Safety Tips & “Trunk Junk” From StateFarm (giveaway ends 2/7/14)



When it comes to winter driving I am THE WORSE! I so much as see a snowflake and I start to panic, let alone drive in a snowstorm.

I had two instances where my car spun out of control in the snow. Those experiences jaded me. I go into total panic mode when I have to drive in snow and ice – even in our own condo complex! Our complex is on a steep hill. I would rather walk down the hill than drive my car in it.

Thank goodness I work from home. I know one day I’ll need to get back into the 9-5 work mode. Until then I am grateful I don’t usually have to leave our home during a snowstorm.

My husband has to drive in the snow. His job rarely closes due to the weather. He also has to drive through a state park (no cellphone service), cross a bridge and drive over a very scary mountain road. I had to drive that mountain road once to pick him up when his car broke down. I was in near tears! The road has a lot of twists and turns and if you slide off the road you’ll fly off the mountain. I can’t imagine driving that in inclement weather.

StateFarm has many great tips to help you stay safe and survive winter driving. Even if you don’t live in an area that snows, you can still apply a lot of the tips towards every day driving as well as driving in inclement weather.

It all starts with what is in your trunk.


If I asked you to go to your trunk at this moment in time and write a list of it’s contents, what would be some of the items you would find? I admit I have A LOT of non-car essential in my trunk. Currently in my trunk you will find;

  • A box full of brand new posts and pans (I have been meaning to take them to my father’s house to store them in his basement).
  • Blankets, towels and sheets (donations for the local animal shelter)
  • A box full of our grown clothes of my daughter’s that I am suppose to mail to my cousin’s daughter in PA.
  • A Thomas train set that I meant to drop off at Toys for Tots during the holidays
  • An assortment of outdoor activity stuff (basketball, soccer ball, Frisbee…).

I THINK I have a first aid kit, but I’m not 100% sure because I can’t see what is in the back of the trunk. My husband has a first aid kit. He also has jumper cables, glow sticks, blankets, tools and a few other safety items.

Ladies, when it comes to our trunks, men are better prepared for emergencies. Our trunks are usually filled with things for the kids (toys, games, strollers…) where as men keep tools and other necessary equipment in their trunks.

Check out this interesting infographic.


This information has inspired me to remove are the junk from my junk. I am NOT prepared for an emergency. Even if I do have an emergency kit in my car it’s in the back of the trunk and it would be hard to locate it among all the unnecessary stuff in my trunk.

Does your trunk have the recommended emergency supplies? Some suggestions are;

  • Small folding shovel
  • Tow and tire chains
  • First Aid kit
  • Basic tool kit Bag of road salt or cat litter
  • Blankets and extra warm clothing (socks, sweater, gloves…)
  • Water
  • Non-perishable food (like granola bars)
  • Windshield wiper fluid
  • Antifreeze
  • Warning flares
  • Candle and wooden matches
  • Ice scraper and brush
  • Cellphone charger (ideally a solar powered one or portable one that doesn’t require your car’s battery)


I would also recommend that if you are going on a road trip to let someone know what route you are taking so in the event you don’t make it to your destination people will know where to look for you.

I would also recommend keeping some quarters and a few dollars hidden in your car in case you need to walk to a payphone to call for help.

You should also check to make sure your car is in good working condition including well inflated tires, necessary fuel and gas.

StateFarm has many other great tips and suggestions on their website. I highly recommend you check them out - Winter Driving Survival Tips. You can also learn more about StateFarm and other great information/resources at www.Statefarm.com.


StateFarm would like me to offer a lucky reader a road emergency kit to help you get started in replacing the junk in your trunk with appropriate emergency equipment. The kit includes;

  • Triangular-shaped tote with carry handle that doubles as a reflective hazard warning sign
  • Jumper cables
  • Heavy-duty plastic ice scraper
  • Tire-pressure gauge
  • 9-piece ratchet set with rigid hand driver, pair of standard slip-joint pliers, flathead screwdriver and Phillips screwdriver
  • Electrical tape
  • Blade-style automotive fuses
  • Pair of white work gloves
  • Insulated ring and spade terminals

This giveaway is open to Continental US residents only and will end on February 7, 2014 at 11:59 PM (EST). The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via e-mail and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me about the types of things I would find in your car’s trunk.

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify (I do check). Extra entries are optional.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*I will be receiving a free kit in exchange for my participation. There is no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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10 Tips To Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Snow covered trees

Carbon monoxide is winter’s “silent killer.” With temperatures reaching below zero or hovering just above in much of the country this month, California Poison Control System offers tips to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

Trying to keep warm kills more than 500 Americans each year and sickens many others.  Just this week, residents in Maryland and Minnesota were sickened.  Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas undetectable to the human senses so people often don’t know that they are being exposed.  Products that are typically involved in poisonings include malfunctioning fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, ranges, water heaters and room heaters; engine-powered equipment such as portable generators; fireplaces; and charcoal that is burned in homes and other enclosed areas.

Symptoms range from headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness to confusion, vomiting, loss of muscular coordination and loss of consciousness.  Carbon monoxide poisoning can happen slowly or swiftly onset depending on circumstances. California Poison Control, in an effort to raise public awareness, offers 10 tips to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:

1. Have all heating equipment installed properly, and have your home’s heating system inspected by a professional prior to turning the heat on when cold weather begins.

2. Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed in all homes and in apartments.  When a detector goes off, assume that a real danger is present, and get all people and pets out of the structure immediately.  Do not re-enter until a heating professional, gas company or fire department has declared the area safe.

3. During home renovations, ensure that appliance vents and chimneys are not blocked by tarps or debris. Make sure appliances are in proper working order when renovations are complete.

4. Do not cover the bottom of natural gas or propane ovens with aluminum foil. Doing so blocks the combustion air flow through the appliance and can produce carbon monoxide.

5. Never use portable fuel-burning camping equipment inside a home, garage, vehicle or tent unless it is specifically designed for use in an enclosed space and provides instructions for safe use in such an area.

6. In climates with snow, make sure that chimneys and vents do not become blocked with snowfall.

7. Never operate a portable generator or any other gasoline engine-powered tool either in or near an enclosed space such as a garage, house or other building, or outside of an open window.  Keep the generator as far from the house as possible.

8. Do not use charcoal or hibachi grills indoors to cook with or for heat under any circumstances.

9. Do not attempt to heat your home by turning on the oven or clothes dryer and leaving the door open.

10. Never let a car engine run inside a closed space such as a garage.  Drive out promptly after starting the car, and turn the car engine off as soon as you drive into an enclosed space. Never have a garage door closed with a running vehicle inside, even for a few seconds.

Poison Control Hotline

About CPCS

You can learn more about a variety of poison issues by following CPCS on Facebook and on Twitter.  Sign up for weekly safety text messages to your cell phone by texting TIPS or PUNTOS for Spanish to 69866; and download a free app at Choose Your Poison.  CPCS is dedicated to providing the most up-to-date information and 24-hour help in case of poisoning. In case of an accidental poisoning, consumers should immediately call 1-800-222-1222 (number is the same in all states) for advice. Specially trained staff are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Experts are available to answer non-emergency question at any time as well.

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Home Safety Tips


Forced Entry

My family lives in a teeny, tiny condo. We all dream of owning a house some day. Having a house can afford us so many things we can’t have in a condo, like a yard and the ability to do whatever we want to the outside. As per our condo board the condos all have to look “uniform” which means we can’t install different windows or stain our balcony a different color. We are not even allowed to plant things in the yard. Sigh…

There are other downsides too, like being dependent on others to do the right thing and NOT burn the building down. We’ve had three buildings burn down in the past 30+ years. The most recent burned down because some idiot put a lit cigarette out in a flower pot with a dried up plant.

I do consider living in a condo to have one perk – it might be a wee bit safer living here than in a house as far as burglaries are concerned. We live in the top floor condo. I would be next to impossible for someone to crawl into one of our windows or on to our balcony. Not only that our condo faces the rest of the complex. Someone would see them for sure. There are 400 condos and 300 townhomes where we live. People are always on the move here, coming and going. Most likely someone would see someone shimmying up the side of building, not to mention the people who live below us.

It’s unlikely that there would be a break-in from our balcony, but not impossible. Years ago we locked ourselves out and my husband had to crawl up to our balcony to get inside. At that time our sliding glass door lock was broken so he was able to get in. It wasn’t an easy thing to accomplish and it required him to borrow a ladder and put it on our downstairs neighbor’s balcony. He also really bruised his leg getting over our railings.

Sometimes workers (landscaper) go up on the roof to blow the leaves down and clean out the gutters. It would be easy for one of them to jump down on our balcony and come inside. That makes me nervous.

As far as our door in concerned we only have one door in and out of our condo. We have a dead bolt on it but these days even those can be hacked into. I’d like to think someone wouldn’t be so stupid to break into a condo with three other units on the same floor.

Break-ins have happened where we live. They have almost always been people who live on the bottom floors. Burglars break-in through one of the windows.

Even though we might be somewhat safe where we live, I still like to do all I can to prevent and/or encourage people to attempt to break-in.

Here are a few of my favorite safety tips.

Home Security

1. If you can afford it install a home security system.

2. Get a dog. A dog doesn’t always guarantee your home won’t get broken into (a friend of mine’s house was burglarized and she had two dogs at the time) but it might inhibit some would be burglars. Also, watch out for doggie doors. Some people can fit through the large doors.

3. Do not ”advertise” about your high tech equipment or expensive jewelry on social media, or even to your neighbors. If people know you have a $10,000 diamond ring from your late grandmother or you just purchase two new laptops, you are tempting people with a run down of your valuable goodies. Keep this information to yourself.

4. Keep your car keys by your bed. We don’t use this one but I think it’s a brilliant idea. If you have an alarm on your car and you suspect someone might be trying to break into your home, press the alarm button for your car. The alarm should scare them off.

5. Plant shrubs and bushes around bottom floor windows. They do that to a lot of the buildings where we live. My parents used to do this as well. They should keep criminals away from bottom floor windows, especially if you plant something with thorns (like a rose bush). The trick is not to let them shrub/bush get too high where someone could hide behind it. Keep it cut low.

6. Don’t mention it on Facebook, Twitter or other social media outlets that you are going away for a few days (unless of course someone will be home the entire time). That is only telling the bad guys that you won’t be home and they are free to come and rob your home.

7. Get timers for your interior lights so your home doesn’t look dark at night and to give the appearance that someone is still home. Have the lights set to go on/off at random times and locations. You can even set a radio on a timer and have it play music (not too loud) to also make it seem like the house is not empty.

8. Ask a trusted neighbor or relative to swing by your home daily to collect the mail and newspaper and check to make sure all doors and windows are secure.

9. Do not leave notes on your door to instruct delivery men what to do with packages in your absence. They are a dead giveaway that you are not at home.

10. For added security get a Master Lock Door Security Bar for your sliding glass doors or as extra protection if your home is being invaded while you are at home. The bar helps to resists a forced entry through sliding patio doors or even a standard door.

Safety Bar on Sliding Door

We have one of these bars that I was sent to review. It’s a long metal bar that can be adjusted to fit any sliding patio door. Once in place the door cannot be opened. It’s made with a sturdy 20 gauge steel construction.

My mother in law used to use a small piece of wood to present her sliding doors from opening. Wood can be worn down or splinter when under a lot of pressure. You can’t do that to gauge steel. Not unless you are Superman.

What I like about this bar is that is has a special piece you can take off or put on the end that turns it into a security bar for a door (for example your front door). The removable pieces rests against the door knob and the other end (with a piece hat pivots) goes on the floor making entry into the room difficult. The pivoting “foot” is also padded to add more grip to the floor and less sliding.

My kids know how the security bar works and where we keep it. In the event someone tries to break in they are instructed to go into their room and put the bar up against the door and call for help. Their bedroom door doesn’t lock (we are going to replace their knobs soon so they have a locking one), so the bar will afford them some security until help arrives.

Security Bar

The Master Lock Door Security Bar sells for just over $25. It’s a very small price to pay for safety, security and peace of mind.

We also have a Hanging Key Box, also made by Master Lock. This isn’t so much to keep intruders out as it is to help us (my family) get inside should we lock ourselves out.

Now that my kids are teenagers we are able to let them walk home from school or be home alone for a while. My worst fear is that they will lock themselves out (it has happened before). They each have a key but they don’t think to take it out with them when they walk the dog or go to the gym.

Key Box

The Master Lock Hanging Key Box is a lock that goes over your door knob. It has a box attached to it. Inside you can put a spare keys to your door or home. The only way into the box is with a special combination that you set yourself (so it would be easy to remember).

Not only is this a fantastic product to have in case you lock yourself out, it’s also great if you have trusted people come to your home to care for your pets or plants. Instead of making up multiple spare keys you can keep the keys in the box for all the entrusted people to use. It’s also great if you are at work and you need a neighbor to run to your house to get something or do something for you.

The Mater Lock Hanging Key Box sells for around $40. Both products would be a great asset to any home.

For more information about these or other Master Lock products visit www.MasterLock.com. They can also be found on the various social media outlets.

Do you have any safety tips you would like to share? What do you think about the two products I mentioned from Master Lock?



*I received free product samples in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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How to prepare your car for the cold weather months (giveaway ends 12/14/13)



My son (taken a couple of years ago) getting ready to help an elderly neighbor shovel out his car.

My son (taken a couple of years ago) getting ready to help an elderly neighbor shovel out his car.

Not everyone has to deal with driving in the snow and ice, but most of us do. Personally I won’t get inside a car if I so much as see a snowflake unless I have to. Many years ago my car slide on ice and spun around and left me a total nervous wreck (thankfully I wasn’t injured and my car was fine). Since then I get paranoid when I have to drive in inclement weather.

Living in the Northeast (NY) we know a thing or two about snow and driving in it. These are actual pictures of our cars taken after a typical snowstorm (as well as the photo on top).


My car shoveled out of the parking spot but still had snow to be removed on top. You can see how deep the snow was.


My husband’s car totally buried in the snow.

Some people are all set for “braving the elements” when it comes to winter. They make sure they have heavy winter coats, hats, gloves, scarves, rock salt for the sidewalk and steps, snow shovel and snow blowers (or at least a neighborhood teen or two on speed dial so they can come over and shovel for you). YOU might be ready – but is your car?

Just in case you haven’t given “winterizing” your car any thought, here are some tips to get you started.

Check your tires. Before the roads get slick, check your tires to be sure they aren’t worn and that they are properly inflated. You should be able to find the proper tire pressure on the inside of your driver’s side door. Cold air will cause the air in your tires to compress and may cause your tires to lose pressure, so make a note to check again later in the winter.

Wash and wax your car at a professional car wash. Putting your car through the car wash during the sloppiest season of the year may seem a strange idea but a thorough wash can remove harmful compounds that may cause damage when mixed with sand and road salt.

Experts from the International Carwash Association also recommend a coat of wax for an extra layer of protection from the elements.

Besides protecting your car, you’ll also be protecting the environment. Professional car washes can save up to 20 percent of the amount of water you’d use by washing your car at home. They do this by treating and reusing their water, rather than releasing toxic chemicals and grime into the storm drains, which can often occur when you wash your car yourself. You can learn more about the environmental benefits of a professional car wash at washwithwatersavers.com.

Check your brakes. Your brakes will work harder once the icy conditions of winter set in. Make sure they are up to the task by bringing your vehicle in to your mechanic for a thorough brake inspection.

Check fluids. In the winter, no fluid is more important than your coolant because, if you’re out of coolant, you’re out of heat. Your owner’s manual will tell you how much coolant you need as well and provide the correct blend. It’s also never a bad idea to keep an additional bottle of coolant in your car for emergencies.

Winter emergency kit. If you find yourself stranded by the side of the road, a winter survival kit can be very helpful. Include an ice scraper/brush, extra blankets or clothes – including hats and gloves – snacks and bottled water and a first aid kit. A small shovel can come in handy if you get stuck and a bag of cat litter can be used to provide needed traction for your tires.

Since we have five cats having kitty litter on hand is easy for us. We actually by the inexpensive litter to use in our cars. Plus just in case we run out of litter one night and the store is not open we can just go to one of our cars and get some. :-)

We also keep blankets in our car and first aid kits. I keep forgetting to pack some non-perishable snacks such as nuts and crackers. I have to make a note of that and do that later.

If you haven’t done so already please winterize your car. Even if you don’t live in an area that deals with ice and snow you can use this post as a gentle reminder to do some basic car maintancen (check brakes, fluids, tires…).

A special thank you to WaterSavers for these great tips. For more information please visit WashWithWaterSavers.com.

WaterSavers Giveaway

WaterSavers has also offered a great prize package for a lucky winner. One reader will win the following:

WaterSavers Cold Weather Survival Kit that includes:

  • First Aid Kit
  • Flashlight/Signal Torch
  • 2 AA Batteries
  • 2 Emergency Candles
  • Box of Safety Matches
  • 2 Hand Warmers
  • Emergency Water Bag (1 Gallon Capacity)
  • Survival Compass
  • Emergency Blanket
  • Cotton Glovers

The above items are packaged in a heavy-duty water and puncture resistant carrying case.

In addition the winner will also receive:

  • $20 Visa Gift Card
  • WaterSavers Reusable Tote Bag.

Thank you WaterSavers.

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on December 14, 2013  at 11:59 PM (EST). The winner will be chosen at random using a random number  generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via e-mail and  will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and share a tip with me about preparing for the colder weather months – OR – why you would like to win this prize package?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget  (below) but you must complete the  initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify (I do check).  Extra entries are optional.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*I am working with the International Carwash Association to share these tips. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments. 

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Holiday Pet Safety


Pet Holiday Safety

The holidays are suppose to be a happy and joyful time for everyone – including your pets. However this time of year can also be a dangerous time for your pets if you are not careful and diligent about keeping them out of harm’s way.

As a pet mom I make extra certain that the holidays don’t mean a trip (or two) to the emergency vet (we already have enough vet bills). Not only that, I wouldn’t want our holiday ruined if one of our beloved pets gets seriously ill or becomes a fatality.

Here are some helpful safety tips to ensure that your furry friend is safe this holiday season.

Keep holiday plants out of reach. Some plants – especially Poinsettias, Mistletoe, Holly and Lilies) are toxic for pets if they ingest them. Even pine cones and tree needles can cause intestinal damage if swallowed. Make sure to vacuum under your tree often.

Cats love shiny, dangling things. As pretty as it is consider leaving it off your tree is better for our feline friend. Not only can they swallow the tinsel but they can also pull down the tree if it’s not secured properly, or knock down decorations which could also be a potential health hazard.

If your cat likes to climb inside your Christmas tree hanging a lemon scented car air freshener, or placing orange peels at the base of the tree could stop them. Most cats don’t like the smell of citrus.

Avoid putting lights and decorations on low branches. The last thing you want is you pup chewing through the lights and getting electrocuted or chewing up your favorite ornaments.

Cat Christmas

NEVER EVER leave your pet alone in a room with lit candles. That is a major fire hazard. Use flameless candles. They give of the same appeal but are much safer to use around pets (and small children).

If possible secure your tree. Sometimes pets might accidently bump into a tree which could cause it to fall down and injure your pet plus break many of your valuable and precious ornaments.

Use a pet friendly tree preservative if you use a real Christmas tree. Dogs and cats often will drink the water you use to keep your tree hydrated. When in doubt just use fresh, clean water to water your tree and try and keep your pet from drinking out of it. Stagnant tree water contains A LOT of bacteria which could make your pet very ill.

If you like to put edible goodies in stockings be sure to hand them up high enough so your pet cannot reach them. Edible goodies smell good to dogs and they might tear into the stocking before you do. Some foods, like chocolate, are toxic to animals and it can make the very sick.

As you are toasting to the end of the current year and welcoming in the New Year be sure to keep the cocktails out of reach. Unlike humans, pets don’t get drunk – they can get severely sick if they drink alcohol, possibly even going into respiratory failure, a coma or even dying from ingesting alcohol.

Pet's can't "party" like their human family members - Alcohol is a big no-no for pets (FYI... My cat was sleeping at the time)

Pet’s can’t “party” like their human family members – Alcohol is a big no-no for pets (FYI… My cat was sleeping at the time)

Don’t serve your pet “people food” and make sure all food is out of reach. Bones for example (turkey, ham or lamb) can splinter and get stuck in your pet’s throat or intestines. Not only that, too much people food can make our pet obese and it can upset their stomachs. I’m sure you don’t want to spend Christmas morning cleaning up dog diarrhea from you carpet.

Make sure your pet cannot get into the garbage. Grandma’s fruitcake that you toss into the garbage could contain things like raisins which are toxic for dogs. Other ingredients, like garlic, is also bad for your pet.

Make sure there are not little things lying around that could be swallowed by your pet, like button cell batteries and small toys.

The holidays might seem merry and bright to you, but a house full of strangers can be very stressful on your pet. Consider putting your pet/pets into a backroom, away from all the festivities. Not only will it make it less stressful for your pet but also safer for your guests. Frightened pets might lash out and scratch or bite a guest.

If you are having house guests this holiday season be sure to talk to them about pet safety. Make sure they don’t leave valuable lying around or things like prescription medication or dentures. You wouldn’t want Fido taking a chomp out of grandpa’s chompers.

Dog Dentures

If you live in an area that gets cold make sure that your pet keeps warm too. Even though your pet has fur doesn’t mean it can’t get affected by the elements. Be sure to keep your pet warm and cozy on Winter walks and limit their time outdoors, especially in bitter temperatures. Also, be sure to check the pads of your pets feed for rock salt. Rock salt left in their paws can burn and cause them pain.

If you use streamers and confetti to celebrate the New Year be sure to clean up immediately so that your dog or cat doesn’t eat the confetti or streamers. If the New York City Sanitation Department can clean up Times Square lightening fast after the ball drops, you can certainly get your living room vacuumed in a matter of minutes.

In case of emergencies make sure you have first aid supplies specifically made for pets. Not all vets are open during the holidays (especially on Christmas and New Year’s day). It’s important that you keep a first aid kit for your furry friend to help with minor injuries.


Dr. Emmo’s carries a line of pet friendly first aid products that are non-toxic, all natural and safe to lick. The product line includes;

Dr. Emmo’s Wound Care Spray Wash is intended to be the first of a two-step  process for the treatment of pets with minor cuts, scrapes and skin irritations.  This fine cleansing spray works to thoroughly rinse, remove and flush bacteria  in all minor pet wounds.

The second step in this wound care system is the  application of Wound Care Spray Gel to the wound site. This easy to apply gel  with its viscous formulation is intended to stick to the wound site, keeping the  wound clean and protected throughout the healing process.

The Ear Care Rinse offers immediate relief to wax build up and pesky irritations  of the ear.

Dr. Emmo’s Eye Care Wash is an antibiotic-free  formulation designed as a “one-step”, all-natural, topical eye care rinse for  use in all animal eyes. It relieves eye irritation, burning, scratching while  killing 99.9% of bacteria/germs.

Dr. Emmo’s motto is “Accidents will happen… be prepared everywhere”. That means your pet is vunlunerable to accidents 365 days out of the year, not just during the holidays.

For more information visit www.DrEmmos.com. You can also follow Dr. Emmo’s on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Do you have any special safety tips you’d like to share?

Happy Holidays from my furry friends to yours. :-)

Holiday Pet Safety


*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the benefit of my site readers.

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Make safety your #1 priority with a PEAK Back-up Camera (giveaway ends 12/12/13)


Car Safety

I consider myself a very protective parent. In fact, I know that I’m a bit TOO protective. I’m not ashamed to admit it. For example, when my kids were younger I would stand by the window watch them in front of our condo building when they took our dog out to do his business. Or I would stand at the top of the stairs while my kids went downstairs to get the mail.

My kids are older but that doesn’t mean for one moment that I don’t take their safety and well being to heart on a daily basis.

We live in a very busy condo and townhome complex. There are 40 condo buildings (400 units) and 300 townhome. Needless to say the parking lot can be a VERY busy place. People are always coming and going all the time. Not only do I worry about potential kidnappers, I also worry about wreckless drivers who race up and down the parking lot. I have insisted for years that they install a few more speed bumps, especially in front of my building, but the condo board refuses because they don’t want people to damange the underside of their car and sue the board. I look at it this way - if you are foolish enough to speed over a speed bump you deserve the damage to the underside of your car.

Another problem we have is people not paying attention to their surroundings when backing up. I make certain to be aware of my surroundings, but with so many cars parked around you it’s easy not to see someone or something come behind you when you are backing out.

Once when my son was a toddler he also got hit by a car backing out in our parking lot. I always had a good grip on my kid’s hands but that one time he wiggled free and ran down the hill (our parking lot is on a hill). Because he was a toddler and there were a lot of cars in the parking lot, a neighbor backed out and almost hit him because he didn’t see him behind his car. Why my neighbor stopped before he hit my son I’ll never know (he no longer lives here). I am grateful for whatever reason that he stopped when he did or my son could have been seriously injured or worse.

Since that day I have become a bit paranoid when backing out in our parking lot because we have so many toddlers and small children around here and I would hate for something like that to happen again – especially when I’m the one behind the wheel.

Not only children but you have to be cautious of other people, pets and miscellaneous stuff (like other cars, toys, etc.).

A few times in the past I have had the opportunity to review brand new cars. I drive a 96′ Mazda. Driving a brand new car is a wonderful experience. I love all the “bells and whistles” new cars offer.

Car rear monitor

One safety feature that any new cars come with this days are the rear view cameras that allow you to see from a small screen on your dashboard what is behind your car, so you are able to see things you might not otherwise see if you look in your rear view mirror or turn to look behind you, such as a child who is too small to be seen over the back (trunk) of the car. A rear view camera will help to eliminate blind spots.

At first I had a hard time getting used to the rear view camera, but after a few times I could see just how valuable such a piece of equipment can be. I wish it was available when my car was made.

Many parents are taking safety standards into their own hands. A lawsuit was filed recently that is demanding that the Department of Transportation (DOT) set rear visibility standards for vehicles, as required by a law passed in 2008. I have never heard of this before. I wonder if the DOT will make it the law to have things like rear view cameras on ALL cars – including older ones like mine.

Whether you drive an older car like mine, or a new one that does not feature a rear view camera, you can take matters in your own hands by installing a rear view camera on your car. In fact, for some people installation is easy and can be done in about 15 minutes.

Brands like PEAK make it a cost effective option, too. You can install a PEAK® Back-Up Camera in your own car.

Here is a brief video that shows you just how easy it can be.


You always have the option of paying someone to install it for you too. If you are a handy person (or know someone who is) its better to install it yourself and save a few dollars.

The PEAK® Back-Up Camera has a full LCD color monitor that affixes to your car’s windshield with a suction cup. It also comes with a water resistant that attaches to the vehicles license plate.

PEAK® Back-Up Camera is not only for cars. You can install it on trucks, SUV’s, RVs and even campers.

If you have children or pets, or live in a neighborhood with children and pets, installing a PEAK® Back-Up Camera is essential for their safety and for your peace of mind.

You can find the PEAK® Back-Up Camera (in two different sizes) at Walmart and auto retailers nationwide. They range in price, depending on what size monitor you want, from around $70-$90 at Walmart. Prices vary by retailer. I was actually surprised at how affordable they are. I would have thought they would have been a lot more money. I also never thought you could install it yourself either.

For more information about the PEAK® Back-Up Camera and other products visit www.PEAKAuto.com. You can also check them out on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

PEAK Back-Up Camera

One lucky reader will win a PEAK® Back-Up Camera, compliments of PEAK®.

This giveaway is open to US residents only and will end on December 12, 2013 at 11:59 PM (EST). The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via e-mail and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me why you would like to win the PEAK® Back-Up Camera.

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the intitial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify (I do check). Extra entries are optional.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*I have partnered with PEAK® to bring you this post. Although compensated all opinions are 100% my own and not influenced in any way. 

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