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.

 

An Emergency Safety Kit For Your Car

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Summer is approaching, which means, time for fun, which means time to spend countless hours in the car. Between swim lessons, road trips to see family, and day trips to the beach, you’re probably going to rack up a lot of family time hours in your vehicle. What happens if something goes wrong? Is your car prepared for the worst case scenario? 

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We’ve put together a list of tips and items to have ready in your car in case any season throws you a curve ball. 

Car Safety Tips:

  1. Water- Always have drinking water in your car. Store a container of water that is not plastic somewhere in your trunk. You never know where you might get stranded and how long you’re going to be there. 
  2. Knife- Keep a high quality knife somewhere safe and locked away, like in a glove compartment. A knife can help cut through clothing, cut open food containers, and more. 
  3. First Aid Kit- This one might seem obvious, but you would be surprised how many people don’t have this in their car.
  4. Matches and Lighters- You may find yourself in a situation where you’ll need to start a fire for warmth or to cook food. 
  5. Duct Tape- The list of uses for duct tape is endless, especially in an emergency. 
  6. Blanket/Sleeping Bag- Maybe a few if you have a family 
  7. Wipes/Toilet Paper
  8. List of important phone numbers- Cell phones die, chargers don’t work, and most of us don’t memorize important phone numbers anymore. 
  9. Cash- It’s always good to have a stash of cash somewhere hidden in your car. You never know when it might get you out of a jam. Plus if you forget cash for a bridge toll, you’re covered! 
  10. Jumper cables
  11. Spare tires
  12. Jack for tires
  13. Candles
  14. Battery powered radio and extra batteries
  15. Snacks that can’t go bad

There are many more items that could be added to this list for extra safety, but these are the essentials. Stay safe out there this summer! 

Festival Season Safety

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It’s that time of year! The weather is warming, the flowers are blooming, and festival season is here! Whether it’s a music festival, beer festival, or food festival, it’s important to remember some safety and security tips. Weinstein Security provides professional security guards throughout the North Bay to keep everyone safe at festivals, but we need your help as well. 

Festival Season Safety:

  1. Create a meet spot- Whether you’re attending with adults or kids, it’s always smart to create a “meet spot” where you know to go if someone in the group gets lost. When there are thousands of people gathered in one area, often cell service can fail, and phone batteries can die. We’ve all been there. So pick a spot! 
  2. Bring your own water bottle-Staying hydrated is a must during festival season and buying water at some of these events can become expensive! Most events provide water stations where you can fill up your own bottle with filtered water for free. 
  3. Drink responsibly- This is an easy one. We’ve all seen that guy or gal who’s had a little too much. Don’t be that guy or gal. 
  4. Bring hand sanitizer- Often at festivals, the bathrooms are less than sanitary and sometimes, hand washing stations are not provided. Keep in mind, you will probably be enjoying some festival food with your hands…so keep them clean!
  5. Ask for help- Do not be afraid to notify security when you see something. Unfortunately, violence, over intoxication and other safety risks happen all the time at festivals and are often not reported. If you, your friends, or someone you see is in danger, tell someone. 
  6. Have fun- Enjoy the weather, food and music!

Craigslist Safety Tips

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Police Departments have recently started offering safe zones in their parking lots for the purpose of sales transactions like buying and selling items on Craigslist. These safe zones are video monitored and are within the vicinity of the police department to make buyers and sellers feel safer when exchanging money with strangers. These safe zones wouldn’t be necessary if there hadn’t been cases where Craigslist users had experienced danger or been duped by scammers. Taking precaution when using services like Craigslist is necessary. 

Not all police departments are offering safe zones yet. In the meantime, we’ve put together a list of safety tips when using online resources like Craigslist to buy and sell items. 

  1. Meet in a public- This may be the most obvious safety tip, however, more often than not, people still invite strangers to their home to buy and sell items, especially furniture. No one wants to load a heavy dresser into a truck and drive it to a local coffee shop, only to find out that the buyer isn’t interested once they’ve seen it in person. But is the convenience worth the safety risk? There are plenty of other public places that are video monitored, like big box store parking lots and quickie-mart parking lots. And remember to take well-lit, accurate photos so that potential buyers don’t feel mislead when they see the item in person.
  2. Bring a buddy- This tip is especially important when selling high value items, like cars and jewelry. Bring a family member or a friend with you when meeting someone in a public place. A criminal is less likely to attempt to harm you if you’re not alone.
  3. Tell someone where you’re going- This is not an alternative to bringing a buddy. Bring a buddy AND tell someone else where you will be going, and the name of the person you are going to be meeting. Should something happen to both you and your buddy, someone else knows where you were and who you were supposed to be with.
  4. Only exchange money and goods in person- Never wire funds, or accept payment online. Do not trust that a seller will ship your item to you. Shop within your local neighborhood Craigslist so that there is no reason a seller can’t meet you with the item in person.
  5. Trust your gut- This may be the most important tip of all. Everyone knows the feeling you get when you feel like you may be in danger. Listen to that feeling. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. The worst thing that can happen is that your gut was wrong and you missed out on a sale. Your safety is more important.

How To Use Your Cell Phone As A Safety Tool

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We use our phones every day for countless tasks, but have you ever considered your cell phone to be a safety tool in case of emergencies? Follow the tips below, and your cell phone may one day, save your life.

Use Your Cell Camera For More Than Just Selfies:

  1. Photograph your wallet: Take photos of you ID, primary credit cards, and a shot of your open wallet so that you can report what’s missing if your wallet gets stolen. Keep all the photos stores in a “Locker” app that is password protected.
  2. Photograph your pet’s ID tags: In case they go missing and you’re in a rush to find their ID numbers or microchip numbers
  3. Photograph your children in the clothes they will be wearing when going to crowded like places like amusement parks and sporting events so that you have an accurate photo of them in case they go missing.
  4. Photograph your “In Case Of Emergency” info and have your kids and spouses set it as their home screens on their phones.
  5. Photograph your medications and doctor’s prescription. This can come in handy if you lose your meds when you are away from your home town.

Save yourself valuable minutes during an emergency or time sensitive situation and have the following phone numbers stored in your cell:

  1. Your ICE (In case of emergency) numbers (Husband, Wife, Mother, Father)
  2. Local Fire Dept., Police Dept., Water & Power Companies
  3. Poison Control
  4. Local hospitals
  5. Next door neighbors
  6. Insurance Agents 
  7. Animal Control.