Brush Up On Pedestrian Safety

Spring is in the air; the sun is shining and everything is green- a perfect time to spend more time outside and walking.  With more people out and about, it’s a perfect time to review pedestrian safety!  We all know pedestrians have the right of way, and that motorists need to be aware of them; however, it’s equally important as a pedestrian to practice defensive walking. Defensive walking means being aware of your surroundings at all times and eliminating risks while doing so.  Brush up on some defensive tips, and then get out there and enjoy some beautiful weather!

  1. When walking, make sure to always cross the street in designated crossing areas, and always follow the walk/don’t walk signals rather than the traffic signals.  Make sure you still pay attention to traffic while you’re crossing- don’t assume cars will follow the traffic signals.     
  2. Walk on the sidewalk whenever possible. If there is no sidewalk, it’s safest to walk facing oncoming traffic, so you can easily see the cars and what they’re doing.
  3. Always wear bright or reflective clothing and bring a flashlight when going for night walks to increase your visibility.
  4. Avoid using your phone or other devices while walking.  Devices are distracting and take the focus off what’s going on around you, greatly increasing the risk of getting injured.
  5. Make eye contact with drivers when crossing busy streets- this lets you know they see you and makes the driver more aware that you are crossing.  
  6. Avoid wearing hats or hoods that obscure your vision.  Make sure you’re able to see any obstacles that you may encounter!
  7. Be cautious when walking near driveways; it can be hard for drivers to see when they’re backing out of the driveway.  If someone is backing out, it’s safest to stop and allow them to go, rather than assume they see you.

February is Safety Awareness Month

February is Safety Awareness month, so we’re sharing our favorite safety & security tips.  What does safety actually mean?  Safety is both being physically safe from harm and also the act of avoiding situations with recognized hazards to keep yourself safe.  Practicing good safety starts at home, so always be sure to be aware of potential hazards in your daily life.  Review these great tips, and visit our other posts for more detailed information on these topics!

1. Be careful when walking to your car at night; stay in lit areas, walk with others, and always be aware of your surroundings.

2. Utilize your phone as a safety tool; make sure you have all your emergency contact info programmed into your phone so it’s quick and easy to access.

3. Be cautious and trust your gut when dealing with people through online services; always agree to meet in public places, and only exchange goods, services, or money in person.  

4. Check your fire and carbon monoxide detectors regularly to make sure they’re working, and be sure to replace the batteries as needed.

5. Make sure light bulbs are the correct wattage for the lamp you’re using them in- incorrect wattage is the number one reason for electrical fires!

6. Create an emergency kit for your car in case you break down and have to wait awhile for help to arrive; water, snacks, a first aid kit, and matches are a great start.  Check the blog for more great ideas.

7. Periodically revisit emergency contact lists and meeting areas with your child to make sure they know what to do in case of emergencies.

8. If you’re going hiking, make a trip plan for your family members saying where you’re going and when you expect to be back; if you’re not home when you’re expected, they’ll have some information on where to look for you.

9. Never leave cooking food unattended; fires can start quickly, particularly if grease is involved!  Being present physically and mentally while cooking will ensure you’re able to react quickly if something does catch on fire.

 

Carbon Monoxide Awareness Month

January is carbon monoxide awareness month, and for good reason; there are more carbon monoxide deaths this month than any other time of the year.  The cold weather causes more people to use heat sources such as gas furnaces, generators, and propane, and perhaps unsurprisingly, carbon monoxide deaths are higher in states where winters are very cold.  Carbon monoxide is the byproduct of fuels that haven’t burned completely, and is an odorless, colorless gas that can easily go unnoticed; it’s often referred to as “the silent killer”.  Even the symptoms of poisoning (headaches, nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath or confusion) can be overlooked or mistaken for other illnesses, such as the flu.  Make sure you and your family stay safe while warm this winter with these tips!Install at least one carbon monoxide detector in a central location in the house and test it monthly.  For optimal safety, it’s a good idea to have several throughout the house that communicate with each other.

1. When installing detectors, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions for placement and height requirements.

2. Replace your detectors as needed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

3. Don’t use your gas stove to heat the house.

4. Have your chimney, furnace, and heating vents inspected and serviced annually.

5. Don’t warm up your vehicle inside a garage, even if the door is open.  Cars produce a lot of carbon monoxide, and keeping it in the enclosed area is risky.  Move your car outside the garage as soon as you start it up, and warm it up outside.

6. Only use generators, furnaces, and grills outside and in a well-ventilated area away from doors, windows and vents to prevent gas from seeping into the house.

7. If you live in a place that snows, make sure all vents to dryers, fireplaces, and furnaces aren’t blocked by snow or ice; likewise, make sure your car’s tailpipe is clear of snow as well!

8. Check with your local fire department where to call if your alarm sounds, and keep the number handy- just in case!

9. If your alarm sounds, immediately go outside or near an open door or window and make sure everyone else in the house does as well.  Call the phone number you received from the fire department, and wait outside until they’ve inspected and cleared your house.

10. Make sure you’re aware of the symptoms of poisoning. If at any point you feel unwell, and suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, get outside ASAP!  It’s always better to error on the side of caution. Call emergency personnel to check both you and your house out, and don’t go back into the house until it’s clear.

Package Piracy Prevention Tips

pexels-photo-29410Tis that time of the year- holidays, family gatherings, and presents!  Unfortunately, porch poaching appears to be on the rise around the country.   A study conducted in 2015 by the Princeton Survey Research Associates International estimates that about 23 million American have had a package stolen at some point.  That’s a lot of hard earned money and long-awaited gifts going down the drain.  This holiday season, make sure you receive everything you’ve been waiting for by preventing porch theft with these handy tips!

  1. Get tracking on all your packages, so you know when they’re on their way and when they arrive.  If you know your package is out for delivery today, and deliveries usually come between 2-3pm, you can schedule a time to be around to directly receive your package.
  2. Leave instructions for your mail carrier.  The standard instructions are for carriers to leave the package at the door if there’s no response- but this is the easiest way for someone to steal your goodies!  If you know the package will be delivered at an inopportune time of day, you can leave instructions for the package to be left with a neighbor or to bring it back to the post office until you can pick it up.
  3. If you’re going out of town, you can have the USPS put a hold on your mail for up to 30 days for free!
  4. Have packages delivered to your workplace during work hours (make sure it’s ok with your boss first!).
  5. Use FedEx and USP apps.  Both companies offer web apps that allow you to reroute and reschedule your delivery, in case you’re not going to be home that day, for a fee.
  6. Utilize Amazon lockers.  You may have seen these big yellow lockers popping up around convenience and grocery stores; if you shop with Amazon, they can ship your parcels to these handy lockers to keep your package safe for up to three days.  Once your parcel arrives, you’ll be sent a code by text that will unlock your locker.  Read more about Amazon lockers here.
  7. Post a warning sign for a surveillance system.  You may or may not have one in place, but it’s been shown that such signs greatly deter theft.
  8. Install a smart security camera at your door.  An obvious camera may be enough to keep thieves from even thinking about taking your goodies, but if they do, you have evidence of the theft and should be able to use that for a refund or replacement.  You may also be able to catch the perpetrator!

 

 

Holiday Cooking Safety Tips

food-pot-kitchen-cooking-largeThe holidays are almost here, and that means family, fun, and food!  What could be better?  To make sure you and your family stay safe and healthy during the holidays, check out these helpful holiday kitchen tips.

  1. Don’t leave your cooking unattended. Holiday time can be very distracting, especially if you’re multi-tasking in the kitchen and have a house full of guests! Fires can easily start if you walk away and get wrapped up in conversation, or your food could get over cooked.  Encourage guests to visit with you while you cook.
  2. Keep a flame-retardant potholder or oven mitt handy while cooking. If a fire starts in the pan or on the stove, you can put the mitt or potholder over it to smother the fire.
  3. Tilt hot cookware lids away from your face when opening them. Steam burns hurt! By tilting away from you, you can safely redirect the steam away from you.
  4. Roll up your sleeves or wear a short sleeved shirt. Long sleeves can hang down and become a fire hazard. Long sleeves can also get in your food while you’re preparing it, which is unsanitary and a way to cross contaminate your food.
  5. Check that your fire detector works and that you have a fire extinguisher available. Just in case!
  6. Avoid turkey fryers. Yes, fried turkey is delicious, but turkey fryers cause many fires yearly because of their extreme flammability. They can also cause terrible burns.  If you do decide to use one, make sure to use it outdoors only, and check out these helpful tips: http://www.tractorsupply.com/know-how_outdoors_outdoor-living_turkey-fryer-safety.
  7. Wash hands and all food prep surfaces thoroughly. Keeping everything sanitary will prevent food-borne illness.
  8. Refrigerate leftovers promptly. To prevent food-borne illnesses, make sure to refrigerate perishable food within 2 hours after cooking. Store it in small containers to speed up chill time.
  9. Avoid cross contamination. Meat should always be prepared separately from other food to prevent it’s bacteria from contaminating other foods. An easy way to do this is to prepare your meat after preparing other foods.
  10. Don’t stuff the turkey ahead of time. If you make your stuffing in advance, store it separately from the turkey and stuff it right before you’re ready to cook it. This prevents your stuffing from soaking up potentially bacteria-laden juices that might be inside the turkey.

For more questions on fire safety, please consult your local fire department!  Also, check out last month’s blog post about fire safety: http://weinsteinsecurity.com/blog/2016/10/10/fire-safety-stay-safe-while-being-warm-this-winter/

Fire Safety: Stay Safe While Being Warm This Winter!

wood-fireplace-horizontalOctober is National Fire Prevention Month, and it’s easy to see why.  As the weather starts to turn colder and the natural light drops, we all tend to spend more time indoors, using more electricity and heat.  While this makes for a cozy environment in the home, it’s even more important to ensure that your house is protected against potential fire hazards.  Check out these great tips to make sure you’re on the right track to having a safe and happy winter!

  1. Check your fire and carbon dioxide detectors. Do all the batteries work? Make sure you have several detectors spread throughout the house and one posted in or outside of your bedroom.  If your house has multiple levels, make sure you have at least one detector on each.  It’s recommended they’re hung at least a foot below ceiling level.
  2. Figure out an emergency exit plan and make sure your house has clear pathways in case a fire starts. Fires can spread very quickly, so making sure that you can get easily out of the house is crucial. If you have children, practice the escape route and designate a spot to meet so that everyone can easily find each other.
  3. Make sure you have fire extinguishers.  Fire extinguishers are very important to have around, but they aren’t all the same- make sure you have one specific to grease and oil fires in the kitchen. The fireplace is another good area to have an extinguisher, particularly as the weather gets colder! Also make sure everyone in the family knows how to use them.
  4. Make sure that lightbulbs are the correct wattage for the lamp you’re using it in. Believe it or not, this is one of the leading causes of electrical fires!
  5. Check your electrical equipment for frayed wires, and make sure electrical outlets aren’t overloaded. Most houses have breaker boxes that will shut off electricity from an outlet if it gets overloaded, but older houses often have very outdated ones. With newer appliances requiring more electricity, it’s easier to overload the outlets on an older home.
  6. Make sure space heaters are placed at least 3 feet away from walls or materials that could catch fire. Coil space heaters are especially dangerous, because the coil gets so hot and can easily ignite anything combustible that it touches.
  7. Carefully inspect your fireplace, especially if you haven’t used it all year. Does it look sound from the outside? When looking up the chimney from inside the house, does it appear clear of combustible things, such as bird’s nests?  You should be able to see light if you have the damper open.  Make sure the firebox itself looks ok and that there aren’t any cracks or condensation.  If you see any- make sure to get it serviced before you use it.

Hiking Safety: Having Fun While Being Prepared

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Although summer is quickly coming to a close, there’s still plenty of time to take advantage of nice weather and what better way than to go hiking?!  Hiking can be a fun, healthy way to get outdoors and get moving, but it can also come with its own set of hazards.  Make sure you’re prepared for everything with these great hiking safety tips!

1.       Pack lots of water and snacks that contain sodium.  Always pack more water than you think you’ll need!  You don’t want to run out in the middle of your hike.  Salty foods will keep your electrolyte levels up and keep you better hydrated. 

2.       Be prepared to spend the night, even if you’re not planning on it.  If you happen to get lost prior to dark, the safest course of action is to set up camp and wait for morning.  Knowing how to make a shelter or bringing a tarp to make a simple tent can make a big difference when temperatures drop at night.

3.       Hike in the morning or the evening, when temperatures are cooler.  This will lessen the amount of water you may need to bring with you, and it will lessen the chances of getting overheated, heat stroke or sunburn.

4.       Make a trip plan.  Leave something behind for your family members that say where you’re going, who you’re with when you’re leaving and coming back, and emergency instructions.  If something happens and they don’t hear from you when you’re expected back, they have a course of action and a place to start looking for you.

5.       Check the weather forecast and dress accordingly. Layers are always a good option, as they give you options to deal with changing weather conditions.

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6.       Pay attention to your surroundings.  Be aware of loose footing on the trail, cliffs or overhangs that you could fall off of, or other hazards that you could encounter.  Make a note of what’s around you, so that if you get lost you have good landmarks to refer to.

7.       Retrace your steps if you get lost.  While it may be tempting to just keep going, the best thing to do is try to get back to an area that is familiar.

8.       Know your local hazards, including plants and animals.  Be on the lookout for toxic plants such as poison oak or ivy, and give them the appropriate wide berth they deserve.  Likewise, it’s always good to know what kind of animals live where you’ll be hiking.  Bears, mountain lions, and rattlesnakes can all be potentially deadly, and knowing how to avoid them is very important, particularly if you’re going to be hiking in more remote locations.

9.       Know basic first aid.  Knowing how to stop bleeding and dress wounds can save your life if you’re unable to get medical attention right away.

10.   Bring a GPS along.  Even though it may not help you navigate the trails, it can point you in the right direction to head back to your car if you get lost.

Back to School Safety

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Back to school season is around the corner, and so it’s a good time to review some school safety tips!

  1. Contact Information- Make sure that your children know how to get ahold of you in case there are any problems!  Be sure they know your phone numbers (home, cell, and work) and home address.  Teach them when and how to call 911.  Provide them with an emergency contact number as well, such as a trusted neighbor or family member, in case they are unable to get ahold of you.
  2. School Route- No matter how your child gets to school, it’s always a good idea to review the route beforehand.  Look for potential hazards that they may encounter- is there construction on part of the sidewalk they’ll be travelling?  Tripping or falling hazards?  If they walk or bike to school, make sure they understand traffic rules.
  3. Phone Safety- When your child is walking, teach them to follow this rule: heads up, phones down!  Walking and texting, in particular, can lead to injury.  Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  4. Computer Safety- Computers are a great tool for students- but they can also harbor risks to your children’s safety.  Talk to your children about how strangers on the internet can be as equally dangerous as strangers on the street.  Teach them to keep personal information private, not only passwords but any identifying information such as their last names, phone numbers, address, or where they go to school.
  5. Backpack and Personal Item Safety- Provide your child with a backpack lock, and make sure any devices they take to school have password protection.  Make sure your children are aware that not everyone is honest- keep an eye on personal belongings and don’t leave them somewhere where someone will rummage through their belongings.
  6. Personal Safety- Unfortunately, even though your child may have a good sense of safety with the world around them, bullies and peer pressure can be unexpected psychological hazards that they may encounter at school.  Talk to your children about bullying, and discuss coping methods that keep both your child and the potential bully safe.  If being bullied, make sure your child understands that it’s ok to tell and adult and to keep calm in the situation.  Get to know your child’s friends so you have some insight into the influence they may have over your children.  Start talking to your kids at an early age about setting good personal boundaries, and that it’s ok to say “no”.
  7. After School Safety- Make an after school plan for your kids.  Have them check in with an adult as soon as they come home; if they are going to be home alone, make sure there is a back-up plan in case they lose their house key.  Have a strict plan in place for which friends (if any) are allowed when your kids are home alone.  Make sure they know all emergency contact info.Wishing you and your kids a very safe and happy school year!

Summer Barbecue Safety

man-people-boy-grill-grilling-bbq-barbecueWe bet you’ve been doing a lot of barbecuing this summer and plan to do a lot more. We want to make sure you and your family are safe at all times by reminding you about some really simple, but often overlooked safety rules when entertaining and cooking for your friends and family.

 

 

 

  1. CLEAN: Keeping your grill clean can prevent grease fires and other dangers. 
  2. DISTANCE: Keep the bbq or any source of flame far away from the house or anything else that could potentially catch on fire. Be more aware of what’s being stored near the BBQ area. 
  3. STABILITY: Make sure the BBQ is stable and all legs are firmly touching the ground. Get yourself a mat or non-slip pad that is BBQ safe for underneath, to keep things in place. 
  4. EXTINGUISH: Is there a hose nearby? What about a fire extinguisher? Be prepared for the worst. No one wants to be that guy/girl that goes into panic mode when the entire neighborhood is at your house. 
  5. BE PRESENT: Do not leave a grill unattended. Need to grab a beer or chat with a friend really quickly? Ask someone to watch the grill while you’re away. 
  6. DOUBLE CHECK: Did you turn the gas off? All the way? If you’re using coals, make sure they are out completely before you put the BBQ away. 

Interested In A Career In Private Security?

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Have you ever considered a position in private security? There are some misconceptions about what a private security guard does on a day to day basis that Weinstein Security would like to clear up.

There are two types of security guards: Armed, and Unarmed.  When an applicant is searching for a security job, it’s important for them to discover in the interview and research process which type of security the company is providing.  Not all security companies require aggressive techniques.  Many only want the officer to observe and report.

Weinstein Security employs unarmed guards.  Although they are allowed to make citizens’ arrests just like any other citizen, our company focuses more on providing services to clients that prefer our security officers to use common sense and verbal techniques to politely guide the public and to offer assistance in making sure the rules and regulations of the business and property they are protecting be followed.

Being a security officer isn’t as scary as you might think.  It is nothing like being a cop and most of the work involves greeting people and politely but sternly asking them to leave the premises during non-business hours.  Your job as a security officer is not to chase people or act aggressive towards anyone.  You are not expected to take any self-defense classes and you do not carry weapons.  If you do see a burglary or a criminal act, it is your job to call the police and not engage.  It is a low stress job where you are by yourself most of the time.

This is a job for someone who enjoys being alone without being micromanaged.  The sites that we send our guards to are also very safe.  In construction zones you are expected to give friendly reminders to people not to trespass.  Night shifts at places like car dealerships, wineries, or strip malls involve either walking around or driving in a car around the premises.  Some competitors send their security guards to the same location every day, we on the other hand send our guards to different locations if you want a change of pace.

If you believe that being a security officer is a good fit for you then please contact us. Weinstein Security is hiring for Security Guard Services in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino and Marin Counties.