Show Notes: Are You Fire Safe? – On the House

Show Notes: Are You Fire Safe?

By on November 7, 2014

It’s getting cooler, that means fireplaces, extra extension cords, space heaters and potential fire hazards! Do you have a fire extinguisher? Is it the best type for residential fires? Do you and your family know how to use it? Here is hot information on how to be Fire Safe in your home.

Thank you to Michael Murphy from Lamps Plus  for joining us this week to discuss winter home lighting.


Are You Fire Safe?

 The Alphabet Of Fire Extinguishers:

With so many fire extinguishers to choose from, selecting the proper one for your home can be a daunting task. Everyone should have at least one fire extinguisher at home, but it’s just as important to ensure you have the proper type of fire extinguisher.

Fire protection experts recommend one for the kitchen, the garage and workshop.

Fire protection experts recommend one for the kitchen, the garage and workshop.With so many fire extinguishers to choose from, selecting the proper one for your home can be a daunting task. Everyone should have at least one fire extinguisher at home, but it’s just as important to ensure you have the proper type of fire extinguisher.

Class A extinguishers are for ordinary combustible materials such as paper, wood, cardboard, and most plastics. The numerical rating on these types of extinguishers indicates the amount of water it holds and the amount of fire it can extinguish. Geometric symbol (green triangle)

Class B fires involve flammable or combustible liquids such as gasoline, kerosene, grease and oil. The numerical rating for class B extinguishers indicates the approximate number of square feet of fire it can extinguish. Geometric symbol (red square)

Class C fires involve electrical equipment, such as appliances, wiring, circuit breakers and outlets. Never use water to extinguish class C fires – the risk of electrical shock is far too great! Class C extinguishers do not have a numerical rating. The C classification means the extinguishing agent is non-conductive. Geometric symbol (blue circle)

Class D fire extinguishers are commonly found in a chemical laboratory. They are for fires that involve combustible metals, such as magnesium, titanium, potassium and sodium. These types of extinguishers also have no numerical rating, nor are they given a multi-purpose rating – they are designed for class D fires only. Geometric symbol (Yellow Decagon)

Class K fire extinguishers are for fires that involve cooking oils, trans-fats, or fats in cooking appliances and are typically found in restaurant and cafeteria kitchens. Geometric symbol (black hexagon)


Do You Know How To Use A Fire Extinguisher?

 A typical fire extinguisher contains 10 seconds of extinguishing power. This could be less if it has already been partially discharged. Always read the instructions that come with the fire extinguisher beforehand and become familiarized with its parts.


Use this acronym as a quick reference (it is a good idea to print this reference and pin it next to your fire extinguisher):

Pull the Pin at the top of the extinguisher. The pin releases a locking mechanism and will allow you to discharge the extinguisher.

Aim at the base of the fire, not the flames. This is important – in order to put out the fire, you must extinguish the fuel.

Squeeze the lever slowly. This will release the extinguishing agent in the extinguisher. If the handle is released, the discharge will stop.

Sweep from side to side. Using a sweeping motion, move the fire extinguisher back and forth until the fire is completely out. Operate the extinguisher from a safe distance, several feet away, and then move towards the fire once it starts to diminish. Be sure to read the instructions on your fire extinguisher – different fire extinguishers recommend operating them from different distances. Remember: Aim at the base of the fire, not at the flames!!!!


Do You Have a Drainage Problem?

Got puddles? Seeing water where it shouldn’t be? Is your yard looking like a swamp? You may have drainage problems! If you spot potential trouble, it is simpler and less costly to repair. If you ignore the problem, it will not go away, and it will get worse and more costly to repair.

 Do you have puddles that last more than a day? If puddles in your yard last longer than a few hours, it could be signs of a bigger problem. Puddles are the normal byproduct of heavy rain. But puddles usually dry up or drain in a few hours, if they stay wet look for the problem.

Poor watershed and drainage will cause soil to swell. The wet earth can force the foundation to heave causing cracks in the walls over windows and doors. This same house movement can cause doors to stick and jamb. Besides causing the house to shift, water ponding in the crawl space or basement can cause framing members to rot. And water soaked siding will soon need a new coat of paint

Do you have water or water stains in your basement? It may be that your property slopes in the wrong direction, which means the water seeps into your basement. Make sure that soil/concrete surrounding the home is sloped away from the foundation to further minimize water damage.

If you’re noticing mud or mulch flowing onto your driveways and walkways during a rainstorm the water is flowing in the wrong direction and needs to be properly drained or retained.

To minimize premature repairs and painting begin by “water-proofing” your home. Install rain gutters and downspouts. But don’t stop there. Make sure that downspouts discharge into drainage pipes that carry water away from the house.


Uninvited Fall Visitors

 As the weather cools, uninvited visitors will come calling….. Be prepared

 The biggest intruders are mice. A mouse can sneak in through a hole no bigger than a dime, while a raccoon-size creature can enter through a 6-inch opening.

Inspect your home for cracks and likely places of entry; windows, screens, plumbing vents and air vents in the kitchen or under the cupboards. Once you have located these entry points caulk and seal them up, replace broken screens or cover the vents with fine screening.

If you have dryer exhaust being pumped under your deck, patio, or staircase, channel it out into the open air, so critters won’t find a nice heated place to nest.


Lighting Your Home For The Winter

Add Lamps

Overhead lighting is something we all are familiar with to light our homes, but floor and table lamps give off a beautiful glow that ceiling fixtures simply cannot duplicate. During the winter, put out a few additional lamps to add warmth to the mood of your home. Try some inexpensive lamps; short ones for tabletops and floor lamps for brighter lighting. Don’t be afraid to redecorate with lamps you already own, move them from room to room for a new look.

Do you hate walking into a dark house:  put a few lamps on timer switches you can plug right into an electrical outlet. How easy is that?


De-Fogging Mirrors & Eyeglasses

Do your mirrors fog up after a long, hot shower? Your eyeglasses, too? If you’re tired of operating in the dark, even when your bathroom’s sunny and bright, here’s a way you can stop fog in its tracks.

Shaving cream combats fog and keeps it off glass surfaces. Just rub some on your mirrors and eyeglasses, shower doors and windows — and then wipe them clean. An application of shaving cream will keep them fog-free for several weeks.


Easy Money

A wonderful money-saving method of keeping precious heated air in and unwanted cold air out is to purchase and install plate gaskets for electrical switches and plugs. Best results are achieved by concentrating on exterior walls, but this is so inexpensive and simple a task that the extra precaution of doing interior walls as well makes a lot of sense. The California Energy Code gives a high rating to this procedure.


Natural Pest Deterrent recipe from our listener:

1 Cup Plaster of Paris

3 Cups Uncooked Oat Cereal

Shake it all together until the oats are coated with the plaster.

Put mixture in locations mice  have left droppings.

This recipe is not good left our for birds or pets.


Website mentions:

Heritage Natural Finishes:

Gutter Brush:

Havahart: Critterridder – Skunks :


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