NAWIC: National Assoc. of Women in Construction

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Talk about girl power…this organization needs some recognition! The NAWIC was founded in 1953 by sixteen construction workers who just happened to be women. They understood that the amount of women in the construction business was declining, so why not make it special club and recognize more strong women. Their core purpose is to “enhance the success of women in the construction industry.” It is basically a support network. They give their participants really cool opportunities such as professional development, education, networking, leadership training, and public service.

If you become a member, you can be nominated for special rewards such as a lifetime achievement award for being active in this special group, member of the year award and future leader of the year. They then have an annual meeting every year to announce the winners.

There is a code of professionalism you must follow such as believing in their core values: belief in yourself as a woman, perseverance and daring to move into new horizons. That doesn’t seem so bad. It actually seems refreshing to be appreciated so much by such a great organization.

There are international affiliates, also. the NAWIC has connections with Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the UK. All of these countries and places around the world also have their own NAWIC program.

You can find a chapter near you by simply searching your zip code on the site. For example we searched chapters near us in New Stanton, PA and there is one in Pittsburgh, PA!

Construction workers work hard, long days and the only people that can understand are other construction workers. So go ahead…vent, you can sign up right on their page!

Pepper Spray Success Stories

At Safety Girl, we’re all about being prepared in the event of an emergency. One of the simplest ways to make sure you’re ready to defend yourself in a crisis situation is to carry a simple, personal pepper spray. Carrying pepper spray can be useful in defending yourself, and even save your life, in so many situations, from a dark urban parking lot to a quiet country road.

To make the most out of your pepper spray, and increase the chances of defending yourself effectively, make sure you:

  • Know exactly how to use your pepper spray. Read all instructions and practice removing any safety devices.
  • Keep your pepper spray accessible at all times. Fishing around in your purse for your spray will cause you to waste precious time.
  • Create one or two plans for how you will use your pepper spray to defend yourself. Often, pepper sprays must be use within 10 feet of an attacker to be effective. Gels and fogs also have different directive qualities than conventional sprays. Know how your spray works.

Just because Safety Girl sells pink pepper sprays or sprays disguised as lipstick containers, doesn’t mean that pepper sprays are just for women! In an extreme crisis situation last December, a man in Butte, Montana used pepper spray to effectively ward off two attackers carrying knives.

The situation began at a local gas station, where the 24-year-old victim was filling his vehicle. Two attackers approached and started punching the victim in the face. The victim quickly entered his vehicle and began driving towards his home. Unfortunately, the attackers followed the victim, who eventually got out of his car and began to run away from the attackers. As the attackers drew closer, the victim sprayed the attackers with pepper spray, and the attackers left the scene.

This is just one of many stories of victims successfully defending themselves with pepper spray. Most importantly, the victim in this situation was fortunate to have his pepper spray accessible and know how to use it effectively. Don’t be caught unarmed! Purchase a pepper spray to fit your needs today at SafetyGirl.com.

Pepper Guns and Chocolate Cookies

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In the spirit of campus safety education, I brought a Mace ® gun set to wonder twins Lucy and Grace over the weekend. You recall from our “Meet SafetyGirl” chat that these are the daughters of my boyfriend – we’ll call him Andy, suits him well. For safety’s sake I left the “live” mace cartridges at my house. Even though the water cartridges are color-coded blue and the mace, red, I didn’t want any accidents or on-purposes. While the girls baked the world’s best chocolate cookies with their friend Kay, their dad and I checked the units over. The guns have some heft that makes them pleasing in the hands, and the light illuminates with each pull of the trigger, as promised. The safety and cartridge release levers slid easily. Looked simple enough. Andy had the grand idea of setting up a scenario with one of the girls in a hoodie and one wielding the gun – brilliant! I have learned through age that what we plan and what we get are two very different things, and I have learned through this family that most of the time, that is a very good thing. However, not so much in this case. The plans went out the French doors with the girls when they ran out with the guns, anxious to learn. Their fatal flaw: they left the hot, gooey, chocolate cookies behind.

20140803_185649The devoted dad showed them how to open the guns to insert the water cartridges, which is pretty easy and intuitive. The triggers were a little stiff on the pull, and the water cartridges only lasted for about 8 brief squirts (or 2 or 3 long streams). Having the water cartridges for practice was great because the guns shot high. An aim at the heart on these units would take the mace to the attacker’s eyes. It is highly suggested that if you buy the Mace ® gun, that you also get enough water cartridges to be comfortable using the gun, should you ever need the actual mace. The shootout was over far too soon with just one cartridge per girl; because Andy and I didn’t want to waste the cartridge learning the gun ourselves, we had a pretty high learning curve on getting the nozzle seated right and how long each blast should last.

20140804_105705-EFFECTSMy personal recommendation is to definitely have two practice water cartridges for each person – one to learn the loading and feel of the aim, and another one to get comfortable with it. I would also recommend doing the same two-cartridge routine every year so if you ever do need to use the gun on an attacker (we hope not!), you aren’t going in rusty.

Both the Mace ® gun and refill kits are available on SafetyGirl.

The good news is, I start my week off with two of the best cookies I’ve ever had.

(Afterward: Evidently the cookies vanished overnight. Andy and I did not eat them all, though we wanted to! When I heard they were gone, I was very glad I stole two. )

Major in Self Defense

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With SafetyGirl U!

Your babies are headed off to college, whether for the first time, or a repeat. Whether you suffer from an empty nest or view it as a whole lot of “me” time ahead, your stress level will be way down if you send your girls to campus armed with knowledge and some SafetyGirl products.

Half the battle is getting your precious cargo to actually carry the products so they are available for use should she need them (we hope not!). We’ve come up with an array of great-looking items and an arsenal of tips.

  • Be aware of your surroundings and recognize your vulnerability. Carry the Zap Dazzle Stun Gun. For under $40 you get 950,000 volts of power encased in rhinestones.
  • Report all suspicious persons, vehicles, and activities to campus security.
  • Use the “buddy system” when going out. One of you should have the Sabre Stun Gun with Flashlight. Small enough to carry easily and the flashlight temporarily startles and illuminates your threat.
  • Keep your dorm and apartment doors locked when you are alone. Have the Mace KeyGuard Pepper Spray nearby at all times in case things get ugly. With a five-foot range, it will buy you time to run past your attacker and out of the confined space for help.
  • Report hazardous conditions to campus maintenance immediately.
  • If you see someone victimized, get involved and report it to the authorities. Use the Sabre Personal Alarm to frighten off the attacker.
  • When walking to your car, have your keys ready to go. Keep the Sabre Red Spitfire Pepper Spray in your palm. It is designed to fire with less effort and aim with greater accuracy, perfect for use while running.
  • If threatened by an approaching vehicle, run in the opposite direction – the car will need to turn around, buying you time. Keep the Mace Screecher Personal Alarm with you at all times to draw attention to an incident.
  • If your dorm has an elevator, stand near the panel box if you are alone with a stranger, so you have control of the alarm. Stop the elevator, sound the alarm, and exit the car. Keep your Lipstick Pepper Spray handy in case you need backup protection.
  • If you are a victim of rape or sexual assault, report the incident immediately, even if you choose not to pursue the matter further. Carry the Mace Hot Pink Pepper Spray and don’t be afraid to use it.

Faster, Easier, Safer

benefits-of-a-bicycleNow that the weather’s good, I’m all about biking. There is a bald eagles’ nest in Pittsburgh, the trailhead maybe twenty minutes from where I live. There are parks and street vendors. There is the Strip District where all of Pennsylvania goes for the freshest produce and ethnic goods. So it’s nothing to hop in the car and bike 10 or 20 miles on a nice weekend day. But it’s the city. Downtown. Crime, drugs, and questionable characters are in the mix and you hear about them on the news every evening. True story: the last time my boyfriend and I went cycling, in one trailhead parking lot, stolen goods were being transferred from one car to another. No lie. So yeah, he’s got the authoritative muscle, but neither of us is stupid. You don’t borrow trouble. What if that had been me, alone? And what if I had inadvertently picked the parking spot right next to them? I carry pepper spray.

I really like the Kimber PepperBlaster II. It’s easy to retrieve from a pocket, has a safety so this all-thumbs girl is less likely to shoot herself in the eye, and it is effective. If you spend any time creeping YouTube videos watching otherwise-sane men spray each other to demonstrate this product, you know just how effective it is – for an hour or more.

What Makes it Different?

The Kimber PepperBlaster II stops threats at a distance. Unlike typical pepper sprays that utilize aerosol to spray, the PBII uses a discharge system to shoot a 13-foot stream at speeds of up to 90mph. Impervious to wind, rain, and even glasses worn by your attacker, the PBII will get the job done. Most pepper sprays use a cone-shaped spray, which is less potent on the eyes. PepperBlaster II uses the more serious and debilitating stream. Hey. If your attacker means business, why shouldn’t you?

This little dynamo has two chambers that fire separately – you get two shots, then throw the gun away and buy a new one (eternally glad that the first one did its job!). The upper barrel discharges first, then the lower, each with the press of a trigger. Two points of origin means your two shots will land at slightly different locations so practice using the Blaster before you need to use it. It is highly recommended that you purchase two Blasters – one for practice, and one to carry. The Kimber PepperBlaster II Kit comes complete with a trainer unit, a live unit, and targets. The trainer unit is loaded only with blue dye so you can practice your aim without hurting anyone. You can buy a trainer unit separately, also. Note that the trainer unit does not come loaded with the OC solution.

What’s In It?

That OC solution – what is it? If you’re like me, you want to know exactly what’s in the Blaster. Technically, it’s filled with 10% OC with benzyl alcohol. That is 10% Oleoresin Capsicum, whose active ingredient is capsaisin, the “hot” component in chili peppers. It is extracted with benzyl alcohol, which then evaporates, leaving a viscous resin that adheres to the skin. Ouch.pepper

Pepper spray is an inflammatory agent, which, when sprayed on the face, causes temporary blindness, difficulty breathing, tears, upper body spasms, and burning. While one spray will do no permanent damage to the eyes, repeated sprays can render the corneas permanently sensitive, and one spray to someone with asthma can be lethal.

What Do Users Say?

Big Lou says, “All other units are too small and look like a tube of lipstick…Kimber made it right.” KAS says, “I saw this demonstrated at a gun show and was impressed with the design, weight, how it fit in my hand, and how far/fast the spray can travel…I hope I never have to actually use my PepperBlaster II, but will always carry one with me. I purchased these additional units from SafetyGirl for my daughters.”

Oh – and if you do accidentally get sprayed with pepper spray, this will help you get the sting out:

  • Don’t run, but walk facing the breeze.
  • Get out of the sun.
  • Remove contacts if you are wearing them. Throw them away.
  • Clean it the best you can: Find water and a fresh towel. Splash the water on your face, keeping your eyes open. Try to use clean water with each splash. Close your eyes and splash again using soap or dish liquid in the water. Pat, don’t rub, the affected areas, with the towel.
  • Use eyedrops.
  • Soak the affected area in whole milk, the fat of which negates the ability of the pepper to generate heat.

We love this video, made by a professional cyclist, showing how easy and effective the original Kimber PepperBlaster is for bikers. Both styles are available at SafetyGirl.