Tips for Teaching Your Kids to Drive

Despite technological advancements in vehicle safety, far too many people die or are seriously injured on our roads. Personal injury law firms like Turner Freeman see these cases every day.
A teenager getting their learners permit is a rite of passage for both the young person and parents. It is also one of the most important lessons your children will ever learn – driving is a big responsibility. We literally take our lives – and the lives of others – in our hands every time we get behind the wheel.

Below are some tips that can help make sure that learning to drive is a stress free (and safe) experience and your kids.

Lead by Example

What is your own driving style like? Are you a nervous? Aggressive? Calm? No matter what you say to them before the lesson starts, your children have been watching – and learning from – your driving style for many years so make sure every time you get behind the wheel that your own actions support the instructions and directions you are giving to the young driver.

Be Clear and Specific

Make sure that you give very specific instructions. Words like “slow” or “fast” mean different things to different people so try to say things like the actual speed you’d like them to go. Yelling to “stop” or “slow down” if your learner loses their nerve or makes a mistake also won’t help no matter how potentially dangerous the situation is – stay calm and tell them exactly what they need to do to fix it.

Practice The Basics

Devote entire lessons to building essential basic driving skills. Spend some time in an empty parking lot or quiet area teaching your child how to do things like start, stop, crash stop and other crucial manoeuvres. Being able to brake suddenly safely is a crucial skill that can’t be easily learned at the time it’s most needed. Repetition aids with retention, so make sure you go over this basic skills training regularly.

Have a Think about the Route

Before every drive; consider where you are going to go and the roads you’ll take to get there. Think about the types of driving manoeuvres the learner will need to do and if their skills – and your patience – are up to it. It is still important to expose them to a range of traffic conditions but you can’t teach someone how to merge on a motorway in peak hour properly if you are yelling frantic instructions after being taken by surprise yourself!

Learning how to drive is exciting and nerve wracking – and that’s just summing up the parents’ emotions! With some planning, patience, empathy and preparation you can help to not only give your child independence but also skills that they’ll remember and use for life. Safety doesn’t just matter while they’re learning, it’s something that all drivers need to focus on every time they sit in the drivers’ seat.

What advice would you give to a parent teaching their child how to drive?

Installing Sliding Doors in Your Home: What are the Benefits?

If you are building or renovating your home, you might want to think about installing sliding doors. Sliding doors are becoming increasingly common because they offer many benefits to your home. If you are considering installing you can always consult a professional like A J Doors for specific information, advice and quotes.

Manageable Maintenance

Glass sliding doors require some up keep, however, for the most part, sliding doors are reasonably robust. Although sliding doors should remain functional for a long time, eventually they can wear down or become difficult to open and close. If your doors are old or need to be replaced or repaired, doing a local search for sliding door repairs should point you in the direction of professionals that specialise in sliding doors.

Large Openings

Sliding doors are usually larger than standard doors, which means when they are open, there is a much larger connection between indoors and outdoors. Some sliding doors are the only separation between the main living areas and the outdoors. This is great for creating an indoor/outdoor room because effectively, the entire wall slides away allowing a seamless transition to the environment outside.

Access to Views

Sliding doors can act like huge windows. If you have a great view from your property, installing sliding doors will maximise on the outlook and increase the value of the property. If you are trying the make the most of your backyard, sliding doors will allow your living areas to spill outside. Sliding doors also open up more lines of sight throughout your home. This can be helpful if you want to keep an eye on the kids in the backyard from the living room or kitchen, or if you want to impress your guest with a view.

Natural Ventilation

In hot and humid climates, sliding doors will allow air to flow through your home, especially if you have window open on the other side of the house. The large opening created by sliding doors catches the can catch breezes even if they are coming in at an angle.

Stylish Addition

Sliding doors can be a fashionable addition to your home. Glass sliding doors come in many different designs and colours to suit any home’s décor or style. White or black steel frames are used most commonly, as they only minimally obscure views however, timber frames are also very popular. Timber framed doors are especially effective if they open up to a patio or a pool, as they give spaces a more tropical feel. It is important, however, to consider the weather of your area before selecting your door’s frame. Timber may look the best, but it will go grey or swell if it will be constantly exposed to harsh sunlight or water. If this is the case, steel would be a better option.

Sliding doors can transform your home and give it a brand new feel. They are great for ventilation, connecting space and making the most of views. So if you are looking to renovate, consider installing sliding doors.

5 Easy Ways to Transform Your Garden

Your garden’s looking super drab. Every time you go out there, it just depresses you. Everyone seems to have amazing, thriving yards almost by default, but what about those of us who just can’t seem to activate their green thumbs? It’s actually way easier to take a boring backyard and turn it into something amazing than you think.

 

1. Grass and Landscaping

You have two alternatives when it comes to seriously changing up the look of the yard. There are lots of DIY solutions for changing the look of the whole yard with some thorough landscaping. If you’re not willing to go that far, you can always look at laying some turf. Either option here should yield stellar results. If you’re not confident enough to do it yourself, though, contact a professional like Hancey’s Turf . You don’t want to get halfway through and realise you’ve mucked it up.

2. Planter Boxes

Planter boxes are a super inexpensive way to decorate your garden and give you a sustainable crop of vegetables year round. You don’t have to just grow veggies in them either – fill them with anything you like, such as rocks, soil and wildflowers, or shrubs and tall grasses. It’s entirely up to you. Get creative with it. You can either get pre-built planter boxes at your local hardware outlet or you can build them yourself at home.

3. Patterned Walkways

Ever wished you had a nice pathway from the house to the washing line? Build one yourself! Get really creative with what you use to put it together – pavers, stepping stones or slabs? How about gravel? Put it together how you want. You can also plant some interesting flowers or shrubs around the path to give it some character.

4. Climbing Plants

A great way to introduce some shade with style into the yard is with a pergola and some climbing plants. Pergolas are so cheap and easy to build and when you combine them with something like roses, ivy, grapes or even honeysuckle, they will give the entire yard a whole lot of colour and fragrance. They’re also a great option if you’re looking for something to give you a bit of privacy.

5. Rock Garden

This is a great idea if you have any unused space in your yard. Just dig up the earth in that area and fill it with some rocks and pea gravel in whatever size and colour appeals to you. It’s also a great way to make something that’s a bit of a unique shape. Water the area really well before you go digging it up to make it easier to shift the earth. Plant some herbs like sage or lavender around the edges for some colour and fragrance – these are awesome herbs because they take such little looking after.

There’s loads of ways you can transform your garden from an unappealing patch of ground to a gorgeous outdoor haven. Have you ever completely transformed your garden? How did you go about it? Are you a DIY wizard? Tell us your tips and tricks in the comments below!

Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Home Doors

Spring is here again. You’ve done outside. You’ve done inside. What about the doors? How do you start when it comes to spring cleaning your screens, doors and sliding doors? Check out these ideas for cleaning a very visual and important part of your home:

Flyscreens and security screens

Your fly or security screen collects a huge amount of dust, particles, and if you look down the bottom, remains of animals that could not escape! Unless you’re keen on having science projects on your screens, you’ll need soap up some water and be prepared to flush your screens a number of times. There’s no real quick or easy way to clean a screen – just time and effort.

If you find during your cleaning that your security screen is coming out of the mounts or the door just does not feel as ‘secure’ as it should, it’s probably an indication that your security screen isn’t doing what it’s designed to do – protect you and your family from creepies and creeps. If you find you’re not feeling secure, it’s worth contacting a home security expert, such as Stylewise Security for options on creating a safe environment for you and your family.

Hinged doors

Spring cleaning is a great opportunity to check your hinged doors for any defects and remedy any potential issues. When cleaning your hinged doors, the golden rule is to start clean. Check the surrounds of the door – do you need to remove or replace a worn doormat? Are there leaves or debris near the doorway that need cleaning? Once the surrounds are clean, you can get to work on spring cleaning. Check the door hinges – have you been putting up with a squeaky door all winter? Lubricate! Are your keys getting jammed, or is your door becoming stiff to open or close? This may be a sign your door is becoming damaged or warped. Spring cleaning the door itself is easy; like anything, use hot soapy water, a microfiber cloth and a bit of elbow grease to give your door a fresh, clean look.

Sliding doors

There’s a multitude of things to consider when spring cleaning your sliding doors. As with hinged doors, ensure the surrounds are clean before you dive into a good spring once-over. With sliding doors, start from the top and work your way down. Give the outside a good hose or high-pressure water clean, getting rid of any surface dirt. With inside glass panels, use water and a microfiber cloth to both clean and give the glass a shiny buff.
One area that many people neglect when spring cleaning sliding doors are the tracks and wheels. Using hot, soapy water, get into the grooves of the tracks. Dirty tracks and wheels turn a sliding door into a grinding door. Where possible, give the wheels a once-over, too.

What methods have you employed in cleaning your doors? Are there any tips you can share to make this boring job quicker and easier? Drop your ideas in the comments below.

Top Three Tips for Trench Safety

 

A trench is a man-made cut in the earth of any length, but one that is considerably deeper than it is wide. Because it looks so unassuming, people tend to be less cautious with them and take risks they would not consider on other parts of a construction site. It is for this reason that excavating and working in trenches is considered to be among the most dangerous occupations on a work or construction site, with cave-ins and unexpected flooding the source of untold injuries and deaths. The safety of on-site workers is paramount, so here are three tips designed to keep employees safe in the trenches.

Install protective systems

The most important precaution to take is to install a protective system around and within your trench. A safety specialist like Mabey Hire has an extensive range of products to secure your excavation site and ensures workers and onlookers aren’t put in unnecessary danger. For example, you should consider installing aluminium or steel frames to shore up the side of the trenches, reduce slippage and stop cave-ins. You might also consider steel or rubber ground covers in and around the trench to reduce mud and slush around the work area. Before making your choice, always consult an expert. A number of complicated factors such as soil composition, residue and water content will help determine what system to use.

Be trench aware

The most important thing is to appoint a ‘competent person’ to supervise activities around the trench. They should be fully trained in trench excavation work, with a substantial knowledge of soil composition and its reaction under excavation. Do not climb into a trench if you don’t think it is safe. The deeper the trench, the more important it is to have a protective system installed by a registered professional or engineer against cave-ins. If you are in a protected trench and you think something is wrong with the system, or it is filling with water faster than it should be, get out and report it to a supervisor. Safety on a work site is everyone’s responsibility. But the greatest responsibility we have is to ourselves and families – and an obligation to come home from work alive.

Follow some general rules

Like many things in life, a lot of the precautions you can take to keep safe in a trench come down to common sense. Some basic rules include:

  • Do not allow heavy equipment to get to close to the edge.
  • Provide an area at least a metre from the trench to dump excavated soil and spoil.
  • Identify any underground utilities before digging.
  • Surround the trench with barriers to stop people falling in.
  • Inspect the trench for movement or other problems at the beginning of each shift, after rainstorms or after any other activity that may affect the stability of the trench walls.

Working in a trench is like being employed on any part of the worksite. There are two-fold and it is important to be aware of them. Follow the rules set out by occupational health and safety regulations, coupled with a bit of your common sense, and most problems should be avoided.