Sunday, December 6, 2015

What to do about blind spots?

18% of car accidents that occur on roadways take place during lane changes.  Blind sports are to blame for most of these accidents.

Blind spots are avoidable.  Newer cars have blind spot sensors and lane departure warning systems, but technology will not eliminate accidents, and not all cars have sensors. 

To reduce the possibility of accidents that arise from lane changes we have to minimize blind spots.  Three things can be done:

    1.  Properly adjust your mirrors.  Here is a great 4 step way to ensure minimum blind spots:

    2.  Blind spot mirrors.  They are extremely useful and extremely inexpensive.  A pair of blind spot mirrors cost anywhere from $2-$6.  There is no reason not to have blind spot mirrors.

    3.  Always check for blind spots.  Even with properly adjusted mirrors and blind spot mirror checking blind spots is a must.
Regular mirror does not show the new vehicle, but blind spot mirror does.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Easy things we should all do to prevent fires in residential structures.

Vermont Department of Public Safety, Division of Fire Safety comes up with an annual report that gives us valuable insight regarding fire and fire related issues.
Not surprisingly, the number one and number two leading causes of fire in residential structure are from heating and cooking.  Heating and cooking is responsible for 78% of all residential structural fires in 2014.

Accidents like these are unfortunate, at least to say.  No matter how many times we hear about a fire, the feeling of surprise, terror, and fear is there.  This, I think, is something we can all agree on.  But our actions don't seem to be align with this, maybe because human actions not always include reason and logic, maybe because we are too busy, maybe because we are not busy enough? 
Many, if not all, residential fires can be prevented, if we can do the following: 

1.  Clean your chimney regularly.  It's expensive, but not as expensive as dealing with fire loss.  (How many times chimney should be clean depends on few factors, talk to your professional chimney cleaner.)

2.  Have a fire extinguisher and know how to use it.  Try practicing and don't stop until you feel confident you can pull a trigger.  Every cooking fire can be prevented if fire extinguisher is readily available and used correctly. 

3.  Make sure your smoke and CO2 detectors are operational.  Use photoelectric type smoke detector as they are better at detecting smoldering fire.

This is not part of the fire safety report, but last month one of my clients had a big fire.  Fire was caused by a scented plug-in that was in a bathroom.  Fire Marshall/Fire Investigator told us that because the bathroom door was closed that prevented fire to rapidly spreading and gave enough time to fire department to respond.  Fire Marshall's exact words were "this little hollow door save the entire building, this is what saved your building."  When I got back home I threw away scented plug-in from our bathroom, and told my wife to always close the doors all rooms. 

An actual photo from the scene of a fire in an apartment.

Report is available for everyone:

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What should a Vermonter have in his or her car?

You all have probably seen it before, a list of things we are suppose to have in our car.  Of course it's good to know, but most of the time lists are full of obvious things, so putting another detailed list of what we should have and why we should have it seems silly and almost condescending.

But there is one item on the list of things we should have in our car that most of us don't have.

I am talking about a First Aid Kit.  I don't know why people don't have it, because we all know that having a First Aid Kit in a car is sexy.  Being prepared in general is sexy.  If you have ever been in Europe, you have probably noticed that every car has First Aid Kit, and in some countries it's required by law.  Emergency First Aid Kit is small, cheap, and a must have, so take time and buy one today.  Hopefully to never use it, but go ahead buy one anyway.
And now just for a good measure below is a list of all the things one should have in his or her car.
  • Windshield scrapper 
  • Extra windshield fluid
  • Phone charger
  • Jumper cables
  • Flashlight
  • Medications
  • Food and water
  • Tire pressure gauge 
  • Shovel
  • Cat litter
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Extra clothes
  • Blanket
  • Spare tire
  • Camera
  • Multitool, something that can cut through seat belt and break a window
  • Flares or reflective triangle-most people don't have it, but they should, because being prepared is sexy
  • Carrier pigeon to carry out your messages, in a case you don't have cell phone service.  Just kidding carrier pigeons are  extinct.  Once there were around 4-5 billion of them in the US, but discovery of telegraph and phone, made them obsolete.  Last carrier pigeon died in 1914.  We couldn't even keep like a million of them.
There are so many other things that you can have, but than you would be MacGyver and that you are not.  So use common sense and be prepared.

First Aid Kit, really a must have in every vehicle.

Carrier pigeon, would be cool to have, but we can't because they are extinct.