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Summer Travel Safety Tips

July 10, 2014

 

banff

Summer is upon us! If you’re like me, you’ll be taking at least one trip at some point in the next three months (Helena, Montana, here I come!). In 2012 59% of Americans and said they planned to travel at least once during the summer months, and in 2013 that number rose to 66%. With over half of us on the road or taking to the skies, staying in hotels, and eating in restaurants, we thought we’d share some safety trips for your vacation!

The last thing you want to think about while enjoying time away from the office is fire safety, but accidents do happen. Check out these tips to keep your family safe:

Hotels:

  • Try to stay in hotels with fire sprinklers and/or smoke detectors. Sprinklers are mandated for hotels in many American cities, but not hotel roomall. If you’re too embarrassed to ask when making the reservation, or trying to make reservations online, look in the pictures on the booking website. The hotel picture to the right was taken from a booking website and clearly shows a fire sprinkler in the living area.
  • Know where the nearest exits are. We’ve mentioned before that when an emergency happens people are most likely to exit through the same door they entered. Standing in the hallway outside your hotel room, locate the exits. If you’ve predetermined multiple exit routes you’ll be more likely to consider or use one of them if a fire should happen.
  • If a fire does happen, use the stairwell to exit the building.
  • Don’t hang things off of the fire sprinkler! To many people these seem like an excellent place to hang a coat or the suit you want to wear the next day. This can knock the sprinkler head off the pipe and set off the sprinkler head!
  • If you hear the fire alarm, exit the building. This may sound silly, but it seems to be a habit to call the front desk and tell them that the alarm is going off, rather than heeding its warning.

Driving:

  • If you plan to drive while overseas, be sure you have an International Driving Permit if it’s required.
  • Check your insurance! Most insurance will cover drivers in the US and Canada but not elsewhere. Find out if you need additional coverage when you go overseas or if you’re driving in Canada or Mexico.
  • Find out how your insurance and credit cards cover you if you have to rent a car. If your credit card does not have rental protection, consider buying the Collision Damage Waiver offered by most car rental places. Chances are you won’t need it, but if you do happen to get into an accident this, in most cases, will protect you from paying for the entire value of the car.
  • Don’t leave valuables visible in your car. This can be especially difficult if you’re leaving your car parked in the hotel parking lot overnight, but there’s no reason to give thieves extra incentive.
  • Buckle your seatbelts!
  • Never throw a lit cigarette out the car window. It’s amazing how many forest and brush fires are started by a carelessly discarded cigarette.

Overseas:

  • Notify your bank that you will be traveling. If random activity appears on your credit card they may put a hold on your account and leave you without access to money.
  • Have small amounts of cash on you in case you’re traveling somewhere where credit cards aren’t accepted or in the event that your credit cards are shut down or stolen.
  • Don’t keep large amounts of cash all in the same place! Hide your money in several places so if your luggage or wallet is stolen you’ll still have access to money to get you by until everything can be replaced.
  • Leave photocopies of your itinerary, flight and hotel information, credit cards, passport, etc. with a trusted family member or in a safe deposit box that a relative has access to. If you are stranded somewhere or your wallet and passport are stolen things will be replaced much faster if you have copies of all of the information.
  • Know where the nearest US Consulate or Embassy is. Once again, if the worst happens they will be your first and possibly best resource to help you recover information and get home.

 

Camping:

  • yellowstone

    Yellowstone National Park

    If you’ll be camping this summer be aware of fire danger levels and burn bans. Nearing the end of summer when grasses and forests dry out, campfires become much more of a fire safety issue.

  • Build campfires where they won’t spread – away from dry leaves and grasses.
  • Keep enough water nearby so you can completely douse your campfire before you leave. Also shovel dirt over it to help completely snuff the flames. Once you’ve put water on it and shoveled it, stir it again and add more water to it. You want to diffuse the heat and cool it off enough that it won’t reignite.
  • Never leave your campfire unattended.

 

Let’s face it, I write blogs all the time about how to be safe and cautious in your environment, but that doesn’t mean that I’m the annoying Safety Commandant when I’m vacationing with my family and friends (ok, maybe a little). By knowing a few simple hints and pieces of advice you can be safe in your situation and, equally as important, have fun!

 

Article by: Kristen Skinner

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