summer


BBQ Safety Tips!

Nothing says summer like a good ole barbecue! Although this summer staple can be loads of fun, it can also be a dangerous activity if the right precautions are not taken. Before you light up, keep in mind these helpful safety tips from the NFPA!

Before You Grill

– Where you place your grill is crucial for safety.  Keep grills away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves, overhanging branches and other flammable structures. You never know when a grease fire may start and when the wind may blow it a little too far.

– Check the major connection points between the gas (propane) tank hose and the regulator and cylinder, and where the hose connects to the burners. Tighten if loose.

– Check the propane tank hose for the potential leaks by applying a light soap and water solution to the hose using a brush or spray bottle.  Once you turn on the propane tank, the propane will release bubbles around the hose if there is a gas leak. In no bubbles appear, it’s safe to use.

– For a charcoal grill, if you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.

– Clean your grill. Grease and fat may have built up on your grill from previous uses and they provide more fuel for a fire.

– Choose your clothing carefully. Don’t wear clothing that has hanging shirt tails, frills, or apron strings that can catch fire, and use flame-retardant mitts when adjusting hot vents.

While You Grill

– The biggest risk with grilling is fire.  ALWAYS keep a fire extinguisher within a few steps of the grill, and make sure you know how to use it!

– Keep a spray bottle of water handy. That way, if you have a minor flare-up you can spray it with the water to instantly calm it. The bonus of this tip is that water won’t harm your food, so dinner won’t be ruined!

– If you smell gas, turn off the gas tank and burners immediately.  If the smell continues to persist, move away from the grill and call the fire department right away.

– Never, ever leave the grill unintended! If the griller needs a bathroom break, make sure there’s someone else watching the grill carefully. An unattended fire can double every minute.

– Don’t overload your grill with foodespecially fatty meats. The basic reason behind this is if too much fat drips on the flames at once, it can cause a large flare-up.

– Use barbecue utensils with long handles (forks, tongs, etc.) to avoid burns and splatters.

After You Grill

– Make sure to clean grill to prevent build up of grease and fat in trays and below the grill. Cleaning it after you’re done will keep your grill safer for use next time.

– Let the coals from a charcoal grill completely cool before disposing in a metal container

– Never move a hot grill! Let the grill cool completely, which can take over an hour, before moving,

Enjoy your barbecues and stay safe this summer by keeping these tips in mind before you fire up the grill!

BBQ Safety Tips!

Nothing says summer like a good ole barbecue! Although this summer staple can be loads of fun, it can also be a dangerous activity if the right precautions are not taken. Before you light up, keep in mind these helpful safety tips from the NFPA!

Before You Grill

– Where you place your grill is crucial for safety.  Keep grills away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves, overhanging branches and other flammable structures. You never know when a grease fire may start and when the wind may blow it a little too far.

– Check the major connection points between the gas (propane) tank hose and the regulator and cylinder, and where the hose connects to the burners. Tighten if loose.

– Check the propane tank hose for the potential leaks by applying a light soap and water solution to the hose using a brush or spray bottle.  Once you turn on the propane tank, the propane will release bubbles around the hose if there is a gas leak. In no bubbles appear, it’s safe to use.

– For a charcoal grill, if you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.

– Clean your grill. Grease and fat may have built up on your grill from previous uses and they provide more fuel for a fire.

– Choose your clothing carefully. Don’t wear clothing that has hanging shirt tails, frills, or apron strings that can catch fire, and use flame-retardant mitts when adjusting hot vents.

While You Grill

– The biggest risk with grilling is fire.  ALWAYS keep a fire extinguisher within a few steps of the grill, and make sure you know how to use it!

– Keep a spray bottle of water handy. That way, if you have a minor flare-up you can spray it with the water to instantly calm it. The bonus of this tip is that water won’t harm your food, so dinner won’t be ruined!

– If you smell gas, turn off the gas tank and burners immediately.  If the smell continues to persist, move away from the grill and call the fire department right away.

– Never, ever leave the grill unintended! If the griller needs a bathroom break, make sure there’s someone else watching the grill carefully. An unattended fire can double every minute.

– Don’t overload your grill with foodespecially fatty meats. The basic reason behind this is if too much fat drips on the flames at once, it can cause a large flare-up.

– Use barbecue utensils with long handles (forks, tongs, etc.) to avoid burns and splatters.

After You Grill

– Make sure to clean grill to prevent build up of grease and fat in trays and below the grill. Cleaning it after you’re done will keep your grill safer for use next time.

– Let the coals from a charcoal grill completely cool before disposing in a metal container

– Never move a hot grill! Let the grill cool completely, which can take over an hour, before moving,

Enjoy your barbecues and stay safe this summer by keeping these tips in mind before you fire up the grill!

Lightning Safety Tips

lightning

Hurricane season is here, and it seems like we’ve been having thunder and lightning storms every week.  While these storms can sometimes be fun to watch, they can also be extremely dangerous.  People are injured by lightning every year, but these simple tips will ensure that you stay safe!

  • It’s important to stay alert and aware of local weather forecasts, whether you’re staying local or going somewhere on vacation, make sure you look up local weather forecasts so you can avoid being outside if a thunder and lightning storm is expected.
  • It is not safe to be outside during a thunder and lightning storm.  Seek shelter immediately, being indoors is the best option but if not stay inside an enclosed metal vehicle.  Even if it is not raining, as soon as you hear thunder or see lightning, immediately stop your activities and head inside.
  • Once you’re inside, stay off porches, away from windows and doors, avoid appliances, sinks, toilets, showers, and tubs.  Lightning can flow through these objects and strike a person.
  • Avoid using corded telephones.  If telephone wires are struck the charge could flow to the phone, Cordless phones and cell phones are still safe to use though.
  • If you are outside and cannot seek shelter, stay away from trees and other tall objects.  If these are struck and fall over, you could be seriously injured.  Avoid high places such as hills, and get to the lowest spot possible.  Crouch down with your feet close together, keep your hands and knees off the ground and never lie down.
  • If you are swimming or boating, get to land immediately and take shelter.  If you are on a boat and cannot get to land, get below deck if possible or crouch as low as you possibly can.
  • Stay away from objects that conduct electricity such as power lines and metal fences.
  • Stay inside for at least 30 minutes after you hear the last boom of thunder just to be sure the storm has completely passed.
  • If someone nearby is struck by lightning, call 911 immediately and if the person is unconscious, begin CPR if you are qualified.  People struck by lightning do not carry an electric charge so it is perfectly safe to assist them.

Although thunder and lightning storms can happen year-round, hurricane season is the busiest season for these storms, and by keeping these tips in mind, you will greatly reduce your risk of being struck by lightning.

Photo By: John Fowler

Tips To Stay Cool In The Summer Heat

fan

It’s that time of year when the sun is shining and temperatures are on the rise.  Being outside can not only be unpleasant, it can also be dangerous if you’re not careful as heat exhaustion and heat stroke are real dangers.  Here are some tips that will keep you staying cool as a cucumber, some of them may be reminders but they’re still important to keep in mind!

  • Drink plenty of water.  It’s important to stay hydrated during the warmer months because when your body is hot it dehydrates more quickly.  Try to keep a water bottle on you at all times and if you’re going outside, put the water in the freezer first and as the ice melts you’ll still have cold water.
  • Dress appropriately.  Dark colors draw sunlight to you, so try and wear lighter colors if you’re going to be outside during peak heat hours.  It’s also a good idea to opt for cotton clothing because it’s lighter and more breathable than other fabrics such as silk or polyester.
  • Get a fan.  Even if your house has air conditioning, a fan can help circulate the cool air and keep the temperature down.  If you’re going outside consider getting a small portable fan to bring with you, it will keep you cool in crowded spaces and you may even want to consider getting a portable fan with a spray bottle attached to it, so you can give yourself a quick spray of water to cool off.
  • Stay shaded.  This is hard to do if you have to be outside, but try to either wear a hat to cover your head and neck or pull your collar up.  If you’re wearing a hat, you can also pour some cold water in it and then put it back on your head for a quick cool down.
  • Take advantage of public air conditioning.  If you don’t have air conditioning in your home, make plans to go to public places with AC like the mall, a restaurant, or the movies.  You could also always ask a friend who has air conditioning if you can crash at their place for a bit until it cools down.
  • Avoid hot and heavy foods.  These will make you feel hot and slow you down, it’s better to opt for cooler, lighter foods like fruit, vegetables, or popsicles.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol.  These will speed up the process of dehydration.
  • Don’t over do it with exercising.  If you plan on working out, try to do it indoors or in the early morning or evening, that way you’ll avoid the hottest times of day.  You may want to also cut down the time and or intensity of your workout.
  • Take cold showers.  These will help cool you down quickly and stay cool for a while, if this isn’t an option though you can always submerge your feet in a bucket of cool water or run your wrists under cold water for a few seconds.  Most of the heat from your body comes from those areas so keeping them cool will cool down the rest of your body.
  • Limit sun exposure.  This is the easiest way to stay cool, by avoiding direct sunlight, especially during the hours of 10 AM until 6 PM, when the sun is at its hottest.

With these tips, it’ll be easy to beat the heat and stay nice and cool this summer!

Photo By: ToastyKen

Tips For Taking A Road Trip With The Kids

road trip

Taking a road trip with the kids can really test your patience and planning skills.  Fending off constant questions like “Are we there yet?” and “When’s the next bathroom break?” can get old pretty quick, so you’ll want to make sure your kids have plenty of things to occupy their time while in the car.  To help you out, we’ve listed some tips that will definitely come in handy if you plan on road tripping with the kids this summer.

  • Make sure kids are comfy.  What your kids are wearing on their road trip can make a big difference to how the trip goes.  If kids are uncomfortable you’ll hear about it, probably over and over again.  Put them in something that they like to wear such as pajamas or shorts and a t-shirt, and save the dressy clothes for your arrival, odds are something will end up spilling on them anyways during the trip, so at least you won’t dirty up one of their nicer outfits.
  • Be strategic about your departure time.  It may be easier to travel with kids during certain hours of the day, for example, if your kids can sleep through the night in the car, you might want to wait until after dinner and drive through the night so you reach your destination by morning.  You’ll probably avoid tons of traffic too, which is always a plus.  Working with their schedules, nap times, and meal times will make the trip easier for you and them.
  • Keep them occupied.  This will help you keep your sanity and theirs, make sure you have plenty of coloring books, toys, games, movies, and snacks.  You’ll also want to charge any electronics they may use, such as tablets or portable DVD players before you leave.
  • Be prepared for anything, and we mean ANYTHING.  You want to make sure you have a first aid kit, wet wipes, paper towels, extra clothes, diapers, batteries, car chargers, trash bags, a flashlight, and extra drinks and snacks in case the ones you already packed spill.
  • Take a break.  It’s inevitable that little ones and even older ones will want to stretch their legs and take a break from the car.  Find a local park and have a picnic so you can have something to eat and they can run around and burn off some energy.
  • Get kids involved in the trip.  If your kids are old enough to suggest landmarks they want to see or places they want to visit, let them!  It will make the trip much more enjoyable for them and you may even visit a place that you wouldn’t have chosen on your own, and end up loving it!
  • Make sure your driver’s license, registration, and insurance are all up to date and haven’t expired.  These are all extremely important to have any day, but especially if you’re going to be driving a long distance.  If you don’t have a membership to AAA, you may also want to consider that.

With these tips, your next family road trip should go smoothly and be a blast for everyone!

Photo By: Deb

Events This August!

tie dye

We know what you’re thinking, it’s the last month of summer and you need to get out and have as many fun times as possible before the chill returns to the air.  Not to worry because we’ve got you covered, there’s still plenty of time to have some fun in the sun and plenty of events to go to!

Edgartown Sand Sculpture Contest – Need a nice relaxing beach day with the family?  Play hooky tomorrow, August 7th and take the family to South Beach in Edgartown for their annual Sand Sculpture Contest!  This family oriented event is perfect for children of all ages, so grab your pails, shovels, sunscreen, and head to the beach for a day of fun!  Registration for the contest begins at 9 AM and the contest goes from 10 AM – 2 PM and the awards will be announced at about 3 PM.

Tie-Dye Drop In Day – The Children’s Museum in Easton is hosting this fun event on Friday, August 9th from 10 AM – 3 PM.  Feel free to bring your own clothing to tie-dye or purchase a white t-shirt from the museum for $5.  This event is free with admission and admission costs $7.50 per person.  If you’re hungry or craving something sweet don’t miss the Mix 104.1 crew handing out free ice cream from 12 PM – 2 PM!   This event will be held in the museum’s outdoor facility, “The Wild Place” and gives children the opportunity to play, learn about nature, and explore the gardens at the museum while they get creative and have some fun.  No registration is needed for this event, you can feel free to drop by the museum at any time from 10 AM – 3 PM on the day of the event.  Be sure to check out the other fun activities that they have going on for future “Drop In Days”!

Boston GreenFest – Organized by the Foundation for a Green Future, Inc. this event is the nation’s largest multicultural environmental music festival.  Celebrate the many ways you can “go green” and improve your local community and environment as a whole, you might even learn something new! The celebration begins on Thursday, August 15th with a kick-off concert at Boston’s City Hall Plaza from 5:30 PM – 9 PM and continues on Friday, August 16th from noon til 9:30 PM and again on Saturday, August 17th from 11 AM – 10 PM.  Learn about the green products, services, networks, and jobs, enjoy the three stages of live entertainment, or take part in an interactive exhibit!  There is something for everyone at this event, even the kids will enjoy the many different games, activities, presentations, and there is even a Boston GreenFest Film Festival just for kids!  Don’t miss you chance to check out some eco-fashion in the EcoPageant International!  Don’t forget to pick up your Boston GreenFest discount button at local Tedeschi Food Shops in Boston, this button only costs $5 but will open the doors to major savings.  Not only can you use it during the event for special discounts from food and craft vendors, but you can also use it for discounts at local businesses around Boston and is valid at certain businesses before, during, and after the festival! 

Brew at the Zoo – Head over to the Franklin Park Zoo on Saturday, August 17th for their fourth annual Brew at the Zoo!  This beer tasting event features stations from over 30 different local breweries and food from over a dozen local restaurants!  Try as many samples as you like, enjoy the live entertainment, and take some time to visit with the many different animals on site!  This 21 + event costs $50 per ticket and proceeds benefit the Franklin Park Zoo’s operations, education programs, and continued conservation efforts.  The party starts at 5 PM and goes until 9 PM, and the zoo will be providing free transportation from the Forest Hills T Station to the zoo from 5 PM – 7 PM and from the zoo back to the train station from 7 PM – 9 PM.

Which of these events do you plan on attending?  Know of a fun event that we forgot?  Be sure to let us know in the comments!

Photo By: Jim Miner

Ask The MassDrive Agent: What Are The Best Beaches In Massachusetts?

wingaersheek beach

Now that summer is in full swing so is beach season!  We enjoy beach season just as much as anyone, and to celebrate we’ve asked our agents about their favorite beaches across the Bay State!  If you’re trying to find a new beach to try or aren’t sure where you want to have some fun in the sun, check out the suggestions from our MassDrive agents!

Wingaersheek Beach – This is a popular beach destination in the Bay State so if you want to find parking be sure to get there early!  It’s a fun spot for families and there are lots of rocks to climb on, tide pools to explore, and even a sand bar to check out during low tide.  Parking is a great perk and they also have a food hut and bathrooms on site! Gloucester is a beautiful part of the state and after you get your fill of the beach head out on the open seas for a whale watch! There are so many things to explore, you dot want to miss out! – Christine Tuccelli, Sales Rep

Revere Beach – This is a great spot to visit if you’re looking to totally relax for a day of fun in the sun.  There are no shops on the beach, which is nice if you’re really trying to unwind and get in touch with nature.  It’s a very diverse and low key beach, and hearing all of the different languages being spoken really gives you a sense of the different cultures surrounding you.  The other great thing is that there’s a Kelly’s Roast Beef nearby! If you haven’t been, you definitely need to stop in for a bite to eat after soaking up the sun all day! – Teresa Dillon, Sales Rep

Mayflower Beach – Located in Dennis, MA which is down the Cape, this beach is huge! There’s plenty of room for all beach goers especially during low tide. There are no rocks either which makes it great if you’re trying to play some bocce ball or any other kind of game.  Parking is available which is a perk and the water is very warm.  If you’re heading down the Cape this summer, don’t pass up the chance to enjoy a day of sun, surf, and sand! – Jeff Shea, Sales Rep

Hampton Beach – Although this beach is technically in New Hampshire, it’s right over the Massachusetts border.  This beach is perfect for families, there’s a jetty to explore and plenty of room for kite flying and games of frisbee.  If you’ve had your fill of the beach, check out the many shops along the boardwalk! If you’re hungry, your best bet is to check out the Sea Ketch, they have live music and three levels of decks with ocean views!  This beach has something for every member of the family and there are fireworks over the harbor every Wednesday night! – Shawn Harris, Sales Rep

Have you ever been to any of these beaches? Have another suggestion that you want us to include?  Be sure to let us know in the comments!

Photo By: Liz West

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