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

 

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/

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

Promote Conservation in Your Office with Our Ecofriendly Tips and Tools

Earth Day is on its way! This is the perfect time for organizations around the world to join the green movement and adopt ecofriendly habits that will go a long way toward protecting our planet. Here, we share our favorite ways to help your company ‘go green’ and inspire employees and guests alike to make every day Earth Day.

 

Use Electricity Wisely

While turning off the lights may seem obvious, conservation reminders are especially helpful in the office where light switches often are overlooked. Consider installing motion activated light sensors; they’re a great way to keep the lights out until a room is in use. Additionally, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and LED bulbs use up to 75 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and can last nearly three times as long.  And LED bulbs are nontoxic and recyclable.

Let the sunshine in! Take advantage of natural light by keeping those shades up and the lights turned down. Since 25 percent of the electricity we use illuminates offices across the country, natural light is an ecofriendly and budget conscious choice.

Reduce | Reuse | Recycle

Make recycling easy by placing the proper recycle bins throughout your buildings. While most people are happy to recycle, they’re not always sure where to properly place their recyclables. Clearly labeling recycle bins will make recycling easy for everyone. Recycle signs and decals often include paper, plastic, glass, aluminum, compost, landfill, and even ink cartridges.

Promote Ecofriendly Transportation

Encourage employees to park their vehicles at home and give public transportation a try. ‘Transportation Tuesdays’ are a terrific opportunity for taking a bus, train, subway, ride share, or even a bicycle to work. Set up a bike rack and offer incentives for taking ecofriendly modes of transportation to and from the office. Offering a catered lunch or raffling off a floating holiday to participants are fun ways to show your appreciation!

Go (Almost!) Paperless

Reducing the amount of waste that goes into our landfills – and reducing our carbon footprint – will go a long way toward protecting the earth’s valuable, yet limited, resources. With the digital age and the benefits of cloud storage, going paperless or significantly reducing our paper usage has never been easier. When paper is a must, selecting paper made from recycled materials is a wise choice.

Create an Ecofriendly Kitchen and Break Space

Reducing or eliminating single use paper and plastic in your lunchroom is ecofriendly and good for your budget. Investing in reusable plates, drinking cups, and silverware will keep tons of unnecessary waste out of landfills each year. If your breakroom doesn’t allow for easy dish washing, purchasing biodegradable plates and cups will lessen your environmental impact.

Practice Green Procurement

Sourcing and purchasing ecofriendly office products is the perfect way to move your office toward sustainably produced goods that are made with protecting our planet at the forefront. Recycled paper products, refillable ink cartridges, ecofriendly pens and highlighters, non-toxic cleaning products, and compostable trash bags are just a few terrific options. If budget is a concern, choose just one or two items to swap each month and your transition will be complete in no time.

Even the smallest changes we make together will create a valuable impact on caring for our precious resources and the planet we share. Here’s to a happy Earth Day every day of the year!

Water Conservation for Businesses

Running Water Faucet

Earth Over North & South America
Over 97% of Earth’s water is salt water

Of all the water on the planet, roughly 97 percent of it is unusable, or difficult to desalinate salt water. This leaves us with about 3 percent of the total as fresh water, more than 98 percent of which is inaccessible due to being located in ice caps, glaciers, and deep groundwater.1 We are left with a little over 1 percent of fresh water that is usable coming from lakes, rivers, and ground ice. As such, fresh water is considered a limited resource simply because, by comparison, there is so little of it, and when consumption outpaces the natural water cycle, the usable amount decreases, affecting the environment and local populace.

So, what is water conservation?

Water conservation is the process of reducing the amount of excess water used for daily activities domestically, commercially, and industrially through the planning and execution of management practices.

Why is it important?

Maintaining a steady, available supply of usable water affects many aspects of daily activities. Restrooms, laundry facilities, kitchens, and other modern amenities rely on water to function. The wanton and excessive use of water damages the environment. Contaminated water can re-enter the ecosystem and the overuse of a water supply can dry out an entire region.

White & Yellow Sign with Black Lettering that Reads "SEVERE DROUGHT, Please Conserve Water"
Raise drought awareness

Making a plan for conserving water and reducing use can help prevent long-lasting repercussions. The importance of lessening water use in the United States can be inferred from concerns of state water managers who expect water shortages in 40 states by 2023, according to a 2014 Government Accountability Office study.2  Simply and economically speaking, reducing excessive water use means less money that your business has to pay for water. It just also happens to help the environment.

Water Use in Businesses

Publicly supplied water is “water delivered to users for domestic, commercial, and industrial purposes”3 and makes up approximately 12 percent of fresh water usage in the United States.4 According to the EPA, commercial and industrial businesses account for 17 percent of the use of public water supplies. This includes usage in laundry and cleaning facilities, maintenance of medical equipment, kitchen and restroom use, landscaping, and others. Roughly 40 percent of a company’s water use comes from bathrooms and laundry facilities.5 Water use in these sectors is often required, so taking steps towards reducing this utilization would help in decreasing environmental and economical impact.

Steps to Lessen Water Usage

There are a myriad of ways to reduce our water consumption at home, such as:

  • Turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth

    Navy Background with White Icons Reading "Please Help Save Water, Make sure all taps are securely shut"
    Reminder to save water
  • Only washing full loads of laundry
  • Updating bathroom fixtures, laundry, and kitchen fixtures

Similarly, implementing a conservative water usage policy within your business can help reduce your company’s footprint.

Help control water usage by:

  • Monitoring and metering your business’s water usage
  • Updating cooling and restroom fixtures
  • Educating and rewarding employees for adhering to a strict water usage plan

Custom Signs offers a wide selection of conservation signage to remind your employees to strive towards lessening your business’ water consumption. Our brass and plastic signs come either engraved or in full color and can be customized to meet your company’s needs. Take the first steps of your company’s journey towards preserving our water supplies by informing your employees with a custom conservation sign from CustomSigns.com.

References

  1. https://water.usgs.gov/edu/earthhowmuch.html
  2. https://www.gao.gov/assets/670/663343.pdf
  3. https://water.usgs.gov/watuse/wups.html
  4. https://www.epa.gov/watersense/types-facilities
  5. https://www.epa.gov/watersense/best-management-practices

Get Creative with Vinyl Banners

Vinyl banners are an exceptional marketing tool – they’re affordable, eye-catching, portable, and reusable. And best of all, they’re completely custom and are ideal for promoting everything from farmers markets to political campaigns to the newest business to join your community, and everything in between. Let your creativity be your guide!

Vinyl Banners Are an Ideal Advertising Tool

Whether you’re promoting a one-time event or focusing on long-term marketing strategies, vinyl banners are an ideal medium for marketing your business (or event!) to the masses. Made of high quality vinyl, banners are cost-effective, lightweight, durable, easily portable, and reusable.  Available in a variety of sizes, personalized text and custom designs, vinyl banners are a tried and true marketing tool that works.

We’ve compiled a list of our favorite innovative uses for vinyl banners that will get your creative juices flowing:

Bands, Stages, and Backdrops

Whether you’re promoting your up-and-coming indie band or you’re headed out on tour, vinyl banners are a terrific option for easily portable, eye-catching custom signs for outdoor venues, stages, and even as custom backdrops for wherever you’re playing your next gig.

Artists and Arts Festivals

The perfect ‘canvas’ for promoting artists and local arts festivals, vinyl banners are the perfect artistic avenue for drawing attention to arts, crafts, and other one-of-a-kind handmade goods made by talented artisans from near and far.

Farmer’s Markets

Custom Coming Soon BannerAccording to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there are more than 8,000 farmer’s markets across the US offering a variety of organically grown produce, select meats, fresh seafood, artisan cheeses, local honey, and more. A brightly colored backdrop to showcase your local farmer’s market, a design-your-own vinyl banner is a vibrant venue for advertising the best your community has to offer!

Small Businesses

Whether you’re a brand new corner café or coffee shop or a local hardware store that’s been in the community for generations, vinyl banners are a professional, polished way to advertise to everyone passing by, inviting them to stop in and see what’s new!

Sporting Teams and Local Sponsors

From colleges to high schools and even grade schools, sports teams are everywhere! Whether you’re supporting your local football, baseball, basketball, volleyball, or other school sports team, custom vinyl banners are a popular and effective way to secure sponsorships while economically advertising local goods, services, and small businesses. A win-win for everyone!

Local Running Events

What better way to promote your local running event – from 5k’s to marathons and everything in between – than with custom banners? Flying high above the crowds, banners will easily show runners where to find registration, pick up running packets, and, most importantly, cross those start and finish lines with ease!

Political Campaigns

Name recognition is the name of the game! Political campaigns work tirelessly to make their candidates known and this grassroots method of promoting a nominee to the masses is an economical way to get the word out. Designing eye-catching, reusable political banners will rally voters to the booths every Election Day.

Holiday Events

Bring on the holiday cheer! Give your storefront a merry makeover or promote your local holiday celebrations with a richly colored, festively designed vinyl banner or two. Whether you’re promoting seasonal sales or your community’s annual winter wonderland extravaganza, your ho-ho-holidays are sure to be filled with merriment.

 

Whether you’re designing a banner for your local festival, a community extravaganza, or your small business to use all year long, Customsigns.com makes it easy and fun to create vibrantly colored, high quality banners that are made to last. Start from scratch or choose one of our templates. With our custom design tool, your perfect banners are just a few clicks away. Our Customer Focus Team is here to answer any questions you may have. Simply email us or call (877) 251-9444.