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For a lot of people in Wisconsin and Illinois, summer means getting out on the water. Personal watercraft, such as jet skis and Wave Runners provide a fun and accessible way to enjoy boating activities.
However, these small, fast and maneuverable watercraft can present their own set of safety issues.
So if you're planning to make waves, let us help you out with some safety tips. We want you to be able to hit the water next summer, too!
Make sure you're following the law
- In addition to U.S.Coast Guard boating regulations, which operators and passengers must follow (personal watercraft are classified as Class A inboard craft), many stateshave specific laws regarding personal watercraft such as Jet Skis and Wave Runners. Make sure you are aware of these laws before you hit the water inWisconsin.
- While state regulations vary, they may require the operator to be of a minimum age, complete a safe boating course and/or obtain an operator's certificate. States and cities may also regulate speed limits, hours and areas of operation.
- Because they are classified as Class A inboard craft by the Coast Guard, the following items are required on board personal watercraft: An approved personal floatation device for all passengers, a fully charged 8-1 type fire extinguisher and a whistle or horn for signaling or warning.
Be prepared with safety gear
Other things to have handy on boardinclude:
- Your owner'smanual
- A small waterproof first-aidkit
- Flares, brightly colored cloth or a mirror to use as a distresssignal
- A tow rope
- A helmet - many personal watercraft injuries are to thehead
- Sunglasses or goggles
When you're onboard
First, make sure your kill-switch safety lanyard is attached to your life jacket or wrist, so if you fall off,the engine will stop.
And remember, you are required to know and obey the rules of the water. It's a good idea to take a boating-safety course to learn these rules, as well as other essential knowledge.
Other helpful tips:
- Know your load limits, and don't carry more weight than your watercraft can handle.
- Know where you're going,and the hazards in that area, such as rocks, pilings,etc.
- Remain constantly alert for other watercraft, as well as swimmers, divers,water-skiers and people fishing. Don't operate your watercraft in swimming or fishing areas.
- Weekends and holidays with high boat traffic can be especiallydangerous.
- Never your personal watercraft after dark.
- Be considerate. Noise is a common complaint about personal watercraft, so don't stay in
- Remember, you are responsible for any damage caused by your wake. Avoid creating wakes near other individuals or boats.
- Finally, don't use alcohol before or during your time on the water. Your passengers and fellow boaters will be grateful, and you'll be less likely to have an accident.
Remember, we can help yo uget thei nsurance coverage you need for your personal watercraft.
We hope to see you ou ton the wate rthis summer.
Give us a call today!
Summers mean backyard grilling - safely!
Just like hamburgers and hot dogs, a sizzling grill is a symbol of summer. Grilling is not just about outdoor cooking; Backyard barbeques often create wonderful memories with friends and family.
Keep in mind, that when you grill, you are literally playing with fire. Each year, thousands of people learn this lesson the hard way; suffering severe damage to their homes or even serious injuries in grilling accidents.
There's good news though - you can prevent grilling accidents by taking some simple precautions. The tips below can ensure you cook only your burgers, and not your house, the next time you fire up the grill.
Tips For All Grills:
- Your grill, whether gas or charcoal, should be on a level surface outdoors and away from anything that could be ignited by flames (bushes, fences, etc.)
- NEVER use a grill indoors. Odorless carbon monoxide fumes could kill you.
- Keep your grill clean and well-maintained. Check parts regularly to determine if replacements are needed.
- Never leave a hot grill unattended or let children play near it.
Charcoal Grill Tips:
Reprinted from Kingsford.com
- Do not add lighter fluid to hot coals. The flame could travel up the stream of fluid and burn you.
- Never use gasoline or kerosene to light a charcoal fire.
- Use flame-retardant mitts and long-handled tongs, as coals can reach up to 1,000 degrees.
- To dispose of coals, allow the ashes to cool for 48 hours before disposal in a non-combustible container. If you cannot wait 48 hours, carefully place coals individually in a can of sand or a bucket of water.
Gas Grill Tips:
From the National Fire Protection Association
- Check your grill's hoses for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If you have a leak and it will not stop after the grill and gas has been turned off, call the fire department. If the leak stops when the grill and gas are turned off, have your grill serviced by a professional.
- Do not keep a filled propane tank in a hot car or trunk. When getting containers refilled, make it your last stop before going home.
- Store propane tanks in an upright position, and never indoors.
From all of us at DBI Insurance Services, "Happy grilling and stay safe this summer!"