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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Do you trust online reviews?

According to Search Engine Land, 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations!

*Do You Trust Online Customer Reviews As Much As Personal Recommendations?
79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations (up from 72% in 2012)
Only 21% said they do not trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations


Analysis: This is the acid test for online reviews. Can they have the same impact as personal recommendations? The answer is an overwhelming yes.

Keep in mind that that “yes” comes with a few caveats in most cases — it is not a “yes, always.”

Authenticity of reviews is a key factor in whether or not consumers trust them. The increase in respondents selecting this answer shows that consumers don’t blindly trust reviews and exercise judgment to determine if reviews are genuine. Review spammers beware — consumers are on to you!

As you might predict, younger consumers (16-34) are more trusting of reviews than older consumers (55+). Older consumers are more pragmatic and skeptical, while younger consumers have grown up with in the Internet — so it’s second nature to them to read and value online reviews.



To read more visit: http://searchengineland.com/2013-study-79-of-consumers-trust-online-reviews-as-much-as-personal-recommendations-164565

So where are we searching for reviews?  There are Google Reviews, Yahoo Local, Yelp, Angie's List, etc. So which review sites do you trust that are unbiased? Do you view all of them? Base your decision on the majority? Or do you use and trust one tool?

According to Yelp (one of the fastest growing review/travel sites in the country), "You shouldn't ask your customers to post reviews on Yelp." Do you really think businesses don't ask people to review them on Yelp? or any other review tool? How do you REALLY know these reviews are not biased? You have to TRUST that businesses are doing the right thing, and the algorithms behind the scenes are "fair."

According to Google, "Reviews are only valuable when they are honest and unbiased … Don't offer money or product to others to write reviews for your business or write negative reviews about a competitor. We also discourage specialized review stations or kiosks set up at your place of business for the sole purpose of soliciting reviews." Like, Yelp, Google uses an algorithm as well to determine if a review is honest or not.

Have you ever wrote a review, and never saw it posted?! There's a science behind it, the algorithms! Each program uses a different algorithm to test if a review is "fake" or "real," but how is that determined? And does it make a difference? Would you not try a restaurant because it had all positive reviews? Or better yet, if a friend told you that a restaurant was amazing, but you read awful reviews, would you still go? Do you think more people write a review based on a bad experience or a great experience? 


As a business, we LOVE reviews, we want to hear from our customers! It's not about "making us look good," it's about knowing what our customers like and don't like. So, why would a company want to make fake reviews? Our customers are our eyes and ears! If we are not meeting standards as expected, we want to know. If we don't know, it's hard for a us to improve. We appreciate feedback in any way! Whether it's through a review site or a simple e-mail!


What review sites do you trust and use?!



Friday, October 31, 2014

Have a Safe and Spooky Halloween!

One of the most important reminders on Halloween is to stay safe and keep the kiddos safe! Here are some safety tips to follow as you head out on the streets tonight!

Halloween Safety Tips for Trick or Treating

Kids look forward to Halloween for many reasons. They like the dressing up in costumes but the mostly they like it for the candy and treats! Who wouldn't? Even some adults still like to go our trick or treating. It makes them feel young and happy again. While this section sticks mainly to guidelines for kids, they are just as useful for adults.

Some parents like to take first dibs on some of the candy that the kids have picked up during the night. It's their reward for taking them around from house to house! We suggest that you watch the candy intake when you all get home, too much at one time can lead to stomach aches and indigestion. That includes mom and dad as well!

Make your child's Halloween a memorable holiday and they'll have good memories that last a lifetime! If you are taking your kids out for the night, dress up as well. Mom and dad should get into Halloween as much as the kids do!

Trick or Treating should be one of the great adventures of Halloween for kids! They can get dressed in scary costumes and go door to door, begging "Tricks or Treats!" from neighbors or at the local mall. Lots of small towns have a Halloween Safe Night at the community center or school so kids can Trick-or-Treat safely but going door to door is the stuff of childhood memories! It should be a fun time, without trouble and pain, so following some easy tips can keep your child safe every Halloween.

Children should always go out trick or treating accompanied by a responsible adult. If you have a group of kids going, the parents should choose two or three of them to go along and keep an eye on things.

Some towns set a curfew for trick or treating which makes it easier for townsfolk to know who's coming to their door. Make sure and stick to the curfew times and stick to subdivisions and areas with a lot of homes so your kids can get in as much trick or treating as possible in a few hours time.

Plan a safe route so parents know where their older kids will be at all times. Set a time for their return home. Make sure that your child is old enough and responsible enough to go out by themselves. Make sure that they have a cell phone.

Let your children know not to cut through back alleys and fields if they are out alone. Make sure they know to stay in populated areas and not to go off the beaten track. Let them know to stay in well lighted areas with lots of people around. Explain to them why it can be dangerous for kids not to do this. If they are going out alone, they are old enough to know what can happen to them in a bad situation and how to stop it from happening.

Instruct your children not to eat any treats until they bring them home to be examined by you. This way you can check for any problem candy and get the pick of the best stuff!

Instruct your child to never go into the home of a stranger or get into their car. Explain why this is not a god idea and what to do if someone approaches them and tries to talk to them.

Make sure your child carries a flashlight, glow stick or has reflective tape on their costume to make them more visible to cars.

Let them know that they should stay together as a group if going out to Trick or Treat without an adult.

Click the link for more safety tips!


http://www.halloween-safety.com/halloween_safety_treats.html

Friday, October 3, 2014

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

We all hear about breast cancer and know what it can do, but do we really understand what it is and how to check for it?

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same.

What is Breast Cancer?


Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast. The damaged cells can invade surrounding tissue and spread throughout the human body.

When we think of breast cancer, we think women, but just because it is predominant in women, men can get it as well.

What are the Symptoms?


Different people have different warning signs for breast cancer. Some people do not have any signs or symptoms at all. A person may find out they have breast cancer after a routine mammogram.

Some warning signs of breast cancer are—
New lump in the breast or underarm (armpit).
Thickening or swelling of part of the breast.
Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.
Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast.
Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area.
Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood.
Any change in the size or the shape of the breast.
Pain in any area of the breast.

Keep in mind that some of these warning signs can happen with other conditions that are not cancer.

http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/basic_info/symptoms.htm 


How to check for Breast Cancer:


Step 1: Begin by looking at your breasts in the mirror with your shoulders straight and your arms on your hips.

Here's what you should look for:
Breasts that are their usual size, shape, and color
Breasts that are evenly shaped without visible distortion or swelling

If you see any of the following changes, bring them to your doctor's attention:
Dimpling, puckering, or bulging of the skin
A nipple that has changed position or an inverted nipple (pushed inward instead of sticking out)
Redness, soreness, rash, or swelling

Step 2: Now, raise your arms and look for the same changes.

Step 3: While you're at the mirror, look for any signs of fluid coming out of one or both nipples (this could be a watery, milky, or yellow fluid or blood).

Step 4: Next, feel your breasts while lying down, using your right hand to feel your left breast and then your left hand to feel your right breast. Use a firm, smooth touch with the first few finger pads of your hand, keeping the fingers flat and together. Use a circular motion, about the size of a quarter.

Cover the entire breast from top to bottom, side to side — from your collarbone to the top of your abdomen, and from your armpit to your cleavage.

Follow a pattern to be sure that you cover the whole breast. You can begin at the nipple, moving in larger and larger circles until you reach the outer edge of the breast. You can also move your fingers up and down vertically, in rows, as if you were mowing a lawn. This up-and-down approach seems to work best for most women. Be sure to feel all the tissue from the front to the back of your breasts: for the skin and tissue just beneath, use light pressure; use medium pressure for tissue in the middle of your breasts; use firm pressure for the deep tissue in the back. When you've reached the deep tissue, you should be able to feel down to your ribcage.

Step 5: Finally, feel your breasts while you are standing or sitting. Many women find that the easiest way to feel their breasts is when their skin is wet and slippery, so they like to do this step in the shower. Cover your entire breast, using the same hand movements described in step 4.

http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/testing/types/self_exam/bse_steps

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Remembering 9/11

On 9/11/2001, 13 years ago today, our country lost a lot of brave souls. We will always hold this day dear to our hearts. I'm sure every single one of you all can remember exactly where you were and what you were doing on the day of this terrible tragedy.


State Farm launched a commercial three years ago in remembrance of the attacks...check it out





So where are we 13 years later?

An Article from the New York Times on today's memorial service...

NY times article

A new building stands where the towers fell. A museum dedicated to the death and destruction that day is now open to the public. And 13 years after thousands of people died in the deadliest terrorist attack in American history, the ceremonies to memorialize them once again played out across the country on Thursday morning.


At 8:46 a.m. Thursday, the time the first plane struck the north tower on Sept. 11, 2001, there was a moment of silence. In Washington, Mr. Obama, joined by his wife and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., stood on the White House lawn, heads bowed.Photo

At the White House, President Obama and his wife, Michelle, observed the anniversary of the attacks. CreditStephen Crowley/The New York Times

At 9:03, a second pause was taken for the moment a plane hit the south tower. There were four more moments of silence interrupting the annual reading of the names of those who had died at the World Trade Center — for when each tower fell and for the attack on the Pentagon, also hit by a plane, and the crash of Flight 93 into a field in Pennsylvania, which killed all 40 passengers and crew members.

At the Pentagon, the Navy Brass Quartet played the national anthem as President Obama, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, turned to face a massive American flag that hung on the rebuilt wall of the Pentagon.

Mr. Obama began his remarks with Scripture and remembrances after laying a wreath at the site where the hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the western side of the United States Department of Defense building, killing 184 people.

“Thirteen years since the peace of an American morning was broken,” he said, speaking to family members of victims and a few survivors. “Thirteen years of moments they would have shared with us.”

But he also chose to look forward, and added some positive remarks, despite the solemnness of the occasion. “There are now teenagers, young adults, who were born after 9/11. It’s remarkable,” he said. “Generations from now, no matter the trial, no matter the challenge, America will always be America.”

In New York, families gathered in Lower Manhattan to read aloud the names of all those killed when the towers fell.

Danielle Kousoulis was on the 104th floor of the north tower when the first plane hit. She was 29 years old, and would have turned 30 a few weeks after the attacks.


A slide show from today's events...


Memorial Service Slideshow

The Tower Tribute tonight at 6pm



Tribute in Light



Beginning at 6 p.m. on September 11, the 9/11 Memorial plaza will be open to the public for a special viewing of Tribute in Light from a meaningful vantage point. It will illuminate the New York City sky just south of the Memorial site. The Memorial will remain open until midnight for the anniversary to ensure this meaningful experience is available to all who wish to pay tribute at this sacred site.

Visitors may access the Memorial at the intersection of Liberty and West streets, at the intersection of West and Fulton streets and at the intersection of Liberty and Greenwich streets. Click here for visitor rules and regulations.


Tribute Light





Signing Off-We Remember




Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Keep your baby safe!

Are you a mom or dad that is always finding ways to keep your baby safe?! Well guess what? It's Baby Safety Month and here are some great tips we found on how to keep your baby/babies safe!

About Baby Safety Month

Baby Safety Month started in 1983 when JPMA initiated “Expectant Mother’s Day.” In 1986, it was extended to a week-long celebration, until 1991, when JPMA sponsored the first “Baby Safety Awareness Month.” Since then, every September has been designated as Baby Safety Month.


http://jpma.org/content/press/news/baby-safety-month-highlights-safety-every-room

INFANT CAR SEAT

When you first think of keeping your baby safe, you immediately think of car safety. Daily commutes to the daycare center, elementary school, the office and the dry cleaners keep us feeling like we spend more time in our vehicles than we do in our homes. This is why your child’s safety in the car should be priority number one – it is where they are spending a lot of time each day.

To read more visit: http://dailymom.com/nurture/baby-safety-guide-giveaway/ 


In and Around the Car

You’ve done your research on keeping your child safe in the car, and on the road. You shopped for the safest car when you started a family. You read up on car seats for kids and figured out which one worked best for you and your family. You even took your car and car seat to a seat-checking station to let an expert check and approve of your handiwork.
But did you know there are other dangers in and around your vehicle that could seriously harm or even kill your child?
We’ve identified six common dangers that even the most careful parents can overlook, and some tips on how to avoid them: Back Over, Seat belt Entanglement, Trunk Entrapment, Power Windows, Heatstroke and Vehicle Rollaway

Back Over

Many children are killed or seriously injured in backover incidents. A backover incident typically occurs when a vehicle coming out of a driveway or parking space backs over an unattended child because the driver did not see him or her.

Prevention Tips
-Teach children not to play in or around cars.
-Supervise children carefully when in and around vehicles.
-Always walk around your vehicle and check the area around it before backing up.
-Be aware of small children-the smaller a child, the more likely it is you will not see them.
-Teach children to move away from a vehicle when a driver gets in it or if the car is started.
-Have children in the area stand to the side of the driveway or sidewalk so you can see them as you are backing out of a driveway or parking space.
-Make sure to look behind you while backing up slowly in case a child dashes behind your vehicle unexpectedly.
-Roll down your windows while backing out of your driveway or parking space so that you'll be able to hear what is happening outside of your vehicle.
-Teach your children to keep their toys and bikes out of the driveway.
-Because kids can move unpredictably, you should actively check your mirrors while backing up.
-Many cars are equipped with detection devices that provide rearview video or warning sounds, but they cannot completely take the place of actively walking around your car to make sure children are safely out of the way. Do not rely solely on these devices to detect what is behind your vehicle.


Seat Belt Entanglement

A child within reach of a seat belt may become entangled if he or she pulls the seat belt all the way out and wraps the belt around his or her head, neck, or waist.

The majority of seat belts have a locking mechanism that is activated when the seat belt is pulled all the way out from the retractor. This feature is designed for child seat installation. In instances when the locking feature activates, the child may not be able to free him or herself.

This can happen if you do not properly restrain your child, for example, if you let the child lie down or sleep on the vehicle seat, instead of being properly restrained. Older children who are no longer in a child restraint system, can become entangled by pulling a seat belt all the way out of the retractor, or by playing with an unused seat belt.

If you used your vehicle's Lower Anchors and Tether for Children (LATCH) system to install the car seat, your child may be able to reach an unused belt.


Prevention Tips
-Do not let children play in or around cars.
-Never leave a child unattended in or around a vehicle.
-Always ensure children are properly restrained.
-Teach children that seat belts are not toys.
-Be aware that some seat belts have a retractor that locks if pulled all the way out.
-If a child has an unused seat belt within reach:
-Buckle unused seat belts. Pull the seat belt out all the way to the end without yanking. Then, feed the excess webbing back into the retractor.
-If a child seat is installed with LATCH, consider completing the steps above before you install the child seat. -Always consult your child seat and vehicle owner's manual for installation instructions.

Trunk Entrapment

Children are naturally curious and love to explore their surroundings. So, if you leave your kids unattended, in or near a vehicle, it won't be long before they are playing in it. Hide and seek can turn deadly if they get trapped in the trunk, where temperatures can rise very quickly - resulting in heatstroke or asphyxiation.

Prevention Tips
-Teach children that vehicle trunks are for cargo, not for playing.
-Always supervise your children carefully when in and around vehicles.
-Check the trunk right away if your child is missing.
-Lock your car doors and trunk and be sure keys and remote entry devices are out of sight and reach of your kids.
-Keep the rear fold-down seats closed/locked to keep your children from climbing into the trunk from inside your car.

Retrofit Your Car

As of September 1, 2001, auto manufacturers were required to equip all new vehicle trunks with a 'glow in the dark' trunk release inside the trunk compartment. Show your kids how to use the release in case of an emergency. If your car is older and does not have the 'glow in the dark' trunk release, ask your automobile dealership about getting your vehicle retrofitted with a trunk release mechanism.

What You Need To Know, Now.

Younger children are more sensitive to heat than older children and adults, and are at greater risk for heatstroke.
High temperature, humidity and poor ventilation create an extremely dangerous environment in a vehicle trunk.
Even in cooler temperatures, your vehicle can heat up to dangerous temperatures very quickly. An outside temperature in the mid 60s can cause a vehicle’s inside temperature to rise above 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The inside temperature of your car can rise almost 20 degrees Fahrenheit within the first 10 minutes.

Vehicle Rollaway

With the key in the ignition, automatic transmissions may be shifted "out of park" even if the vehicle's engine is off and the driver's foot is not on the brake. If you leave the key in the ignition and turned to the accessory mode (to listen to the radio, open/close the windows, etc.), your vehicle's automatic transmission may be shifted out of "Park"
if you or a child moves the gear selector. If you leave a child alone in a motor vehicle,
whether the engine running or not, it doesn't take long for a child to unintentionally set
your car in motion.

Prevention Tips
-Teach children not to play in or around cars.
-Supervise children carefully when in and around vehicles.
-Keep vehicle locked when unattended.
-Never leave keys in the car.
-Engage your emergency brake every time you park.
-Verify whether or not your vehicle has a Brake Transmission Safety Interlock (BTSI). Read the owner's manual or check HERE to find BTSI-equipped vehicles.


http://www.safercar.gov/parents/rollaway.htm

Prevent Child Heatstroke in Cars

Even great parents can forget a child in the back seat, and caregivers who aren't used to driving kids are especially likely to forget. A change in a caregiver’s normal routine is another risk factor.Unfortunately, heatstroke is one of the leading causes of death among children. Be sure to follow these three important rules to prevent child heatstroke in your car:

1. Never Leave a Child Alone in a Car
It’s never OK to leave a child alone in a car, even for a few minutes, and even if the car is on.
Opening windows will not prevent heatstroke.
Heatstroke happens even on cloudy days and in outside temperatures below 70 degrees.
Don’t let kids play in an unattended vehicle.

2. Look Before You Lock
Always check the back seats of your vehicle before your lock it and walk away.
Keep a stuffed animal or other memento in your child’s car seat when it’s empty, and move it to the front seat as a visual reminder when your child is in the back seat.
If someone else is driving your child, or your daily routine has been altered, always check that your child arrived safely.

3. Take Action if You See a Child Alone in a Car
Don’t wait more than a few minutes for the driver to return.
Don’t worry about getting involved in someone else’s business—protecting children is everyone’s business.
"Good Samaritan" laws offer legal protection for those who offer assistance in an emergency.
If the Child Is Not Responsive or Is in Distress, Immediately:
Call 911.
Get the child out of the car.
Spray the child with cool water (not in an ice bath).
If the Child Is Responsive:
Stay with the child until help arrives.
Have someone else search for the driver or ask the facility to page them.


http://www.safercar.gov/parents/heatstroke.htm


Car Seat Recommendations for Children

There are many car seat choices on the market. Use the information below to help you choose a car seat that best meets your child's needs.
Age & Size Chart
Recommendations




Birth - 12 Months

Your child under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. There are different types of rear-facing car seats: Infant-only seats can only be used rear-facing. Convertible and 3-in-1 car seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time.
1 - 3 Years

Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. It's the best way to keep him or her safe. Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat's manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness.
4 - 7 Years

Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat's manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the forward-facing car seat with a harness, it's time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat.
8 - 12 Years

Keep your child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face. Remember: your child should still ride in the back seat because it's safer there.


http://www.safercar.gov/parents/RightSeat.htm


Signing Off: Keeping Babies Safe








Friday, August 29, 2014

Travel Safe this Holiday Weekend!









Sam's Xpress Car Wash wants to recognize all the hard working men and women out there (with a big thanks to our workers at Sam's Xpress, ya'll rock!).

So let's remember what Labor Day means this holiday season:

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Also, because we care about your safety here are some helpful reminders from AAA (http://exchange.aaa.com/automobiles-travel/automobiles/holiday-road-trip-travel-tips/):

Are you and your family planning to drive to a holiday get-together this year? Whether you’re heading to Grandma’s cottage or a favorite vacation spot to celebrate holidays with family or friends, AAA has simple tips to help make your drive a smooth one, so you can arrive at your destination safely and without incident.
  • Ensure your vehicle is properly maintained. If maintenance is not up to date, have your car and tires inspected before you take a long drive.
  • Map your route in advance and be prepared for busy roads during the most popular times of the year. If possible, consider leaving earlier or later to avoid heavy traffic.
  • Keep anything of value in the trunk or covered storage area.
  • If you’re traveling with children, remind them not to talk to strangers. Go with them on bathroom breaks and give them whistles to be used only if the family gets separated.
  • Have roadside assistance contact information on hand, in case an incident occurs on the road.
  • In case of an emergency, keep a cell phone and charger with you at all times. AAA and many other companies offer smartphone applications that enable motorists to request help without making a phone call.
With a little prep, you can leave the road-trip stress at home and enjoy your holiday with family and friends.

Also, here are 20 safe traveling tips from http://www.independenttraveler.com/travel-tips/car-travel/top-20-safe-driving-tips

Top 20 Safe Driving Tips
Hitting the road on your next trip? Whether you're heading to Grandma's with the kids or hitting Route 66 for a cross-country jaunt, don't leave home without our tried and tested driving tips. Read on to learn more about avoiding traffic, saving money, and staying safe (and staying awake!) on your next road trip.

1. Before beginning a long drive, always get enough sleep and eat something before you go. Highly caffeinated beverages are not necessarily the best way to stay awake while driving. While initially you will feel more alert, the effects can recede with time, and your attention may wander although you remain awake.

2. Pull over and take breaks every couple of hours, even if you don't feel sleepy. Grab a snack, get some fresh air, and stretch your legs by walking around. If you need to, take a quick nap.

3. If you can, share the driving responsibilities with someone else. This will allow you to keep an eye on each other while driving and also enable you to nap without losing time. If you're driving alone, turn on the radio or put on some music, and keep your window cracked open. You may also want to refrain from using your cruise control if you're driving alone at night -- having to concentrate on maintaining your speed can help you stay awake.

4. If you do have to pull over, move your vehicle off the road. Never park on the shoulder or in the breakdown lane for any reason except an emergency.

5. Know the laws along your route concerning cell phone use while driving. While it may be legal in one place, it may be illegal in another, and ignorance is not typically an acceptable excuse for a violation. Here's a handy chart of cell phone laws by state (keep in mind that this information can change at any time). However, even if it's legal to talk on a cell phone where you're going, it's usually safest to use a hands-free device.

6. If you don't know this one, shame on you. Never drink any alcohol before your trip. While you may not become intoxicated from one beer, you will become sleepy.

7. Keep an eye on the skies, and if you can, plan a route around inclement weather. A minor detour could actually wind up saving you major time.

8. Search the Web for traffic update sites and listen to radio traffic alerts, especially when approaching major cities. If you don't have a smartphone, all-news stations on the AM dial are often your best bet.

9. Not even a GPS unit is infallible, so we recommend bringing a detailed map or road atlas as a backup just in case. A mapping app on your smartphone is another must-have for long road trips.

10. If you are driving a rental vehicle, familiarize yourself with the car and all of its equipment (horn, brakes, hazard lights). For an amusing but true look at this issue, see The First 10 Minutes of Your Car Rental.

11. Lock all of your valuables (especially items that are clearly gifts) in the trunk or glove compartment and stow all luggage in the trunk. For more ideas, see Nine Ways to Keep Your Car Safe on the Road.

12. Familiarize yourself with local traffic laws, which vary from state to state and especially overseas. Is it legal to make a right turn at a red light? What are the rules on yielding to pedestrians? For more on international car travel, see Renting a Car Abroad.

13. Before setting off on a long car trip, be sure your vehicle is in prime condition -- that tires are properly inflated, all fluids are at their proper levels and you have a full tank of gas. (For particularly long road trips, you may want to have your mechanic do a more thorough check.)

14. Consider becoming a member of AAA or signing up for your car insurer's roadside assistance program. You won't regret it when your car breaks down on a lonely back road.

15. Keep costs down by conserving gas as you drive. Minimize sudden starts and stops, empty your car of all unnecessary weight, and slow down -- it takes much less fuel to drive 55 miles an hour than it does to drive 70. For more ideas, see Save Gas and Money.

16. Don't wait until your gas gauge is sitting on E to refuel. On an unfamiliar road, you never know when the next gas station will appear. As soon as you hit a quarter of a tank, start looking for a place to fill up.

17. When traveling with kids, be sure to stop often -- not just for snacks and potty breaks, but also for fun. See a cool playground along the way? Pull over and throw a Frisbee around. You'll also want to pack toys, books and music for the car -- not to mention your motion sickness remedy of choice. For more ideas, see Family Car Travel.

18. Feeling munchy? Stock up on snacks and drinks at grocery stores rather than gas stations or convenience stores -- you'll get a wider and healthier selection, as well as better prices. For more advice, see Eating Well and Staying Active.

19. On longer trips, keep napkins, plasticware and a small cooler handy for meals on the go. You'll also want some spare change for tolls, as well as a first-aid kit, flashlight, pillow and blanket. Keep a set of jumper cables, a spare tire or donut, and extra fluids for the car (such as windshield wiper fluid) in your trunk.

20. This last tip should go without saying, but it's important enough that we'll say it anyway: Make sure everyone in the car buckles his or her seatbelt. Not only will it keep you safe, but in many places it's also the law.


Remember stay safe this Holiday weekend, but most importantly eat lots of food, get lots of sun, and have fun!!

Signing off- Xpress safely

Some related tips: http://www.jdnews.com/jdnewstream/red-cross-issues-safety-tips-for-labor-day-weekend-1.365524, http://www.kplctv.com/story/26405420/coast-guard-shares-boater-safety-tips-for-labor-day-weekend, http://traveltips.usatoday.com/labor-day-driving-tips-21014.html

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Taking water in our hands!


Please take a couple of minutes to watch the below video:

Could you imagine having to walk 3 miles a day for clean water? We can't, so Sam's Xpress Car Wash is taking a stand.

How is Sam's Xpress Car Wash helping?Continue to read the programs that we are working with to help save the water crisis, and also learn how YOU can help too.
WaterSavers

We are now part of the Water Savers Program (click the link for more detailed information on the program and tips for you as the consumer). To be a part of the Water Savers program, your car wash has to meet certain water saving guidelines (Water Savers Criteria). We only use about 12 gallons of fresh water per car- which means, 90% of our water is recycled (to meet Water Savers Criteria, you have to use an average of 40 gallons of fresh water per car, we are almost triple the amount)!



Sam's Xpress Car Wash continues to make a conscious effort in helping our environment by joining the adopt-a-stream program. We are working with the county to keep the streams clean and safe. Our corporate team will have it's first clean up day on August 28th, 2014, so stay tuned for pictures and news on how it went! For more information visit the website at Adopt-A-Stream.


Now the important questions is, how can YOU help?!

Did you know that it's better to wash your car at the car wash, rather at home? Check out this article At Home Vs. Automated; you'll be shocked by the numbers!

Enjoy washing your vehicle/s at home? Follow these simple steps from the Maryland Department of Environment to help:
1. Wash your vehicle on the grass, not on pavement
2. Use a bucket of soapy water
3. Rinse with a hose that has an automatic shut-off nozzle
4. Consider going to a commercial car wash



Sam's Xpress Car Wash is always thinking of ways to better the environment and help the efforts in clean water. Our next projects include work with water.org and charitywater.org.



Signing off- water care, we care






Thursday, August 14, 2014

Stuck in the office on a sunny day?!

According to an article in Business Insider, "workplace productivity drops about 20% during the summer months." Summer Destroys Workplace Productivity

Which "blues" are you? Are you a part of the 20%?!

The winter blues....



The "just my luck" blues...



The guilty blues...



We, of course, had to ask our car wash crew!! Can you guess when our car wash crew is least productive??



Yup! you guessed it....SUMMER TIME! Good thing our crew won't melt : P

Hope you enjoyed our second blog addition! Just remember...tomorrow is FRIDAY :)

-Signing off as: the weather blues 







Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What do you think?

As a company, you want to make sure you are keeping your customers informed-not only about services or products you offer, but about what else is going on in the industry and what would impact your customers daily lives.

So how do you do that....social media? word of mouth? signage? website?

Sam's Xpress Car Wash is going to keep you informed and we are going to do it in the most interesting, fun, way possible! We will tell you the latest news and gossip in the car industry, but also add in some daily life tips and views.

In this first addition we want to show you some cool things that are out there:

Do you believe a car can clean itself?!  Watch this video from Nissan.



Ok, so we see that mud and water can repel off the paint, but what about bugs or bird droppings?!  :)

As a car wash company it is hard to believe that there is a paint that "keeps clean," but its pretty amazing what an innovative mind and technology can do! Of course, in our minds a car will always need a car wash :)

So, what about the new "SHIFT"?-I hear its good for the environment?

Shift Car Concept

Or the Google Car?!-a car that will drive itself?! hmmmmmm...


What about a bear in your car?! ahhhhh!!!!!

Bear In Car - Image

Speaking of bears...have you seen our logo?! Yes, it's a bear!-Word on the street is that it could be a squirrel or a chipmunk?! hmm maybe that will be our next blog...who is the bear?

Signing off-

The car that will always have a bear for a passenger!