Business Digest - August, 2010

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National Night Out   Good Sportsmanship   Internet Tidbit   Green Living Tip   Theo's Corner 

Hide-and-Seek Safety

A favorite summertime activity for children is hide-and-seek. Running and hiding from a group of kids is a fun activity. To make this a safe one as well for your children, be sure to take some precautions. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) receives numerous reports of suffocation deaths involving children who crawled into old freezers or refrigerators, clothes dryers, or picnic coolers. Most victims are between the ages of four and seven.

The problem with these products is the fact that they are not easy to open from the inside. They seem like a perfect place to hide to a child, but can be very dangerous. Most of these types of units are designed to seal, cutting off air to the inside. For the past forty years, the Federal Refrigerator Safety Act has required that refrigerators be capable of being opened from the inside. Manufacturers of many other appliances have voluntarily redesigned their products to be safer. Even so, there are millions of unsafe appliances still in homes and neighborhoods across the country.

If you do have an older appliance in storage or meant to be discarded, take the simple precaution of removing the door. If you can't remove the door easily, then disable the door lock. Keep children away from refrigerators, freezers, dryers, or coolers that are still in use. Teach your children that these are not safe places to play inside. If your child is ever missing, these appliances and coolers should be the first place you look. Even a few minutes could make all the difference.

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National Night Out

On Tuesday, August 3rd, communities across the United States celebrate National Night Out (Texas celebrates on October 5th). This annual event sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW) brings together citizens, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, businesses, neighborhood organizations, and local officials from over 15,000 communities in all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities, and military bases worldwide. Each year over 35 million people participate in the activities.

National Night Out (NNO) generates support and awareness of local anticrime programs, strengthens neighborhood spirit, and sends a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and alert. NNO started in 1984 with a message to turn on porch lights for one night and included front porch vigils across the country. Today, festivities include block parties, cookouts, parades, police visits, neighborhood walks, safety fairs, contests, rallies, and meetings.

NNO is a great way for you to get involved in your community and to meet more of your neighbors. To organize an event for your neighborhood, visit NationalNightOut.org. There you can register and receive the NNO Organizational Kit detailing how to get going. There is no cost to register or participate.

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Good Sportsmanship

Coach Joe called for a conference with Bobby who was playing center field during a Little League game.

"You remember Bobby," the coach said, "how we talked about the principles of good sportsmanship. You know we don't tolerate temper tantrums, shouting at the umpire, or abusive language. Remember how we said you can't insult players on the other team?"

"Yes, sir," replied Bobby. "I remember."

"Well then, Bobby," sighed Coach Joe, "would you please try to explain all of that to your mother?"

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Internet Tidbit

Everyone loves to save money, but it can seem daunting sometimes to search around for the best price on items you want to buy. Who has the time to look at every shopping site on the Internet? Well, BeatMyPrice.com does. This website offers a way to connect with other users who have done the work for you. It features a wonderfully simple home page. Just enter the name of the product you want to buy, the web address where you found it, and its listed price. You will then get a list of results from other search engines, along with places other users have found it cheaper. There is sliding scale tool that lets you adjust the ideal price you'd like to pay, giving you a way to control the results. If you have in fact found the lowest price around on your own, you can upload the information to help out other users. Best of all, the service is free!

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Green Living Tip 

If you are in the habit of flipping on the lights every time you enter a room, there is a better solution. Sunlight is free and environmentally friendly. Open up your blinds and curtains instead of turning on the lights during the day. Also consider installing a skylight or reflecting tubes to let in even more light. Not only is this a green solution to lighting, but it is good for you too. The natural spectrum of light from sunlight gives you more energy, can regulate your sleep patterns, improve your mood, and is a great source of vitamin D.

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Theo's Corner

Securing Your Home for Your Pets

Home security is not just for your family. Your pets are also in need of protection in the event of an emergency or break-in. Help make your home safer and more secure for your pets with these tips. 

Lock up

One of the simplest things you can do to secure your home for your pets is to lock your doors and windows. You should do this not only when you leave, but also when you are at home. This will help prevent break-ins and can prevent your pet from being accidentally let outside. Choose reliable dead-bolt door locks and sturdy window locks.

Watch your garage

Get in the habit of keeping your garage door closed at all times. This helps prevent unauthorized access to your garage and home. If your pet has access to your garage, this will also help keep him from being let out.

Turn on the lights and noise

A home that looks occupied is less likely to be targeted by criminals. Leave some lights on when you leave. You can also turn on a radio or television to provide some noise. Your pet may even like to watch the television while you are gone, which can prevent boredom.

Consider monitoring your home

Security monitoring companies can provide security systems that will call for help in the event of a break-in. Responders will often overlook pets that might be hiding or injured. Let the monitoring company know that you have pets so they can inform the police and fire personnel that respond to a call. You can also request monitored smoke detectors. This is an early detection system that could save your pet's life.

Don't leave your key under the mat

Burglars routinely look under mats, flower pots, and on window ledges for spare keys. Don't leave an extra key in these locations. Get creative and place your spare key in a more hidden location away from the front door.

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