Okay, how many of us are thinking about our promises for 2009?  As soon as we fill up on Christmas Eve and Christmas meals, all the goodies before and after, we will be sincerely ready to change our lifestyles.  But how long will it be before your “New Year’s Bubble” deflates?  Seriously, studies show that 52% of participants in a resolution study who were confident in the success of reaching their goals, only 12% actually achieved them.  Men were 22% more successful when they engaged in setting their goals where small measures are used: for example, losing one pound per week, than “lose weight”.  Women had 10% more success when they publicly expressed their goals and had support from their friends.

Here are some popular goals; see if any one or more are yours:

  • Lose Weight
  • Make a Difference
  • Save Money
  • Pay Off Debts
  • Eat Right
  • Exercise
  • Give Blood
  • Give More
  • Drink Less Alcohol
  • Quit Smoking
  • Reduce Stress
  • Take A Trip
  • Be More Green
  • Get A Better Education
  • Spiritual Improvement
  • Be A Good Friend
  • Appreciate Family More
  • Be A Better Listener
  • Volunteer
  • Be A Better Me!

You might want to print this list off and check off or add things that you hope to improve on.  Keep it in a place where you see it every day.

Another promise we ask you to make:  Live every day with safety in mind; your life and the lives of others depend on it!



As we close this year of 2008, we at the TASCO family wish for you and yours a very happy, prosperous, and safe New Year!  We appreciate your stopping by our Blog4Safety site, and hope that our safety tips have helped you in some way, and also brought a smile to your face as well.  Thank you for shopping with Texas America Safety Company throughout the past. This is our wish:

God grant us this year a wider view,
So we see others’ faults through the eyes of You;
Teach us to judge not with hasty tongue,
Neither the adult … nor the young.
Give us patience and grace to endure
And a stronger faith so we feel secure;
And instead of remembering, help us forget
The irritations that caused us to fret.
Freely forgiving for some offense
And finding each day a rich recompense,
In offering a friendly, helping hand
And trying in all ways to understand,
That all of us whoever we are …
Are trying to reach “an unreachable star.”
For the great and small … the good and bad,
The young and old … the sad and glad,
Are asking today, “Is life worth living?”
And the answer is only in “loving” and “giving.”
For only “Love” can make man kind
And Kindness of Heart brings Peace of Mind,
And by giving love we can start this year
To lift the clouds of hate and fear.
~ Helen Steiner Rice ~

Thanks again for visiting our site.


Old Man Winter really had quite an opening act for his first day throughout the United States!
From the West to East coast, and all points in the Mid-west, he packed a pretty powerful punch.  Winter storms have blasted many parts of the country, with high winds, driving wind chills to as low as -25° below zero!  Hundreds of passengers have been stranded in airports, with flights cancelled.  There have been numerous traffic accidents across icy and snow-filled roads.

Hopefully we are all prepared for the winter season.  If you live where there is a threat of storms that continue for more than one day, and might cause power failure, here are some ideas to help you stay warm and safe:

  • Close off rooms to parts of the house that you don’t need to use.
  • Do not be short of staples such as food and water.  Stock high-energy food that doesn’t require cooking or refrigeration.
  • Have a flashlight and extra batteries.
  • Keep extra medicine and baby supplies.
  • A battery-powered NOAA weather radio can keep you informed of the situation.
  • Have a first aid kit.
  • Be sure you have extra heating fuel, as deliverers may not be able to come to your home for days.
  • Winterize your home by caulking and weather stripping doors and windows, insulating walls and attics and installing storm windows.  If necessary, cover windows with plastic.
  • Fireplaces, wood stoves, or space heaters are excellent alternative energy sources, but be sure your house has proper ventilation.

According to information from Electric Generator Direct, portable generators are ideal to help furnish power in times of emergencies, but they must be placed outside the house, not in the garage or near doors or windows, as they emit dangerous carbon monoxide gas.  Between October 1 and December 31, 2006, approximately 32 people died after severe weather knocked out power….not from the storms, but from carbon monoxide poisoning.  Persons using generators should have carbon monoxide detectors in their homes.

US Dept of Commerce


We depend on our vehicles to get us where we need to go, so it’s important that we winterize them properly.  Be sure that your vehicle is in good working order when you need it most.

There are many parts that should be checked by you or a mechanic, so let’s get started:

  • Battery.  Cold temperatures reduce cranking power; your battery is asked to do more to start the engine with low temperatures, so be sure it is in good working order.
  • Wipers and windshield wiper fluid.  Replace old wipers if they leave streaks on the window.  Normal life of wipers is one year.  Leave them in raised position to keep them from freezing to windshield if car is left outside.
  • Ignition system
  • Thermostat
  • Antifreeze
  • Lights
  • Belts and Hoses
  • Exhaust system
  • Flashing hazard lights
  • Defroster
  • Brakes
  • Oil level.  Make sure you use the right engine oil. (Consult owners’ manual.) Oil thickens as it gets cold.  Oil with (W) in the viscosity index is formulated for winter.
  • Heater

Some other things to consider:

  1. Be sure your tires have adequate tread.  If you live where there are heavy snow conditions, it might be wise to carry a set of tire chains in your vehicle.Keep your gas tank full or half-full at all times, if possible.
  1. Carry a cell phone with you, as well as a list of emergency numbers.
  1. Consider using non-toxic de-icing substances such as clean cat litter, sand, fireplace ash to prevent hazardous waste.
  1. When warming up your car, let it idle normally.  Revving a cold engine won’t warm it up any faster.

Consumer Reports


There are some interesting facts regarding the characteristics of animals during the cold months.  We all think of bears hibernating in the winter, but gophers, bats, snakes and frogs also hibernate completely.  Squirrels, beavers, skunks, badgers, and raccoons store food and do not hibernate entirely.  Some animals, such as the arctic fox, weasel, white-tailed jackrabbit and snowshoe hare, change colors to blend in with the snow in their habitat.  Their fur also thickens for added protection.  As we know, certain birds and butterflies migrate.

But our pets don’t migrate or hibernate, thank goodness, so it’s up to us to guarantee their safety during wintertime.  Please follow these safety tips to protect your furry loved one:

  • Feed them a bit more in the winter if they live outdoors; they need extra calories to stay warm.  Put out fresh water twice a day, or set out a special type-bowl that prevents the water from freezing.  Four-legged family members should have some type of shelter to protect them from the elements.
  • If your pet normally stays indoors, (or you are keeping the regular outdoor ones inside during extremely cold times), be sure to watch the temperature.  They can get frostbite on the ears, tails and paws if left out too long.
  • Do not let your cat or dog ingest anti-freeze from where your car is sitting.  It tastes sweet, and a small amount can cause severe kidney damage, or even death.  If you should spill some, be sure to soak it up immediately.
  • Honk the horn of your car before you start it to ensure that a cat isn’t napping in a warm spot under the hood.
  • Check paws of your dog when walking to be sure that ice isn’t building up between the toes, or that salt from the roads isn’t irritating the skin.
  • When decorating for the holidays, keep ornaments out of the reach of your pets.  Also, keep in mind there are certain plants that can be toxic if ingested.

Our best friends count on us to keep them safe and warm.  They repay us with their unconditional love.


Do you know the difference?

During winter, we hear these terms on the weather forecast somewhere in the United States.  Do you really pay attention and understand what they mean?

If your answer is “No”, READ ON:

WATCHES:  According to weather professionals, there is a 50% chance that severe winter weather will materialize:

  • Winter Storm Watch:  Possibility of severe life-threatening winter weather conditions that include: heavy ice and/or near-blizzard conditions, or heavy snow.
  • Blizzard Watch:  Blizzard conditions may happen.
  • Lake-Effect Snow Watch:  Heavy lake effect snow likely.
  • Wind Chill Watch:  Potential of wind chills of -25°F or less, causing risk of hypothermia and rapid frostbite.


  • Winter Storm Warning:  Winter weather is expected to cause life-threatening public impact from winter hazards that include ice, near blizzard conditions, heavy snow, drifting snow and dangerous wind chills.
  • Heavy Snow Warning:  When 7 inches or more of snow is expected in 12 hours or less, or 9 inches or more is expected in 24 hours or less.
  • Ice Storm Warning:  Issued for ½ inch or more of ice accumulation, which can cause damage to trees and power lines.
  • Blizzard Warning:  When blizzard conditions are about to happen or expected in the next 12 to 24 hours.  These include frequent gusts of or above 35 mph and falling, blowing and drifting of snow, reducing visibility to ¼ mile.
  • Lake-Effect Snow Warning:  Potential of 7 inches or more of lake effect snow.
  • Wind Chill Warning: Issued when the wind chill is expected to be -25°F or less.  In less than 10 minutes, frostbite can happen.


  • Winter Weather Advisory: Hazardous combination of ice and snow that exceeds warning criteria.  These may be significant and/or life-threatening if proper precautions are disregarded.
  • Snow Advisory: When forecasters are confident that the entire event will be snow and an average of 4-6 inches of snow is expected in 12 hours or less.
  • Freezing Rain Advisory: These advisories are issued only when there is a high probability that the whole event will be freezing rain, resulting in very slippery roads.
  • Snow and Blowing Wind Advisory:  Prediction of frequent gusts or sustained wind of 25 to 34 mph, accompanied by falling and blowing snow, which can occasionally reduce visibility to ¼ mile or less for three hours or more.
  • Wind Chill Advisory: Given for wind chills of -15°F to -24°F.

Source: NYSEMS


While researching risky behavior, it seems the most popular websites featured adolescents, and the risks they take.  Whether it’s driving too fast, drinking too much, participating in violent crime, there are thousands of theories about causes of the problems.  Young people have either had too much or too little in their lives – money, supervision, or guidance.
But what’s going to happen to them when they are all grown up, and still take chances?
All persons, young and old, who engage in risky behavior have a negative impact on society; they affect their health and safety and the health and safety of those around them.

In the workplace, companies need to identify risk-taking behavior.

  • Are workers who routinely take risks rewarded for the wrong reason?
  • Are shortcuts taken, regardless of the outcome?
  • Are unsafe conditions recognized?
  • Are unsafe actions addressed?
  • Are safety procedures ignored to save time?
  • Are workers checked to be sure they are wearing their PPE at all times?

There are many behavior based training programs that assist companies in teaching and monitoring their employees to ensure the safety of all.  One example is a Driver Risk Management program, which is used by companies that employ large numbers of truck drivers.  This program has a video event recorder on board that is triggered at the time of an incident and allows drivers to later review the event, working closely with management.  The key to a successful DRM program is the coaching and training that takes place by someone with whom they have open communication as a result of watching the captured instances of risky behavior. Not only is the coaching session an opportunity to provide drivers with positive reinforcement in a manner that will reduce at-risk behavior and increase good driving behaviors, it also allows for positive encouragement (and potential incentive) when good driving behaviors are observed.  In addition, it also helps drivers in cases where they are not at fault.

Studies show that there are just some people who have that “dare-devil” personality.  Can anyone truthfully say that they haven’t done a little something to take that risk, whether it was going through that stoplight that had already changed from green to red, breaking speed limits, cut corners at work to get through, or done any number of things that could have resulted in a negative way?   Also, we take chances with our health, by not exercising, eating too much junk food, smoking, or drinking in excess, or allowing too much stress into our lives.

Don’t gamble with someone else’s life or your own.  Play it safe!


Since March 1973, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) has set internationally recognized standards of excellence in motorcycle rider education and training.

The MSF works with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), state governments, the military and other organizations to improve motorcyclist education, training and operator licensing.  The MSF is a national, not-for-profit organization sponsored by the U.S. manufacturers and distributors of BMW, BRP, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Piaggio/Vespa, Suzuki, Triumph, Victory and Yamaha motorcycles.

To enhance the enjoyment of motorcycling, MSF recommends that riders:

  • Get trained and licensed.
  • Wear protective gear.
  • Ride unimpaired.
  • Ride within your limits.
  • Be a lifelong learner.

Motorists’ failure to detect and recognize motorcycles in traffic is the predominant cause of accidents.  A critical factor in avoiding these accidents is conspicuity.   Motorcycle headlamps should be on at all times, even in the daytime.

Times were when motorcyclists wore all black; however, studies have shown that by wearing reflective or fluorescent clothing, risk of a crash was reduced by 37%, by using headlamps all the time, the risk was reduced by 27%, and by wearing white helmets compared to black, the chance of collision was reduced by 24%.  Jackets come in a variety of high visibility colors: yellow, orange, and bright red.  Vests that are high visibility may be worn over jackets to increase being seen.

Other Personal Protective Equipment that should be used are:

  • Gloves – Designed specifically for riders, some have curved fingers, and seams on outer surface to help maintain grip and control.
  • Helmet – Full face are recommended.
  • Pants – Made of cordura, Kevlar, or ballistic nylon, add protection and are cheaper than leather, easier to maintain, waterproof, and cooler in hot weather.
  • Quality jackets – Designed of same fibers, and contain foam padding.  May have special padding for elbows, spine, and shoulders.
  • Boots – Very lightweight, though tough.  Should have rubber soles.  Include reinforced and plastic caps on ankles and toe area.
  • Goggles/Helmet Visor:  – Protects eyes.
  • Earplugs – Protect from wind noise.o    Airbag System technology is now available in fitted jackets and vests.

Source: MSF, Wikipedia


We all know how busy Santa must be right now!  He’s probably checking that list for the last time!    If you know any of his helpers, these are a few tips they might consider:

  • Buy age-appropriate toys.  Even though some children are exceptionally bright, most toys’ designs are suited for their age.
  • Be aware of toys that may contain lead paint.
  • Check labels and do not assume that all toys are safe.  They must be properly labeled.
  • If you purchase toys on the internet, be careful, as hazard warnings are not always given.
  • Avoid toys with cords or long strings, as they could cause strangulation in small children.
  • Toys for tots should not have sharp edges or points.
  • Be sure soft, plush animals are washable and have secure eyes and noses that won’t come off.
  • You can be assured that little ones are going to put anything they can in their mouths, so be careful in choosing the size of squeeze toys, rattles, etc.
  • Paints and crayons should have ASTM D4236 on the package (American Society for Testing and Materials).
  • For grade school children, helmets should be given along with bikes, scooters, skateboards, or inline skates.
  • Purchase arrows or darts with soft tips.
  • BB or pellet guns should not be purchased for children under age 16.

The holiday season brings joyous times for families.  Our purpose is to remind you of things you already know:  the Number 1 priority is selecting toys and games that are fun and safe.


Yes, the holidays are here, and there are so many tempting treats out there, but if you consider the consequences, try to fit in a few healthy snacks during your day.

We have some healthful hints for you to consider in your every day routine after the holidays, when you make that New Year’s Resolution to lose weight!  If you follow these 10 rules, you might just get on the right track for a successful weight program:

1.    Choose snacks low in calories, fat, cholesterol and sodium.
2.    Plan your snacks ahead of time so you just don’t grab anything or everything!
3.    First, drink a full glass of water to help curb your appetite.
4.    Combine high-fiber carbohydrates with protein-rich foods such as low-fat dairy products, nuts, seeds and beans for a continued energy boost.
5.    Do not snack in front of the television or at the computer, where it is easy to overeat.
6.    If you absolutely have to have some chips, cookies, dips and spreads, select low-fat, low-sodium varieties, and eat them in moderation.
7.    Be conscious of portion sizes.  Take out just enough to snack on and save the rest for later.
8.    When you are stressed or upset, try not to use snacks as “comfort food”.
9.    Avoid nibbling all day.  Limit munchies to every 3-4 hours to maintain your level of energy.
10.    The types of carbohydrates you eat that are from sugars and sweets provide a quick burst of energy, but then you suffer an energy crash.

Now that we’ve covered this subject, would someone please pass me the candy?  (Just kidding!)