4 Home Heating Safety Tips

Thursday, January 4th, 2018

fireplace-maintenanceHome Heating Safety

The other day, I was cleaning his house when I found a one-inch piece of charcoal burnt into one of my couch cushions! It came from a piece of wood that popped from my fireplace to the couch.

While all that little chunk of ember did was burn a hole in the furniture, my house could have gone up in flames! I am thankful that all I have to do is turn the couch cushion around to hide the burn mark!

Most home fires happen during the winter months than any other time of year, when the cozy warmth of a fireplace is at its most inviting. Not only are fires a danger, space heaters are often used to heat rooms that need an extra boost; plus, home heating devices can produce an abundance of deadly carbon monoxide gas.

Seniors aged 65 and older are three times more likely to die or be injured in a house fire than other age groups. Not only that, but if you live in a newer home, reports are saying you may have less time to escape a fire because of synthetics.

Here are some important home heating safety tips to remember:

1) Check Your Chimney and Fireplace for Hazards
Have the chimney flue pipe checked each year if you or your loved one uses a wood-burning fireplace.

Make sure that there is a screen or glass in front of the fireplace to catch any wild sparks or moving logs. Keep flammable objects such as stockings and curtains away from the fireplace when in use.

2) Get the Proper Fire Extinguisher
Get an ABC multipurpose fire extinguisher for your home, read the manual so you and your loved ones know how to use it, and store it in a place where it is easily accessible in case of a fire.

OSHA gives some helpful tips for the workplace, hut they can apply to your home as well.

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Save Energy and Stay Safe with LED’s

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

christmas-lightsHow LED’s Are Changing The Holiday Season

Every year, millions of cities, towns, villages, stores and homes get decorated for Christmas and the other holidays happening at this time of year. But did you realize that over the last decade there has been a seismic shift in how we decorate? It’s a change you might not have noticed, but is certainly affecting how we see the season nonetheless.

The change is happening due to the emergence, and new dominance of LED lighting. LED stands for light emitting diode. This technology has been around for decades, in fact, they were invented in the 1960′s and are now over 50 years old. However, it’s taken decades for them to get established as a real option for homes, businesses, governments and organizational use.

This is mainly because the technology was expensive to produce when in its infancy. However, in the last decade or so, the initially high price of LED lights has come down substantially, making it comparable to other lighting sources. Thanks to this, and the many other advantages and benefits of LED lights, like space saving, energy saving, durability and customization, LED’s have finally earned their place in the lighting arena.

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Smart Holiday Decorating

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

holiday-lightsHoliday Decor: Spend Less & Enjoy More

Have you noticed that retailers start displaying their holiday decorations and merchandise earlier and earlier each year?

Some people welcome the early holiday cheer, while others like myself; feel there is too much Christmas to soon. A scientific poll of 1,000 American adults, 73 percent agree with the statement that “it is annoying that the holiday shopping season has gotten earlier.” Forty-eight percent strongly agree. Just 21 percent disagreed. But, if you are a gung ho ho ho shopper and into the themed holiday decorating then this time of year is definitely your best bet for great deals on all things “holiday”.

holiday-ornamentsWhat To Buy and When

Remember when the best deals came after the holiday? Obviously this is still true for items like Christmas cards and holiday wrapping paper. But now, retailers are introducing their holiday discounts early to ensure their stock is sold out by Christmas and, you don’t have to wait and purchase after the holidays only to pack them away for the next 11 months before you can use them.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

The holiday season with its purchasing, wrapping and celebrating substantially increases the amount of waste we generate. However, there are many opportunities for the consumer to reduce, reuse and recycle their remnants of holiday cheer.

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Thanksgiving Trivia Fun

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

What comes to your mind when you think of Thanksgiving?

The big fat golden-brown turkey? Grandma’s pumpkin pie? Or the oh-so-nice cranberries and corn-on-the-cob?

Well well, all these ARE a major part of the Thanksgiving holiday. But there’s even more to this wonderful occasion of Thanksgiving!

The holiday of Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate the beauty and bounty around us, our marvelous friends and family, the gift of their love and many more such good things that we are thankful for !

Celebrated every year on the last Thursday in November, the spirit of Thanksgiving Day sets the tone for a grand and joyous season.

Now to share some interesting trivia associated with the Thanksgiving holiday.

Like most trivia, the Thanksgiving trivia are just as much a fun read.

Check these out:

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Get Ready for Holiday Entertaining

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

holiday-entertainingCompany’s Coming, Get Ready for Holiday Entertaining

Company’s Coming! Put Out Your Holiday Best with help from Martens True Value.

Holiday entertaining is a big job and prepping is the hardest, most stressful part.

Reedsburg True Value hardware store can simplify your holidays with what you need to welcome guests and make them feel at home.

From quality cookware to smart table settings, even airbeds if your company is staying awhile. We’ve thought of everything so you can focus on playing holiday host.

Available In-Store and ONLINE, at True “VALUE” Prices…

deluxe-banquet-table-folding

Folding Tables and Chairs

This banquet table is the perfect size for company.

30 x 72-In. when open, folds in half for easy portability (with carry handle). Lightweight, too.

Rugged steel tube frame with powder coated finish; polypropylene surface.

29-In. high, folds To 4-3/4-In. wide for easy storage.

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queen-size-airbedAirbeds

Coleman, queen, quickbed plus airbed, includes 4d pump for quick inflation, antimicrobial sleep surface resists odor, mildew, mold, & fungus.

Comfort strong coil system provides better support all night long, leak free airtight system, doublelock valve for easy inflation/deflation, carry bag included for easy storage & transporting.

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10 Tips for the Best Thanksgiving Dinner

Monday, November 6th, 2017

best-thanksgiving-dinner-tips10 Ways to Make Thanksgiving Dinner Delicious and Easy

I love to cook. And I love to have a day off of work. But, despite the fact that preparing Thanksgiving dinner recipes is relatively easy, I’m ashamed to admit that sometimes, I dread the work involved. I just want to hang out with my family and friends, have time at some point during the meal to take a stroll on the beach boardwalk, and not have to work hard getting even a simple meal on the table. So, over the years, I’ve developed a handful of strategies that have made my Thanksgiving dinner preparation a bit easier. Hopefully, these will make your Thanksgiving dinner recipe preparation a little easier too!

1. DON’T STUFF YOUR TURKEY. While stuffing the turkey really makes the stuffing moist, there are ways to recreate the same result without stuffing it in the turkey. Who needs to worry about scooping out all of the stuffing? It just delays the meal.

So, when you trim the fat from the turkey neck and other areas, keep the fat and lay it over your stuffing and cook your stuffing in a separate casserole dish. You’ll get the benefit of the fat flavor and it will also keep the stuffing moist while it bakes.

turkey-gravy2. MAKE GRAVY AHEAD OF TIME USING THE TURKEY’S NECK AND EARLY DRIPPINGS FROM THE BIRD. There is no need to wait for the bird to finish cooking before you make your gravy. I learned how to make gravy from the Executive Chef at one of the restaurants I worked for and he made exceptional gravy. Brown chunks of carrots, onions and celery with the turkey neck in a large pot. Add stock (chicken stock is fine) bay leaves, peppercorns, sage and other spices you like. Make a roux in a separate pan using basted dripping from the bird or you can even make it ahead of time as early as you like (even the day before) by browning butter with flour (in our home, I use potato, rice and corn starch because my son must eat gluten -free). Add the roux to the broth, continue to reduce and strain completely right before serving.

3. USE OR CREATE A SECOND OVEN. If you don’t have a toaster oven, buy one now. You can find one for as little as $30 and it can work as a second oven for baking pies, side dishes etc… Along those lines, it’s fine to microwave vegetables (asparagus take about 8 minutes microwaved in water), and to make as many dishes as you can on your stovetop.

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Protect Your Family From Carbon Monoxide

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

carbon-monoxide-alarmWhat You Need To Know About Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, The Silent Killer

Carbon monoxide is a highly poisonous gas that is produced from carbon fuels like gas and oil and basically anything that burns.

You cannot see it, you cannot smell it, you cannot taste it, that’s why it is known as the silent killer.

Your home gas appliances if not maintained could leak carbon monoxide into the room they are located in.

One of the most common causes is the gas fire, they seem to get overlooked and are never maintained.

For the gas fire to burn correctly it needs to have a sufficient supply of fresh air, this is normally an air brick fitted into an outside wall somewhere in the same room. If sized properly it will supply enough air for the fire to burn correctly.

The chimney for the gas fire needs to be checked for blockages, so the products of combustion can be removed, if blocked, the products will enter the room.

The home central heating boiler is another cause of carbon monoxide if not maintained.

The most common boiler at risk is known as an open flue. This means like the gas fire it requires fresh air to combust correctly.

Another source of carbon monoxide poisoning is the barbecue.

How many times have you moved the barbecue into a closed area when the rain started falling down. Never when using the barbecue move it inside the house, it could be fatal.

What are the symptoms of Carbon Monoxide?

Some of the symptoms to look out for are feeling nausea, headaches, feeling sleepy, flu like symptoms. These are just a few to look out for.

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Halloween Pumpkin Painting

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

Easy Pumpkin Painting: How to Guide

It’s Halloween season and time to get crafty to scare up some devilish décor.

If you’re looking to avoid the mess of carving pumpkins into ghoulish goblins and ghosts, try painting them instead with delightfully scary designs.

Follow this guide on how to paint a pumpkin and use your imagination to create a menagerie of ghastly gourds.

It’s a fun and easy holiday project for the entire family!

Here’s a list of items to have on hand to complete your pumpkin painting project:

(Available at Martens True Value Hardware Store in Reedsburg)

SHOP ONLINE for these DIY Project Supplies with Free Shipping to a participating store.

Emergency Supplies to have for a Power Outage

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

led-flashlight-lanternFive Must Haves If the Power Goes Out

Power outages can happen at any point in time. The power lines can get compromised, a storm is bearing down on you or there is curfew in your area. If you are prepared for power outages, you will get the opportunity to stay away from hassle during such a situation. Here is a list of 5 things that you must include in your emergency blackout kit that comes to your survival during a power outage.

1. A light producing object
It is extremely important for you to include an object that can product light without electricity in your blackout kit. It can be an emergency light, glow sticks or few candles. You need to keep them in an area that can easily be accessed. It is better if you can attach some stickers that glow in the dark, so that you can easily find them in the middle of the night without any hassle. You should also include a matchbox and a stash of batteries in your blackout kit.

2. A first aid kit
Emergencies can happen during power outages as well and if you want to stay away from hassle during such a situation, you need to keep a first aid around the home. The first aid kit should include pain medicine, antibiotic ointments such as Neosporin, and antiseptic solutions such as hydrogen peroxide, scissors, gauze tape and bandages of different sizes.

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Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

home-guttersA Green Fall Maintenance Checklist For Your Home

Just like spring cleaning, you really should get your home ready for the winter.

Here are a couple of projects that you will want to get accomplished although the weather is still nice out (or if you happen to be in the North, before the snow falls).

These projects will save energy, button up your home and prevent costly problems later on. Also included are a couple of projects that everybody thinks they should do, but you may not have too!

1. Caulk. Caulk is your friend. This could be the least high-priced way to plug leaks. It also prevents damage to wood and masonry where water has already been let in. Outside, you must get rid of the loose and/or wet materials and let the area dry out. Then use an exterior grade caulk to fix any outdoor issues.

2. Roof Drainage. You have to make sure that your gutters get a thorough cleaning in the fall. It is very important to not forget about cleaning out the S-shaped fitting under your gutter. That tends to get missed. Nonetheless, it can cause complications later on if it’s clogged.

home-office-closet-workspace3. Moisture Control. You ought to maintain a 30 to 50 percent relative humidity inside your home with a portable central system. If you aren’t, there are usually two culprits causing this: stagnant water and/or mineral deposits.

First, turn off your system and check the sponge pad. If it has calcium deposits, it is time to make a change. If the filter is clogged with deposits, scrub it using a 1-to-4 remedy of vinegar and water. To remove stagnant bacteria breeding water, use a 50-50 solution of bleach and water.

4. Air quality. Most of our properties are built tightly to save energy. Nevertheless, our homes might be so closed up that you can smell last night’s dinner for days! Changing air filters will help with odors, dust, mold spores, and pet dander.

5. Drain your water lines. In the North, you are guaranteed it will get cold enough to bust a copper pipe or even shatter plastic. In the South, you never know what weird weather will hit. How frequently do we hear about how towns shut down due to the fact they got an inch of snow?

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How to Create a Child-friendly Home

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

How to Make Your Home Child-Friendly

Babies and toddlers are a source of joy and happiness to a household, but they are very prone to accidents. They are at a phase where they can walk around and explore, but they not really aware of dangers around them.

That is why it is the responsibility of their parents or guardians to make sure that the homes toddler and babies live in are safe and child-friendly.

Here we will look into some of the common accident areas in the home and discuss how you can make them safer for your kids.

stairs-child-safetyStairs

The stairs is the first one you should inspect. The danger of being careless when using stairs needs no explanation.

Even adults easily get injured when they go up and down the stairs recklessly. And the injuries from stair-related accidents are often serious.

Here are some ways to make stairs safer.

· Adding a slip-proof matting on individual steps

· Adding a soft rubber mat on the exact spot where the stair ends on the bottom to reduce injury

· Teaching children stair safety

· Putting a non-slip grip on the stair handles

baby-proofing-your-homeElectrical outlets

Electricity is important for our modern society, but they are not supposed to come into contact with human skin because they can cause myriad injuries.

Most adults know better than to poke their bare hands inside an electrical outlet, but not children.

One of the common causes of child accidents is electrocution. So if you have children, make sure your electric outlets are safe.

· Installing power outlet covers help a lot in keeping your child safe especially if the outlet is not being used.

· Covering outlets with furniture so it is difficult to reach by children

· Renovating the house to transfer outlets higher beyond the reach of kids

Bathrooms

The danger in the bathroom is slipping. Young and old people can fall victim to the lack of friction caused by soapy wet tiles. But sometimes, there is no way around it. Bathroom tiles will get wet and slippery. Here’s what you can do.

· Place anti-slip plastic or rubber mats on the bathroom floor

· Change the tiles with anti-slip tiles through renovation

· Add some soft cushion on the corners of the sink and rubber cushion on the toilet seat to avoid injuries.

· Make sure that the soap is secured in the tray so it does not accidentally fall off and cause an accident.

Kitchen

The kitchen is the place where you cook your food, but it is not the place for children to be alone by themselves. Unfortunately, they do sometimes come to the kitchen and play with whatever they can find there including knives, forks, and other sharp objects.

· Make sure that the oven has child safety features so they can’t open it and come inside.

· Secure knives in high places so children can’t reach it.

Cabinets, Shelves, Corners of Tables and Posts

Children love to explore because for them everything is new, an adventure, but the cabinets and shelves are not places for them to try to climb.

Make sure the cabinets and shelves are secured by the wall behind so they won’t fall down in case a child does climb up on them. The corners of tables and chairs as well should have cushions in case a child hits his or her head.

By child-proofing your home, you can rest assured that your children can enjoy growing up without getting into accidents, which can put their lives in danger.

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Michelle_Lamoste/2031388

Safeguard Your Home when on Vacation

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

outdoor-lighting-home-securityHow to Keep Your Home Safe While You Are on Vacation

No one wants to worry about their home while on vacation. Here are some tips to help keep your house safe from burglars while you are enjoying your holiday.

Don’t Advertise

It’s only natural to want to share your vacation plans with others. But sharing them on social media is a bad idea. Once it’s out there, you have no control over where the information ends up. Your plans could end up in the hands of thieves. And they’ll know that they have lots of time to do a thorough job of clearing your home of all your valuables.

Likewise, sharing photos and updates on social media isn’t a good idea either. I’ll admit, I was guilty of this. It’s hard to not share photos and exciting stories about the fun things you’re experiencing. But wait until you get home to share your vacation online.

Lock it Up

Lock up valuables and documents in an immobile safe, bank safety deposit box or leave them with a trusted friend or family member. For Example:

Tablets and Laptops
Important documents (Social Security Cards, birth certificates, spare credit cards, password lists, etc.)
Keys to your home, office, car, etc.
Expensive jewelry and electronic devices
Firearms and ammunition

A portable, fireproof safe is fine for protecting valuables from fire. But it won’t stop a thief from walking off with it. If you use portable safes, leave them with a friend/family member while you’re away.

Make Your Home Look Occupied

Put your mail and newspaper on hold or ask someone to pick them up for you. If you’re gone for more than a week, have someone mow your lawn in the summer. (If it’s winter, ask someone to shovel your driveway after a snowfall and leave footprints going to and from your door.) Don’t leave your garbage bins by the road. Ask someone to put them out and bring them in or skip it altogether.

Put a few indoor lights (in various rooms) on timers. Don’t use just one light; it’s a dead giveaway that you’re not home. And don’t have the lights all go on and off at the same time. Try to set them up so they switch on and off at the same times that you would switch them on/off when you are home.

Put outdoor lights on timers, too. Or hook them up with light sensors so they’ll go on at dusk and off at dawn.

Put your radio or TV on a timer so that there is noise in your home now and then. If you have a home phone, turn off the ringer so that thieves won’t hear your phone ring, and ring, and ring…

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