Back Yard Safety Tips
Firing Up the Grill
Get Your Car In Shape For Summer
Every year, the end of school means fun in the sun for
children, but it can also bring its share of hidden hazards. To be sure that
your child stays safe this summer, don't forget these simple reminders.
1. Children should never be left unattended near
water. A small child can drown in even an inch or two of water.
2. Your child should always wear a helmet when
biking, riding a scooter, rollerblading, or skateboarding. Teach your child
the basic rules of the road and caution him or her to always be aware of
traffic on roads and in parking lots.
3. Excess sun exposure is always a concern in the
summer months. Use a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher every time your child
goes outdoors. Limit time in the sun during the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 4:00
4. Remind your child of playground safety. Children
should not climb on the outside of play equipment and should never walk in
front of or behind moving swings.
5. When grilling, be aware of people around you.
Curious children especially need to be supervised and taught not to run or
play around a barbeque grill. They should never touch a grill. Have water
available when grilling in case of accidental fire.
With a little common sense and some simple precautions,
you and your family can make this a safe and fun summer.
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barbecuing is a familiar American tradition. But before you fire up the grill,
you will need a full tank of propane. If you purchased your propane tank more
than two years ago, you may find that you have a hard time filling it in most
states. New regulations state that propane tanks unequipped with
overfill-protection devices (OPDs) cannot be filled by anyone. OPDs are placed
on propane tanks to ensure that the tank is not filled to more than 80 percent
capacity. The use of this safety device is designed to prevent accidents
relating to overfilling a tank.
There are between 40 and 55 million 20-pound propane
grill tanks in the United States, so chances are you might have an unequipped
tank. In most cases, consumers can tell if a propane tank has an OPD valve by
looking at the handle. If the handle is round or star-shaped, your cylinder may
be outdated. Cylinders equipped with OPD have a triangular handle. You also will
see the letters "OPD" on the valve handle.
What do you do if your tank is unequipped with the new
valve? Most propane dealerships will outfit your tank with the valve for around
$25. You may also consider purchasing a new tank. In both of these cases, you
will still need to pay the cost of filling your tank.
If you are looking for an
even simpler solution, you can use a propane cylinder exchange service, such as
Blue Rhino or Amerigas. Often located outside of home improvement centers,
grocery stores, or convenience stores, these kiosks allow you to bring in your
old tank for a new, filled cylinder. All of the tanks available through these
services offer the new up-to-date valves. Generally the cost for these tanks is
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sounds of summer always include children playing outdoors. To ensure that your
children will be safe as they enjoy their summer vacation, use this checklist to
inspect your backyard swing set and play equipment.
Are the bolts tight? Be sure to tighten all bolts
before your children use the equipment.
Do the ends of the bolts have safety caps on them?
Children can be seriously injured from a puncture by an uncapped bolt. Most
hardware stores sell replacements caps.
Are handrails rusted or loose? Tighten all handrails
and ensure that there are no loose or sharp edges. Any other metal parts
should be checked for rust and rough spots. They should be filed down and
recoated before children use the equipment.
Are there any rough spots on the wood? Most
manufacturers recommend that the wood on wooden play sets be stained every
year to extend the life of the unit and to prevent splinters from forming.
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If you have a greedy or a
needy wish, the website GreedyorNeedy.com
may be the place for you. On this site, you can submit a desire, big or small,
that is then voted on by the community of website users. Every week, one wish in
each category is fulfilled from a communal pot. You may have a real need like
medication or some snow boots for your child, or you may just want something
nice to indulge yourself for a change. You can express your heart's desire at
this website. Each month, $100 goes to the top-rated "needy" wish and $100 goes
to the top-rated "greedy" wish. If those wishes do not need the full $100 to be
granted, the excess funds are awarded to runners-up. They also have a community
forum designed to allow the community to comment on wishes and to offer support
to those in need.
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the weather gets warmer, there are some steps you can take to protect your car
and keep it running its best. Take time to give your vehicle a summertime
checkup before things really heat up!
A poorly tuned engine can increase fuel consumption
by up to 50 percent. With gas prices rising, you can save more than a few
bucks by giving your car a full tune-up, including an oil and oil filter
change. You will also save on engine wear and tear.
Check your tire pressure. Be sure to wait until your
tires have cooled down (at least three hours or after it has been driven
less than 1.5 miles). If you test your tires when they are warm, you will
get a false reading. Fill your tires to the recommended pressure.
Underinflated tires wear faster, waste fuel, and are unsafe. Having just one
tire underinflated by eight pounds per square inch can reduce the life of
that tire by over 6,000 miles and increase fuel consumption by five percent.
Give your air conditioner a check up. Check for
leaks and other needed repairs. Remember that using an air conditioner in
stop-and-go traffic can increase fuel consumption by as much as 20 percent.
Don't top off your fuel tank when filling up,
especially during the summer months. Fuel naturally expands as it heats,
causing excess fuel to spill out. Save money and protect the environment by
only filling your tank until the pump handle stops automatically.
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