How do you know if you need new tires on your car?

  1. Everyone knows that car tires need to be replaced at some point. If you do not replace the tires on your vehicle when necessary, you will find that your car does not handle as it should. You could also be putting yourself, and any passengers you may have, in danger. The problem is that not everyone knows how to tell if the tires on their car need to be replaced.
  2. The big brand models, such as Goodyear tyres, are hard wearing, but you still need to buy new ones at some point, so when should you do this?

Examining the tread on tires

It’s important to examine the tread on your car’s tires on a regular basis; once a month, or more often if possible. If the tread is less than 1.6mm in depth, then you need to buy a new tyre. If the tread is less than 1.5 mm in depth, it’s not legal to drive the car until the tyre is replaced. Not only is it illegal to drive a vehicle with severely worn tires, it’s also very dangerous. The tread helps to keep your car on the road. Once it wears away, you lose that ability to grip the road and you do not have the same level of control over the vehicle.

Checking the sidewalls of tyres

The sidewall of a tire is prone to damage; after all it can take a lot of punishment. There should not be any significant damage to the sidewall, such as bulges, cuts or cracks. If any of these are present, the tire has to be replaced. You may be able to see this type of damage, if it’s obvious. However, there could be damage to the sidewall that is not immediately recognizable but which could be dangerous. If you hit an object hard, such as when you reverse into a curb, there could be internal damage to the tire. For your own peace of mind, it often pays to have the tires on your car checked by a professional, if you have any doubts.

Protecting your tires

If you spot any of the signs we have discussed, it’s time to get the tires on your car replaced. You can make sure that this happens as infrequently as possible be taking certain steps:

  • Keep tire pressures at the recommended level.
  • Drive at or under the speed limit.
  • Keep braking to a minimum; only do so when necessary.
  • Make sure that the wheels of your vehicle are correctly aligned and balanced.

All of these measures can help you preserve the condition of car tires for as long as possible. Make sure that you keep a careful check on the tires, so that you can see when their condition is deteriorating and when they need to be replaced. Doing so helps you to continue to drive safely and legally.

Four Safety Tips to Follow before Leaving the House

away from home

You want to always leave the house with a sense of peace knowing everything is in order even when you are away. Whether you’re off to work or embarking on a summer adventure to a faraway island, check this list of four safety tips before you step out of your home:

 

Make Sure You Have Your Keys

 

Your house keys are probably one of the most misplaced items you own. You don’t want to get locked out of your own home, so it’s best that you double-check that you got your keys with you at all times. A simple hack for making sure you do not forget your house keys is to keep them in one dedicated spot, like a decorative tray or bowl set in a place that’s accessible to you. Make it a habit to toss your key into this designated corner as soon as you get home so you’ll always know where to find it. Also this trick makes it easy for you to grab your keys and go when you’re rushing out the door.  If worst case scenario comes that you really can’t remember where you last placed your keys, calling a locksmith or using some nifty lock picking tools will be your friend.

 

Turn Off the Plumbing

 

This tip will depend on how long you are staying out of the house and if you have any household appliances that require your plumbing system to be constantly turned on like automatic sprinklers. Otherwise if you are going out of town for a couple of days then you should turn off the main shut-off valve of your home’s plumbing because, among other things, water pressure could unexpectedly surge while you’re gone. You want to keep your water bill under control while you are gone. This will also ensure your different toilet fixtures from your sink to your high quality macerating toilet to be in tiptop condition when you get back. If you will be gone for a few months, request a friend or house-sitter to turn on the water at least once a month to prevent plumbing fixtures from drying up or cracking.

 

Make Sure Your Pets Are Taken Care Of

 

It can be quite tricky to go on extended vacations if you have a pet at home. Still you can make arrangements with friends or neighbors to help you care for your fur babies while you are gone. Ask a friend to watch over your pooch or feline in the meantime. You can either leave your pets at your friend’s house or ask the pet-sitter to drop by your home every day. Either way make sure you leave behind a good supply of dog food or cat food and any special vitamins your furry friend is taking. Also, make sure to leave the contact details of your pet’s vet so your friend can easily contact them in case of medical emergencies.

 

Put Your Mail and Print Subscriptions on Hold

 

This tip will also depend on how long you will be gone. If you will be out of the house for weeks then you should contact the post office and request them to hold your mail. Do the same for newspaper or any magazine subscriptions that you have. Doing this could save you money and prevent any important mail or packages from getting lost. Last but not the least, this will also keep deliveries from piling on the front door and making it apparent that you are out of the house which can be a very tempting sight for burglars.

Tips to Increase Your Child’s Safety in the Car

Having a child no longer means you have to be tied at home until he or she is able to take care of themselves in various situations. Nowadays you and the new baby can enjoy a trip, you can have a nice family day outside in the park, or you can simply take them grocery shopping.

All these are possible because we now have safer cars, better roads, and ways to make sure the baby will be safe in the car. Here is where the car seat comes in, and even though some adults don’t seem to believe its amazing powers, this device will make your life easier.

This is true because the baby is securely strapped in the seat, which is tightly attached to the car’s regular seat, creating a protective cocoon from which your vivacious kid can’t escape by mistake. Furthermore, the seat will protect your fragile child in the case of an accident, keeping their head, neck and spine in alignment.

These aspects are very important, especially for a baby, and you can learn more about how a special car seat can protect your beloved children by taking a look at this amazingly detailed infographic below:

car seat info

Summer Safety Must-Haves for Children!

Getting ready for summer travel? You’ll want to know about these items to help keep the kids healthy and ouch-free.

BugBand Be Prepared Kit
www.bugband.net

BugBand Insect Repellent Wristbands and BugBand Towelettes have been combined in a unique insect repellent kit, perfect for your child heading off to summer camp or enjoying outdoor activities! Licensed by the Boy Scouts of America through their prestigious “Be Prepared” Brand, BugBand has combined the long-lasting power of their Insect Repelling Wristbands with the potent heavy-duty protection of BugBand Towelettes in one kit. Perfect for weekend outings or summer camp, this DEET-Free Insect Repellent Kit has it all. http://www.bugband.net/guide_scouting.html

CUROXEN
www.curoxen.com

Cuts, scrapes and boo boos… with little ones, these are inevitable! Be prepared at all times by tucking CUROXEN into your first aid kit at home, or into your purse, diaper bag, or backpack while on-the-go! CUROXEN is a safe, organic, & natural wound cleaning product for your child’s cuts and scrapes that effectively kills bacteria. Providing a safer alternative to petrochemical and drug-based wound care that actually works, CUROXEN is made with just three ingredients you’ll recognize from nature, which include Olive Oil, Calendula, and Lavender Essential Oil. CUROXEN does NOT contain synthetic drugs, including antibiotics, petroleum-derived products, artificial chemicals, or silver.

For those who are careful about what we put into and onto our — and our children’s — bodies, CUROXEN’s ultrapure, ultrasafe formulation is a relief. All-natural and safe for adults, children and even pets, CUROXEN kills more than five times the amount of bacteria as its competitors. To learn more about CUROXEN, please visit www.curoxen.com.

 

BuddyPhones PLAY Headphones
www.buddyphones.com

With summer on the horizon, playing is top of mind! The NEW BuddyPhones PLAY Headphones were created to encourage safe play so that little ones can play, explore and learn without parents having to worry about their hearing safety. BuddyPhones PLAY headphones have four distinct safe listening modes for different listening needs to minimize the risk of noise-induced hearing loss, including Toddler Mode, Kids Mode, Travel Mode, and StudyMode. Like all BuddyPhones, PLAY are extremely durable, made from strong, sturdy materials and designed to last. The foldable headband is made of specially calibrated polypropylene so it can be bent and pulled without snapping. They can be fully adjusted to different sizes and are tailored to fit kids comfortably with pillow-soft hypoallergenic ear cushions for maximum coziness.

Adding to the fun is an option for kids to share a single device by connecting up to four headphones with the BuddyCable sharing system. This sharing capability minimizes the need for multiple devices and encourages kids to play together. Each BuddyPhones PLAY also comes with an extensive set of illustrated colorful stickers that give kids the opportunity to decorate the headphones themselves, encouraging creativity. The optional travel kit includes a protective hard case with a water-resistant zipper and an airplane plug that makes the BuddyPhones easy to transport. Learn more at www.onanoff.com and www.buddyphones.com.

Tips to help your kids be safe around electricity

Electricity is something that we all take for granted, and use on a regular basis. Every time we switch a light on, or turn on the TV, we are making use of this vital commodity. But, electricity can be dangerous as well as useful, so it’s important that we are careful around it, and that we also teach kids to take care.

If you want to be safe when using the electricity in your home, it’s a good idea to speak to Sydney electrical services  if you think there may be an issue, or simply to have checks carried out. Of course, you should also take certain precautions, such as not using appliances and switches when your hands are wet. One of the most important things you need to do, when it comes to the electricity in your home, is to make sure that your kids are safe around it. Here are some useful tips that you can give to your kids, to help with this.

 

  • Keep fingers away from power outlets

 

Although many power outlets are now designed in such a way that only a plug can be inserted into them, it’s still a good idea to tell a child to keep fingers away from outlets, and to remind them that light switches should only be used when hands are dry.

 

  • Do not put metal objects in the toaster

 

If you have small children, then it’s a good idea to make sure they are not within reach of electrical items such as a toaster if they are on their own. You should also tell kids of any age about the dangers of putting metal objects, such as a knife or fork, into a toaster.

 

  • Do not pull plugs out using the cord

 

This is something that lots of kids, and many adults, do. It’s dangerous because it can cause wires to become loose which can lead to electric shocks and can also be a fire hazard. It’s important to always grip the plug itself in order to pull it out of the socket.

 

  • Outside of the home

 

We have given you some tips to keep your kids safe around electricity in the home, but they also need to be aware of the potential dangers from electricity outside. You should tell them:

  • Do not climb near power cables.
  • Keep away from power cables that are broken and have fallen.
  • Keep away from substations.
  • Pay attention to electricity warning signs.

It’s important to make sure that your kids stay safe whether they are home or not.

Remember that you need to get the balance right, between warning your kids about the dangers of electricity, and scaring them. Electricity is useful, and usually safe if used in the right way. Make sure your kids know this, so that you do not end up terrifying them with a bunch of warnings, instead of helping them to understand the dangers and be safe and confident around electricity.

Is It Necessary To Filter All The Water In My House?

Did you know that the average person uses 1 gallon of water per day? This is for cooking, washing and for drinking. Generally, you will simply turn on your tap and assume that the water is safe to use and drink.

But, every so often you will hear about issues with the water and it will be enough for you to think twice about the water you are consuming. On solution is to start buying bottled water for drinking and just use your tap water for washing. But this can be an expensive solution and what happens when you need a drink and you’ve run out of bottled water?

The solution is to fit a sink water filter. This is not the same as a whole house filtration system and there is a good reason why.

The water board runs regular tests on the water they dispatch from the treatment works. It will be certified as safe to drink. However, they cannot know for certain if there are any contaminants between the treatment works and your home.  This means this water is safe to use but, at times, may not be safe to drink.

You can, of course, add chemicals to the water yourself and even boil it to make sure it is clean. However, this will increase your exposure to chemicals and may even give you health issues through over exposure.

It is much easier to fit a filter under your sink and have a dedicated tap on your work surface. The filter will remove debris and bacteria from the water, if there are any. You can even get filters which will reduce the hardness of the water or remove the salt associated with softening water!

You then simply drink and wash your food with the water from this tap. You know it is safe to use.

For all other things, including washing yourself and washing the dishes you can use the standard water. It is certified as clean and, even if bacteria have managed to get through, you will not be consuming any of it.

Assuming you wash in hot water the bacteria will be killed and will not be able to survive while you keep them in the cupboard.

The main benefit of using a water filter on your drinking water and not the whole house supply is cost. The filter you need will be smaller and very easy to fit. You will also not need to replace it very often.

If you fit it to the whole house, you will find hundreds of gallons of water being processed simply to go down the drain. You will simply be wasting money as the purpose of the filter is to provide clean water.

A water filter is a good idea but one in the kitchen, with a dedicated tap should be enough to supply your drinking and food preparation needs. The expense of adding a whole house filter is really not justifiable in the majority of cases.

Taking the Keys: What to Do When Your Parents Shouldn’t Drive

Maybe it seemed like a little thing at the time — Mom clipped the mailbox as she backed out of the driveway. Or Dad rear-ended the car in front of him at a stop sign. Just accidents, right? Could be. Or it could be a sign of something else.

If Mom and Dad have always been good drivers but suddenly start making mistakes, you’d better take a closer look before something awful happens. Driving safety blogger Alex Perdikis points out that because the elderly have frail bodies, they are more likely to die in minor accidents than younger people.

Your parents’ lives are at risk. Not only that, your parent’s poor driving could cause someone else’s injury or death. If it’s time for your parent to stop driving, you have to take charge now, not later. It’s not easy, but here’s how to start.

Plan Your Approach

The first step is to talk to Mom or Dad. Don’t go in like a tyrant demanding Mom or Dad hand you the keys. It’s likely your parents are already experiencing changes in their lives and giving up driving is going to be another loss. How would you feel if you weren’t able to drive and go where you wanted when you wanted? Put yourself in their place and realize this is going to be a life-changing and emotional event. Take into account Mom’s or Dad’s feelings.

Consider the problems they’ll face without the keys. How will Mom get to her doctor appointments? How will Dad get to his weekly card game? Before you sit down and talk with your parent, check out available alternative transportation options.  Perhaps Uber or Lyft is available? To test the service use a lyft discount code. Is there a reliable family member available to make sure Mom gets to her appointments? Check with the county — many offer transportation services for the elderly. Come up with working solutions before bringing the subject up. 

Choose a quiet and relaxed time to speak with your parent. Broach the subject gently and take your cue from the reaction. Begin with a question, such as “How are you doing with driving these days?” Your parent has probably already noticed changes. Still, Mom may not want to admit she has trouble these days. Dad may not believe it’s as bad as it is. Guide the conversation but remember: your parents are adults and unless incapacitated, they have the right to make their own decisions.

That’s all well and good if their skills aren’t too far gone. But what if they are? And what if they won’t give up the keys?

What to Do When Parents Won’t Quit

If your parent should not be driving and doesn’t come to the right decision on his or her own, it’s up to you. Taking the keys is risky, of course. Your parent may resent you for some time. But if innocent lives are at stake, you can’t stand by until something terrible happens. There are steps you can take, however, to solve the problem without losing the loving relationship you have. Here’s how:

  • Ask your parent’s doctor for help. The American Medical Association (AMA) encourages doctors to counsel patients about their driving and, when warranted, accept car keys when patients make the decision to quit driving. Adults tend to listen to their doctors and accept their recommendations over that of family member. Your parent’s optometrist or vision specialist may also be able to help.
  • Ask your parent’s best friend to help. A heart-to-heart with a best friend may be all your parent needs to do the right thing.
  • Check with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV): Many states require more frequent testing as drivers age. Some states allow concerned caregivers with sufficient supporting documentation to request vision, written and driving tests at any time. Inspectors review the documentation and when warranted, notify the driver in question that a new test is required.

Does Your Home Have a Damp Proof Course?

A damp proof course is one of those things that most of us probably won’t give much consideration.  It is a discreet little black line amid the bricks on the exterior of our home that works away without any effort and we ignore it.  Until something goes wrong and we find signs of damp in our homes – then we turn to see if the damp proof course or DPC is doing its job.  Or we may discover that we don’t even have a DPC in our homes at all.  So what are damp proof courses and how do you know if yours is working?

Damp proofing basics

Damp proofing is a general term used to describe measures taken within homes and businesses to combat the process of damp and associated conditions.  Damp proof companies will use a range of techniques and treatments to stop damp, prevent reoccurrence and deal with the conditions that occur due to damp such as black mold or dry rot.

There are several different types of damp that affect properties, with three being the most common – rising damp, penetrating damp and condensation.  The measures needed to deal with damp within a property depends on what type of damp is present and how it has gained a foothold in the property.

Damp protection

There are two main ways that damp proof companies will secure your property against damp problems – a damp proof course or DPC and a damp proof membrane or DPM.  The DPC is the most commonly used system and is the one that you can see as a thin black line in the brickwork of your home.

There are a few different types of DPC and some period properties may use older types that are no longer in use.  All have the same basic function – to stop water being absorbed through bricks and entering the interior of the property.  They do this by forming a water impermeable barrier that prevents the absorption and allows the water to simply evaporate naturally.

Damp proof membranes use a sheet of materials such as butyl rubber or polyethylene to create a barrier to stop the water.  The membrane is placed under a concrete floor to stop water seeping up through it then normal flooring is laid on top of this.

Sometimes the cause of damp doesn’t come from the ground but from the sky – penetrating damp is where rainwater is getting into the house and causing damp.  This isn’t associated with the DPC and will require a different course of action to deal with.

Dealing with damp

Unfortunately, most times you don’t realise that you don’t have adequate damp proofing on your property until you start the see the signs of damp in the house.  However, if you do spot any of the signs such as peeling wallpaper, tide or salt marks on walls or even black spots that indicate black mold, getting help quickly is important.

Damp proof companies can take a range of steps to deal with a failed DPC and to remove the damp from your home.  This will involve finding the source of the damp, stopping this weakness and then applying special coatings to walls and floors to make them waterproof.

Being damp free

Most homes will remain damp free and the DPC will continue to do its job.  But if you spot signs that you may have a damp problem or even want to have your DPC checked, then you can call an expert to conduct a survey and ensure that your home has no problems building up and remains damp free for years to come.