Sunday, June 12, 2011

For Safety's Sake: Clean Out Your Car

This is the first in a series of safety blog posts ...

Well, summer is upon us. At least, that’s what the calendar says, and that means changing over those safety items you carry in your car to the warm weather collection.

If you’re like me, you haven’t had to use much from your tool and emergency supply box the last six months or so apart from the screwdriver, hand sanitizer, jumper cables, and extra gloves, so it’s time to drag that thing out, dust the road salt off of it and check to see what’s inside.

First of all, empty it out. Throw out the crumbled, half-eaten granola bar and the highlighters that dried up last July. Take out, launder, and replace the collection of rags and towels you use to clean off headlights and boots, and dispose of the wrappers from the chocolate bars that you'd like to forget you ate anyway.

Then the rusty “S” hooks from that sign on the land that never sold, the parking ticket, the (well, maybe don’t throw out the parking ticket, better pay that with a note of apology), the orphan keys, etc. -- put all these aside for later action.

Now clean it out. Really, I mean it. Clean it. Soap and water. Dry it. Now, let’s start over.

Put your tools back in. Check to see that they’re all clean and in working order. I know, what’s to check about a screwdriver? See that they aren't nicked or bent or that the Phillips isn't all smooshed from the time(s) you were determined to make it fit into the wrong size or type of screw. Make sure you have several sizes, Phillips and slotted. Spray all of these tools with a rust preventative and let them dry before returning them to the toolbox.

We’ll talk later about what else you should carry, year-round, in your vehicle, but are now concentrating on the warm weather things.

Top Five: Sunscreen, bug repellent, AfterBite or its equivalent, water, charged cell phone.

Always carry extra car keys ON YOUR PERSON. It doesn't do any good to have extra keys if they're locked inside the car.

Remember, being prepared for emergencies for yourself as well as in consideration of your customer/clients is not only good safety sense, it's good business.

Other than laundering the towels, this activity should take you no more than a half hour. Not a bad investment For Safety's Sake.

More in a few days.

Written by REALTOR Mary Kuykendall, Coldwell Banker American Heritage Real Estate in Bangor; who is also the 2011 Greater Bangor Association REALTOR of the Year.

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