Show Notes: Are You Ready For the Holidays?
Only five days left to get your home ready for that very special Aunt Sue and Uncle Ted and twenty other relatives for a holiday celebration. Are you cooking? Get your oven ready for working overtime with out any last minute problems.
Thank you to our guest:
Steven Katkowsky: Designer
Have You Ever Heard Of Doug The Pug?
Doug The Pug Has His Own Wikipedia page!
He is co-staring in a music video “THE 12 STINKS OF CHRISTMAS” with Doug E Fresh for Febreze and has
Over 33,000 views and it’s not even Thanksgiving!
Are You Prepared To Cook For The Holidays?
Test your oven to avoid emergency appliance repair.
It takes a lot of organization to prepare a Thanksgiving feast. But many homeowners don’t factor in whether their ovens are ready for all the work that the holiday season brings.
Helpful holiday hints
If you don’t use your oven regularly, you could be setting yourself up for problems. So check your oven before you get elbow-deep in your preparations to make sure it’s working properly.
- Act now. Test your oven before the holidays. If you find there is a problem, you need to give the appliance repair shop plenty of time to order the appropriate parts from the manufacturer.
- Check the temperature. A good way to check this is to buy a basic cake mix and follow the directions exactly, cooking for the exact time recommended. If the cake is dry or undercooked, the temperature might be off.
- Keep it clean. The cleaner your oven is, the more efficiently it will work. Whether you own a gas or electric oven, the best way to keep it healthy is to clean it.
- Don’t set yourself up for failure. Avoid running the self-clean cycle within two weeks of a holiday dinner. Many ovens have shown a tendency for their electrical components to fail after a self-cleaning cycle, in which the oven temperature reaches close to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Don’t sweat it. If an oven has moisture appearing on the outside of the oven door or appears to ‘sweat,’ it probably means you have a faulty door gasket. Gaskets maintain proper cooking temperatures and should be replaced at the first sign of a leak.
- Shut the door. If your oven door does not close properly, heat can escape. Make sure the door closes tightly and evenly. If not, you may have broken or bent door hinges or door springs that should be replaced.
Remember, preventative maintenance can help extend the life of your appliances and ensure your safety.
Quick Tip: Vacuum With Your Thermostat Fan On
Run the fan to help filter dust that gets kicked up while cleaning. Leave it on for about 15 minutes after you finish vacuuming, and switch it back to “auto” afterward. HVAC blowers aren’t intended to run all the time.
Safety: Fall/Winter Home Safety & Security
Fall and winter mean shorter days, colder weather, and less natural light to safely traverse paths outdoors and hallways indoors. The change in seasons also ushers in the need to fire up the furnace and-or stoke the fireplace or wood stove.
With reduced natural light and furnace and fireplace operation come a host of safety and security hazards, such as nasty falls, home burglaries, increased fire danger and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. There are, however, several simple and inexpensive upgrades that will improve safety and security and, as a bonus, improve comfort and energy efficiency.
A poorly lighted path is an accident waiting to happen especially when one is burdened with an armful or groceries or packages. Solve the problem by installing landscape lighting. Also called accent and patio lighting, these low-voltage systems are more affordable, energy-efficient and easier to install than ever. Although elements can be purchased piecemeal, most manufacturers offer a kit that contains everything needed to brighten up the exterior of your home _ wire, transformer and fixtures. Besides improving path safety, these systems are a means of lighting dark, bushy areas that could serve as a hide-out for an intruder.
While landscape lighting contributes to the safety and security of a home, it does have its limitations. Where more lighting “horsepower” is needed, such as at the front porch, driveway or a poorly lighted side or rear yard, consider motion-activated lighting. This type of light fixture turns on when a sensor detects motion _ a feature that protects against intruders.
When motion-activated lighting first became popular, it was, for the most part, limited to a standard utility spot or floodlight. Today, decorative lantern-style fixtures automatically light up otherwise dark porches and patios. A motion-activated sensor also can be retrofitted to most existing light fixtures. As with landscape lighting, motion-activated lighting is affordable and easy to install.
If you have a large area that requires much light and you want to accomplish it with a single fixture, a high-pressure sodium or mercury security light will do the trick. These fixtures pack a lighting punch. For example, a 70-watt sodium security light will illuminate more than 8,500 square feet, provide 6,300 lumens of light and last up to 12 times longer than a standard incandescent par floodlight. Add a built-in photo control and the light will automatically turn on at dusk and turn off at dawn with no timers or switches.
Lighting upgrades shouldn’t be limited to the exterior. You can improve safety and discourage prowlers by installing motion-activated lighting and timers inside, as well. For example, a motion-activated light switch can come in handy when you travel through a dark hallway with an armful of laundry.
Timers are still another means of improving safety, security and comfort. A standard wall switch can be replaced with a digital timer that will turn interior or exterior lighting off at predetermined times. What’s more, this style of switch will allow for random settings that give your home a lived-in look while you are away. A plug-in timer for a table lamp can also create the illusion of an occupied home and keep would-be intruders away. Timers are inexpensive and easy to install.
Besides providing improved safety and security, motion-activated switches and timers are highly energy efficient –especially if you have youngsters who frequently forget to turn lights off.
There are other ways of upgrading the safety of your home during fall and winter. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire and carbon monoxide. This slightly altered familiar phrase is particularly applicable during fall and winter when home fires increase due to fireplaces and home heating systems being at maximum use. Every home and family should be protected by one or more properly operating smoke detectors and carbon-monoxide detectors.
Many years ago building code required only one smoke detector in a home. Today, a smoke detector is required in each bedroom and on every level of a home. A carbon-monoxide detector is not a requirement, though the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that every home with fuel-burning appliances _ including fireplaces be equipped with at least one.
If your home doesn’t have smoke detectors, install them. If you have only one, such as in a hallway, install others in all bedrooms and in a central location on every floor of your home. A smoke detector is inexpensive and easy to install. A screwdriver, ladder and 15 minutes is about all you’ll need. The same holds true for carbon-monoxide detectors.
You can have a dozen smoke detectors and still end up with little or no protection. Recent studies have revealed that smoke detectors that are 10 years old, or older, have a high rate of failure and should be replaced with new state of the art detectors.
A poorly maintained or dirty smoke detector is useless. Use a vacuum with an upholstery brush to prevent dust and dirt from building up in the mechanism. Test the device’s detector and alarm monthly to ensure that they both are working properly. The test button on the detector tests the alarm only. Striking three wooden kitchen matches, blowing them out and allowing the smoke to waft up toward the unit will test the detector. Another means of testing a detector is with an aerosol spray that simulates smoke. Change batteries at least twice annually, and more often, if necessary.
Carbon monoxide is the number-one cause of poisoning deaths in America. A CO detector is as easy or, in some cases, easier to install than a smoke detector. It can be battery operated, hardwired, permanently installed or can sit on a shelf or tabletop.
You can have the best of both worlds, and maximum protection, by installing a combination smoke and CO alarm. Relatively new to the market, this combo device looks essentially like a smoke detector, but does the job of both. Some models go beyond the standard alarm by offering a voice warning of fire or CO danger.
Web Site Mentions:
Grab Bar: Kohler: Choreograph Barre Model # K-97625 24″
USDA Wildlife Services Pocatello Supply Depot, 238 E. Dillon St., Pocatello, Idaho 83201. Phone 208-236-6920. http://extension.missouri.edu/webster/documents/resources/disaster/Odor_Neutralizers.pdf
Safety Walk for tubs: www.kofflersales.com 888 355-6287
Peel Away Paint Remover
800 245-1191 www.dumondchemcials.com