Time To Fill Up Those Bicycle Tires

Bicycling is one of the best ways to get exercise, see the sights and reduce your carbon footprint.  Unfortunately, bicyclists face many hazards.  They often must share the road with vehicles, and injuries can happen on the road and even on a designated path.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 966 bicyclists were killed in traffic crashes in 2021. Find out what you can do to prevent bicycle injuries and deaths.  A large percentage of crashes can be avoided if motorists and cyclists follow the rules of the road and watch out for each other.

There is one way in which drivers can help keep cyclists safe is called the far-hand reach, or Dutch Reach.  It is a simple technique that will stop you and your passengers from opening your vehicle door in front of an oncoming vehicle, cyclist or pedestrian.  This works for streets, sidewalks and parking lots.  This technique teaches people sitting in vehicles to open the door using their far hand.  If you are sitting on the driver's side, reach for the door handle using your right hand.  If you are on the passenger side, open the door using your left hand.  This will force you to check your side mirror and over your left (driver) or right (passenger) shoulder for bicyclists or pedestrians.  Once you see that it is clear, gently open the door and slowly exit the vehicle.

Bicyclist Safety Tips

Remember the following tips when riding bicycles:

  • Always obey traffic signs and signals and be courteous to other traffic.
  • Use proper hand signals when making turns, so other motorists know where you intend to go.
  • Never ride against traffic, and always follow the lane markings.  In addition, do not weave in and out or between traffic.
  • Make eye contact with other motorists to make sure they see you.
  • Allow extra stopping distance, and always keep a hand on the brake in case you need to make a sudden stop.
  • Wear neon, fluorescent or other bright clothing.  If you must ride at night, wear reflective clothing and use flashing lights.
  • Always wear a bike helmet for safety.  Visit National Safety Council - Fitting Your Bike Helmet to learn how to choose the proper helmet.

Getting Ready for Grilling Season

There is nothing like the flavor of food cooked on the grill in the summertime.  Unfortunately, the National Fire Protection Association reports that on average 10,600 home fires are started by grills each year.  July is the peak month for grill fires, followed by June, May and August.  Learn some simple safety tips to make your summer grilling safe and delicious.

  • Only use your grill outside.  Keep it at least 3 feet from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep a 3-foot safe zone around your grill to keep children and pets safe.
  • Maintain your grill by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.  
  • Keep combustible accessories such as oven mitts or paper plates at a safe distance.

For Charcoal Grills:

  • Consider using an electric charcoal starter or a charcoal chimney starter instead of lighter fluid to get the charcoal ready to use.  The chimney starter allows you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
  • If you do use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid.  Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
  • Never use your barbeque grill to burn waste or garbage.

For Propane Grills:

  • Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.
  • Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year.  Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose.  A propane leak will release bubbles.  If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off both the gas tank and the grill.  If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.  It the leak does not stop, call the fire department.  If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.
  • If the flame goes out while cooking, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least 5 minutes before re-lighting it.
Grilling Safety

Fireworks Safety

Summer, 4th of July, and fireworks go together like apple pie and ice cream.  The National Safety Council advises everyone to enjoy fireworks at public displays conducted by professionals, and not to use any fireworks at home.  They may be legal, but they are not safe.  Annually, more than 19,500 reported fires are started by fireworks.  In addition, fireworks cause thousands of injuries every year that are serious enough to require medical treatment.  Many of these injuries are to children and young adults.

Here are a few Safety Tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for consumers who decide to purchase legal fireworks and use them.

  • NEVER allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.  Older children should use them only under close adult supervision.
  • NEVER place any part of your body directly over fireworks or devices when lighting the fuse.  Light fireworks one at a time. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting them.
  • DO NOT try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. 
  • KEEP a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishaps.  Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding.
  • NEVER point or throw fireworks at another person.

Fireworks Safety4

Sparklers are a lot more dangerous than most people think. 

Sparklers burn at about 1,200 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.

Sparklers can quickly ignite clothing, and children have received severe burns from dropping sparklers on their feet.

Consider using GLOW STICKS.  They glow in the dark and are a safe alternative to a sparkler.  Fun for all ages!

The Hanover Park Fire Department wishes all of our residents a safe and fun summer!!