Chemical Hazard Symbols

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) began requiring chemical manufacturers to label dangerous materials with warning pictograms in June of 2015. The standard helps decrease the risk of injuries, illnesses and accidents caused by exposure to certain chemicals.

OSHA’s standard follows guidelines set by the United Nations. The United Nations established the international system of pictograms to identify chemical hazards, known as the “Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals” (GHS) standards. This system includes distinct visual symbols assigned to each type of risk.

Upholding GHS Standards

Chemical manufacturers are required to make sure any container holding these substances is properly labeled. They must also prepare safety data sheets and provide training. By using the GHS standards, employers and workers can see and understand the same set of hazard labels in different businesses and industries.

According to OSHA, requiring this standard should help “prevent over 500 workplaces injuries and illnesses and 43 fatalities annually.” With a white background, red border and chemical hazard classification, the labels are easy to recognize. Now workers employed at chemical manufacturing companies and employers utilizing certain chemicals can quickly identify risks associated with specific substances.

9 Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) Pictograms

Health Hazard – The health hazard pictogram features a silhouette of a person with respiratory obstructions. It is used for chemicals that can cause cancer, genetic defects, respiratory irritation, reproductive toxicity, organ toxicity and aspiration toxicity. While some hazards relate more to the environment, this pictogram relates to danger to human health. For example, people working in metal production and metal fabrication industries often deal with toxic materials that must include this label.

Flame Sign – The flame sign features a silhouette of a fire flame. It is used to label chemicals that are flammable, self-heating, self-reacting, pyrophoric, contain organic peroxides and emit flammable gas. Work environments ranging from power plants to pharmaceutical companies may house chemical products with this label.

Exclamation Mark – This warning symbol is a simple exclamation mark. It is used for skin and eye irritants, narcotic effects, respiratory tract irritation and acute toxicity. Items with this label require proper storage and handling processes. Workers in electronics, engineering, and construction industries are often at risk for occupational skin diseases from materials with this label.

Corrosion – The corrosion symbol shows chemical vials pouring substances on metal and a hand. The corrosion pictogram distinguishes substances that make cause eye damage and burns. It is also used for substances that destroy metals. People may encounter corrosive substances in oil and gas refineries.

Exploding Bomb – This label features a fragmented circle representing a bomb explosion. It can be used on solids and liquids which are capable of causing damage to the surroundings. These explosive materials may be self-reactive (causing fires without reacting to air), organic peroxides (reacting to heat). Jobs in mining, quarrying, demolition, construction and firefighting may expose workers to these hazards.

Gas Cylinder – This symbol looks like a sideways bottle. It is used for substances that are compressed, liquefied or dissolved gas under pressure. The hazard pressure is set as 29 pounds per square inch or more. Cylinders can become uncontrolled rockets and may contain reactive substances. These types of chemicals are often found in the oil, marine and space industries.

Flame Over Circle – This symbol features an “O”, which stands for “oxygen” with a flame above it. It is used to label oxidizers, which can cause fires by increasing the concentration of oxygen in the air. Workers in the automotive industry and textile plants may encounter these types of substances. Proper storage and handling helps reduce this risk.

Environmental Hazard – The environmental hazard pictogram shows a tree next to a dead fish. It designates aquatic toxicity, which is passed through exposure to water. It can refer to harmful chemicals that may damage human health as well as fish, invertebrates and plants. These risks may be seen in places such as the wastewater management industry and disposal of farming and agriculture chemicals, among other places.

Skull and Crossbones – This symbol, commonly associated with poisonous substances, is used to designate substances with the potential for acute toxicity. With these chemicals, even exposure to a single dose can be toxic or fatal. Exposure can occur through inhalation, swallowing or skin contact. Manufacturers of chemicals and pharmaceuticals, as well as farming industries, may be in places where this label would be placed on substances.

Preventing Exposure

Workers should always check labels which will alert them of specific risks. If less hazardous materials are available, those should be used first. Storage, safe handling, contamination prevention, and external conditions can be major factors in preventing chemical reactions and physical exposure.

Understanding the health hazards, special instructions and emergency procedures can help prevent severe injuries and illnesses, and fatal accidents. Workplace safety signs also include helpful information such as a Signal Word, Substance Name, Hazard Statement and Precautionary Statement. GHS chemical signs can include multiple pictograms, depending on the substance hazards.

 

Related Posts:

References:

  1. OSHA HCS Fact Sheet
  2. OSHA Pictograms
  3. Pictogram Training Sheet

 

2020 Presidential Campaign Dates

Interracial Group of People Waving Small American Flags

[UPDATED: 9/13/19]

Election Dates

The right to vote is an integral element to the United States electoral system. With the 2020 Presidential election rapidly approaching, it is imperative to follow along if you plan on participating. Throughout the next year, there will be many important dates and events to remember in order for you to exercise your right to vote. Passionate support for a candidate is well and good, but making an informed decision on who you vote for is important on guiding the direction of your town, county, state, and country.

We have aggregated major 2020 campaign dates to ensure that you to stay updated during the election season.

2019 Dates

While the elections aren’t until November 2020, the campaign trail starts in 2019. The Democratic Party has already held two debates, and there are plans for additional debates before the end of the year.

As of now, Sept. 3, 2019, the Republican Party has not scheduled any debates.

Democratic Debate Schedule

  • June 26-27
  • Candidates addressed a variety of topics and their involvement from Medicare for All, environmental dangers, and geopolitical issues. NBC hosted the debates on their networks.¹

    Watch the full debates on NBC’s YouTube channel here and here.

  • July 30-31
  • Candidates addressed healthcare and immigration primarily. CNN hosted the debates.²

    Full transcripts of the debates can be found on NBC’s site here and here.

  • September 12
  • Candidates primarily debated over healthcare. However, they also touched on foreign relations and pulling forces out of Afghanistan. ABC and Univision aired the most recent Democratic debate.4

    You can read the full transcript of the third Democratic debate on ABC’s website or watch the debate on ABC’s YouTube Channel.

  • October 15-16
  • The October debates are scheduled for the 15th and may run over into the 16th.

  • November: TBA
  • December: TBA

2020 Dates

Zoomed in Portion of the American Flag

Most of the election cycle will take place over the course of 2020. From February until November, candidates will campaign across the country in bids to gain traction over their opponents.

The first part of the season, and by far the largest, will be the states holding primaries or caucuses.

Primary or Caucus?

What is the difference between primaries and caucuses? The difference between the two can be confusing as they accomplish the same goal; they determine which candidates will run for the presidency.

Caucuses are localized meetings where registered voters gather to elect delegates who will attend conventions to elect political candidates. Typically, attendees may only attend caucuses that are held by their registered party.

Primaries are statewide voting processes that allow voters to directly choose their preferred candidate. Registered voters submit secret ballots for their chosen candidate which are then tallied. There are two types of primary; Open Primaries and Closed Primaries. In an open primary, an individual may cast a vote for any valid candidate no matter their registered party, and in a closed primary, votes may only be submitted for candidates within an individual’s party.³

Primary & Caucus Dates

The primaries and caucuses held across the country are scheduled ahead of time for voters to prepare and educate themselves on the potential candidates.

Click here for a full list of primary and caucus dates by state and territory.

Party Conventions

Once the primaries and caucuses have ended, the Democratic and Republican parties will hold conventions. These conventions are held to announce the official presidential candidates from each party. The nominations will be announced here and the last few months of campaigning will begin.

Convention Dates:

  • Democratic National Convention: July 13-16, 2020
  • Republican National Convention: August 24-27, 2020

Voting Reminders

Word Board Reads "Voting Day," "I Voted" Stickers Next to Sign

Election day is November 3rd, 2020. In order for you to exercise your right to vote, you will need to register. Each state has its own laws concerning registration deadlines, so be sure you check to see if you are registered or how to register with a site like Vote.org.

Also check to see if your state has early voting procedures or vote by mail options. Military service members and spouses have the option to participate in absentee voting if they are stationed away from their residence.

Yard Sign featuring the Seal of the President of the United States, Text Reads "2020 Presidential Candidates"Find out where your closest polling station is and make sure it is within your precinct, and help others find your station with directional yard signs. You will be assigned a polling station based on your address, so you will need to go there in order to cast your ballot. If you go to a different station, you will not be listed and not allowed to vote.

Inauguration Day

Inauguration day for the 2020 elections is January 20, 2021. This will mark the start of the new or continued administration based on the results from the election.

 

CustomSigns.com is your destination for all of your election and political signage. Find proposition signs, signs for local elections, signs by presidential candidate, and more.

Get Out the Vote, Shop Political Signs, Get 20% Off Next Order with Code VOTE2020, Vote Sign on Lawn in Front of House

We will update this post when new information becomes available.

Primary & Caucus Dates

NOTE: Many of these dates are still subject to change.

Month Date State & Type
February 3rd Iowa caucuses
11th New Hampshire primaries
15th South Carolina Republican primary
22nd Nevada Democratic caucuses
25th Nevada Republican caucuses
29th South Carolina Democratic primary
March 3rd Alabama Primaries
Alaska Republican conventions
American Samoa Democratic caucus
Arkansas primaries
California primaries
Colorado primaries
Massachusetts primaries
Minnesota primaries
North Carolina primaries
Oklahoma primaries
Tennessee primaries
Texas primaries
Utah primaries
Vermont primaries
Virginia primaries
Democrats Abroad primaries
Maine primaries
7th Kansas Republican caucuses
Kentucky Republican caucuses
Lousiana primaries
8th Puerto Rico Republican primary
10th Hawaii Republican caucuses
Idaho primaries
Michigan primaries
Mississippi primaries
Missouri primaries
North Dakota Democratic caucuses
Washington primaries
12th Virgin Islands Republican caucus
14th District of Columbia Republican convention
Guam Republican caucus
Northern Marianas Democratic convention
Wyoming Republican conventions
17th Arizona primaries
Florida primaries
Illinois primaries
Ohio primaries
Northern Marianas Republican convention
24th Georgia primaries
American Samoa Republican caucus
N/A Wyoming Democratic caucuses
April 3rd-5th North Dakota Republican state convention
4th Alaska Democratic primary
Hawaii Democratic primary
7th Wisconsin primaries
21st New York Republican primary
28th New York Democratic primary
Connecticut primaries
Delaware primaries
Maryland primaries
Pennsylvania primaries
Rhode Island primaries
May 2nd Kansas Democratic primary
Guam Democratic caucus
5th Indiana primaries
12th Nebraska primaries
West Virginia primaries
19th Kentucky Democratic primary
Oregon primaries
June 2nd Montana primaries
New Jersey primaries
New Mexico primaries
South Dakota primaries
6th Virgin Islands Democratic caucuses
7th Puerto Rico Democratic primary
16th District of Columbia Democratic primary

References:

  1. Ballotpedia – June 2019 Democratic Debates
  2. Ballotpedia – July 2019 Democratic Debates
  3. FactCheck
  4. Ballotpedia – September 2019 Democratic Debates

Loitering: What is it? How Can You Stop It?

Loitering is not easy to define or to control. It is important to understand what constitutes loitering and how you can prevent it from leading to criminal activity on your property. You have likely seen no loitering signs posted in store windows, but what exactly is loitering?

What is loitering?

Warning No Loitering Sign

To loiter, or prowl, means to remain idle in a public place for a protracted time without any apparent purpose. The legal definition of loitering can vary by state, and can also include wearing masks or disguises in public. The essence of loitering is that an individual is engaged in suspicious behavior that causes justifiable concern that a crime will be committed against a person or property.¹

Examples of loitering

Loitering ordinances and statutes enable law enforcement to cut down on crimes such as prostitution, solicitation, panhandling, begging, drug dealing and other illegal acts. Standing outside of a business for a prolonged period of time is not in itself a punishable crime in most places, but is often known to be associated with illegal acts. However, if a business has a visible no loitering sign posted, police can take action against loiterers without other cause.²

Loitering laws give police the right to disperse suspicious or potentially dangerous crowds. The enforcement of loitering ordinances has been met with much controversy over the years.

Is loitering a felony?

Loitering is a subjective offense. In some places, loitering is a crime in and of itself. In other places, police must observe criminal behavior before they can confront a suspected person.

Loitering is most commonly a city or town ordinance, not state law.

Why is loitering an issue?

Loitering is a vague and subjective act and is difficult to punish. Business owners, schools, public spaces and venues often post no loitering signs to help prevent loitering that can lead to criminal behavior. If a person or group of people stands outside of a convenience store late at night, for a prolonged period, they may be suspected of selling drugs, begging, panhandling and more. If not dispersed, loiterers can also grow to become a disorderly or violent crowd.

Moreover, loiterers can deter other customers. When stagnant individuals or large crowds convene around a store entrance, for example, they can make incoming customers feel unsafe. In this case, the store owner may contact police to have the loiterers removed. A business owner, and the police, have grounds to disperse loiterers when there is a visible no loitering sign posted.

How can loitering be prevented/avoided?

There are a few simple steps you can take to reduce the chance of loitering on your public property.

1. Install a security camera and post a surveillance sign.

When people see that your building is under surveillance, they’re much less likely to stick around unnecessarily.

2. Perform regular maintenance and upkeep to your building, parking lot and entrance.

A well maintained commercial property helps deter loiterers. Unruly crowds, graffiti artists, skateboarders, drug dealers and other individuals are likely to avoid well maintained areas due to the heightened chance of police presence. Keep your parking lot free of trash, broken glass and debris. Provide adequate lighting at night and ensure all signage is in maintained and working order.

3. Provide trash and recycling receptacles inside and outside your building

Give people adequate opportunity to properly dispose of waste. This will help cut down on litter, and will let passersby know your business is under watch. There are many recycling signs to choose from that will help reduce litter and support your effort to go green.

4. Remove graffiti and vandalism quickly

If graffiti is painted on your building or in your parking lot, remove it within 24 hours if possible. Walk your business grounds daily to ensure signs, light fixtures and windows are secure and not broken. A well-maintained building lets people know you keep an eye on your property and that police will be contacted in the case of trespassing, loitering or vandalism.

5. Deter overnight loitering by eliminating potential sleeping areas

Closed Sign Hanging on a Glass Window Door

Unfortunately, transient individuals have no place to call home. They may resort to sleeping on commercial property, and if you’re concerned with overnight loitering on your business grounds, you’ll want to reduce potential sleeping areas. You can do this by locking public restrooms at night, planting thorny bushes, installing dividers or arm rests on benches or by installing gates that are locked after hours.

6. Play loud music or distracting sounds

There are also more unconventional but effective ways to reduce loitering. Many store owners have used music or annoying sounds to disperse crowds. A 7-Eleven owner in Modesto, California, for example, started blasting classical music and operas outside of his store.³

Loud music makes it harder for people to stand around, gossip and cause trouble. Annoying buzzing or screeching sounds can also be used. Store owners can turn these on and off as needed, which reduces the danger of them asking loiterers to leave their property.4

Order No Loitering Signs and Other Property Signs Online

First and foremost, to let customers and passersby know that the shop owner does not condone loitering, vandalism or trespassing, signs must be posted. A posted sign provides the initial warning that certain acts will not be tolerated, and gives the business owner grounds to call law enforcement if a person or group of people refuses to leave the property.

CustomSigns.com offers hundreds of templates that can be ordered as is, or customized to your needs. Shop all property signs here.

Read more about:
How to prevent soliciting
Which solicitors to look out for after storms and natural disasters

Sources:
1. https://www.husseinandwebber.com/crimes/public-order-obstruction/loitering-and-prowling/
2. https://legaldictionary.net/loitering
3. https://nypost.com/2018/04/30/this-7-eleven-has-a-unique-way-to-stop-loitering-panhandling/
4. https://www.universalsiteservices.com/how-to-discourage-loitering/

Stop Solicitors After the Storm

Lightning and a Tornado Strike Down on a Rural Hillside, Buildings dot the Landscape

Natural Disasters & Solicitors

Table of Contents
Natural Disasters by Region
West Region
Southwest Region
Midwest Region
Northeast Region
Southeast Region
Solicitors to Beware Of
Contractors
Insurance Agents
Soliciting Permits
References

Protecting yourself and your finances following a natural disaster is an integral step in recovering. However, there are those individuals that seek to take advantage of victims of catastrophes in order to make a quick buck. Keeping an eye out for and understanding how solicitors, both legitimate and fraudulent, operate in the wake of a severe storm, fire, earthquake, flood, or other disaster can help you maintain peace of mind while you rebuild.

Before getting into what to beware of considering solicitors, what are the kinds of natural disasters in the United States?

Natural Disasters by Region

Map of the Continental United States of America

The United States has many different climates and regions. As such, there are just as many types of natural disasters that can happen.

Having a base knowledge of what disasters impact your region and what region your state is a part of will help in identifying and preparing for how solicitors may approach you. It is important to note that some disasters, such as heavy flooding and tornadoes, are possible with varying levels of frequency throughout the United States. The following list outlines specific catastrophes that solicitors may take advantage of per region.

West Region

States: Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Alaska, and Hawaii¹

The West Region of the United States covers a lot of ground with many different environments. This means a wide variety of natural disasters are possible and occur within this region. California, southern Alaska, and southwestern Montana are prone to earthquakes; Hawaii, Washington, and Alaska have volcanoes, not to mention the supervolcano under Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming; eastern Colorado is caught in Tornado Alley, a section of the central United States where tornadoes frequently form;² fires tear through many of these states due to the dry climate; and intense cold and blizzards may occur in the more northern states.³

With such a variety of climates, many contracting businesses may seek to take advantage of many different disasters. Plumbing companies looking to repair broken and frozen pipes during a harsh winter; roofing and siding businesses seeking to take advantage of the strong winds from tornadoes and severe storms; and construction companies mobilizing after destructive earthquakes and fires are just a few of the kinds of solicitors to beware of.

Southwest Region

States: Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas¹

The states that comprise the Southwest Region typically suffer from weather-related emergencies. Due to the more hot and dry climate, these states are prone to massive dust storms. Oklahoma and Texas are part of Tornado Alley with the latter having an average of over 150 tornadoes per year according to a 1991-2010 study.4 While uncommon, earthquakes are known to happen within the Southwest Region. Parts of Arizona and New Mexico are prone to the formation of sinkholes due to the underlying karst topography, areas of land where bedrock has been weathered by water.5

Due to the frequency of tornadoes, many roofing, siding, and general contractors may flock to disaster sites. Insurance agents and scammers may also seek to take advantage of a catastrophe. Given the unique geological nature of the southwest, individuals offering sinkhole insurance could gather.

Midwest Region

States: North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio¹

The Midwest Region suffers from a number of disasters attributed to weather but there are instances of geological concerns as well. Most of Tornado Alley is found within the Midwest as it spans from South Dakota and stretches south down as far as Texas.³ However, much of the Midwest suffers from tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. The northern states are often bombarded with severe winter storms and blizzards. Despite not having many mountainous areas, the New Madrid and Wabash seismic zones along the southern edge of Missouri and Illinois can cause earthquakes, and similarly to Arizona and New Mexico, much of the Midwest is prone to sinkholes due to the formation of carbonic acid that eats away at underlying bedrock.6 Due to the relatively flat topography, the Midwest is especially prone to severe flooding.

Much like the southwest and with more frequency, the destruction that results from tornadoes draws roofing and other contractors and insurance agents offering coverage may flock to the midwest. With severe winter storms, window companies, roofing contractors, and plumbing businesses may take advantage of harsh blizzards and prolonged snowfall. Insurance agencies and construction companies will also take opportunity in the wake of sinkholes and earthquakes.

Northeast Region

States: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Maine¹

Comparatively speaking, the Northeast Region of the United States suffers from few natural disasters. The most severe occur during harsh winters with heavy snowfall, blizzards, and freezing winter storms that can cause property damage and presents hazards to travel and health. Heavy rainfall is a possibility as hurricanes move up along the east coast.

Like the midwest, contractors and other solicitors will see heavy snowfall as an opportunity to sell their services and policies.

Southeast Region

States: Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida¹

Comprising most of the continental United States’ east coast, the Southeast region has had some of the most costly natural disasters in the nation’s history. The most well-known and destructive catastrophes for this region are the hurricanes that impact many of the coastal states, and the remaining rainfall can extend further north and inland. However, with the New Madrid, Wabash, and other seismic zones along the northern edge of the region and South Carolina area, earthquakes are not uncommon.7 Additionally, while the main stretch of Tornado Alley resides within the Midwest, it does partially stretch into Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky², and many of the other states within the Southeast are prone to tornadoes such as Florida which has an estimated 66 tornadoes on average per year.4

Many different types of contracting businesses will take advantage of hurricanes and quote the destruction they cause. Tree removal services, siding contractors, roofing companies, and many other types of construction businesses will offer their services before, during, and after a hurricane.

 

Now with a basic understanding of what natural disasters can occur in your region, what solicitors should you be aware of?

Solicitors To Look For

Two Business People Walking Towards the Camera

Opportunity seeking and unscrupulous solicitors may become a problem following any disaster. As many people will begin rebuilding, searching for loved ones, or simply recovering, these individuals see a chance to take advantage of victims and their families. With the many different types of catastrophes and emergencies that occur within the United States, so too is there a variety of solicitors for every situation.

Bilingual No Soliciting Sign Near Front Door

Most solicitors will belong to insurance companies or contracting businesses offering services for victims to recover. They may go door-to-door following a disaster or may send out physical mail detailing the services with provide. However, there is potential that these individuals are making false claims and are attempting to take advantage of victims. Be wary of anyone asking for money up-front or for simply approaching your property.

Contractors

Among the solicitors to watch out for following a natural disaster include contractors. Construction, roofing, siding, and other companies, or individuals claiming to be from one, may send salespeople to an area recently hit by severe weather such as a hurricane or tornado or by a particularly strong earthquake in an attempt to solicit business.

Fraudulent contractors use a variety of tactics to mislead their victims, but there are ways to identify them. Examples include asking for a large portion of the payment up-front and claiming to not need a building permit.8

Insurance Representatives

Other solicitors include insurance company agents and representatives. Following a natural disaster, both legitimate and fraudulent individuals representing insurance companies may attempt to coerce victims to purchase their company’s policies.

A recent tactic scammers have turned to is claiming to represent a specific agency, apply for a policy in your name with your permission, cancelling the policy, and keeping the money you paid them. These fraudulent agents, or “Ghost Brokers,” offer inexpensive prices in order to entice people. Some ways to identify these individuals include if they ask for cash-only payments in person, though payment apps are sometimes used, if they contact you through social media only, and if they claim to establish a policy without putting you in contact with the company directly.9

Even if their services are legitimate, door-to-door solicitors need the proper paperwork in order to legally approach your home or business.

Soliciting Permits

Person Signing a Document on a Wooden Desk with a Silver Fountain Pen

The town of Sandwich, Illinois was hit by a severe storm earlier this year. In the aftermath, roofing solicitors from out of town began approaching residents while their local contractors waited on background checks in order to receive a permit allowing them to go door-to-door.

Store Front with a Glass Pane Door, a "We're Open Sign" Hangs on the Inside

Many places across the United States, such as Dallas, TX and Sandy Springs, GA among others, require businesses who use door-to-door marketing to apply for soliciting permits from their local government. The requirements for these permits vary but they are generally meant to prevent fraudulent individuals from offering nonexistent or low-quality goods and services. Some of these permits only grant businesses an allotted amount of time, such as those found in Sandwich, from the above example. Some cities and areas within the United States require solicitors to carry their permits on their person and to present it if asked, such as in Plano, TX.

Solicitation permits are a way to protect both consumers and legitimate businesses. While the processes may differ from state to state and city to city, most solicitors need to follow the same basic ideas and regulations such as heeding no soliciting signs.

Being aware of your local laws concerning solicitation permits following a natural disaster can help you protect your finances while you, your family, or your business recover.

Get 20% Off No Soliciting Signs at CustomSigns.com with Code CSIGN20, Absolutely No Soliciting Sign

Recovering from a natural disaster can be a long, arduous task and remaining mindful of solicitors and how to protect your stability is an important part of this process. Help ease the burden with CustomSigns.com and our line of property signs including no soliciting and no trespassing designs and templates.

 

Related Posts:

References:

  1. National Geographic
  2. EnchantedLearning
  3. ePact Network
  4. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  5. Teacher Friendly Guide: Ch. 9
  6. Teacher Friendly Guide: Ch. 10
  7. Virginia Tech Seismological Observatory
  8. Houselogic
  9. Allstate

 

Cell Phones in the Classroom

Teacher Writes on Chalkboard while Student Texts on their Cell Phone

How Teachers Handle Cell Phones in Class

Educators have struggled with mobile phone use in the classroom for years, and with the constant growth of the tech industry, those struggles will most likely continue to plague schools across the country into the foreseeable future. According to a 2018 study by the Pew Research Center, “95% of teens…have or have access to a smartphone….”1 With that many mobile devices, teachers have been running into obstacles considering student distractions and dropping grade scores.

How do cell phones affect our students’ learning capabilities?

Student Cell Phone Statistics

Pencils, Pens, and a Cell Phone on a Composition Notebook

Research tends to present a correlation between cell phone use and declining academic performance. A 2015 study in England showed an over 6% increase in performance across four schools that banned mobile phone usage.2 Additionally, another study showed that students not using phones “…scored a full letter grade and a half higher on a multiple choice test than those students who were actively using their mobile phones.”3

Research is continually ongoing as widespread cell phone use is still relatively new. With this information, how are educators approaching the issues?

Adapting to the Times

Tablet Resting on Book on a Table Desk

Some teachers see cell phones as a learning opportunity and use them as teaching tools. Mobile phones have evolved into small, handheld computers, so information is almost immediately available for students wanting to look up the definition of a word or concept they don’t understand. Some educators, such as Ken Halla, have altered their approach to their classroom by allowing open use of phones in class so long as the students use them for their education.4

There are also a number of applications and resources available for educators to enhance their lessons. Programs like PollEverywhere.com and Remind.com help students, teachers, and parents in gauging comprehension and improving organization.

Other teachers, like Stephanie Jones of Biscayne Elementary, haven’t had issues concerning cell phones in their classroom. “Cell phone use has been a non-issue in my teaching career,” says Jones.

Despite the move with technology, many institutions choose to restrict mobile devices on campus.

School Mobile Phone Bans & Restrictions

Classroom with No Cell Phones Sign by Door

No Cell Phones Sign on a Chain Link Fence
“No Cell Phones” Signs

While some educators are resorting to adapting their curriculum around mobile devices, many schools take to removing cell phones as an obstacle all together, posting “No Cell Phone” signs or requiring students to drop off their devices at the office. Blanket bans like these have shown to improve test scores. However, many schools find it difficult or impossible to enforce zero tolerance bans on mobile devices.

Amy Eardley of Creekside High School takes a middle approach; not outright banning phones but not allowing the use of mobile devices in her class. However, even that proves more difficult in practice.

“For my own sanity, I had to give up on policing phones. Most of the kids will put them away when I walk by and give them a ‘what are you doing look’. Some will stay in them all year and will have a grade that matches their effort. I do occasionally have reminder chats with the whole group that the effort we put in isn’t forgotten when report card time comes around and that students who don’t spend the whole time on their phone will be looked upon more favorably when it comes to grades right on the border of lettergrades.”

Some institutions resort to signal jammers, devices that interfere with the radio wavelengths of mobile devices. However, the use of such items is illegal, as according to the FCC, “…it is a violation of federal law to use a cell jammer or similar devices that intentionally block, jam, or interfere with authorized radio communications such as cell phones, police radar, GPS, and Wi-Fi.”5

 

Library with Quiet Please Sign
“Quiet Please – Important Work in Progress” Sign

As our technology advances and becomes more and more mobile, schools and other institutions may face further difficulty in controlling the use of phones and other devices.

What are your thoughts on cell phones in our schools? How would/do you handle mobile devices in the classroom? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts, and for all of your signage needs, visit CustomSigns.com.

 

Related Posts

References

Managing Your Water Consumption

Take responsibility for your environmental footprint by managing your own water consumption. If you are not paying attention, daily water usage can easily accumulate. Without maintaining good habits and paying attention to home plumbing, you can waste this precious resource and end up with a hefty water bill.

How to Check Your Water Usage

To manage water consumption well, you need to know how much water you are using. You can figure this out using your home’s water meter.

1. Finding Your Water Meter

For most houses, you can find your meter in a labeled concrete or plastic box outside. You may need a long screwdriver to lift the lid. Often these are found by the driveway, in front of the house by the curb, or in the basement. For some houses these water meters and pipes are on the side of the house.

If you cannot find your water meter, you can call your landlord, property manager, or local utilities company for information about where the meter is located on your specific property.

2. Start with a 20 Minute Leak Check

Check for a leak by getting readings 20 minutes apart. First, make sure there is no water running anywhere in the house. This means toilets, household faucets, showers, washing machines, dishwashers, sprinklers, and pool systems should not be in use. Next, write down the reading from the numeric band.

After 20 minutes (where you haven’t used any water), write down the new reading. If during that interval more than a gallon is used, you may have a leak. Note: this may be caused by automatic water refills on your property from the pool to the ice maker. When you check for areas that may be damp or leaking, you can also check for any water sources you may have left running.

3. Evaluate General Consumption with a 24 Hour Check

Similar to the above meter check, you can evaluate your consumption by recording the water meter readings at interval times. However, this time you will use your water sources as normal and take down the new total 24 hours later. Subtract the old total from the new one to get your household usage. Divide that by the number of inhabitants and you will have the approximate individual usage per day.

4 Types of Conservation Signs to Curb Water Waste

Water conservation often begins with raising awareness by placing signs by frequently used water sources such as kitchen sinks, bathrooms, and hoses. Signs provide helpful reminders, warnings, alerts, guidelines, requests, and restrictions. All of these signs are designed to change wasteful water habits.

Four types of water usage signs you may encounter include:

Outdoor Drought Signs – These are often related to the usage of sprinklers, Please Conserve Waterhoses and other types of irrigation during severe droughts.

Sink Signs – These remind people using facets to turn off tightly. These can be found in the home, restaurants and other businesses.

Bathroom Signs – These provide guidelines such as a recommendation to turn off water when brushing teeth, take shorter showers, or limiting the amount of water used for baths.

Custom Conservation Signs – Businesses and homeowners may customize signs for use of everything from pool cleaning to dishwashing and laundry areas. Other custom water signs feature How-To’s for checking water meters, directions for what to do in case of leak detection, and warnings related to reclaimed or recycled water.

How You Can Start Saving Water

Begin by searching for possible leaks that are currently occurring in your home. The EPA estimates that Leaky faucets can result in nearly 50 gallons of wasted water in a week. To get a broader perspective, consider that an undetected leak of 0.1 gallon per minute wastes 4,320 gallons per month.

You can troubleshoot to find out whether or not a leak is occurring inside or outside your home by turning off the inside and outside valves and seeing if the leak indicator continues to change. You may discover hard to find leaks in the walls, under your home, or by the water meter or valves. Other signs of leakage include excess water condensation and unusual amounts of mold in areas outside of the bathroom.

Being aware of your water consumption goes beyond your home. Try and limit your water usage in the workplace as well. Take a moment to learn about water conservation for business here.

What is an Appropriate Water Use by Family Size?

 The average person uses around 80-100 gallons of water per day, according to water.usgs.gov. In certain states, legislators have pushed for future laws that will restrict individuals to 55 gallons per day. In some areas, there are outdoor water usage restrictions put into place during droughts.

For now, you can help prevent water waste by setting a household water usage budget goal or simply reducing the amount you currently use. You can evaluate your own usage patterns by using a water usage calculator. The simple act of looking at how you use water and where you overuse it most can help you quickly identify areas for improvement.

If you want to know more about water usage rules and guidelines for your property, visit the website of your utilities provider and local water management agency. State governments and city governments create regulations which may be related to droughts and environmental initiatives, so laws often vary from city to city.

 

Resources:

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/styles/medium/public/2017-02/ws-ourwater-water-pie-chart-version-two_0.png

https://water.usgs.gov/edu/qa-home-percapita.html

https://www.jea.com/About/Water_Supply/Conservation

https://www.dailywire.com/news/31462/californias-water-law-55-gallons-person-day-paul-bois

Signs Every Business Needs

There are many aspects to making sure your business runs smoothly and effectively. Advertising, finance, and customer service are just 3 of the many roles that serve a huge part in your business’s success. While these are all essential duties, making sure your customers have a pleasurable experience may be the most vital task. Clearly displayed business hours, designated parking spaces and handicap accessible restrooms show customers that you care. By installing signage inside and around your building, you’re telling your customers they can trust you.

Here is a list of signs that every business should display:

Grand Opening

Once your storefront has come together, you’ll want to let customers and clients know you are open for business. Personalizing a grand opening banner can inform onlookers that you are up and running. Drive customers in with creative designs, a custom logo, and opening promotions. You will want to include your company name, phone number, location and web address. Give your hard work the recognition it deserves and make sure you implement enough advertisement to bring in excited customers.

Parking Spots

After attracting the customers to your store, make it easy for them to park and walk in. Depending on your location you may have storefront parking, a stand-alone lot, or street parking. Show customers you care about their convenience and display signs for your business’s designated parking spots.

You can get creative and design your own parking sign or order a pre-made template. Before installing a sign, find out if you are authorized to make those changes. Whether you need to contact the city or the owner of the complex your store is in, take the time to get the information you need.

If you can’t hold certain spots available, you can display a sign informing future customers where available parking lots/spots are for those who wish to enter your business.

Hours of Operation

It is wonderful to gain repeat customers and loyal clients! While you and your staff work hard to keep your store up and running, you can only stay open for so long. Displaying a sign that solely contains business hours is essential. Clings and decals can be placed in the window by the front door, or you can hang a sign for optimal visibility. If hours are flexible or you just opened and are figuring out your hours of operation, you can display a reversible open/closed sign. You can hang it next to your hours of operation sign and flip it depending on if your store is open or closed.

Restroom Signs

Whether you serve food, goods, or service, you most likely have restrooms for your patrons. It can be hard to spot the bathroom if you do not display signage. You can help point them in the right direction with a directional sign. You’ll be surprised how helpful a simple arrow sign can be to a customer who is unfamiliar with your building.

Once they get to the designated restroom, make sure you distinguish the type of lavatories provided. Are your bathrooms for men and women, family, and/or handicap accessible? Show it!

Depending on your establishment, you may or may not be required to provide a washroom for customers to use. Make sure to check your state and local laws when finding a place for your business.

In Case of Emergency

While you should be taking the proper precautions to prevent any emergencies from occurring, accidents still happen. If a problem does arise, it is imperative that you have had emergency signs placed to ensure staff and customer safety.

Mark the proper doors as emergency exits and use a directional sign so people can locate the fire extinguisher. If your place of business has multiple floors, make sure to use a sign that states using the stairs in case of an emergency. For any tripping hazards, you should use a caution watch your step sign.

 

 

Keep your business running safe and effectively by displaying the proper signage. This is both a courtesy to your customers, but will also help protect your business from liability. Customize signs or order templates to make sure you convey important information to customers, clients, and staff. For all your sign and plaque needs shop our online store at Customsigns.com.

5 Summer Safety Reminders for HOAs

Neighborhood Street Lined With Blooming Cherry Trees

Summer Safety in Your Community

Summer is finally here, so now is the perfect time for summer safety reminders for your Home Owner’s Association community. Your residents are responsible for following your HOA’s rules and regulations, but posting memos or holding community meetings are helpful for everyone. Additionally, your organization is responsible for maintaining communal grounds and amenities, so here are some summer safety reminders.

  1. Heat Hazards

  2. Small Dog in an Orange Car

    According to Heat Kills, the interior temperature of a car can increase by 34 degrees in as little as 30 minutes.1 Even if the temperature outside is a comfortable 70 degrees Fahrenheit, that increases to 104 degrees in half-an-hour, so remind your residents to NEVER leave children or animals in their vehicles. Post custom signs around your community as a reminder of the dangers of the summer heat as a way to prevent unnecessary tragedies.

  3. Common Area Consciousness

  4. Exercise Equipment in Front of Window

    If your HOA has communal areas such as pools or clubhouses, then you’ll want to make sure they’re in good working order. Providing clean and functional community amenities will keep residents happy and appreciative. Here are a few reminders for common community areas for the summer.

    • Playgrounds

    • After a long winter of un-Colorful playground and sunrise on yard in the parkuse, your community’s playgrounds should be inspected before summer takes full effect. Ensure all children’s playground equipment is free of potential hazards and replace bolts and other structural pieces as needed. Watch out for any other hazards such as glass or insect infestations to remove as well. Post children at play signs near playground amenities to prevent accidents along roads.

    • Clubhouses

    • Providing a clean and well-maintained lounge or clubhouse for your residents shows your HOA’s professionalism and instills confidence in your community. Ensure HVAC units are well-maintained and in working order. Additionally, check to make sure any lounges or other communal buildings are clean and presentable. Inspect any equipment, such as lights or televisions, to make sure they function properly.

    • Pools

    • Swimming is a favorite Pool Area Set Against Forest & Sky Backgroundsummer activity for many, so ensuring your pool is well-kept is imperative for the coming months. Remove any debris that may have collected over the winter and spring months from in and around your pool area. Update any pool signage to reflect new or revised safety rules. Inspect and repair pool filters and lighting fixtures as needed.

    • Gyms

    • Summer means more free time to exercise, so ensure that all equipment is in proper working condition for the safety of your residents. Wipe down and disinfect all equipment to prevent sickness. Ensure that all HVAC or other cooling units are working adequately.

    • Outdoor Areas

    • Your outdoor community Tennis player holding racket preparing for playing game on outdoor court during summer.areas will probably see more use thanks to warmer weather. Clean all outdoor recreation areas such as gazebos, tennis courts, dog parks, etc. Ensure that gazebos are structurally sound and repair any equipment as necessary. Fences and other sectional walls should be inspected for integrity.

  5. Night Nuisances

  6. Close-up of a street lamp glowing in retro colors

    Remind your residents to stay safe at night. With summer comes an increase in criminal activity, so marking monitored areas with video surveillance signs can help prevent potential robberies or violent crimes. Whether lights deter crime or not is still up for debate, but maintaining street lights helps your residents see once night falls, so ensure your community’s light sources are properly maintained.

  7. Secure Street Safety

  8. 25 Miles Per Hour Speed Limit Sign Set Against Blue Sky

    With school out for the year, many children will be home or using your pools or playgrounds. Keep your community safer by posting speed limit signs along heavy foot traffic areas near communal amenities. Additionally, inspect roads for damage such as pot holes or large cracks and contact your local city or county maintenance department for repairs to prevent damage to vehicles.

  9. Vacation Ventures

  10. Kids playing throwing inflatable ball

    Remind your residents to keep their homes safe if they will be leaving for a summer vacation. Warn them not to advertise their vacations as this could alert potential criminals that their home will be vacant for a time.

Get 20% Off No Soliciting Signs at CustomSigns.com with Code CSIGN20, Absolutely No Soliciting Sign

Ensuring your community’s health and happiness is important for every Home Owner’s Association. With these safety tips and signs from CustomSigns.com, you can keep this summer fun and safe for you and your residents.

References:

  1. HeatKills.org
  2. DigitalJournal.com

Honor Those Who Served This Memorial Day and Every Day of the Year

What is Memorial Day?

Observed during the last Monday in May, Memorial Day is the day our country comes together to commemorate our brave service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for the extraordinary freedom our nation has enjoyed for generations. Introduced as Decoration Day in May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, to lay flowers on (or decorate) the graves of fallen service members, Memorial Day became a federal holiday with the congressional passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971.

Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day

Honor Memorial Day and the memory of our family members, loved ones, friends, neighbors, and everyone who has served our country with a few thoughtful ways we’ve gathered to commemorate this special holiday.

Wear a Memorial Day Pin, Button, or Red Poppy Flower

Proudly wearing a symbol of our country’s military, including a button or pin of the American flag, is a vibrant, eye-catching way to show everyone your patriotic spirit. Choosing to wear a red poppy is a time honored Memorial Day tradition that began during the time of World War I after a poem written by physician and Lt. Col. John McCrae, In Flanders Fields, that describes the fields of brightly colored red poppies he observed while treating the wounded on battlefields during the war. These brightly colored flowers are now known as a national symbol of military sacrifice throughout many countries around the world.

Volunteer Your Time to Veterans, Widows, and Others Affected by Our Fight for Freedom

Photo Courtesy CPL Donald C Bolash USMC

Perhaps you live near a VA hospital or clinic, an assisted living center, or even in the same neighborhood that a veteran calls home. Spend part of your Memorial Day weekend – and other days throughout the year – bringing joy and the camaraderie of a friendly conversation to veterans, their widows, children, or other loved ones by stopping by for a visit. Whether you bring along a sweet treat, a little token of gratitude, or simply offer your time, they’re sure to feel cared for, remembered, and appreciated.

Honor Our Patriots with a Memorial Plaque

From park benches to tree lined walkways, gardens, bike trails, or even city centers, a professionally engraved brass plaque is a simple, timeless way to memorialize those who selflessly served our country. Go classic by engraving names and dates, or get a bit creative and include a special quote or favorite saying of the person who’s memory you re honoring, even a favorite hobby or an engraved image. Anything that will show others something special about your loved one is a wonderful way to honor his or her memory and military service.

Fly the American Flag Proudly and Properly on Memorial Day

To properly display the American flag on Memorial Day, swiftly raise the flag to the top of the flag pole, and then solemnly lower it to half-staff until noon. This is done to honor and remember our fallen service men and women who gave their lives serving our country. At noon, raise the flag back to the top to symbolize that we continue the fight for liberty, freedom, and justice for our fellow Americans.

Our Original Star Spangled Banner Still Flying Proudly

If you’ve ever been to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., then you’ve had the awe-inspiring experience of viewing the original Star Spangled Banner, the flag that inspired Frances Scott Key to pen our national anthem. Raised over Fort McHenry on September 14, 1814, to show America’s victory over the British in the Battle of Baltimore, this flag is among the Smithsonian’s most treasured artifacts. After years of painstaking preservation efforts, America’s original Star Spangled Banner is proudly displayed in a permanent exhibition gallery where millions of people continue to enjoy her incredible splendor!

Secure Your Summer with These Safety Signs & Tips

Beach with No Swimming Signs and Sunbather

Vacation Season

With summer almost here, many people will be spending time outside or rushing off for family trips. It’s easy to forget general safety tips during summertime if you’re busy taking advantage of the pleasant weather or enjoying your time off. Camping, long-awaited vacations, the beach, grilling, swimming, and many other fun activities await, after all, and according to a 2017 study, 80% of United States residents took a vacation during the summer.1 However, summer safety should stay a priority even during your upcoming holiday. Here are some tips for kids and adults to help keep your summer safe and fun!

The Great Outdoors

If you’re going hiking or camping, be sure to heed any warnings concerning fire or wildlife danger. Ensure any fire pits or campfires you light are built properly and away from tents, dry twigs, and nearby foliage to prevent wildfires. Yellow Sign w/ Black Text & Image of BearRemember to bring bug spray to keep pests away and first aid materials in the case of a minor incident. Be mindful of any local fauna postings, such as bear warnings, or if you run a campground or other such location, ensure you prominently place appropriate signage warning campers of potential wildlife and forest fire dangers.

Whether you’re going hiking, camping, to the beach, to the pool, or simply spending time outside at home, always remember to pack and apply sunscreen every two to four hours. The sun’s harmful UVB rays are the cause of 95% of melanoma cases and 99% of non-melanoma skin cancers.2 However, according to an Australian study, appropriate application of SPF 15 sunscreen can reduce your chance of developing melanoma by up to 50%.3 Make sure your sunscreen isn’t expired as it can lose effectiveness over time. Sunscreen is an important and easy way to keep you and your skin healthy!

Pool or Beach Side

White Sign w/ Blue Border, Blue and Red Text - "Pool Rules"Many vacationers and coast-dwellers will probably spend some time swimming this summer. It’s a refreshing break from the hot summer sun, a phenomenal form of exercise, and a great way to stay cool. However, there are a few water safety tips to keep in mind while you’re at your favorite swimming locale. If you plan on going to a public pool, you can start by following all posted pool policies. Generally, swimming pool rules are established for the protection of swimmers. No diving, running, glass containers, and leaving children unsupervised are common safety rules meant to protect pool-goers from injury. If you own a pool or your organization has one on property, be sure to keep your swimming pool safety signage updated to reflect current policies. Additionally, there’s the old belief that you should wait 30 minutes to an hour after eating before you can swim, but according to an article from Mayo Clinic and Dr. Boniface, “You may end up with some stomach cramping or a muscle cramp” and “it may not be the most comfortable thing to go for a swim with a full belly, the world won’t end if you ignore your mom’s advice.”4

Workplace Woes

Unfortunately, many of us don’t get to enjoy a summer break. Work still needs to be done, but now is a prime opportunity to address summer safety topics Black Sign w/ White Text - "In Case of Fire - Do Not Use Elevator"for your workplace. It’s easy to skip drinking water while you’re on the clock, so remind your employees and coworkers to stay hydrated during the hot months to prevent dehydration. Perhaps now is the time to update your business’ safety signage. Given the hot and dry weather summer brings, you may consider updating or adding additional fire safety signs and equipment. Clearly marking fire exits and extinguishers can help keep you and your coworkers safe in the case of an emergency. Finally, if your employees spend most of the workday outdoors, remember to let them take plenty of breaks to avoid heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

At Home

Whether you can’t travel due to work or simply want a relaxing stay-cation, you always want to keep your home or apartment safe. From a 2014 study White sign w/ Red and Black Text - Bilingual English/Spanish - "Warning - Beware of Dog"from the Bureau of Justice, there is evidence of increased crime rate during the summer. Burglaries occur up to 11% more and household larceny up to 8% more frequently compared to other seasons.5 One way to discourage potential criminals is by posting video surveillance signs if you have a camera security system. If you don’t have an electronic security system but do have a canine companion, then hanging “Beware of Dog” signs on your property can help deter would-be burglars and vandals. Home is meant to be a safe haven for you and your family, and warding off unwelcome guests and intruders with clearly marked warning signs can help this summer.

Summer is the season of fun for many. Ensure you keep yours that way by following a few summer safety tips!

References

  1. Minnaert, Lynn. (2017). US Family Travel Survey 2017. Retrieved from https://www.scps.nyu.edu/content/dam/scps/pdf/200/200-4/200-4-16/P1718-0036-2017_Family_Travel_Survey.pdf
  2. www.cancercouncil.com.au
  3. ascopubs.org
  4. newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org
  5. www.bjs.gov