Holiday Traveling? Remember these travel tips!

In our last blog “Protect your Home for the Holidays” we discussed ways to ensure the safety of your home while you are away.  Today we want to discuss some important tips for not only Holiday Travel, but traveling year round.

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Air Travel – it’s convenient, faster and safer than road travel on most occasions but what are the best tips to remember for your safety when visiting airports of flying on a plane?

  • Never leave your luggage unattended at the airport! 
    Aside from the obvious threat of theft, there is also the possibility of something dangerous and/or illegal being added to your suitcase that you are unaware of.  If you do not have a travel buddy to watch over your luggage, keep it at your side at all times. Also, never let anyone other than airport staff handle your luggage for the same reasons.
  • Do not accept packages or watch over luggage for strangers.  
    While you may see a desperate person who requests your help for just a brief moment, do not fall for this.  I know that sounds harsh, but criminal masterminds know how to prey about the weaknesses of others.  What may appear to be a struggling mother trying to manage a child, could actually be a woman acting as such who’s carrying highly illegal or dangerous content and has chosen you as her scapegoat. Obviously, you want to be helpful and kind but you must also be smart.  Advise those who seem desperate for your help that you will help them find airport staff to handle their needs.
  • If you see abandoned luggage or packages at the airport do not touch it!
    Instead, leave it exactly where you found it and report it to the nearest airport employee for handling.
  • Airport and Airplane rules and restrictions exist for a reason.
    These are created based on history and experiences over time and are for your safety.  Be sure to listen to all announcements and follow any instructions provided as well as reading any instructions that are posted in the airport or on the plane.  It is best to visit the website of the airline you are using in advance of purchasing your ticket so that you can view their rules and regulations to be sure you are able to comply.
  • If you see suspicious activity report it immediately! 
    You should be able to recognize what is suspicious such as seeing a person leave a bag unattended or a person who vocalizes threats.  Do you remember our blog about practicing situational awareness? Read it again for some great tips on recognizing suspicious activity and potential threats!

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Road Travel – Sometimes it’s easier to hit the road and sometimes we just prefer a road trip.  We’ve shared some great driving safety tips and vehicle safety tips throughout the year that would apply to holiday travel as well as for your daily commute such as how to get a grip on road rage, the dangers of distracted driving and driving safely in inclement weather.  But here’s some more useful tips for the road ahead:

  • Have your vehicle inspected by a professional prior to a long road trip. 
    It is important that your tires are in good shape, your fluids are all fresh and at the proper levels, filters are clean and in working condition and all the mechanical parts that keep you safe are in proper working order such as brakes, belts, and more.  A professional will know best.
  • Have your trunk stocked with emergency preparations such as a spare tire in good condition, a jack and the tools you may need to change a tire as well as a good flash light, roadside flares or reflective flagging and jumper cables.  If you will be driving in an area that may have inclement weather such as sleet or snow be sure you also have a bag of kitty litter or sand on hand to help you with traction in the event you get stuck. If you’ve never driven in snow, be sure you not only have tire chains but also that you know how to use them. Also, if your tires are not all-weather or snow tires you should not drive in snow conditions.
  • You should always have a first aid kit in your vehicle! This is a must at any time but especially when traveling long distance.  You can create your own first aid kit or purchase one like this one sold on amazon.com. You can create your own just by viewing what pre-packaged ones include. Also, don’t forget to pack your prescription medications in your first aid kit!
  • Be sure to get plenty of rest prior to a long drive.  Do not rely on energy drinks, caffeine or energy supplements to combat being tired.  A full night’s rest prior to the journey is the safest bet. Statistically, tired or sleepy drivers cause the majority of accidents on the road during holidays.  If you find you are tired on the road, take a break from driving and get a nap at a safe location such as a roadside rest area.  Remember your safety is more important than any deadline.
  • Be sure to eat well before traveling and bring snacks.  Hunger can cause mood swings, disorientation and other issues.  Make stops along the way to snack as well.  Just as your vehicle needs fuel to proceed so does your body.
  • Stay hydrated! Have plenty of water on hand and keep yourself hydrated to avoid headaches and other health issues as well as tiredness.
  • Planning ahead is the best way to travel: 
    1) Research the traffic laws, speed limits and gas stations you will encounter along      your journey.
    2) Plan your stops for fueling, snacking and resting.  Some stops, of course, cannot be planned ahead but do all the planning you can in advance.
    3) Keep an eye on the weather conditions you will be encountering along the way and plan around them.
    4) Examine the facts about the cities you will be passing through – are they safe? Learn where you should and shouldn’t stop to fuel or break along the way and plan around this.
    5) Plan your driving time with breaks so that you don’t feel rushed or frustrated and you don’t end up not taking breaks when you should.
  • Know yourself & don’t push it! If you feel tired, frustrated, hungry or uncomfortable don’t ignore what your body is telling you and keep on driving.  We recommend you take a break every 2-3 hours to stretch your legs, relax and regroup along the way.  Do not drive on through your normal hours of rest.  Stay overnight at a hotel and keep your usual sleep schedule.

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Wishing you a Safe and Happy Holiday,
Close Range Safety Training Academy

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Protect your Home for the Holidays!

Wether you’re traveling this Holiday Season or simply going to work, this is the time of year when burglars strike most! 

Recent news reports have shown a spike in package theft and identity theft this season starting on Black Friday.

In our last blog we discussed protecting yourself from Identity Theft and online shopping safety.  If you haven’t read it yet, be sure to check it out here!

Here are some great tips to protect your home and property:

  • LOCK UP TIGHT 
    Even if you think you live in a safe, secluded neighborhood this time of year draws strangers to all areas who are seeking to steal packages, property, and even your identity by going through your mail and trash.  
    While you are likely to always lock the entry ways to your home, now is the time to be vigilant in checking all windows, doors and gateways are secured as well as making sure to always lock your vehicle. 
  • MAINTAIN YOUR PROPERTY
    Is your landscaping creating a safe haven for burglars to hide? Be sure to keep hedges and bushes trimmed back and visible from multiple angles.
    Be sure there are no ladders, equipment or firewood out in the open that can be used to aid burglars in breaking into your home. 
    Do not keep keys hidden outdoors.  
  • KEEP YOUR PROPERTY WELL LIT
    Burglars use the convenience of darkness to sneak around your property.  Keep your property well lit with motion sensitive lighting making sure they illuminate all angles of your property.  Motion lighting will save energy and only light up when movement is detected. 
  • BE MINDFUL OF YOUR TRASH
    What you throw away can make you a target for identity theft or burglars.  Never dispose of credit offers addressed to you, credit card bills, or any documents that provide your full name and additional personal info.  Gather such documents to belabimg_870_43966bb0a6b78657d0af5a5cb2a65afa.jpg shredded professionally at a local office supply store or using your own shredder if you have one. 
    Do not leave packages outside that clearly display product photos of expensive items such as TVs or computers recently purchased.  Break down these boxes and dispose of them away from your home.
  • MAKE YOUR HOME LOOK OCCUPIED
    If you will be away for a few days, be sure your home appears occupied by setting timers on lights and having a friend pick up your mail for you so that it doesn’t pile up. 
  • TAKE INVENTORY AND LABEL YOUR PROPERTIES
    This is something you should do on a regular basis: Make a video inventory of your valuables and email it to yourself.  Each time you add a valuable item to your household, take an additional video.  Make a detailed note of each item’s serial number, model number, and manufacturer as well. Include full descriptions of these items and dates of purchase. 
    Use an engraver to mark your valuables with your last name and telephone number. 
  • BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR
    If you spot suspicious activity at a neighbor’s home, be sure to call your local police department and advise them.  This not only helps your neighbors, but it also protects you by letting these people know neighborhood watch is in effect!

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The Close Range Safety Training Academy team wishes all of our friends and family a joyous and safe Holiday Season.  Thank you for joining us throughout the year for health and safety tips. Please be sure to stay with us in 2018 for more useful information and share it with your loved ones. 

Have a Safe & Happy Labor Day Weekend

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. Today Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers throughout the nation annually celebrating the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

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Throughout the year Close Range Safety Training Academy shares health and safety tips useful to our readers for all occasions.  Labor Day is, of course, no exception – so we’d like to send you some important refreshers on how to keep this holiday and any festive occasion both safe and fun for you and your loved ones!

If you’re celebrating outdoors, remember that it’s going to be a hot and sunny weekend so be sure to wear sunscreen and avoid heat related illness such as heatstroke. In our blog “Keep Summer Fun & Safe“, there are several tips to help you and your loved ones avoid the dangers of UV rays and our blog “Beat the Heat” discusses the dangers of exposure to extreme heat and how to play it safe!

Outdoor parties require planning to ensure a safe and good time is had by all! We shared the best way to plan your outdoor party in our blog “Backyard Bash Safety” at the beginning of this summer and we hope you have found it useful.  Even if you aren’t hosting a party, you can use the great tips in this blog as a guest too! And, it is even more important to keep safety in mind when there is a swimming pool on the property.  If youfamily-bbq2-768x512.jpg have a swimming pool or will be attending a party that has one, you want to be sure to read our blog “Swimming Safety for Children” and keep in mind that these rules can also apply to adults!

And before you fire up that grill, be sure you know the best ways to prepare your meat and grill by reading “Grilling Safety Tips” blog.

Sometimes, though, the best thing to do on a holiday weekend is to take a road trip or mini-vacation with your family! It’s a great time to bond, see and learn new things and enjoy your loved ones.  Statistics from the National Safety Council show that Labor Day Weekend is one of the busiest holidays on the freeways and highways of the US.

HERE ARE 5 IMPORTANT TIPS TO REMEMBER WHEN TAKING A ROAD TRIP:
CR-Cars-Hero-Road-tripping-families-Sienna-06-16.jpg1) Make sure your vehicle is in proper condition prior to hitting the road – check your lights, fluids, belts, hoses, breaks, and the condition of your tires and battery beforehand. If you are not sure what to check, seek professional help.
2) Plan your route ahead of time by checking weather and traffic conditions along your path. Be sure to bring a map because even though technology and GPS systems are very helpful there are occasions when the signal is lost or unavailable.
3) Follow the posted speed limits and remember congestion on the roads may mean you’ll have to travel below posted limits. Drive smart and avoid road rage and distracted driving.  If you encounter wet weather on your journey, use the tips in our blog “Driving in the Driving Rain” to stay safe.
4) Be sure you are well rested before going on a long drive and even if you want to push through, if your body tells you you are tired respect it and take a break!
5) Be prepared for emergencies by packing a first aid kit, water and medications in your vehicle.

And, if you do plan to get away for a few days, be sure to
Secure your home properly with these 5 important tips:
1) Avoid posting you will be/are away on social media – this is basically advertising your home is vacant.
2) Make sure all locks on doors and windows are secured before you exit.
3) Have someone you trust collect your mail and newspapers in your absence so these items do not pile up outside your home indicating you are away.
4) Have timers on your lights so that they turn off/on at the regular times you would use them – giving the impression you are there.
5) Never leave keys hidden outdoors for people to find or for your house-sitter to be seen accessing.

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Remember that Labor Day is not only a long weekend for you to enjoy, but also the time of year Americans celebrate the hard work that you and your fellow citizens do! Stay humble and stay grateful for your privilege to work in this great country we call home by treating those who serve you the way you want to be treated when you are at work!

Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend,
Your friends at Close Range Safety Training Academy

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