re-creation is gathered. Responsibility may be determined after examining the vehicle types, damage acquired, injuries sustained and other supporting facts. The party at fault may be easily determined. But it is important to ensure that experienced investigators examined the accident fully.

When driving, every motorist has a responsibility to drive sensibly and carefully. When this duty of care is not properly performed, a negligence claim may be developed against that driver. If injuries result to another motorist, that motorist is legally able to pursue reimbursement for expenses from the driver found to be at fault.

For multiple vehicle accidents, it can become more difficult to clarify and establish negligence. There are many questions which must be answered, details to be discovered and complex situations to work out to determine liability.

Inspectors Contracted for Multiple Vehicle Accidents

Contracted agents may be used to inspect multi-car accidents by reviewing police reports, interviewing officers and pursuing other information that will help determine liability in the accident. This agent may determine that the accident was caused by the actions of a negligent driver. That driver may have acted using poor judgment that led to the damage to multiple vehicles. The driver can be held responsible for damages.

When acts of drinking or drug use are found by the case inspector to be the cause of accident injuries or damages, this information can be used to establish fault in a legal claim. Other acts of negligence include reckless driving, aggressive driving, speeding, following vehicles too closely or not observing traffic signs or signals. Weather, road conditions and other factors may have contributed to the wreck.

Contracted inspectors may analyze photos of the scene, review closed circuit video from area businesses, interview passengers and gain other information to help in their case.

When Contributory Negligence Occurs

Contributory negligence may play a role in claims involving multiple vehicles. Every state handles these claims in their own manner. Contributory negligence involves the contribution by the victim to their own injuries. For example, one driver may have caused an accident, but the injured victim’s speed or non-use of safety belts as required by law contributed to the magnitude of their injuries. When contributory negligence is applied, the percentage of damages awarded to the victim may have their own responsibility factored into the amount.

Compensation for Multiple Vehicle Accident Claims

State laws vary for multiple vehicle accident claims. Medical costs and vehicle repairs are covered by insurance. Filing of claims involves several important steps against multiple parties, with those filings varying according to insurance carrier. If fault is not determined in a multi-vehicle accident, a lawyer with car accident experience and his or her associated investigation team can help resolve the liability issue. There may be multiple parties at fault and such cases can become quite confusing. Personal injury lawyers often work with insurance providers to ensure proper handling of claims for correct disbursement of compensation.

safe cab ride

How To Secure Your Safety When Riding A Cab

It’s summertime! A time to plan for vacations and travel. It’s a time to enjoy things we were too busy to take part in during the year when we were working away at our demanding schedules. Making arrangements for summer vacation can take time and requires a lot of detail. For some arranging for transportation can make traveling from place to place easier and more efficient. For those who may not want to drive during vacation, making use of public transportation may be the most efficient option.

 

Popular Apps like Uber and Lyft have become the go-to source for many who want to avoid driving in traffic and instead utilize a fast and convenient way of transportation. The Uber app in particular offers a faster and often less expensive way of traveling that can schedule your transportation. Your driver arrives in a matter of minutes. It’s easy and convenient! Yet one must use caution when using popular companies like Uber or Lyft. There have been reports of assaults for those who have used Uber as transportation instead of a cab service.

 

It is important to exercise caution when using any form of public transportation.

Relinquishing control to your designated driver, while not knowing the history or background of the person can be intimidating for some. It is important to research and make phone calls to learn about your options. Do the research before you settle on any company. Look for reviews and plan accordingly.

 

The following are practical tips when riding in a taxi cab

 

Avoid taking a cab alone.

Women especially should use caution when riding a cab in an unfamiliar setting. It is best to bring someone in the cab with you if possible, especially if you’ve been drinking.

 

Make arrangements beforehand

If at all possible call a taxi cab company that you know and trust. Hailing a cab in the street can be dangerous since you don’t know who the driver is. If you make arrangements beforehand by calling the company and having their contact information at hand, you will be better prepared and have peace of mind. You may even want to ask the name of your driver if possible.

 

Check body language

 You don’t have to be a private detective or investigator to discern that someone is dangerous. If you are speaking to your driver and they respond inappropriately, you may want to avoid going into the cab with them. If you notice they are intoxicated or act unprofessionally, you reserve the right to not ride with them. Remember that they are a stranger and you are putting your life in their hands.

 

Communicate thoroughly before entering the vehicle

It may prove difficult to have a moment to communicate with your cab driver if you’re in the middle of a busy street. If the driver is parked, make sure to speak to them thoroughly and check that they are professional and know where they are going. Are they helping you accommodate your bags? Good customer service is a must. If your driver is rude or unprofessional, or doesn’t offer you assistance with your bags, you may want to wait for a different cab.

 

Safety is everything in life. Never feel bad about protecting it. It never hurts to seek legal advice to secure the best traveling options for you and your loved ones. Be educated and prepared, and make the most of your summer travels!

 

springtime driving

Springtime Driving

Springtime is one of the best times to get out, enjoy the weather, and watch winter disappear right before your eyes. Whether you’re eager to take a long road trip or just want getaway for a quick weekend, it’s important to make sure that you and your car are prepared for springtime driving. While winter driving can be particularly hazardous and stressful for millions of Americans, the spring season is not free from dangerous situations on the road. Before you hit the road this spring, make sure you’re ready for whatever heads your way:

Springtime Car Maintenance

 

The weather and road conditions during the winter months can really do a number on your vehicle. Just as you would before winter arrives, make sure that your car is in good working condition when warmer weather arrives. First off, give your car thorough cleaning. Wash and wax the exterior (which can help keep tree pollen off of your car) and clean all the dirt and grime of the winter months from your interior. Next, check the air in your tires, have them rotated if needed, and have your trusted mechanic do a complete check (looking at fluids, changing oil, checking brakes, etc.).  Don’t forget to replace your windshield wipers and make sure the windshield cleaner reservoir is topped off, you never know when a spring rain will arrive, requiring a good pair of wipers.

Check the Weather

 

Spring is a much anticipated season, but it’s always filled with surprises. You can have a sunny and cloud-free sky in the morning and a rain/snow mix in the afternoon and often without warning. While snow is one of the biggest hassles for drivers, rain can be just as dangerous and stressful. Before you head out for the day, weekend or for your road trip, make sure you’ve taken a look at the forecast so you know what to expect. Additionally, it’s a smart idea to download a weather app to your phone so you can get up-to-date weather reports as your travel. Rain, fog, thunderstorms, and even tornadoes can suddenly occur during the springtime, it’s always good to stay informed, especially when traveling.

Share the Road

 

When the weather warms up, you can expect to see an increased amount motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians on or around the roadways. Make sure you are on the lookout for harder to spot motorists (like motorcyclists or bicyclists). Remember, they have the right to share the road with other vehicles, but they are less likely to be seen.

 

Continue to Drive Responsibly

 

Drivers should be responsible year round, but after a long winter, many drivers become a little more relaxed. First, keep appropriate distance and drive reasonable speeds when it’s raining or if there is fog (it can be just as dangerous as winter weather). Secondly, keep your distractions at a minimal. You may be tempted to crank the tunes and snap a picture on your smartphone, but your focus is needed on the road at all times, particularly when motorists, pedestrians, and even animals are more likely to be on the road. Finally, warmer weather marks the season of the backyard party and BBQs. Don’t forget to driver responsibly and know when to hand over the keys if you’ve been drinking alcohol.

college campus

Campus Safety

As a college student, you may be experiencing complete freedom for the first time in your life, and it may seem both exhilarating and overwhelming. You left your parents at home and now you are on your own (except when it comes to cash, of course). Nevertheless, no one can tell you what you can and cannot do, as probably you know everything already, correct? Unfortunately, statistics show otherwise.

Even though college campuses are regarded as a sort of safety bubble for students, crimes of different sorts continue happening. Crimes ranging from assaults, to burglaries to sex crimes have been reported on many campuses across the nation. While most of them are committed by residents (students) of the campus, almost 20% were committed by outsiders from the surrounding communities. No one expects anything like that to happen in the new life that you are about to start, but it is wise to keep a  few tips in mind to  assist you during times of need as you finish your studies on campus. As the old adage goes, “Better safe than sorry.”

Campus Is Not As Safe As Many Think

As much as you are used to listening to your mp3 player or Smartphone at all times, at least as a freshman, avoid this habit and try to become more aware of your surroundings. Watch and scan carefully for different people and scenarios in order to recognize a potentially dangerous situation in time to avoid it. College students come from many different places and backgrounds, so it is impossible to be quite sure if every single one of them has fully honest intentions. Walking alone at night has never been a good idea for any place in the world and college campus are not the exception. Always invite a trusted friend to join you on your night walks back to your dorm. Aside from experiencing potential danger outside, indoor crime can be serious as well, both for you and your possessions. Let locking the doors and closing the windows while you are asleep or out become a trustworthy habit. This can spare you from burglaries, assaults, or even sex crimes. Most campuses have specific emergency systems and emergency points; be informed on where they are located and how to access them. Furthermore, get to know your campus well. Walk around the campus frequently and get to know paths, shortcuts and hiding spots.

Additional Tips

Parties will probably be an avoidable part of your college life, and even though they are seemingly harmless, try attending with at least one friend that’s going to stick around with you. Don’t allow yourself to get too lost in all of the madness happening there. Taking self-defense or martial art classes can also be beneficial if you are ever in an unforeseen situation; even carrying a simple pepper spray can be advantageous. No one is 100% safe anytime, anywhere, so with this in mind be sure you have taken necessary precautions in case you encounter a precarious situation.

What safety measures does your campus have in place?  

Interact with Dogs: Child Safety

Dog experts will agree that some dogs bite and some dogs don’t, but all dog bites are preventable. Unfortunately, children are at a high risk of receiving a bite from a dog. In Canada and the United States, between 1982 and 2014, of all the reported dog bite cases, 81% of the victims were children. Additionally, between 2010 and 2012, 359,223 children were bitten by a dog and while many people assume that dog bites are received from strange dogs, about 61% of dog bites occur within the home or in a familiar place.

While there is often controversy as to where the responsibility falls when a dog bite occurs (some blame the owners, others blame the victim) parents can help decrease the risk of a dog bite by teaching their child how to responsibly and safely interact with dogs.

Adult Supervision Around Dogs

Although it’s important that children are taught how to behave around dogs, either familiar or unfamiliar, adults are also responsible for supervising children around dogs. If an adult is around, particularly the owner of the dog, the dog is less likely to attack. If an attack does occur, adult intervention can help reduce the severity of the attack (ie. fatal attack). Similarly, if a child is left alone with a dog and the dog does attack, the child is less likely to free him or herself from the attack than if an adult was present. Not only are adults responsible for supervising a dog’s behavior, unsupervised children are more likely to wander off into a potentially dangerous situation.

Why Do Dogs Bite?

This is an important question to answer, especially for people who assume that dogs are always at fault. First off, there is no one reason why dogs bite, but here are a few:

  • Dogs are Pack Animals: By nature, dogs are pack animals and much of their behavior is based on such instincts. Since children are typically smaller than most dogs, some dogs may consider themselves as superior or alpha. Additionally, a dog may display protective behavior for a territory or person (which is also instinctive behavior).
  • Boundaries are Compromised: Many dogs are territorial and have boundaries in which they feel comfortable and safe. Children, on the hand, do not understand boundaries. An overly protective dog can feel threatened when his or her boundaries are crossed.
  • Too Much Physical Contact: Most dogs like affection and are eager to receive it, but if a tail or ear is pulled by an overly affectionate child, a bite may occur as a warning to “back off”.

Show and Tell Your Child How to Interact with Dogs

While dog owners have a great responsibility to teach their dogs not to bite and to recognize a potentially dangerous situation (ie. meeting strangers or too much stimulation in public), parents can only control how their child acts around dogs (or how the family dog acts). Here are some tips to teaching your child how to act around dogs:

  • When approaching a dog (and his or her owner) always walk slowly and quietly
  • Always ask the owner if you can pet his or her dog, never assume
  • If the owner says “yes”, slowly extend your hand to let the dog sniff the back of it (not the palm)
  • Pet a dog’s shoulder or chest, not the head

 

Additionally, if a child is in a dangerous situation with a dog, he or she should:

  • Never run, but give the dog a jacket, backpack, or something not attached to them
  • Avoid direct eye contact and stand like a tree with arms at their sides
  • Remain quiet and curled up in the fetal position if the dog knocks him or her down

Teach Your Child About Safety

Once the summer ends and school is back in session, you shouldn’t have to worry about your child, wondering if he or she is safe. While schools should be a safe environment for children of all ages, children are still prone to injury at school or during extracurricular activities. It’s impossible to follow your child around all the time nor can you create a magic bubble to protect them from harm. You can, however, teach your children how to be safe at school and during other activities away from home. Your child may still suffer an accidental injury, but if he or she is prepared to be safer the chances of injury are less likely.

At School

 

Children of any age are prone to injury from time to time, it just seems to be a natural occurrence. Whether your Kindergartener tripped on his untied shoelaces or your teen daughter slipped on the ice while wearing slick soled shoes, you can’t always predict when an accident will occur and if an injury will be the result. When your child attends school, he or she is taught about school safety and what choices are safest. Unfortunately, like many children are known to do, some follow the rules only some of the time. Here are some ways to reinforce your child’s  safety at school:

 

  • Remind your child to follow directions and don’t break any safety rules.

 

  • Encourage your child to think before he or she makes a choice at school. For example, ask questions that will make your child think about consequences. What would happen if you pulled on your classmate’s shirt? What might happen if you jump off of the monkey bars? How would you feel if your chair fell on the floor because you were tipping backwards?

 

  • Explain your expectations and discuss consequences for not following safety rules at school.

On the Field

 

Kids who play sports are almost destined for an injury. Each year, millions of children of all ages visit the ER for various sport related injuries from dislocations to concussions. While it’s the coach’s responsibility to supply safety equipment and teach your child how to use it properly, you can be influential in your child’s safety during sports. Explain to your child why safety equipment, such as helmets and pads, are essential while playing a sport. Encourage your child to talk to you if he or she feels like the sport is too dangerous or if he or she sees that the equipment is not being used properly. Additionally, always encourage your child to warm up and to stay hydrated in order to prevent injury.

Out and About

 

Whether your child walks home from school with a friend or is taking the bus for an extracurricular activity, your child must know how to be safe. While goofing around on the school bus seems to be the “cool” thing to do, remind your child how to be safe while riding a school bus and explain that failing to follow directions can lead to injury.

 

If your child is old enough to walk home from school or walk around the neighborhood with friends, he or she may still need to be reminded about safety. Even in low traffic neighborhoods, children may be injured as a result of failing to pay attention to traffic or walking in the street.

 

If a child is well-informed about safety and injury prevention, he or she can have more independence without causing you stress or worry.

Preparing for a Party or Event? Make Your Home Safe and Secure

Do not take unnecessary risks if you are hosting a party or event. Keep your guests safe, and avoid a potential injury or a lawsuit due to hazardous conditions. In fact, spinal cord injuries have been known to happen from a walk down a flight of stairs gone bad. It’s easy to overlook safety issues with all the activity of setting up a party, but the extra precautions will be worth the effort.

Examine the inside and the perimeter of the event location. Are there cracks in the sidewalk or potholes in the driveway? These could cause a slip and fall, making you potentially liable for any injury. If you have a bouncy house for a child’s party, make sure it is properly anchored and have an adult supervise it. Walkways should be free of obstructions or debris; clear out any furniture that obstructs the passageways. You should consider putting away small objects that can easily break or be swallowed by toddlers. You may want to use plastic and paper products rather than serve food and drinks in glass containers that can break.

A primary cause of accidents is a pool that is ungated or unattended. If you have no gate around your pool, designate one or more persons to keep an eye on swimmers and small children around the pool area. A fenced pool is not a guarantee that children won’t find a way in, so all children must be supervised at all times if a pool is on the property. Be alert for toddlers falling in the pool or jumping in without a parent. Water makes the poolside slippery, so ask guests not to run. Walking with bare feet on cement or slippery tiles could result in a head injury or worse. If adults are drinking alcohol, this adds a risk factor as well.

Take Safety Precautions to Avoid an Accident

Some safety precautions to take are:

  • Place decorative markers on sliding glass doors so no one runs into them.
  • Put extension cord covers on electrical wires to prevent tripping.
  • Put safety runners on slippery surfaces such as high polished wood or tile.
  • Cordon off staircases if small children are present or if stairs are worn; make sure hand railings are secure.
  • Keep knives or sharp objects beyond the reach of children.
  • Monitor alcohol intake of your guests; make sure they do not drink and drive.

It is well worth your while to make a checklist ahead of time for party and event safety. Make especially sure that there are sufficient fire exits and bathroom facilities. If it is a pool party or barbeque, have supervisors at these locations. An event or party can be a fun and memorable experience for you and your guests. Keep everyone safe and secure and it will be a hit!

Pedestrian Safety Tips

Every day in the United States, an estimated 445 pedestrians seek emergency treatment for traffic-related injuries. In 2013, the most recent year data is available, there were 4,735 pedestrian fatalities and another 66,000 injuries. That’s about one pedestrian death every two hours, and one injury every eight minutes. If you are one of the tens of thousands of pedestrians injured every year as a result of a vehicle-related accident, there are critical steps you should take directly after the event that will help ensure your rights. But, avoiding an accident in the first place should be your focus. Here are some easy-to-follow tips on how to stay safe as a pedestrian.

Never Assume

Just because someone is driving a vehicle doesn’t mean he is paying close attention to the road. Distracted driving habits, including eating and cell phone use, lead to more than 3,300 fatalities a year, many of which involve pedestrians. Other factors, including vehicle blind spots and driver drowsiness, can also play a role in pedestrian-related accidents.

Instead of assuming that a driver can see you, make sure the road is clear before attempting to cross the street. If you’re in a particularly busy area, and waiting for traffic to clear isn’t plausible, make eye contact with any driver in your proximity before crossing the street, even when you have the right of way and are using a crosswalk.

Distracted Walking

Drivers are not the only people who can be distracted when they’re on the go. Pedestrians can be just as easily distracted. When you’re reading a text message, playing a game, or are otherwise engaged with your mobile device, you aren’t paying attention to your surroundings, and just as with a distracted driver, the results can be disastrous. When you are walking, put away your cell phone or tablet. If you must reply to a text, step to the side, out of the way of others, and then respond.

Follow the Law

Jaywalking is not only illegal, but it can be fatal. In fact, pedestrian noncompliance is the leading cause of injuries and fatalities. In 2013, 69% of all pedestrian fatalities occurred at non-intersections compared to 20% of fatalities occurring in an intersection, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The balance of the fatalities occurred in parking lanes, driveways, roadsides, and other locations. When you need to cross the street, use the crosswalk, and never cross against the light.

Special Circumstances

The sidewalk is the safest place for pedestrians. Occasionally, however, you may find yourself in a situation where you have to walk somewhere, but no sidewalk is available. In that instance, walk as far onto the shoulder of the road as possible, and always walk facing traffic. If your back is to traffic, you won’t be able to see oncoming dangers, and you’ll be unable to avoid them.

If you’re walking at night, it is imperative that you wear light, bright, or reflective clothing, and carry a flashlight, even if you plan on staying on the sidewalk. At some point, you may have to cross the street, and if drivers cannot see you, they won’t be able to avoid you.

Pedestrian safety requires vigilance on the part of both the driver and the pedestrian. When you head out for a walk, always follow traffic laws, make sure drivers can see you, and pay attention to your surroundings. When you follow those simple tips, you’ll be increasing the odds that you will reach your destination safely.