Show Notes: Fire Safety and #1 Odd Jobs – On the House

Show Notes: Fire Safety and #1 Odd Jobs

By on October 8, 2017
gas fireplace

In the warm up for Fall home fix-ups, we took a little break to test our listeners on an old “multi-use” tool manufactured by the Stanley Company. Do you know what a Stanley #1 Odd Jobs Tool is?

Are you afraid to use a fire extinguisher? How about an extinguisher that is as easy as using a can of spray paint? Would you be inclined to keep one handy, just in case? Do you know how to get you firewood ready for winter? We do.

Thank you to our guest, Jim Rudolph with FireAde. To learn more about this fire extinguisher even a child can use  visit:


During National Fire Prevention Week, October 8 – 14, 2017 attention is focused on promoting fire safety and prevention, however we should practice fire safety all year long. Many potential fire hazards go undetected because people simply do not take steps to fireproof their home.

National Fire Prevention Week (October 8-14, 2017)

Stay Safe With These Fire Prevention Tips

Many bedroom fires are caused by misuse or poor maintenance of electrical devices, careless use of candles, smoking in bed, and children playing with matches and lighters.

Most potential hazards can be addressed with a little common sense. For example, be sure to keep flammable items like bedding, clothes and curtains at least three feet away from portable heaters or lit candles, and never smoke in bed. Also, items like appliances or electric blankets should not be operated if they have frayed power cords, and electrical outlets should never be overloaded.

 Fire Safety Checklist:

  • Install and maintain a working smoke alarm outside of every sleep area and remember to change the battery at least once a year.
  • Designate two escape routes from each bedroom and practice them regularly.
  • Teach everyone the “Stop, Drop, and Roll” technique in case clothing catches on fire.
  • Avoid storing old mattresses in the home or garage.
  • Teach kids that matches, lighters and candles are tools, not toys. If you suspect that a child is playing with fire, check under beds and in closets for telltale signs like burned matches. Matches and lighters should be stored in a secure drawer or cabinet.


What Is A Stanley #1 Odd Jobs?

The Stanley #1 Odd Jobs was a tool produced by the Stanley Works from 1888 to the 1930s. It combined features of sundry tools, in a single pocketable tool, including:

The name Odd Jobs denotes that the tool does many kinds of sundry tool roles. Its closest cousin among common, modern tools, is the combination square, which shares with the Odd Job the functions of scribing, squaring, level/plumb, and the sliding and locking precision steel ruler. However, the Odd Jobs still has some unique functions in its total package, including the compass, and compensated gauging.

Although Stanley cease production of the Odd Job in the 1930s, the Garrett Wade tool company revived the tool in 1996, and currently produces Odd Jobs according to the original Stanley design, in two different sizes.[1]


Getting Your Firewood Ready Now

Wood burning is a great way to heat your home or for outdoor fires, but firewood is bulky and can take up a lot of space. Fortunately, firewood storage is not very complicated. It may seem like storing wood is a no brainer, you just put it somewhere, cover it up, and be done with it until it’s time to burn it. It actually is almost that simple, but there are a few things you should know to avoid potential problems and to have the best quality wood.

The main objectives, when storing firewood, are to keep your wood safe, clean, dry and convenient.

First you should check with your local government bureaucrats and/or the fire department to check if there are any zoning laws or recommendations in your area regarding storing firewood. In some areas, firewood is required to be stored certain distances away from structures. The idea is if the wood was to catch fire, it could be a danger to nearby structures. In wildfire prone areas this is especially important.

Drying Firewood and Keeping it Dry For proper wood burning, your wood should be dry. If you have wet or green wood, you are going to want to store it in way that helps it to dry. The most important thing you can do to allow your wood to dry is give it plenty of air circulation.

I see people making this common mistake. They get a load of wet or green wood and the first thing they do is cover the whole pile with a tarp. In trying to keep it dry, what they are actually doing is inhibiting air circulation and ensuring it will stay wet. If your wood is wet or green, leave it uncovered out in the sun, if possible. This way the sun and air can dry it.

Once the wood is dry, you will then want it covered if it there is going to be wet weather. Storing wood in a shed is great, or any covered area. That will be drier and more convenient than leaving it outside under a tarp. But if you don’t have an appropriate structure, you can leave it outside and cover the wood with a tarp.

Stacking Firewood  Should you stack firewood or leave it in a big heaping pile? That is up to you. I leave most of my wood in a pile. But then I produce wood commercially so it becomes too big of a job to stack that much wood. But for what a person would use to heat their home, it is often worth stacking the wood.

Stacking firewood can help the wood dry faster. It helps to keep it off the ground and up in the air where it can be exposed to better air circulation and sun, where available. Stacked wood also looks nicer and takes up less space and has a smaller footprint.



Don’t Floss And Flush

When it comes to what is and isn’t allowed to go down your toilet, the answer is simple: flush toilet paper, pee, poo and nothing else. Of course, not everyone abides by those rules. 

But there’s one unexpected item that you might not know is clogging your pipes: dental floss. 

Dental floss is made of nylon or Teflon and isn’t biodegradable. Because it doesn’t break down, it can cause serious clogs and environmental damage when flushed down your home toilet.

When dental floss flushes down your toilet, it can wrap around hair, toilet paper, wipes, and anything else you flush down the pipes. 

“When [floss gets] go into the wastewater system they end up balling up into these big clumps and getting the workings of our system stuck or broken,” Andrea Pook, spokeswoman for the East Bay Municipal Utility District, told HuffPost. 

“Floss can combine with other items, such as single-use wipes (like baby wipes), and form balls that can grow quite sizable and can clog sewers and pumps,” Rosales-Ramirez told HuffPost. ”Sometimes these items also combine with tree roots and grease and create huge problems for sewer systems.”

The spokesperson added, “So even a small item like dental floss that does not break down in the sewer can contribute to a problem. These materials sometimes can cause sewage spills, which threaten public health and water quality. And this results in the need for local agencies that own and operate sewer systems to spend more money on maintenance to keep the sewers and pumps clear.”

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