In This Issue

Conversations

July 1, 2008

Readers talk about topics from staying safe on the road to saving energy at home.

Driving Safely Takes Awareness, RestraintOnline Extra

On the days when the sun is shining and there is a slight breeze, I like to play my music loud and roll down the windows. On those days, it’s tempting to forget there is more than me on the road. What's really scary is that I know a lot of teenagers that drive like that every day. Even I've caught myself several times speeding on the highway or a low-traffic country road. I wish they were more aware, too. Just the couple of minutes of not keeping speed in check can be the difference between a wreck and safety.

--Megan Samples

Smoke Alarms for the Hearing ImpairedOnline Extra

I finished reading "Wake-Up Call" on smoke alarms and children. Interesting! But, there is one segment of the population that you and others who write about smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms forget about— the deaf and hard of hearing. There are adults and children who wear hearing aids and/or Cochlear implants during the day, which come off when they go to bed, making them completely deaf to any sounds from an alarm. I myself would require an alarm that not only has a strobe light but also a pillow or mattress shaker that would be hardwired by an electrician. We need to know what is available and trustworthy.

--Grace Burkowski

From the Editor: A few people wrote in about the need for visual smoke alarms, and we found some good information from the National Fire Safety Protection.

Device Makes it Easy to Save Energy

There’s much talk about pulling appliance plugs to save energy. I recommend a little device that plugs into the outlet and has an on/off toggle switch. These devices are sold at most local hardware stores. Just put your appliance power cord into the outlet on the device rather than the outlet on the wall. Using such a device may also save the plug from being pulled improperly from the outlet, too.

--Clarence W. Brown
Rising Sun, Md.

Keep "In Case of Emergency" at the Top of Your Contact List

“Saved by the Cell” prompted me to suggest that people program their cell phones with “.ICE” so that In Case of Emergency, those around you will know who to call. Many people know about “ICE,” but the dot isn’t as well known. Adding the dot makes it come up at the top of your phone list. Those who have Treo, Blackberry, Palm, etc., may also want to add information under their own name. I put medications and other medical information that might be needed in an emergency. That way, also, there’s a list at hand when I go to a doctor.  

--Mary Sheridan 
Johnson City, Tenn.

Home Inventory Turns Daunting Task to Simple

I was recently on medical leave and found the home inventory software mentioned in your article. I love it! It allows overall pictures of the house, then rooms and then the detail of items within the rooms. It is very easy to use. Being able to upload copies of the receipts is very helpful as well as the picture of the item. The reports allow the homeowner to see the total summary value several different ways. When this is complete, I can determine if I have enough insurance on my policy. I’m not done yet, but this program took an almost insurmountable task and made it fun and easy.

--Wanda J. Dyer
Walnut Cove, N.C.

From the Editor: If you like the home inventory software, you might also want to check out My Financial House—personal finance software from the Insurance Information Institute.

Math Makeover

I was reading the latest Eriesense magazine (“Think Twice") and ran across the statistic that driving 10 miles at 70 mph will only save 55 seconds over driving 55 mph. That just didn’t sound right, so I did the math. Driving 70 will save 2 minutes and 20 seconds. Driving 60 will save 55 seconds. I’m not suggesting that saving 2:20 is worth the risk, but please, get the facts straight.

Nice magazine otherwise. Always something interesting.

--Craig Mackrides
Golden, Ill.

From the Editor: You’re right. As the National Traffic Safety Institute correctly reports, the time savings of 55 seconds is the difference between traveling 60 mph and 55 mph. Although our figures were confused, the message still computes: No matter how much time you save, speeding isn’t worth the risk.

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