How to Handle Cooking Dangers

Cooking can be fun, but it’s full of hidden dangers. Mishandling a sharp knife can be disastrous and undercooked chicken can be riddled with salmonella. Fires can also run rampant in a kitchen if a gas stove gets a little out of hand. Dealing with a grease fire is a lot different from any other types of fire. If you find yourself dealing with a grease fire, follow these steps to keep yourself and those around you safe!

  • Immediately cover the flaming pot or pan.

A fire cannot spread if it’s contained in a controlled environment. Covering the fire helps keep the size of the fire to a minimum.

  • Turn off the source off the heat.

It seems obvious, but a lot of people panic when the fire starts and forget to turn off the stove. If you cut off the gas quickly you’ll minimize the amount of a fuel that can feed the fire.

  • Use the appropriate materials to extinguish the fire.

Small fires can be extinguished using baking soda or salt. If it’s a larger fire, a Class B fire extinguisher can be used to put out the flames. Contrary to popular belief, flour should never be used to put out a grease fire. The chemical makeup of flour will actually worsen the flame. Also, water shouldn’t be used to smother the flames either.

  • Don’t try and move the pot or pan.

Once your adrenaline starts pumping, it might be tempting to try and move the flaming pot or pan. If you do this, you’re likely just spreading the fire around and putting yourself in much closer proximity to it than you need to. Leave the pots where they are and focus on putting the fire out, or getting yourself to safety.

  • Know when to call it quits.

If all else fails, immediately leave the area and call 911. The fire department has the proper equipment to deal with fires and can secure the area.

If you work in a restaurant, stoves that see a lot of action likely get bits of grease splattered on them. These stoves should be cleaned regularly and have a maintenance schedule to keep them up and working properly. Sometimes, a negligent owner will fail to keep this equipment running up to code. If you find yourself dealing with a severe burn caused by a negligent boss, contact an attorney like those at Hammack Law Firm. They can help get your medical expenses and lost wages covered during your time in the hospital. If your place of work fails to keep their employees safe, you don’t deserve to suffer on their behalf. A restaurant-sized stove can create flames that spread faster than wildfire, and there’s only so much you can do before it overtakes you. If you get injured as a result of a faulty machine, be sure to get an attorney that will keep your best interests at heart while you recover.

Qualifying for a Green Card

I was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley. I’ve always been a citizen of the United States. The friends I grew up with would sometimes mention that they just got their green card, or that their parents had just received their green card. I never paid too much attention to this, but as I’ve grown up and become more aware of the geopolitical environment I’ve realized that getting a green card is a big deal. You have to meet certain qualifications and you also have to go through an incredibly lengthy process. For many of my friends growing up, they were not native English speakers and they were unfamiliar with the legal systems in the United States. This made the process stressful and scary for them and their parents alike. I wanted to see if there was anyone who worked to help these people, and I found out about the Law Office of William Jang, PLLC. The attorneys at this firm work to help people get their green cards by walking them through the application process and making sure that no mistakes are made while filling out paperwork. The United States Department of Homeland Security takes green cards very seriously, and an honest mistake could end up costing you the ability to ever get a green card.

There are several different ways that you can be qualified for a green card. You only have to fit into one of these categories to begin the process for a green card and eventually citizenship.

You can get a green card through family relation. If you are the child of a U.S. citizen, the parent of a citizen that is over 21 years old, or married to a U.S. citizen, then you’re qualified. This also extends out a bit. If your brother or sister over 21 is a citizen or if your son- or daughter-in-law is a citizen, you may apply.

Another popular way that people become U.S. citizens is through employment. There are actually three preference levels delineated by the government. First preference level will grant more likely access to a green card. First preference immigration workers are defined as: having keen ability in education, business, arts, sciences, are an established researcher or professor, are an executive or multinational manager that meets certain other criteria. Second preference immigration workers are people that: are of a profession that requires an advanced degree, have great ability in business, arts or sciences, or are applying for a national interest waiver. The third preference level is for people that: are a professional, which means that their job requires a U.S. bachelor’s degree or an overseas equivalent, or are a skilled worker, which means that your job has a minimum requirement of 2 years training or experience.

There are many other ways to meet the qualifications to obtain a green card, but these are by far the most popular. If you’re thinking about applying, I would definitely do research to see how you may be qualified. If you feel that you may be unqualified, try reaching out to an attorney! They know the law in and out, and they can work to find a place for you in this country.

Assault and Battery in South Carolina

The law has continued to expand on elements of assault and what constitutes criminal charges for bad behavior. If you’ve been handed an assault charge recently, here are some questions you might have and an idea of what you can expect:

What is assault?

Most people think that assault charges only apply to an aggressive person who was willfully and intentionally injured another person. However, assault charges are broadly applied to any type of behavior that may seem threatening to another individual, such as lifting up a fist to attack them and causing them to flinch. Whether or not you actually come into physical contact with that person, if they feared you might have had the intention to harm them, they may bring charges of assault against you. Other types of assault, such as intoxicated assault, can be applied to intoxicated drivers that harmed another person in a car accident. Even though the injury was brought upon by an accident instead of a something like a bar fight, the assault charge is still a felony.

What is assault and battery?

Some states may distinguish between these two charges, but not in South Carolina. Assault and battery is a single charge that can be distinguished as high and aggravated nature, 1st degree, 2nd degree, and 3rd degree charges, and each one has its own requirements and punishments. 2nd and 3rd degree assault and battery charges are only misdemeanors, while HAN and 1st degree are classified as felonies.

What is sexual assault?

Sexual assault is different than sexual harassment because it includes an element of physical contact, such as unwanted kissing, groping, or any form of sexual activity. However, like other forms of assault, the most important aspect is the perception of the victim. If they feel as though they were placed in a threatening or compromised position where the attacker could have continued with their sexual assault, then physical contact is not necessary to press charges.

Extenuating Circumstances

Assault charges can become complicated, especially when there is a history of conflict between the defendant and the plaintiff. When tempers boil over, things can quickly escalate, leading to a various charges of assault and battery. To address this complexity, the courts assign varying degrees of seriousness to each type of charge. If the assault occurred during another criminal act, such as a robbery, then the charge is much more serious. This is also true for premeditated acts of violence, such as staging an ambush for the victim. Charges that result from an intoxicated fight may be reduced to a lesser sentence if your attorney can prove that the act was a crime of passion. If you were driving a car while intoxicated and caused a serious accident, the charge may be increased to more severe penalty. That’s why it’s always a good idea to consult with a legal professional as soon as charges of assault are brought against you. An experienced and knowledgeable lawyer will help protect your rights.

The Pros and Cons of Oversharing on Social Media

Social media is a great avenue to express yourself through stories and photos. It’s a great way to connect with colleagues and publicize information about good news or ask for support. However, some users and most social media platforms provide the option to “privatize” yourself from certain groups or people in your life. Whenever someone gets is in the middle of a criminal defense case, what role does social media play? Can the information you write online be used against you in a court of law? What role should you take in publicizing or privatizing?

Every year, millions of users share numerous links, photos and articles with the world through popular social media platforms like  Facebook and Instagram. As one would expect, that information can be used against them in a court of law. The evidence may be as simple as a conversation or as complex as a multitude of images and videos of the actual crimes taking place. It is simple for authorities to come across such evidence, and can command the platforms to hand over whatever evidence they have. However, if you are a criminal defendant, it’s a different story.

According to the article on Cal Lawyer, a California lawyer resource website, a defendant looking for information that is saved on social media sites faces a lot of obstacles. The Stored Communications Act has rules for companies like Facebook that keep them from providing the user’s information to others without the owner’s permission. Challenges to this have been brought to California federal courts. Facebook argued that it was unconstitutional and that they were denied the right to confront the witnesses that are being used to corroborate the case. They believed that the stored communications act does not give the defendants access to important information that could help their case. Unfortunately, they did not win their battle in appeals court, which denied the defendants’ argument. Another court case, Number One v. Superior Court, may bring some light on the subject and give criminal defendants hope of obtaining social media information from third parties. Unless a criminal defendant succeeds with a challenge based on Juror Number One’s compelled consent rationale, the plain language of the SCA leaves criminal defendants’ pretrial ability to obtain critical exculpatory social media information in the sole discretion of the government.

It may be safe to privatize your account if you have charges against you or to delete content as soon as possible. It is important to be careful when it comes to what you post on social media. While we are sharing it with others, this information is not entirely publicized and questions the rights of what we put into the virtual world. In most cases, social media posts can frame or injure people by claiming these “drunk photos posted on social media” reflect the person’s declining behavior and reasons why they are irresponsible and guilty. It’s important to be sure you are not oversharing on social media, in case you find yourself in a similar situation.

Leftover Bread Brewed Into Craft Beer?

Craft beer is finding its way into many streets and cities as part of recreational drinking and apartment buildings. Companies like Growler Chill are even helping private residents keep their beer from going bad quickly with personal countertop taps. Festivals now celebrate craft beer festivals and competitions. In the United Kingdom, nearly 1.1 million tons of bread are wasted on an annual basis, which, if stacked together would equal almost three Empire State buildings!  Toast Ale is a new brewery that is looking to end the bread waste by turning the loaves that would have otherwise gone to waste into delicious craft beers. 

According to How Stuff Works, there is approximately one slice of bread in each and every bottle of beer.   Since their launch in the UK in 2016, Toast Ale brewmasters say that they have used 11 tons of bread that would have otherwise been wasted in landfills. This past July, Toast Ale has made the decision to expand to the US where estimates show that nearly 40% of all food that is processed and packaged eventually finds its way to the trash. By next year, Toast Ale will save about 12 tons of bread per year in New York City alone. Their mission is to prevent all food from being wasted, which will be a difficult process.

The team at Toasted Ale found inspiration after a trip to Belgium, where they discovered a beer made from bread, based on a 7,000 year old practice. The idea of using bread that would otherwise be wasted appealed to the team, and they set forth a plan to put in sustainable environmental practices and social solutions to their new beer-making business. They wanted to make sure to put an entire slice of bread in every bottle and also ensure that their product was top-of-the-line when it came to quality. The brewmasters at Babylone (the beer that they discovered in Belgium) quickly agreed to partner with Toast Ale, and they were not afraid to share their recipe with their new partners. The difference between their recipe and normal beer? The bread that is put into the recipe replaces one-third of the malted barley that is usually used in the brewing process.

Because bread can quickly go stale and flour is relatively cheap, bread is often wasted by grocery stores, manufacturers, and consumers. Because day-old bread does not sell and can easily be replaced by a fresh loaf, much of the bread that is baked goes to waste in landfills. Excess bread may go to chickens or the homeless, but it is often wasted and thrown away.


While Toast Ale has a great message in mind, I think it helps remind beer enthusiasts to be mindful of what they eat or buy. While it would be near impossible to stop production and demand of bread, Toast Ale would no longer be in business if people wasted less bread. Would this be effective in truly having people be more conscious about their food wastes?

Policy Holders can Legally Hold an Insurance Company Responsible for its Bad-Faith Actions

Policy Holders can Legally Hold an Insurance Company Responsible for its Bad-Faith Actions

Hurricanes are among the most destructive natural calamities in the U.S. These have five different categories, depending on its wind speed; the stronger the wind, the more severe the damage these can cause, and, though no one would want to see the fruits of his/her hard labor damaged or destroyed by anything, when a hurricane strikes, there is no telling what may be affected and how much the damage can be.

Repair or replacement of damaged properties is usually begun after those affected receive the cash benefits from property insurance provider. Insurance firms, on their part, would send independent adjusters to claimants’ homes to assess property damages, sometimes a day or two after the disaster – a time when even property owners will not be able to correctly asses their own losses. Many of these adjusters, however, are new to the job or untrained and already content in making their evaluation of the damages from where they stand on the ground. Thus, it is not surprising that the estimations they come up with are often incorrect: undervalued assessment of damages, which means low amount of financial benefit a property insurance provider will have to pay.

Unknown to policy holders, sending new or untrained adjusters is actually just one of the strategies employed by many insurance firms to save themselves from making big pay-outs. Other insurance providers would even deny claims outrightly, using technical error as the reason for denial of claims. The fact is, this so-called technical error is nothing more than a skipped box or a missed signature.

Insurance providers are legally obliged to provide policy holders genuine commitment or the duty of good faith and fair dealing, especially in paying claims. Under the common law this duty is spoken of as the “implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.” Unfortunately, many providers transact business with dishonesty or fraud at the back of their minds. They enter into an agreement with policy holders with no real intent of living up to the terms of the policy they sell, while others intentionally twist the meaning of what is contained in a policy sold. This fraudulent act is what legal experts call “bad faith,” and there are different tactics employed by insurance firms to commit this act in ways hard to detect, like: failure to investigate a claim promptly and thoroughly, unreasonable denial of claim benefits or delay in the payment of claims, and so forth.

According to Anderson Cooper, the primary anchor of the CNN news show Anderson Cooper 360°, tactics employed by insurance firms may be identified as the three “Ds”: delay, deny and defend. Delay the handling of a claim; deny that a claimant is hurt or show that damages are minor; and, defend their decision even in lengthy court battles.

In certain instances, a claims adjuster would offer as little as $50 dollars. This is based on Insurance firms’ training manual’s instruction to pressure claimants until they accept “smaller walk-away settlements.” The sad thing is, many poor people take the offer rather than get nothing at all. Insurance firms bet that victims will neither wait nor sue, but would rather take whatever they can get and walk-away, not realizing that they are walking away from billions of dollars firm are able to keep for themselves.

According to the law firm Smith Kendall, PLLC, “when an insurance company denies or delays payment of a policyholder’s home or commercial property insurance claim when it knew, or should have known, its liability on the claim was reasonably clear, the carrier may have acted in bad faith. State courts know that a special relationship exists between an insurance company and its clients, and the former’s duty of good faith and fair dealing towards all of its clients. In some states, a policyholder may have both common law (i.e., law created by cases) and statutory (i.e., law from statutes or regulations) bad faith claims.

An experienced and aggressive attorney may be able to help you navigate this challenging area of the law and make sure that the insurance company is held responsible for its bad-faith actions.”

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, a Repetitive Motion Injury

If your occupation requires repetitive hand motions, awkward hand positions, strong gripping, vibration, or mechanical stress on the palm, you may be susceptible to carpal tunnel syndrome. Common occupations associated with carpal tunnel include: mechanic, assembly-line worker, janitor, tailor and carpenter. According to Mayo Clinic, the carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway, located on the palm side of your wrist, which protects a main nerve to your hand and the nine tendons that bend your fingers. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by that nerve being pinched, which causes numbness and tingling in the hand and arm. While the condition can be caused by a variety of factors, such as the anatomy of your wrist and underlying health problems, it can also be a result of repetitive patterns of hand use, as in the occupations we described above. This is what makes carpal tunnel syndrome a repetitive motion injury.

Repetitive motion injuries, also called repetitive stress injuries, are temporary or permanent injuries to muscles, nerves, ligaments or tendons caused by doing to same motion over and over. Repetitive motion injuries are common in the workplace. Because they usually form over time, after many repetitions of a motion, it is hard to pinpoint exactly how and when the injury occurred. In spite of this, it is still important to treat these injuries just like any other workplace injury.

According to Clawson & Staubes, LLC: Injury Group, employees who are injured while working are typically required to notify their employers of their injury. Injured employees should also seek medical treatment for their injury, so they can get the treatment needed for a full recovery. The treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive motion injuries will usually involve some sort of rehabilitation. According to the website for Johns Hopkins Medicine, rehabilitation programs may include occupational therapy, exercise programs, heat or cold applications, the use of braces or splints and pain management techniques. If you suspect that you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, talk to your employer and seek medical attention.

Dangers and Accidents On Board a Cruise Ship

The Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), a global maritime safety treaty, issued the “Safe Return to Port” regulation on all types of ships to ensure the safety of cruise ship passengers and the safe return of all ship passengers back to port. Besides these, SOLA also requires that all new cruise ships be equipped with self-sufficient and international standard clinics and other emergency facilities.

For the safety and benefit of passengers, the SOLA mandates are much needed. The the main concern, however, is how these are being observed (if these are being observed at all) because with the frequency and severity of disasters, injury to (and sometimes death of) passengers, viral outbreak, unsanitary conditions, crimes committed on board while on cruise (such as assault and battery, and sexual assault from other passengers or crew members), and many other negative issues involving cruise ships, the mandates appear to be very far from being observed.

Pirates, icebergs, and coral reefs, sea storms and rogue waves – these are never just the usual causes of cruise ship accidents. Leading to much greater inconvenience and, sometimes, worse disasters are accidents resulting from the negligence of ship crew and personnel in maintaining the ship and their incompetence in reacting well during emergency situations.

Thus, concerning one particular ship, some travelers once asked just how many power failures, fires, or other untoward incidents a cruise ship averagely undergoes during its lifetime. This comment or query was made after one particular cruise ship underwent a series of unbelievable bad occurrences: it was stranded out at sea for five days due to fire, thus turning what was supposed to be a grand, exotic and exciting adventure into a nightmarish experience to more than 4,000 passengers; had one towline snapping as it was being tugged to port; crashed into another boat and ended with a 20-foot gash on its side after getting unmoored; and, while undergoing repairs, it had to be evacuated by repair workers after nearby fuel barges exploded.

While a cruise ship vacation can really be a perfectly exciting experience, the dangers passengers will face, in the event of an accident can also be truly fearful, especially considering the fact that once it sails, passengers will have limited space and corners to run to for safety. Some of the dangers passengers may experience in a cruise ship include assault and battery, slip and fall accidents, food poisoning, swimming pool injuries, head injuries, sexual assault from other passengers, and falling off the ship. Thus, in the event of an accident, it may be necessary that the victim consult with a cruise ship accident lawyer immediately. This is because the preparations, the documents that need to be submitted and the procedures that need to be observed, regarding a legal act against a cruise ship, are so much complicated and can only be done at a specific court in a specific state.

Renovating? Here’s What to Consider When Contracting a Roofing Company

Getting your roof repaired, replaced, or overhauled will often need expert solutions to ensure that the job is perfectly done. There are many roofing companies available to choose from. Finding the experts to contract for your roofing needs can mean the difference between haphazard work and a quality job done right.

Starting a renovation project with a roofing company requires some research at the get-go. You can’t just hire the first company you encounter in an advertisement. You’ll need to familiarize yourself with different companies, learn about the services they offer, and decide whether they can work within your planned budget. You can easily get this information by browsing the company’s website.

While doing your research on roofing companies, you should also check for information on their license and insurance policies. You will want to make sure that the contractor that you end up hiring will be taken care of and compensated by the company should any accident occur. Top companies will comply with state and federal standards, as well as provide comprehensive training programs for their employees. It’s important that the company you end up working with prioritizes the safety of their contractors to ensure that they are reliable and reputable. You can even check what former clients have to say by asking for references and checking reviews online.

All in all, the success of your repair or renovation project will depend on the type of service that a roofing contractor can provide. Aside from ensuring that the company you’re choosing to work with has a stellar reputation, it’s also important that they offer warranties on their products and services, guaranteeing that any problem you might encounter at the end of a project can still be addressed immediately.

There are Federal Laws that Protect Your Senior Loved Ones from Acts of Abuse and Neglect

With the intent of protecting residents of nursing home facilities and upholding their interests, the U.S. Congress passed the Nursing Home Reform Act into law in 1987; the Act mandates that nursing homes participating in Medicare and Medicaid (or receiving Medicare and Medicaid funds) should “provide services and activities to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of each resident in accordance with a written plan of care.” (

Supporting this mandate is a Federal Nursing Home regulation, which says that “the resident has the right to be free from verbal, sexual, physical, and mental abuse, corporal punishment, and involuntary seclusion.” (

More than 15,000 nursing home facilities are located all across U.S. Besides giving shelter to more than 1.5 million residents: elders, individuals who may be physically or mentally incapacitated, and those in need of rehabilitative therapy due to illness or accident, these facilities are expected to provide all residents the quality care expected and required by the law.

Sadly, though, it appears that no kind of law would stop acts of abuse and neglect from being committed against nursing home residents. Despite the thousands of abuses and neglect getting reported every year, it is obvious that so many more remain unreported, especially the more sensitive and humiliating cases, namely sexual abuses.

Acts of abuse and neglect do occur in nursing home facilities in the U.S. and the most common reasons why these acts happen include lack or qualified and/or properly trained staff, overworked personnel, very demanding needs of the residents, the defenselessness of the victims and, it may be logical to include, the major intent of staff members, which is to earn and not necessarily take care of their helpless and/or aging residents.

Abuse, as defined under federal nursing home regulations, is any form of act that deliberately inflicts injury, deprives care or service, or results to intimidation, unreasonable confinement, or punishment resulting to physical harm and/or mental anguish. Neglect, on the other hand, can refer to failure to provide a resident with the necessary care and service which will ensure freedom from pain or harm, or failure to assist a resident during potentially a dangerous situation that can result to harm or anxiety. Neglect can be an intentional or non-intentional act.

Abuse and neglect of nursing home residents are very disturbing crimes since these are directed against defenseless people whose care have been entrusted to those who promise to provide quality care and service. As clearly stated by the nursing home abuse lawyers from the Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck, P.A., law firm, once you entrust the care of your loved one to an assisted living facility or nursing home, you have every right to believe that that facility’s staff or personnel will treat him/her with care and dignity. When this trust gets violated, you have every right to pursue legal action against whoever committed the act of abuse or neglect – for the sake and safety of your love one and all others in the facility. It would be wise to fight this legal battle with a highly-competent nursing home abuse lawyer by your side.