Fireplace Safety Tips

January 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Home Safety & Maintenance Tips

Proper fireplace safety is extremely important. Even if you have been using your fireplace for years, it is important to brush up on your fire safety rules.

Here are some fireplace safety rules for both wood burning and gas fireplaces:

· Open the damper before starting a wood burning fire

· Leave flue open, even if fire is only smoldering

· Teach children about dangers of fire

· Use a chimney cap

· Do not use lighter fluid to start a fire

· Use long matches

· For gas fireplaces, light as soon as gas is turned on

· Have your chimney inspected annually

· Keep decorations and flammables away from the fire

· Never leave a wood burning fire burning while you are not there to watch after it

· Use a mesh screen with your wood burning fire, and leave glass doors open

· Do not burn trash in your fireplace

· Keep the top of your chimney and roof clear of debris like pine needles and even low hanging branches.

· Realize that artificial logs are not the same as real wood – make sure you read the instructions on an artificial log before you use it, and do not add one to a wood fire already burning.

· When done with a wood burning fire, and once the ashes have cooled, clean them out in preparation for the next fire.

· Do not use charcoal in your fireplace – doing so puts you at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning.

· If you have children, make sure that you have a guard around your gas fireplace – children can get burned not just by the fire but by the glass and metal doors surrounding the fire.

· If you have a gas fireplace, make sure that you have at least two places in which you can turn off the flow of gas, just in case one of them malfunctions for some reason.

· With a gas fireplace, you should stay aware of any unusual smells or flames – they could be a sign that your fireplace is not working properly.

Again, realize that fireplace safety is extremely important. Realize that not properly following fireplace safety guidelines could end with harm to all that you hold most dear – yourself, your children, your possessions, your home, etc.

It is most definitely worth brushing up on your fireplace safety.

Anne Clarke writes numerous articles for websites on gardening, parenting, fashion, and home decor. Her background includes teaching and gardening. For more of her articles on fireplaces and fireplace safety, please visit Fireplace Doors.

Safe Pest Control Tips

January 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Home Safety & Maintenance Tips

Have you ever wondered what exactly is up with Safe Pest Control? This informative report can give you an insight into everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Safe Pest Control.

Pest control must be done with utmost consideration to safety; safety in terms of the plants, animals and humans. This holds especially true for those with vegetable and organic gardens.

The main purpose of growing vegetables organically will be defeated if they become tainted with pest control chemicals.

Here are a few long-term maintenance tips to make pest control less damaging and more environmentally friendly.

1. Use the physical pest control process.

This may be accomplished through picking grubs off by hand, creating barriers and traps and plugging holes. Snails can be found hiding in damp places under rocks and towrds the base of those plants with straplike foliage.

2. Apply biological pest control.

Encourage predatory insects such as green lacewings and dragonflies to feed on aphids and other pests that attack your plants. You can do this by placing a shallow bowl of water in the garden. Dragonflies especially will hover around water. Bacterial insecticides such as B. thuringiensis could also be used against caterpillars.

Truthfully, the only difference between you and Safe Pest Control Tips experts is time. If you’ll invest a little more time in reading, you’ll be that much nearer to expert status when it comes to Safe Pest Control Tips.

3. Only as a last resort should we turn to chemical pest control.

Organic pest control methods can be successful and the ingredients for many of the recipes can be found in the kitchen cupboards. If chemical sprays are really necessary, try and find the least-toxic. These include insecticidal soaps, horticultural oils, dehydrating dusts, etc.

4. Consider the use of safer pest control substitutes.

Recipes for alternative pest control include the following:

Against Green Aphids and Mites – Mix 1 tablespoon of liquid soap and a cup of vegetable oil. Dilute a teaspoon of this solution in a cup of water and spray on aphids and mites.

Against Cockroaches – Dusts of boric acid can be applied to cracks or entry points of these insects. Bay leaves on pantry shelves could also help in warding off these critters.

Make sure that the chemicals you use are made specifically for the insects you are targeting.

Is there really any information about Safe Pest Control that is nonessential? We all see things from different angles, so something relatively insignificant to one may be crucial to another.

Bill McRea is the publisher of Garden Facts also Garden Decor and Landscape Trees Landscaping and Gardening with information and products.

Home Maintenance Checklist

January 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Home Safety & Maintenance Tips

Here is a checklist of fall and winter home maintenance tasks to prepare your home (and your family) for the colder temperatures ahead.

Outdoors:

Scrape peeling paint, and apply touch up paint to your siding, trim, and fences.

Check the condition of your deck and apply a waterproofing sealer if necessary.

Check weatherstripping on doors. Repair.

Check caulk on windows. Repair.

Clean and store patio furniture.

Clean and store bicycles, tricycles, and outdoor toys.

Wash all windows, inside and out.

Remove, clean, and store summertime screens.

Install storm windows and doors.

Check roof for damaged or missing shingles or problems with flashing. Repair.

Clear gutters and inspect downspouts.

Check sidewalks and driveways for cracks or other damage. Repair.

Locate your snow removal tools: snow shovel, plows, and snow blowers. Make sure they are ready to go.

Lawn and Garden:

Blow out sprinkler systems and winterize or insulate exterior faucets and water lines.

Drain and store garden hoses.

Fertilize and reseed your lawn.

Prune trees and shrubs.

Remove annuals.

Cut back perennials.

Rake leaves.

Indoors:

Schedule a cleaning and inspection of your heating system.

Inspect your fireplace and chimney. Call a professional chimney sweep if necessary.

Perform seasonal maintenance on your hot water heater.

Schedule a professional carpet cleaning.

Clean and inspect dryer hoses and exterior dryer vents.

Change furnace filter, and plan to change your filter every month during the winter. Monthly filter changes can really help reduce energy costs.

Check your air ducts. Call a duct cleaning service if it has been a few years since your ducts have been professionally cleaned. If you have been changing your furnace filter frequently and your ducts have been cleaned recently, simply take off the register covers and vacuum inside.

Switch to warmer bedding. Replace cotton sheets with flannels. Add warmer layers to beds.

Make sure your family members are outfitted with everything they need for the cold winter months: Gloves, hats, boots, snowpants, warm socks, and coats.

Check the batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors.

Check your fire extinguishers.

Talk about family safety plans and escape routes. Review your “meeting place” in the event of a home fire to ensure that everyone knows what to do and where to go.

Inspect your attic to make sure it is getting cool, fresh air and that there is no evidence of condensation.

Check attic fans.

Prepare your home for a power outage. Check the batteries in your flashlights and make sure they are easily accessible. Also, make sure to have a supply of nonperishable foods, a manual can opener, and a traditional corded phone or cell phone available.

Automobile:

Make sure your tires are adequate for the winter weather in your area.

Check your car battery.

Check antifreeze levels.

Make sure you have extra windshield wiper fluid in your car, as well as a brush and ice scraper, blanket, jumper cables, and first aid kit. If you live in an area where you expect extreme winter conditions, you will also want to keep a tow rope, shovel, and a bag of sand or kitty litter to help your tires gain traction on icy roads.

Jamie Jefferson writes for http://www.momscape.com . Visit today for the latest online Coupon Codes including money-saving coupons for Jamie’s favorite site to buy winter clothing.