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Archive for November, 2014

Nov 19 2014

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7 Hints for Holiday Safety

Christmas TreeWith Thanksgiving right around the corner, people will begin turning their attention Christmas decorating and holiday parties shortly thereafter. The holidays not only bring new safety hazards into the house, but the excitement of them distracts even the most wary. Below are a few hints to help keep you safe for the season.

 

  1. Trees – Live trees require lots of watering and even then they will dry out. Place them well away from any heat sources. Don’t burn discarded trees in the fireplace as it can lead to creosote build-up in the chimney. Instead consider taking it to a recycling center or compost it for the garden.
  2. Fireplaces – Of course by this time of the year you have had your chimney swept and inspected. Don’t be tempted to reduce the landfill by burning wrapping paper or other paper products in it. Besides the flash fire they produce being dangerous, they could have coatings that produce unsafe fumes when burned. Check for opportunities to recycle paper and plastic products to ease your guilt.
  3. Smoke Alarms – Check all smoke alarms to make sure they are functioning. Replace batteries at least twice a year even if they are still working. Install a carbon monoxide detector for added safety.
  4. Candles – Keep candles away from all combustibles and extinguish when leaving the room. Place them so they are away from areas where they can be knocked over. The coffee table is just the right height for Fido’s tail to do damage. Don’t forget to stow away the matches or lighters that could be temptations for inquisitive children.
  5. Lights – Check all strands for any damage and for the UL approved label. Turn them off when going to bed or leaving the house. Don’t run any wires under carpets and don’t overload the circuits.
  6. Decorations – Check decorations for small pieces that could be a choking hazard for children or pets.
  7. Guests – Don’t assume that your guests know what you know. Remind them not to place their gloves on the space heater for drying or throw anything in the fire in the fireplace. Ask them to help keep the kids safely out of the kitchen while food is being prepared. If you have overnight guests, review your household escape plan with them in case of emergency.

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Nov 05 2014

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Winterize your Car with these Hints

Filed under Seasonal,The Garage

Car BatteryAs the weather begins to get colder, it’s time to get your car ready for winter. By preparing now, you can keep your vehicle running efficiently and safely and hopefully avoid a roadside breakdown in the cold. Here are some tips to get you started:

 

Fluids – Have all fluids checked and replaced if necessary. Don’t forget the oil, coolant, brake fluid, windshield fluid and gasoline. Yes, gasoline. Keep your tank full to prevent moisture from freezing in the lines. Also, when unexpected weather hits and you are delayed in traffic, you won’t have to worry about running on empty.

Wiper Blades – Weather ages blades quickly and they tear easily in freezing temperatures, so start out the season with new ones.

Battery – Cold weather reduces the cranking amperage of the battery. Have it tested, serviced and replaced if more than 4 years old.

Tires – Of course cold sloppy freezing weather brings traction problems so check those tire treads and replace tires if necessary. The cold can also reduce the pressure so check often for proper inflation and don’t forget the spare.

Floor Mats – Tracking snow and salt into your car’s interior can ruin carpeting so make sure you have some good all-weather mats in place.

Emergency Kit – Items you may want to include are flares, boots, gloves, shovel, blanket, ice scraper, flashlight, rock salt or kitty litter for traction. Also have emergency numbers and insurance information handy and maybe some spare change, just in case

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