The 2020 Republican National Convention is Coming to Jacksonville, Florida

The RNC is Coming to Jacksonville, Trump and Pence 2020 Yard Sign

With the 2020 presidential election racing ahead at full steam, there was a shake-up with the RNC. Originally scheduled to take place in Charlotte and due to disagreements between the White House and the North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, the RNC Convention was moved to Jacksonville.

Here are a few notes to help you prepare for the event.

When is the Republican National Convention?

The GOP convention will take place from August 24-27.

Shifting on this short of a notice means the city has little time to prepare. Some pointed out how overwhelmed the city was for the 2005 Super Bowl. But, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry and Governor Ron DeSantis are confident the city will be ready. According to Politico, Curry stated, “…additional rooms had been added to the metropolitan area.”

Where is the Republican National Convention?

Trump and Pence 2020 Front License Plate

Celebrations, such as Donald Trump’s acceptance speech for receiving the nomination, for the RNC will be held at the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.

The Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina was the convention site. And, more of the “official” business will still be done there due to contractual obligations. But, Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper insisted on maintaining social distancing guidelines, as recommended by health officials, for the rallies. To which Donald Trump refused to accept.

Many of Duval county’s voters are concerned about the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. According to a survey conducted by Red America, Blue America, 61 percent of those surveyed are concerned the Republican Convention could cause a new outbreak of COVID-19 in the area.

Get Ready to Show Your Support

Do you want to show your support at home and at the convention?

CustomSigns.com is a Jacksonville-based company that has a variety of Republican Party merchandise. Save on your accessories when you use the coupon code: csign20.

Find signs, front license plates, buttons, and more. Display your allegiance with pride before, during, and after the 2020 Republican National Convention with CustomSigns.com.

Shop Republican Merchandise

Update Your Safety Signage for 2020

High Voltage Danger Sign Attached to a Chain Link Fence

Maintaining Workplace Safety for 2020

Table of Contents
Injury Statistics
Annual Review
Equipment
Fire Safety
First Aid Supplies
Update Signage
Safety Training
Costs
What Signs Mean

What better time to update your business’s safety standards than the start of a new year?

2020 is here. When was the last time you audited your safety requirements? The importance of following OSHA regulations cannot be understated. So, as you move into the new year, ensure your workplace stays up-to-date on all safety standards.

To start, what is the number of people injured on the job?

Workplace Injury Statistics

As with most studies, the figures and statistics can vary.

The number of on the job injuries varies depending on your business’s sector. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states over 2.8 million cases of nonfatal workplace injury or illness in 2018. The highest recorded being Healthcare, Retail, and Manufacturing. It should be noted that this statistic covers private sectors. The total across all sectors was roughly over 3.4 million cases.

The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that number to be even higher. According to the NSC, a workplace injury happens every seven seconds which approximates to 4.6 million injuries each year.

Here is an infographic from the NSC illustrating their findings:

Workplace Injuries
Provided by The National Safety Council

Review your workplace. What can you update to improve safety within your organization?

A Year in Safety

The end of the year is a great time for you to reflect on your current safety standards.

  • What worked?
  • What didn’t work?
  • Are there gaps in your training?
  • Have there been OSHA updates that affect your business?
  • How much did your company pay out for safety violations or worker’s compensation?
  • Are your signs faded or broken and need replacing?

Gather as much information as you can and update your safety regulations. Work with your administrative level employees as well as the rest of your work force. Audit your high traffic areas and work zones to ensure compliance with national safety standards. Ensure your workplace follows fire safety procedures. Replace safety signs that may be difficult to read.

Check Your Equipment

Gears of a Machine

Ensure your equipment is functioning properly. Much like how a dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp one, if your equipment or tools aren’t cared for, the likelihood of injury increases.

Relating to training, make sure everyone who operates required machinery or other tools understands how to use them safely. This could mean additional digital courses or in-person sessions teaching proper handling, operating, cleaning, storing, and maintenance. Any employee who uses your equipment should also follow established guidelines on general inspection before and after use. Encourage them to report any irregularities such as exposed wires, cracks, unusual sparks, or other malfunctions.

Aside from daily use inspections, you may need to follow regulations requiring professional equipment inspections depending on your business. These inspections may occur trimonthly, semi-annually, annually, or at a different interval. Be sure you know when your equipment needs to be inspected.

It seems obvious, but be sure to repair or replace and equipment that needs it. Your workplace and employees will stay safer if you do.

Is Your Workplace Fire Safe?

‘To hope for the best and prepare for the worst, is a trite but a good maxim.’

-John Jay (1813), Planning Skills

Fires can break out almost anywhere. While there are prevention measures you can take to lessen the chances, your organization should establish procedures to prevent injury and death.

Red Fire Extinguisher DecalInspect your fire extinguishers. You should check on them monthly and have a fire equipment professional inspect them annually. Again, the end or start of the year is a great time to have this done. Furthermore, ensure your sprinkler system functions. Your automatic fire dousing system needs to work to prevent, or at least, delay a fire from spreading. Test your alarms to make sure their tones are loud and clear. Functioning alarms may be your first warning of a starting fire.

Clearly mark fire exits with eye-catching signage. Set safe meeting places to account for everyone. Label fire extinguishers for everyone to see. Ensure your employees know where all of these things are with proper training. These are all things you can do to reduce damages and keep your work force safe.

Refresh First Aid Supplies & Equipment

Every business should keep first aid supplies on-hand. You should inspect your kits at least annually, so the end of the year is the perfect time.

Make sure your equipment is still viable and all the necessary equipment is present. Bandages, antiseptics, gauze, and other medical supplies needed to treat minor injuries should be clean and stored.

If you operate a warehouse, factory, or other workshop, inspect your eye wash stations. Are they functional? Do they need cleaning? Are they easy to find and marked with appropriate signage? These are all important in keeping your employees safe in treating exposure to dust, debris, and hazardous chemicals.

Update Your Safety Signage

Once you’ve reviewed the areas in your business that need updates, make sure your safety signs are updated. We’ll go into the importance of understanding signs below, but know that your signs need to be visible at all times.

Are your signs dull, worn, or broken? Many businesses are required to post specific signage signifying hazardous areas. Maintaining your signs and replacing old ones keeps everyone aware of possible dangers and the proper methods of preventing injuries. Understand all required signage your business needs to post, audit your current signs, and update or replace them as needed.

Once you’ve reviewed or made updates, ensure your work force follows any new regulations with proper training.

Safety Training

Two Men Looking at a Paper

Most workplace injuries are preventable. It is common to hear professionals claim that 99% of accidents are preventable. Some say there are no such things as “accidents” at all.

Depending on your market, a hazard-free workplace may not be achievable. Construction sites, road repair services, factories, and other fields are inherently dangerous. But, you can decrease the likelihood of injuries with proper employee training.

Is your training comprehensive and easy to understand?

Your safety regulations may be in-depth and fool-proof but that means nothing if your employees don’t understand or are unaware of your established standards.

Workplace safety starts with your employees.

Regular safety training ensures everyone understands new standards. Most fields must perform annual training at a minimum. But, frequent and effective training can decrease the chances of serious injury. A 2009 study found that effective training can reduce the number of days-away-from-work injuries.

Has your work site experienced a recent, serious injury? Review your current training programs and identify areas in which your process can be improved.

The new year also gives you an opportunity to look back at 2019 and find any gaps in your training programs.

Would an online, in-person, or on-the-job element help? Ask your long-time employees and new hires what their concerns are. They may give you new insight into misunderstandings around your training courses. They’ll also appreciate having their voice heard by management.

The Cost of Poor Training

Calculator and Pen on Spreadsheet

Training employees can seem like a major expense, but it shouldn’t be overlooked or ignored. The cost of not including proper training for your workers can far outweigh the downsides.

Shift eLearning states that companies that put a focus on employee development can see an average of 24% more profit if they invest $1,500 into their training. Furthermore, investing in your employees means a more productive work force, less turnover, and a happier work environment.

If you don’t train your employees, your business could suffer more than lost profit. OSHA’s penalties for violating workplace safety regulations can start at $13,260 per violation. Your company may also be liable for workers compensation, medical bills, and legal payments depending on the severity of the incident.

Ensure your company doesn’t spend more money than it has to, with comprehensive training for all employees. Your business will benefit from it while avoiding violation fines and other unnecessary expenses.

Understanding Signage

Part of your training should include a section or sections on what safety signs mean.

Understanding the meanings of caution, danger, and warning signs is important for employee safety.

Globally Harmonized System (GHS) Symbol Safety SignsThere are many pictogram hazard symbols. If your company handles hazardous materials, your employees need to know what each symbol means.

Posting these signs serves as a reminder for your employees to follow safety protocols. However, if your employees don’t know what these signs mean, then they won’t help in your safety efforts.

Additionally, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires certain signage to properly advertise hazardous elements in your business. When ordering or designing your signage, you must follow the OSHA signage design guidelines.

Ensure your training program covers what signs your company uses and their meanings. Again, your business may follow all the design requirements and regulations, but it means nothing if your work force doesn’t know what they mean.

This all leads to how improper training can cost your business more money.

Use Code CSIGN20, Men at Work Caution Sign on a Brick Wall

CustomSigns.com is your one-stop-shop for compliant safety signage. We are your experts on the professional signs you need for your business.

What Do Road Signs Mean?

Road Sign Meanings - Featured Image

Road Signs & What They Mean

The holidays are here which means many Americans are taking to the roads for home. If you’re one of the thousands of travelers this season, following posted signs and other traffic control devices will mean a safer trip for you and other drivers and pedestrians.

Understanding the importance of traffic signs and their meaning keeps everyone safe. The holiday season is a busy time of year for travelers, so follow the warnings posted along the roads of the United States for your safety and the well-being of others.

If you’re a new driver, make sure you understand these and other signs. Your safety and the safety of others depends on all of us knowing traffic laws and following posted traffic control devices.

We’re going to break down the basics of sign designs in color and shape. These give an easy way to identify upcoming road hazards or changing conditions. At the end of this article, we’ll show you some uncommon or confusing signs you may come across.

But, before that, let’s see the design concepts behind these signs.

Regulatory Signs

As the title suggests, regulatory road signs regulate the flow of traffic. These signs direct motorists to specific actions such as yielding to other lanes or upcoming speed changes.

These types of signs are meant to be followed at all times. Some signs, as you’ll see later, are suggestions or call attention to attractions or rest areas. These are not considered regulatory signs. Whereas things like Yield Signs, Speed Limit Signs, or Construction Signs regulate and control the flow the traffic. So, these are regulatory signs.

With that in mind, you need to know what the colors of different signs mean.

Road Sign Color Meanings

Stop Sign and Street Sign

We previously touched on how businesses use color to influence customers, but color also plays an important part in road safety. Colors quickly and easily convey vague messages to road users. The symbols assign the specific meaning, but color is usually the first thing drivers notice. While the full intent of a sign may not be immediately known, seeing the color provides drivers with initial information.

Understanding the general idea of road sign colors keeps you alert and cognizant of potentially changing road conditions.

White

White road signs have a wide variety of uses as they are primarily regulatory signs. Speed limit, lane restriction, and weight limit signs are all examples of white road signs.

Red

Red road signs are regulatory signs. They indicate prohibited actions or direct drivers towards certain actions such as stopping at an intersection or yielding to oncoming or highway traffic.

The best known type of red sign are Stop Signs. They’re bright, they’re noticeable, and they tell you what to do.

Yellow

Yellow signs issue a warning to road users. These may be the most common and numerous type of road safety sign. Warning road signs have a variety of uses and generally inform drivers of changes and disruptions to the flow of traffic or terrain such as potential wildlife or merging lanes.

Green

Green signs serve as guides. Guide signs tend to bear information such as street names, interstate on and off ramps, and distances to cities and towns.

Blue

Blue signs are not regulatory signs. However, they denote services for drivers such as gas stations, hospitals, and rest areas.

Since they aren’t regulatory, blue signs don’t control traffic in any way. They show you places to stop or other attractions, but you’re under no obligation to follow them.

Brown

Like blue signs, brown signs are not regulatory. They indicate guidance for road users towards recreational areas such as picnic areas, swimming locations, hiking trails, and many more.

Again, since brown signs aren’t regulatory, you don’t need to follow them.

Fluorescent Yellow-Green

These signs signify pedestrian crossing areas and school zones. It may be difficult to differentiate between this color and the yellow warning signs, and it is important to acknowledge the caution these signs offer for the safety of pedestrians and students.

Orange

Contrary to some beliefs, orange construction signs are not permanent. An orange sign means drivers need to know of temporary traffic control changes such as lanes closed for construction, slow traffic, and marking the beginning or end of road work zones.

Road Sign Shapes

Right Curve Ahead Sign

The shape of a traffic sign works in tandem with its color in quickly imprinting and informing of a general warning or alert. Like color, since shape is an easy visual identifier, you can quickly interpret a traffic control sign’s general meaning by looking at its shape.

Diamond ShapedDiamond Shaped Road Sign

Diamond signs mean some form of warning. They’re typically used in conjunction with the color yellow to better alert drivers.

Pentagon ShapedPentagon Shaped Sign

These signs indicate a school zone or crosswalk. Many of these signs use the fluorescent yellow/green color for consistency.

Triangle ShapedTriangle Road Sign

There are a couple meanings for triangle road signs.

  • Yield: Possibly the most common form of triangle sign, Yield signs alert drivers to slow down and yield to oncoming or ongoing traffic
  • No Passing Zone: These pennant-shaped signs inform drivers of a stretch of road where passing is not allowed and potentially hazardous such as around long turns or narrow lanes

Rectangular ShapedRectangular Shaped Sign

Rectangular vertical and horizontal signs have a variety of uses, but there are some general meanings for each.

  • Vertical: Regulate driving behaviors such as indicating speed limits or informing of lane restrictions
  • Horizontal: Typically help in guiding drivers such as indicating a sharp turn, but horizontal signs have a variety of uses

Round/Circle ShapedCircle Road Sign

Circle road signs inform drivers of an upcoming railroad crossing.

Octagon ShapedOctagon Shaped Road Sign

This may be the most easily recognizable. Octagon shaped signs are Stop signs.

Road Sign Symbols

T Intersection Sign

While a sign’s color provides preliminary information, its symbol defines it. Many symbols and phrases adorn our streets, highways, and interstates, and understanding them ensures safe travels during the season. There are many different types of roads signs and they each carry their own meaning.

Most signs bear symbols in black or other contrasting color. This makes the sign easy to see and identify from further away. The typical colors for road sign symbols are white and black. They’re easy to see and contrast with most background colors.

Uncommon Sign Meanings

Knowing the colors and shapes of the variety of signs found along America’s highways and interstates allows you to quickly understand their general ideas. However, the symbols define the specific meanings.

As a reminder before your holiday travels, here are a few confusing or less-than-common signs to bear in mind:

Images courtesy of MUTCD unless otherwise stated

Divided HighwayDivided Highway Sign

This sign often gets confused with the similar Leaving Divider sign. The Divided Highway sign signifies an upcoming physical split in the road.

You should understand why this is important. If you don’t adhere to the warning of a Divided Highway sign, you could run into the median or off the road.

Merging TrafficMerging Traffic Sign

This sign alerts drivers that an upcoming ramp merges directly into the flow of traffic.

Staying aware of your place and the places of other drivers keeps everyone safe. You need to know that an on-ramp is coming up to keep an eye out for merging cars.

Added LaneAdded Lane Sign

Contrasting with the Merging Traffic sign, an Added Lane sign informs drivers of a road or ramp adding another lane alongside and in the same direction as the current flow of traffic.

Similar to Merging Traffic signs, you need to know whether a ramp adds a new lane to the road or not. If it does, you’ll need to be aware of drivers staying in their lane. If not, you need to find a safe way to let other drivers into the flow of traffic.

Slippery When WetRoad Narrows Sign

Relatively self-explanatory, a Slippery When Wet sign warns drivers to take caution of water on the road.

If you’re travelling through states or regions prone to snow for the holidays, you need to heed the warning this sign offers. Water always alters road conditions, but certain road types, such as bridges and overpasses, can become even more hazardous than standard asphalt.

Bridge Ices Before RoadBridge Ices Before Road Sign

Another example of weather warning, a Bridge Ices Before Road sign alerts motorists to watch for ice patches on the road.

The reason bridges ice over faster than roads is due to their construction. Roads built on the ground take longer to change in temperature because only one side is exposed to the air while bridges cool faster because of the colder air both above and below the structure.

Road NarrowsRoad Narrows Sign

This sign means that the road itself narrows up ahead. Understanding this warning is important as a tighter lane space means less room for you and other drivers.

A narrowing road could mean dangerous conditions such as soft dirt to either side, a water feature such as a river, or tight and close rocky walls. Whatever the reason, you need to follow a Road Narrows sign to avoid a collision or falling off the motorway.

Two Way TrafficTwo Way Traffic

These signs demonstrate a change from one way or split roads into a two-way highway or interstate.

If you’ve been traveling on a single-lane road, these signs alert you to on-coming traffic. This is important so you understand where the new bounds of your lane are.

“X” CrossingDeer Crossing Sign

There are many kinds of crossing signs and they vary from region to region. Many signs indicate wildlife crossing areas for animals such as bears, deer, or cattle. Additionally, there are signs warning of farm equipment or recreational vehicle crossing.

Regardless of the source, you must stay aware of animal and equipment crossing signs for your safety and other bystanders.

These signs warn of potential hazards. As a driver, you should already be aware of your surroundings. But, Animal or Equipment Crossing signs reinforce that behavior. An animal could dart out in front of your vehicle, but you might be able to avoid a collision if you stay vigilant in these sections of road.

Advisory SpeedSpeed Advisory Sign

Some stretches of road indicate a suggested speed. Such markers may be found along exit ramps or lanes, upcoming turns, or other potentially hazardous sections of road.

These signs are not regulatory speed limit signs. However, they indicate and suggest the maximum safest speed given usual road conditions. While these signs aren’t absolute, it is best to heed them.

Winding RoadWinding Road Sign

This type of warning sign alerts drivers of an upcoming section of road that contains more frequent turns and curves. Advisory Speed signs may accompany these markers for added safety.

A multitude of signs line America’s highways and interstates. Understanding their meaning and heeding them ensures you, your family, and other drivers will arrive safely.

Slow Down Speed Advisory Sign

CustomSigns.com is your one-stop-shop for professional-grade signs. From safety signs to office signs to ADA compliant signs, we are the best online source for all of your signage needs.

Reference
  1. Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices

How Effective are Sale Signs?

Sale Signs in a Department Clothing Store

Effects of Sale Signs

Table of Contents
Signs Improve Sales
Customer Influence
Color Effects
Black Friday Statistics

The holiday rush is coming. People across the country will be shopping for the best deals on the perfect gifts for their loved ones. Your business needs to stand out to catch the eye of every potential customer, but how effective is your sale signage?

A bright, flashy sign may seem like a great idea, but what effect will it have? We addressed how to use psychology for your sale signage in a previous post, and we wanted to expand on the effect of the techniques addressed.

Signs Improve Sales

30% Off Sale Clothing Rack Tag

The purpose of your Black Friday sales is to move product, right? Proper labeling, even for items with unchanged prices, may improve your business’s numbers. Luckily, savvy marketers and researchers have already studied ways to capture sales.

Business Insider references an unpublished MIT study that separated products into three groups. The first was the control; unlabeled at regular price. The second group had their prices reduced by 12% without signage. And, the final group kept the normal price but marked with sale stickers.

The second group had an approximate increase of 17% in sales. But, the third labeled, unchanged-price group sold over 3% more compared to the control. This study’s conclusion demonstrates that sales improve by posting sale signs.¹

The end goal of your signage should be to influence a customer into committing to a sale.

Customer Influence

Two Customers Browsing and Reading Books

Attracting new customers should be an integral part of your Black Friday sales. Studies show that appealing signage is great at bringing in new business and securing sales.

According to a FedEx survey, 68% of people make a purchase because a sign grabbed their attention. Additionally, 76% of Americans visit a new store based on their signage.²

Part of preparing for a successful Black Friday and holiday season means understanding how to draw new customers in. Designing visually interesting signage and marketing or event banners is a perfect way to draw in this business.

Color and your product’s appearance also plays a major role in securing sales.

Results of Implementing Colors

Woman Standing in Front of an Orange SALE Sign

Reading how colors influence customers is a great first step towards improving your store’s signage. But, how effective is it? In a previous post, we addressed how color influences people.

To recap; people associate emotions and reactions depending on which colors they see. Reds invoke a faster heartrate, blues elicit a sense of trustworthiness, greens indicate health or prosperity, etc.

What does this mean for your sale signage? Well, as mentioned previously, a large majority of consumers make purchases because a sign caught their eye. Additionally, roughly 93% of people claim that the visual appearance of a product is the main reason for their purchase.³ Furthermore, a study from the SCMS Journal of Indian Management estimates that a customer’s willingness to read and selling potential increases by 80% when color is present.4

Prepare for Black Friday

Red Special Deal Sign in a Mall

To give your business the best chance at taking advantage of the busiest shopping day of the year, we’ve aggregated some Black Friday statistics and frequently asked questions. Understanding key aspects of Black Friday shoppers and numbers helps in your preparations.

  • When is Black Friday?
    • Black Friday is November 29, 2019
  • How Much Does the Average Person Spend on Black Friday?
    • Finder estimates that the average person will spend between roughly $252 and $626 depending on their age5
  • How Many People Shopped on Black Friday?
    • Over 34 million people shopped in stores in 20186
  • How Much Did People Spend on Black Friday 2018?
    • Over $717 billion total between in-store and online7

While there seems to be a downward trend for in-store shopping, ignoring the millions of brick-and-mortar shoppers is ill-advised. Your sale signage can play a major role in ensuring a successful Black Friday and holiday season.

With so many people shopping, both online and in-store, you need to prepare the best deals and signage to stay competitive and catch the eyes of any and all potential customers.

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CustomSigns.com is the best online store for ordering high-quality, eye-catching sale signs and business banners. Customization is always free and most orders ship next business day. Attract new customers for Black Friday and special holiday sales with CustomSigns.com.

Resources:

  1. Business Insider – Sales
  2. FedEx
  3. Colorcom
  4. SCMS Journal of Indian Management
  5. Finder
  6. Business Insider – Black Friday
  7. The Balance

How to Use Psychology in Your Sale Signage

Red "Huge Sale" Sign Posted In Front of a Telephone Pole
Table of Contents
Color Psychology
The Color Red
Other Colors
Number Psychology
Dollar Sign
Bulk Offers

With winter fast approaching and your holiday sales starting soon, if they haven’t already, you may want to consider some of the psychology behind successful signage. How does color affect customers? What do numbers mean to consumers? These are questions to bear in mind when designing signage for your sales.

How Colors Affect Customers

Colored Papers Against a Pink Background

Since signs are a visual form of advertising, colors play an integral role in the success of your sales. According to The Ultralinx, over 84% of people say that color is the main reason they buy something.¹ With this in mind, the color of your sale signage influences your customers decisions.

The Color Red

Flash Sale Banner on Wooden Wall

Generally, sale and clearance signs are in red, but why? A 2011 study found that grip strength and the velocity of the force increases when a person sees the color red.² The study concludes that red encourages a fast, physical reaction from individuals. Additionally, red conjures up feelings of urgency and can lead to an increased heart rate. With all these factors combined, red is the perfect color to entice shoppers into taking advantage of sales.

What About Other Colors?

Other colors evoke intrinsic reactions as well. Shades of blue instill a sense of trustworthiness and dependability, green hues show health and wealth, and yellows elicit positivity.³ Depending on your business, you may want to play with colors that are in-line with your brand and what you want to convey to your customers. While colors are the first thing consumers notice, what your signage says should further entice a sale.

The Numbers Matter

Pile of United States Dollars

If you’re planning on adjusting prices for your holiday sales, you may want to consider the specific numbers used. Numbers play an important part in any marketing or advertising campaign, and your signage should reflect that value. Prices ending in 7, 8, or 99 indicate value according Mark Ellwood, who wrote “Bargain Fever: How to Shop in a Discounted World.” Items priced with “.99” generally advertise special savings while “7” or “8” are usually used for clearance items.4 The psychology behind “.99” comes from the idea that consumers tend to round down these numbers. For example, an item priced at $4.99 is perceived as $4 rather than $5. This plays into how your customers perceive the sales you launch during the holidays. Are your sales meant to convey value or that you are attempting to clear out your stock?

Dollars Signs Are Discouraged

Red Huge Sale Yard Sign

In addition to how your sale prices end, you may want to reconsider including the dollar sign on your signage. Cornell University researchers conducted an experiment with customers of St. Andrew’s Cafe. They made three menus to test which one led to increased sales. One menu listed items with the dollar sign ($), one with the word “dollar” spelled out, and one with nothing next to the prices.

The study found that customers spent more money when they ordered from menus without the “$” or word “dollar.”5 The researchers concluded that the symbol or word solidified the idea that customers would be spending money whereas leaving them out meant the numbers were less concrete in the minds of the consumers.

Suggest Bulk Offers

Offering bulk discounts or sales touting savings for purchasing multiples of the same product is a tried-and-true marketing tactic. Buy one, get one has been around for decades, but advertising bigger can entice consumers to buy even more. John Gourville of Harvard Business School states “many people buy the amount, or buy in increments….”6 Consumers perceive an inherent value when a greater number of goods is suggested for the same proportionate deal. Including this method on your holiday signage can help increase sales and move more merchandise.

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CustomSigns.com is your one-stop-shop destination for all your business signage needs. From sale banners to hours of operation signs, you can find and customize the signage your business needs to succeed.

Related Posts:

References:

  1. The Ultralinx
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information
  3. Shopify
  4. Business Insider
  5. Fast Company
  6. New York Times

Pet Fire Safety

Pug Resting on a Carpet

Home fires are an unpredictable tragedy that can be difficult to recover from. While people are capable of finding their way to safety, pets follow their instincts, which means there is more risk in protecting them during emergencies. There are special considerations you should take to give your pets the best chance of survival in the case of a fire.

Animal Instincts

Cat Lounging by a Window

As humans, we understand that we need to escape a burning building. However, our pets often revert to their instincts during stressful situations. Many animals will go into familiar hiding places thinking they are safe. They may become agitated or aggressive, making it more difficult to remove them from a fire. Understanding your pet’s behaviors will give you a better chance of saving them during an emergency.

Pet Alert Stickers

Stickers or signs that alert to the presence of animals in your home may help keep them safe. Pet alert stickers are placed on windows or doors to alert firefighters and rescue workers that your household has animals inside.

Do They Work?

There is some question as to whether pet alert stickers and signs actually help keep our animals safe. The question “How do firefighters feel about those ‘Please save our pet(s)’ stickers” on Quora.¹ Most of the responses indicate that firefighters generally ignore these signs. According to the answers, there is no way of knowing if the pet, or pets, are still alive, if the animals are even present, or if the stickers were put in place by a previous occupant. Structural damage caused by a fire makes prolonged searching dangerous, so firefighters don’t seem to put special consideration into pet alert stickers.

However, firefighters generally conduct searches during a fire, if the circumstances allow. Additionally, there are a few responses on Quora from some firefighters stating they appreciate knowing that pets may be present. Ensure that your stickers are updated to reflect the current occupants.

Pet Safety Tips

German Shepherd Playing with a Toy

What can be done to keep our pets safe during a fire? There are a number of precautions you can do in order to prepare for the worst.

1. Note Hiding Places

If your pets hide during thunderstorms or when fireworks are set off near your home, you should take note of their preferred spaces. Animals may tuck themselves under beds, under tables, in closets, or other confined spaces in order to feel safe. During a fire, your pets may hide themselves in one of their favorite spots in an attempt to escape the danger. Knowing where your pets could be can help you and rescue workers retrieve them in time.

2. Keep Kennels Close to Entrances

Many people keep their pets in kennels or crates during the day for various reasons. The locations of where these are kept vary according to house or apartment layout. However, if possible, place kennels, crates, and other animal carriers near entrances or exits while you’re away from home. This makes finding your pets much easier for firefighters and first responders.

3. Post Pet Alert Stickers

While pet alerts may or may not be heeded depending on the level of danger, it is still important to alert firefighters to the presence of your animals. An updated sticker detailing the number of animals in your household can help rescue workers in their search.

4. Train When Possible

It is also easier for first responders to locate your pets if you train them to respond to particular commands. You or emergency personnel, if given the command word or phrase, will then be able to call your pets during the search or out of the burning building.

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CustomSigns.com is your one-stop-shop for fire safety signs. Keep the inhabitants of your building safe and comply with safety regulations with our collection of metal and plastic signs and vinyl decals.

References:

  1. Quora


What is the Difference Between Personalized & Vanity Plates?

Vintage Car with an Old License Plate

Custom Car Tags vs Vanity License Plates

What are vanity plates? How about custom car tags? Is there a difference between them? You may have seen these terms tossed around while registering or renewing your vehicle’s license plates. The answers to these questions are somewhat nebulous and there isn’t a black-and-white difference between them.

What is a Vanity Plate?

Car with a Decorative Front License Plate

There isn’t a clear-cut way to define vanity plates. Cyber Drive Illinois is one of the few places that provides a definition and contrasts vanity plates with other personalized license plates:¹

“Vanity plates contain up to 3 numbers or 1 to 7 letters only”
“Personalized plates contain both letters and numbers”

Outside of this specific differentiation, the terms personalized license plates, custom car tags, and vanity plates are mostly interchangeable. Vanity plates may apply to purely decorative license plates more frequently, but the term still applies to official tags.

Typically, these terms refer to personalizing required license plates to read specific phrases or names. An important distinction comes into play when considering which states require front license plates.

What States Require Front License Plates?

License Plate Art Featuring Many States

While many motorists seem to want novelty or unofficial front license plates, there are only a handful of states that allow them. 19 states require the rear license plate only. This means the other 31 states require both front and back license plates. See the following list for which states do not require front license plates

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • West Virginia

Personalized Tropical Front License PlateThe above list of states allow custom front license plates that aren’t required to follow established design guidelines or include assigned identifying alphanumeric character combinations. This gives motorists a wide degree of freedom to personalize their vehicles according to their personality and style. Looking for front license plate ideas is a fun way to find inspiration if you live in one of these states.

Advertising with a custom car tag is an easy way to get your company’s name in front of potential customers or clients. Some organizations utilize business license plates as an additional means of marketing their products or services.

However, this does not mean that drivers within these 19 states have complete freedom. There may be restrictions on what phrases or designs are allowed. For example, plates that could be mistaken as official tags for police or government officials. Designs of this nature could potentially pose public security and safety risks.

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Other posts you may like:

References:

  1. Cyber Drive Illinois
  2. Autolist

2020 Presidential Campaign Dates

Interracial Group of People Waving Small American Flags
[UPDATED: 6/12/20]

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 held six debates over the course of 2019. They have planned for four more for the first part of 2020.

At the time of writing this post, the Republican Party has not scheduled any debates.

2019 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

The 12 qualifying candidates discussed a wide range of topics including the impeachment inquiry, foreign policy, and job loss due to automation. CNN and The New York Times hosted the debate.5

You can watch the debate on CNN’s website or read the full transcript on The Washington Post.

    • November 20

The fifth 2019 Democratic Debate was held on November 20th and hosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post.6 Candidates addressed racial inequality, Medicare, and housing.

You can watch the debate on MSNBC or read the transcript on NBC News.

    • December 19

The sixth 2019 Democratic Debate was held December 19th. PBS NewsHour and Politico hosted the event.7 Candidates addressed the on-going impeachment process, changes in trade, healthcare, and foreign policy.

Watch the full debate on the PBS NewsHour YouTube Channel or read the transcript at The Washington Post.

This was the last Democratic debate of the year.

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.

2020 Democratic Debate Schedule

    • January 14

The seventh Democratic candidate debate was hosted by CNN and The Des Moines Register. Participants discussed foreign trade and relations as well as healthcare, prescription drug prices, impeachment, and climate change.8

Watch the full debate on CNN or read the transcript on Rev.com.

    • February 7

Healthcare was a major topic for the candidates. But, they also addressed their electability and foreign and domestic policies.

Hosted by ABC, WMUR-TV, and Apple News. You can watch the full debate on the ABC News YouTube channel.9

    • February 19

As with most of the previous debates, the discussed topics varied. But, common topics included climate change, electability, and domestic policy. This was the first debate Michael Bloomberg participated in.

Hosted by NBC News and MSNBC. You can watch the full debate at NBCNews.com or read the transcript here.10

    • February 25

The seven candidates discussed much of the same topics including electability and domestic and foreign policies. Hosted by CBS News and The Congressional Black Caucus Initiative.

Watch the debate on the CBS New YouTube channel or read the full transcript here.11

    • March 15

Only two candidates, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, qualified for this debate. Both candidates discussed the coronavirus pandemic, our healthcare system, and the economy.

This Democratic debate was hosted by CNN, Univision, and CHC Bold. Watch the full debate on CNN.com or read the transcript at Rev.com.12

Once the Democratics decides who will represent the party, most of the 2020 race will consist of 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.

Some states pushed their primary dates back due to public health concerns.

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
22nd Nevada Democratic caucuses
29th South Carolina Democratic primary
March 3rd Alabama Primaries
American Samoa Democratic caucus
Arkansas primaries
California primaries
Colorado primaries
Maine primaries
Massachusetts primaries
Minnesota primaries
North Carolina primaries
Oklahoma primaries
Tennessee primaries
Texas primaries
Utah primaries
Vermont primaries
Virginia Democratic primary
Democrats Abroad primaries
10th Idaho primaries
Michigan primaries
Mississippi primaries
Missouri primaries
North Dakota caucuses
Washington primaries
12th Virgin Islands Republican caucus
14th Guam Republican caucus
Northern Marianas Democratic caucuses
15th Northern Marianas Republican caucuses
17th Arizona Democratic primary
Florida primaries
Illinois primaries
24th American Samoa Republican caucus
April 4th Hawaii Democratic primary
7th Wisconsin primaries
10th Alaska Democratic primary
17th Wyoming Democratic caucuses
28th Ohio primaries
May 2nd Guam Democratic caucus
Kansas Democratic primary
9th Wyoming Republican conventions
12th Nebraska primaries
19th Oregon primaries
June 2nd District of Columbia primaries
Indiana primaries
Maryland primaries
Montana primaries
New Mexico primaries
Pennsylvania primaries
Pennsylvania Democratic primaries
Rhode Island primaries
South Dakota primaries
6th Virgin Islands Democratic caucuses
7th Puerto Rico Republican primary
9th Georgia primaries
West Virginia primaries
23rd Kentucky primaries
New York Democratic primary
July 7th New Jersey primaries
Delaware primaries
11th Louisiana primaries
12th Puerto Rico Democratic primary
August 11th Connecticut primaries
Cancelled Alaska Republican conventions
Arizona Republican primary
Hawaii Republican caucuses
Kansas Republican caucuses
Nevada Republican caucuses
New York Republican primary
South Carolina Republican primary
Virginia Republican primary

References:

  1. Ballotpedia – June 2019 Democratic Debates
  2. Ballotpedia – July 2019 Democratic Debates
  3. FactCheck
  4. Ballotpedia – September 2019 Democratic Debates
  5. Ballotpedia – October 2019 Democratic Debates
  6. Ballotpedia – November 2019 Democratic Debates
  7. Ballotpedia – December 2019 Democratic Debate
  8. Ballotpedia – January 2020 Democratic Debate
  9. Ballotpedia – February 7, 2020 Democratic Debate
  10. Ballotpedia – February 19, 2020 Democratic Debate
  11. Ballotpedia – February 25, 2020 Democratic Debate
  12. Ballotpedia – March 15, 2020 Democratic Debate

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.

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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.

 

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References