Glenn

How to summon help?

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Do you have a signal system to summon help if you are in your shop and an emergency arises? How do you call the wife, neighbor, or others if things go REALLY bad?

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You know, I've never thought about a separate system. I usually have a cell phone at the barn/shop but, as Glenn says, what if things go REALLY bad and can't get the cell to work, etc.

Air horn maybe? If so, where's the best place to hang it? I live pretty far out in the country (don't get Monday Night Football until Thursday night), so if the wife's not here, who would hear an air horn?

Be interesting to read what solutions others come up with.

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I live and work alone in a rural area. I have the cell with me at all times and also have a "Life line" necklace to call help if needed. ( Mom insisted) . I just have to be able to hit the button on the necklace.
Finnr /Art

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Glenn,
I think you have brought up a subject that deserves some contemplation and input. I would sure like to hear some good Ideas about ways to get help when you need it.

I know that safety should come first, but I am talking about after the fact when equipment failure, common senses and safety practices have not been used or have failed!

During the last part of July and the whole month of August I worked on the inside of a building that was fabricated out of steel on two sides and the roof. I was enclosing the ends and building storage wracks for steel and wood.
It was just like working inside of a large tin can that was sitting in the sun. At times the tempters would reach 110 to 116 degrees inside. The higher up I worked nearer the roof area the hotter it got.

Then about three weeks ago while working inside of the tin can, I remember that I felt like I was dying and had to get to the house. The next thing that I could remember was how bad my neck, head and back hurt. I found my self laying out on my back on the rear side walk with my head on the step. I tried to get up but I could not. After some time (minutes) I was able to reach over and pound on the foot of screen door. And shortly after that I was able to get up and go inside my home.

My wife helped my lay down on the bed. I told her I must have passed out because it must be close to lunch time. I told her that I had just looked at my watch and it was 11:30 am.

She said no, that it was 3:30 P.M.! I had lost about 4 hours during the time that I was out in shop or laying on the sidewalk in the heat. I had not drank any water during that time.

I had a heat stroke.

Although I carry a cell phone and have a speaker system inside of one of my shops that is connected to the house, I could not have used either one. The next day when my wife came out to the shop with me, we found what I had been working on. I do not remember building the panel, but it fit perfectly. It just may be that I do better work when I am goofier than normal.

But I realize not all injuries or emergencies are like the one I described. I feel a person should set up more than one way to get help while in the work area.

Another example: An older fellow had been laying 4’ x 8’ ply wood panels on their sides up against the wall. Somehow he got stuck between the wall and the wood stack. That is where they found him, but two late.
I am looking forward to hear some suggestions.

Be safe!
Old Rusty Ted

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I used to work out of the shop a lot and on and in some scary places all by myself, before I got a cell phone I had a mobile phone in my service truck it was customary for me to call my first wife every hour on the hour, if I forgot she would call me just to make sure I was alright and I always told her where I was going and what I was going to be working on either before I left or when I got to the jobsite.
Now when I work its usually in the basement wood shop and I usually come up every hour to take therapy. I can always bang on the furnace ductwork or the floor joists if anything goes wrong.
When I am traveling by myself as I was most of yesterday, Cookie calls me usually every hour to check on me.

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The vast majority of the time I work in the shop by myself. I did run a phone line to the shop last year and have a portable handset I can lay on the bench or somewhere out of the way. We don't get a cell phone signal out here and I don't have one anyway.
Like Thomas I also have a bell mounted on a post outside the shop. Mostly I use it to call the dog.
My wife and the Devil Child have grown accustomed to my "racket" so I would have to bang for a long time to get their attention. Be better off catching their attention waving a $100 bill in the air. Even out of line of sight I'm sure they'd sense it and come a runnin:p
Seriously though I have a phone and a dinner bell which is alot more than I have had most of my working life so I feel fairly secure. The most dangerous part about it is that I am working with ME :o.

John

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I live in the woods too. I was cutting a tree back in June and the bugger jumped the stump and knocked me right down and pinned me under the tree. I aint a weekend warrior I have cut way many trees. This one had this healthy old buck stuck and in big pain. My wife was on the mower couldnt hear me yellin. Till she glanced over and saw me.
I am all hooked up now, forge (propane) anvil the whole shooting match and I could get hurt I must think about this cause I am alone all day.
I use safety glasses and the right clothes and have plenty of ventalation but I never thought of what never happens.

THX for the heads up.

Fat Pete:o

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I think probably the most useful emergency device is my cordless phone. Cell phone reception is spotty at my house. Sometimes I remember to hook it on my belt, but usually it sits in its cradle in the shop.

The father of my best friend from my school days died when working on a window in his basement. He fell through it, cutting an artery. Cordless phones weren't available back then to the working class, much less cell phones. He bled to death with his hand on the upstairs phone. Ironically, he was a retired firefighter who spent his career saving lives.

Ever since then, I have tried to make sure I had a phone with or near me when in the shop or doing work around the house. It's real cheap insurance.

--Marc

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My wife is a paraplegic and so is inside the house most of the time. I want to be outside doing things around the yard. We had a wireless intercom that plugs in for a while, but it proved awkward due to the fact that the radios were stationary.

Now we have Cobra personal radios. They are great! Small and portable. Go anywhere we happen to be and we can carry on a conversation. Much cheaper and convenient than a cellphone. Only drawback is the range, but I can go 1/3 mile away and we can still yak. Perfect for around the property and no cellphone bills.

I clip it to the collar of my shirt and she is always right there.

Christopher

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The cordless phones we have now came as a set of four handsets from Staples, with a rebate equal to the price. That was a loss leader to use their long distance phone card. Anyway, each handset can call any other, or all at the same time. So if my wife ever needs me to come in to fix the project she started, she can make a quick internal call to the phone labeled "shop". We've only had the phones a short time, so I haven't been summoned yet. But I know the day is coming :)

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If things go wrong, I've got 3 choices. first get out of it myself, 2nd die trying or lastly get lucky and someone comes along. I spend most of my shop time alone when there is no one else around (often the only time i can get), spotty cell signal (no signal much more common than signal even though about 3/4 mile up the road full signal) and I never think to grab a cordless from the house (assuming one is charged). That is the way it is.

ron

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My shop is more than a hundred yards from the house and I work alone most of the time. This might be a good time to run a phone line out there or use the little 2-way radios we got for Christmas a couple years ago. I guess anything would be better than just hoping they would come looking for me around suppertime!

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The cordless phone set I have now reaches easily to my mailbox, maybe 150 ft. away, but I haven't tried going down the street. My previous one reached over 100 yards before fading out. This is on a pretty woodsy street, but my house is up a small hill. Terrain has a big effect on range.

I did a quick Google search on long-range cordless phones and they have some that'll reach over 5 miles. But they're pricey - around $600. You can run a lot of phone wire for that. Home Depot has it for $200 for 1000 ft.

Personally, I would prefer anything connected directly to my phone line over a 2-way radio or even a cell phone. Like Mr. Bluegrass, I spend enough time alone at home that a 2-way radio would have nobody on the other end. And cell phone coverage is not reliable. And as for cell phones, I'm not sure what the status of wireless 911 is in my state, NH. A call to 911 from a cell always works to get to emergency services, but if I can't talk, can they locate me?

This is one of those things I don't really lose sleep over, but it is worth the few minutes to think it through. And since the phones were essentially free, it's a no-brainer. All I need to do is remember to clip it on my belt. I'm just at the point where the safety glasses have become habit most of the time.

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Any new phone sold after 2003 can locate you to within 3 feet once you press" 911". This can also be turned on remotely by the police if needed. All it requires is for your phone to be on. Rare case where this will not work is when there is not more than one tower within range. Cell phone will hopefully work for me if it didn't get damaged when I do.

strange question but: Does anyone wash their working clothes with borax for it's fire retardant properties?

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You can soak a cloth work apron that way but in a regular wash the borax is rinsed out. if you soak your clothing in it it is a bit harsher on the skin.

So what if there are *no* cell towers around? Lots of places like that out here. Of course I don't own a cell phone either...

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I work in the attached garage so I have the regular phone line out there, plus my cell phone, and lastly I put in an intercom system going to the kitchen. Not so much for safety as for summonming fresh iced tea. :-)

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Yeah, all the phones have the GPS receiver, but it still requires the local emergency services to have the equipment to access it. Your state may or may not have gotten around to it. But if you're not near a cell tower, or you have crappy reception (like me), you're still out of luck.

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A man who lived next door to us at the farm had a three legged pig that followed him every where. It twice saved his life. Once, his tractor tipped and pinned him to the ground, the pig ran to the house and raised such a ruckus that the good wife followed the pig to the field and extricated her husband. The other time a spark from the wood stove started a fire on the rug in the living room late at night, the pig smelling smoke, began running around the outside of the house, squealing and woke everyone in the house, so that the rug was the only thing damaged.

Now, you may ask why the pig only had 3 legs, to which the farmer would reply, "a pig like that you would not want to eat all at once.":rolleyes::P:D

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I use hand held radios too but, I use the GMRS radios They have a little better range $45 for two with a charger when I leave for the shop I take one and give the other to my wife. Although I live in town and always seem to have loiterers hanging around!

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Cell phone has worked a couple of times for me. The only problem would be if I was overcome by something and passed out or was knocked unconscious because my wife doesn't check on me. I can go out and not come in for several hours without her noticing.

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Actually, I think this has been a positive thread in that replies straggling in have kept my interest. I have responded to emergencies as a health care provider. You might consider this: The local Amish community has over the years developed safety procedures ( I have taught first aid and CPR years ago to groups ). They have folks that are from their communities that travel and give talks and demonstrations about safety. Locally they have phones ( normally in schools ) and some have cell phones to conduct business. Don't laugh or take me wrong. This is not intended to be a stone thrown at them or their ways. Fact is, they are trying to become safer living in the modern world. I am not writing this to get responses about issues dealing with Amish. AED's are becoming predominant in many areas. I am no longer a health care provider (mostly due to hearing). Having a cell phone ( in my case a tracfone) in the shop should be procedure. Problem is just doing it.

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I recall another smith about 40 miles away who used to make a lot of trencher teeth and used the side of the die on his LG25 to draw the rounded cutting edges out. He was very faithful about taking his coffee breaks at a resturant uptown, and when he didn't show up for one, his friends called his wife to see if he was sick, she in turn called the shop, no answer. She called a friend who went to check on him. The friend found him laying on the floor with a severe head wound from one of the tension arms breaking and knocking him out.

So sometimes even having emergency communications handy is not enough, that is the reason I called my first wife regularly when I was out on portable jobs and my present wife calls me regularly when I am on the road alone. And sometimes it pays to have friends who are concerned about your well being. You can't have too many friends or safety concerns.

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