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Ten Things You Need for a More Eco-Friendly Home

by Safe Home Team 19. June 2009 10:16

Today we are lucky to live in a world with amazing technologies, easy transportation, and megastores full of consumer products. However, this is also taking a toll on Mother Earth. Being a conscientious consumer will improve your carbon footprint, and probably even save you cash in the long run. Here is a list of our top ten things to make your home safer, greener, and more economical.

1. Energy Consumption Monitor

According to Google, knowing how much energy you use can save you 5%-15% on your monthly energy bill, and those households that reduce their electricity use by 10% in a year has the same carbon emission reduction value of a whole consumer car. Well, keeping yourself aware of your consumption rates is actually quite easy and cost-effective. Your average energy consumption monitor, such as the Kill A Watt Electrical Usage Power Meter, can retail between $30-$50, and accurately measure consumption within 0.02%. Place them in each room, and you’ll be able to monitor which appliance is your biggest energy sucker. Replacing an electricity-guzzling fridge with a newer, more efficient model could knock that 10% right off this year’s bill!

2. Surge Protectors

Surge protectors are invaluable in keeping your electronics safe from device-frying electrical surges. However, they are also handy in cutting down on energy consumption in your home. You see, anything that you have plugged in throughout the house is essentially “on” even when it is “off.” There is a phenomenon known as “phantom energy” at play. “Phantom energy” is the electricity that continues to be consumed by appliances when they are not in use, and it accounts for around 5% of a home’s energy consumption. However, running around unplugging everything is time consuming! Instead, plugging appliances into surge protectors is a great alternative. Simply clicking the “on” and “off” cuts down significantly on phantom energy use.

3. Dehumidifier

In the months of hot, sticky weather, it’s easy to crank up your air conditioning, which leads to tremendous energy output and high electric bills. However, a large part of the discomfort comes from increased humidity during the summer. Counteract this problem with some well-placed dehumidifiers. The Eva-Dry Petite Dehumidifier works wonders in medium sized rooms and barely takes up a corner. Combine this with an overhead or standing fan to significantly cut back on your AC reliance.

 

4. Tap Lights

Do you ever get up in the middle of the night to use the restroom, fumbling from room to room flipping on lights and squinting against the glare? Guess what, there is a better alternative. They are called tap lights – small lights that plug into wall outlets to illuminate your path. A superior option is the Lentek LED Motion Sensor Lights. Movement in the room triggers the light so it isn’t on all the time. Plus, it uses energy (and retina!) friendly LED bulbs for greater energy efficiency. The Lentek light also works great as a closet or garage light.

 

 

5. Water Purifiers

Bottled water is the single largest growth area in the beverage industry (MSNBC), and it’s showing up in our landfills. Less than 15% of plastic water bottles make it into recycling, which means there are millions of pounds of plastic waste just sitting in the landfills. However, there has been no tangible proof that drinking bottled water is healthier than tap water. In fact, most bottled water is tap water, and the industry is doing us far more harm than good. Do your part to cut out this unnecessary waste by drinking purified tap water out of reusable bottles. You can be sure that you aren’t ingesting anything you shouldn’t by using a water filter. One of the handiest is this Sports Bottle with a water filter. It holds 22 oz. of water, and comes with a replaceable filter. You can stay hydrated all day without harming the earth.

6. Air Purifier

Oxygen is our life source, so we want to make sure that the air we breathe is clean. However, pollutants are unavoidable these days. Improve your home’s air quality by investing in some air purifiers. You can find them in all shapes and sizes, from the Air-in-Lite Air Purifier for just $69.00, to the most state-of-the-art, like the Airpura Microorganism Air Purifier. Also, keeping houseplants is a great natural air purifier, as plants “exhale” pure oxygen.

7. Natural Soaps

One of the least talked-about environmental issues is the use of petroleum products in soap, which is hazardous to both you and Mother Earth. Many mainstream soaps and cleaners are made with petroleum distillates, something the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) recommends only be handled while wearing rubber gloves. Meaning, we are often using chemicals that the EPA considers volatile to clean our bodies. Plus, it is another way that we are tapping into our already dwindling supply of petroleum. Instead, use a vegetable based soap, such as Kirk’s Natural Soaps. Kirk’s makes both liquid and bar soaps, so there is something for every shower style.

8. Non-Toxic Cleaners

Even harsher than your body soaps are your household cleaners. Most cleaners are made with volatile bleaches and ammonia that can be harmful to inhale or ingest, especially by small children who may put their mouths on surfaces with cleaner residue. Replacing harsh commercial cleaners with safe, non-toxic cleaners will significantly improve the air quality of your home. Bona Kemi makes a series of hardwood floor cleaners that work wonders on any hard surface, including glass. Plus, they are free of toxic chemicals and are completely neutral. They also make refills for their spray bottles, which helps cut down on packaging waste.

 

9. Reusable Cleaning Rags

About seven trees are cut down per person per year, and up to one of those trees can be accounted for by the use of virgin fiber paper towels (meaning those not made form recycled materials). This quantity can be greatly reduced by using washable rags in place of paper towels for cleaning and wiping up spills. Old t-shirts or cloth diapers work fine, but you can also find inexpensive microfiber rags designed specifically for house cleaning. StarFiber makes cloths that are highly absorbent and have a scrubber side. Also, look into dust mops with reusable instead of disposable mop heads, such as the Bona Kemi Floor Mop. Not only will you significantly reduce waste, but it will also lighten the load on your pocketbook, as you won’t always be buying paper towels and dusters. Perhaps you will be inspired to use some of that savings to plant new trees to offset your contribution to deforestation even further!

10. Clothes Line/Drying Rack

One of the biggest energy gobblers in your home is the dryer. Whether run by electricity or gas, it is unnecessarily using up fossil fuels. So, when you can, line dry! It leaves your clothes smelling fresh, and you don’t have to worry about shrinking duds. Those that live in an apartment or a climate that is cold several months out of the year can always purchase an indoor drying rack, such as the Hamilton Beach 8 Garment Drying Station, which comes with an attached fan that uses less energy than a single light bulb.

Tags:

General | Green Cleaning Products | Home Health | How To Guide

Ten Things for a Safe and Secure Vehicle!

by Safe Home Team 11. June 2009 05:11

We spend a lot of time in our cars these days. Whether commuting to work every day or traveling to visit family and friends often, we rack up almost as many hours in our vehicles as we do our own homes. Below are 10 items to keep in your car to help you feel safe and secure in your home away from home.


Air purifier plugs into car cigarette lighter1. Air Purifiers

In today’s society, we travel mostly on heavily trafficked streets and highways, through pollutants and pollen, and any other number of particles from items we bring into the vehicle. These things can complicate asthma or simply make the interior of your car stinky and uncomfortable. Breath easier by putting an extra air purifier in your vehicle. You can purchase purifiers that simply plug into your cigarette lighter, such as the Wein Air Supply Cigarette-Lighter Plug-in Air Purifier.  In about 10 minutes, this little device will clean up to 90% of road pollutants from the interior of your car.


Garmin GlobalSat GPS for the auto2. GPS

Perhaps one of the best investments you can make for your safety and sanity while on the road is a GPS. Type in your destination, and your GPS will give you turn-by-turn directions, detecting if you’ve made a wrong turn and sets you back on course. Plus, most come with mounts to secure it to your dashboard or windshield. One of the most cost effective is the Garmin GlobalSat. It contains street level mapping of the US, Canada, and Mexico with a database of over 1,000,000 points of interest. Never again will you waste energy and fuel driving in circles around your destination.


Escape hammer quickly breaks car window in emergency3. Escape Hammer

Probably one of the most overlooked car safety devices, the escape hammer can also be one of the most life saving. In the event of a car accident, every second counts; especially if you are submerged in water or your car’s electrical has failed. Keep at least one escape hammer within arms length at all times. Check out the Original Life Hammer, which comes with a razor sharp cutter for your seat belt. Another good option is the Res-Q-Me Keychain Emergency Hammer that is small enough to comfortably carry on your keychain.


Deer avoidance system for the car4. Deer Avoidance System

With deer populations exploding every year, the number of deer-related auto accidents is also rising, with vehicle damage typically being over $2,800. Plus, many insurance companies will drop you after repeated deer hits (bad news for Pennsylvania, which is the number one state for deer collisions!). However, this can be avoided by installing a deer avoidance system in your vehicle; which reduces your chance of a deer collision by up to 70% (good news for Pennsylvania!). Look into the Hornet Deer Avoidance System. It releases a precision tuned sonic generator to warn deer and other animals that you are coming through. When they hear the pulse, deer typically stop and bolt another direction.


Flasligh plugs into car cigarette lighter to quickly recharge5. Rechargeable Flashlight

A flashlight can be a real lifesaver, whether you’re in a nighttime accident or you simply dropped something important under your seat. The QuickLite DashLite Rechargeable Flashlight is great for in-car safety. It plugs right into your cigarette lighter to be charged and ready to use at any time, with a life-span of up to 5 years – that’s more than 100 AA batteries!


Split cigarette lighter socket into multiple sockets including usb port6. Socket Splitter

With all the devices you can add to your vehicle for comfort and entertainment, one or two cigarette lighter sockets may not be enough.  Purchasing a socket splitter is an easy and economical way to make up for it. They even make splitters with a USB port for your MP3 players or PDAs, such as the Wagan Twin USB/DC Device. It saves on having to buy more adapters for the USB ports.

 


Automotive resource kit for when an accident happens 7. Accident Documentation Kit

For even the lightest of fender benders, proper documentation of the accident can more than useful when making insurance claims. Keep an accident documentation kit in your car or glove box at all times.  The AcciDent Auto Kit is a great option, as it comes with a form with questions your insurance company will need answers to, a place for the names and address for all involved, a disposable camera, and measuring tape to measure the extent of damages. Since emotions run high and memory can be faulty, having all the information down immediately after the accident with both parties involved can save on confusion and possible legal troubles.


Wedge heated seat cushion for your car8. Seat Cushion

No matter themodel, long hours in your car can make for a tired hiney. Take some stress of your bottom with a wedge seat cushion. It promotes better posture by tilting your pelvis forward, restoring the natural s-curve of your lower back. If back pain or long hours aren’t your issue, you can also find a variety of temperature control seat cushions. For winter, there are all kinds of heated seat cushions. What is there for hot weather, you ask? Wagan makes an air circulating seat cushion to help keep your back cool on hot days.

 


Protect your pets in the car with the heat alarm9. Canine Heat Alarm

If you are a dog owner, your pet probably spends some time in your vehicle. However, hot weather can make your car a dangerous place for Fido. Make sure your car or RV is a healthy temperature by installing a canine heat alarm, such as the Radiotronics K9 Heat Alarm. If the interior of your vehicle reaches a temperature unsafe for your dog, it causes your horn to blow as a warning signal, with options for a beeper or pager if you’re out of earshot. You can also purchase accessories, such as a fan or a window drop module to keep your pet safe and comfortable while you head to his rescue.


portable battery charger for the car10. Battery Charger

A lot of people carry jumper cables in their trunks, which is incredibly helpful in the even of a dead battery. However, what happens when there is no other car to jump you? This is why it’s a good idea to have a vehicle battery charger stored in your trunk. If you’re in the middle of nowhere or simply someplace where nobody will help you out, you will always have a charge at your fingertips. A great one for lower cost is the Peak Linear Battery Charger. It has everything you need with a low price tag.

Tags:

Emergency Preparedness | General | How To Guide | Safety News | Travel

Ten Things to Prepare Your Home for Anything!

by Safe Home Team 5. June 2009 08:59

Home safety emergency preparedness means being ready if a disaster should hit (even when that disaster is a surprise visit from the in-laws), and you want to be ready for anything. Here is our list of the top ten items that will prepare your home for anything.

1. Radon and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Radon and other possible gas leaks can cause neurological damage, lung cancer, and even death. Make sure you home’s air quality is safe by installing radon and carbon monoxide detectors around the house. The Safety Siren Pro 3 Electronic Radon Gas Detector is not a single-use remedy, but is capable of both short-term radon levels and long-term level averages. If you notice a strange smell coming from a specific spot, try the Hand-Held Portable Gas Leak Detector. It can be directed at the spot in question for quick detection. It’s an affordable way to ease your mind when you wonder whether or not to call the gas company.

2. First Aid Kit

Always have a well-stocked first aid kit available to grab at a moment’s notice. This is the easiest, cheapest, and best way to be prepared in the case of a medical emergency. When it is in kit form, it can be easily transported on picnics and during travel. An example of a well-stocked kit is the 25-person First Aid Kit, and there are larger kits for greater needs. You never know when you, or a houseguest, could end up with minor scrapes or bumps.

3. Emergency Survival Kit

If all of this seems a bit overwhelming, a great place to start is by purchasing an emergency survival kit, such as this one by Survivor Industries. It has everything you need to survive until rescue comes, including a survival guide full of information on how to get through any emergency situation. Plus, it comes in one easy carrying case for simple storage.

4. Fire Ladders

Fires are the most common home disaster. If you have a multi-story home or live in an apartment or condo, it is a good idea to purchase fire ladders for upstairs sections of the home. The folks at ResQ Ladder have a complete line of products that will get you out the window and safely to the ground from any second- to sixth-story window. Plus, they come with their own case to make for easy storage.

5. Smoke Hoods

Most house fire related deaths are due to smoke inhalation. Give yourself some breathing room to get out by placing smoke hoods under everyone’s beds. Safe Escape Fire and Smoke Hood makes some highly effective, easily storable hoods. Clear heads must prevail in a fire emergency, and these hoods provide 60 minutes of clean air to breathe. The advantages of having them available are priceless, and can be bought one-at-a-time, or in a case of two or six hoods. You should have enough for your family, plus some extra for houseguests.

6. Weather Radio

In the event of a natural disaster or power outage, you may lose power but still need weather updates. Keep a weather radio on hand, such as the Oregon Scientific WR602 Emergency Alert Radio. It will keep you aware of emergency weather and evacuations in your area. Plus, it’s portable, so you can take it with you when you’re hiking, camping, or canoeing.

7. Back-up Lighting

During stormy times, power outages can be a real hindrance, especially at night. You should have an array of flashlights and extra batteries on hand. Even better than the regular halogen flashlights are lamps with an LED light, such as the Viatek Dynamo Hybrid Mini-Lanterns. The batteries last longer than on halogen bulbs, and it comes with a hand crank to charge the internal battery.

8. Clean Water

Safe water in an emergency can be a literal life saver. The recent national disasters have made us all a little more aware of the need for water. You can always keep pure water packets or handheld filter pumps on hand. Another great option is the AquaPod Kit Emergency Water Storage. Holding 65 gallons when completely full, the AquaPod allows you store enough clean water for the whole family while you wait for rescue.

9. Food Rations

In emergencies such as natural disasters, you never know how long you will be in one place until rescue. Therefore, it is always good to have a ration of nonperishable food items that are canned or freeze dried. They will keep longer and provide the proper nutrients while you’re stranded. You can also purchase food rations made just for emergencies, such as these by Mainstay. They are energy bars packed with the nutrients necessary to get through the day.

10. Grab Bars for the Commode

You never know who is going to come visit, so you should be prepared for any houseguest. It’s a good idea to place grab bars in at least one bathroom in your home, especially the one used most by guests. Whether you host elderly parents or grandparents or even someone with a broken leg, your bathroom is accessible for all of your guests.

Tags:

Emergency Preparedness | General | Home Health | How To Guide

Ten Items You Need for Effective Childproofing

by Safe Home Team 4. June 2009 08:50

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, unintentional injury is the leading cause of death in children under the age of fourteen, and over 45% of those injuries occur within the home.  However, there are some simple steps you can take to prevent these accidents. We have compiled a list of ten items that will help keep your home a safe place for your children and their friends.

childproof your home to keep baby safe from danger

1. Child Safety Gateschild safety gate can help babyproof home

Over one-third of accident related ER visits by children under fourteen were due to falls. Properly placed child safety gates can be key in the prevention of falls and injury in the home. The hot spots to place child safety gates are at the top or and bottom of stairs (both indoor and outdoor), entryways to rooms you don’t want children to wander, and any room in the house that has power cords, ingestible poisons, and sharp objects. he more you limit where they wander, the less likely they are to get into dangers when you're not looking.

Banister guards to protect baby from banisters, staircases and outdoor decks2. Banister Guards & Deck Netting

As a good supplement to child safety gates, you should install banister guards and deck netting. They close off open areas where little bodies can slip through. This includes open areas between spindles staircases, lofts, and on an outdoor deck or porch. The KidShield Indoor Banister Guard is made with medical grade, non-toxic plasic That is easy to install. For outdoor decks and porches, purchase some deck netting. It is just as effective as the banister guards, but more resistant to outdoor elements.

window guard3. Window Guards

There are times when your child will be left alone, usually when he or she is sleeping.  In rooms where your child may be left alone, install window guards to prevent your little one from climbing out the window. There are metal bar guards that will all you to keep a window open without the worry of your child being able to push through, or, god forbid, someone else getting in. You also have the option of a window stop, which keeps little hands from being able to push open windows and doors.

baby bumbers protect baby from sharp edges4. Baby Bumpers

Sharp edges are en inevitable part of a home’s construction. There are corners, table edges, hearths, and molding that are potential hazards for cuts and scrapes.  Dulling sharp edges and corners will maximize your children’s safety in the home. Fortunately there are a variety of tools to help you dull sharp edges, such as bumpers and edge cushion padding. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes for different safety needs.  Also, if your home has a stone hearth, your child will want to use it as a walking tool.  Get some hearth bumpers so your child has a safe place to practice his or her walking.

5. Drawer and Fridge Locks

Little ones are always exploring. However, in the kitchen this can be dangerous, as we store a number of sharp objects and poisons in that room. Install childproof latches on all cabinet doors and drawers, not just the ones that contain hazardous materials and sharp objects, as you never know what a small child can turn into a weapon (eek!). You should also install a fridge lock to keep little hands out of big messes. You may want to pick one cabinet that remains unlatched that is filled with non-hazardous items, such as plastic food containers, pots, and pans.  Sure, you may be opening yourself up to a lot of racket, but having a cabinet that your child can explore will distract him or her from other hazards around the kitchen. These should also be installed on bathroom cabinets, as personal care products are the most common types of ingested poisons.

anti toppple straps safely secure appliances from toppling onto baby6.  Anti-topple Straps

Part of a child’s curiosity is getting at what he or she can see, which means items on countertops. A toddler will want to pull everything off! Avoid using placemats that your child can grab, and keep appliances out of reach or properly secured.  Additionally, unplug smaller appliances and push them out of reach when you’re not using them.  For larger items, like your microwave or bread maker, you can buy anti-topple straps that anchor the appliances to the wall.  No matter how hard your child pulls, it will stay safely on the counter.

baby proof your outlet covers with sliding doors7. Outlet Covers

Small children love to make things “fit.” Matching blocks to their proper shape slots is one of the most popular children’s’ toys. However, this goes for outlets as well. Kids want to put fingers, toys, silverware, or anything else they can shove in there. This is a major safety hazard. Children can be electrocuted in seconds. If you have any unused outlets in your home, place an outlet cover plate on them. Most screw right in place of the plate and make it impossible for a child to access. As an added bonus, covered outlets increase insulation and decrease energy consumption!

Button protectors to keep baby from pushing the buttons on your electronics8. Home Electronics Covers

Childproofing does not always mean protecting your child from your home; sometimes you have to protect your home from your child!  Kids love to push buttons and pull cords.  This can leave you with a very expensive computer or flat screen with nothing but a giant ERROR message.  However, you can purchase button protectors that are made especially for your flat screen TV, PC tower, or any other home electronics. They will keep little fingers off the buttons, so the only people in the house that can mess up the electronics are the adults!

Smoke, radon and co2 detectors help protect your home from danger9. Smoke, Radon, and CO2 Detectors

In reviewing your child safety checklist, you may overlook an important one:  working smoke, radon, and CO2 detectors.  You never know when a house fire may strike.  The only way you can assure your children’s safety is by early detection and proper planning.  Work out escape routes, and, if your children are old enough, practice safety drills once a month.  Additionally, working CO2 and Radon detectors are necessary, as CO2 and Radon poisoning will affect children much more quickly than it will adults.  This is a particularly important safety measure if you live in a home with gas or oil heat or if you have an attached garage.

10. First Aid Kit

If you have children, they are inevitably going to get scraped up, so you should always have a fully stocked first aid kit on hand. It should include, at the very least Stock a first aid kit in the home
•    Band-aids
•    Gauze pads
•    Medical tap
•    Antiseptic wipes
•    Burn cream
•    Splints
•    Scissors
•    Tweezers
•    Latex gloves.
Go through your first aid kit every six months to make sure that nothing is expired.

Tags:

Child Safety | General | How To Guide

Ten Items to Help With Your Elder Home Care

by Safe Home Team 1. June 2009 13:27

When you’re caring for an again parent or spouse, you have many different things to worry about.  Medications are distributed at different times, you are concerned with their mobility, and, most of all, you want your family member to feel comfortable in his or her home. We have compiled a list of ten things that will help keep your home care organized, simple, and safe for everyone.

Safety

 

1. Anti-Slip Aides

When mobility is an issue, it makes a fall all the more dangerous. The first thing to do is to take care of slipping hazards. Remove loose area rugs or put anti-slip pads under them.  Also, treat bathtubs and hard surface floors with an anti-slip solution such as Grip-On. Once treated, the floor looks and feels perfectly normal, just safer! However, the best thing you can do is to add grab bars by toilets and in the shower. It will help to keep your elderly resident safe and independently mobile.

2. First Aid Kit

Nurse and Elderly WomanEven with proper prevention tactics, falls, scrapes, and burns can occur to anyone in the house. Make sure your first aid kit is always properly stocked with bandages, gauze pads, medical tape, antiseptic, splints, tourniquets, pain killers, heat packs and cold packs. With an elderly patient in the house, you may want to add an Abduction Pillow. If they suffer a fall, it will be particularly important to make sure that they don’t move. The Abduction Pillow will help prevent further injury.

3. Patient Alarm

When caring for someone at home, it is impossible to be with them every second. However, in the event of an emergency, every second still counts. It is wise to have a patient alarm available. You can get them in a pull cord design, where the cord is clipped to the patient’s clothing, and if the cord is pulled it sounds the alarm. If you are caring for someone who is not mobile or suffers from dementia, you may want to get a pad alarm, which you can place on a chair or bed. If a person stands up or falls, then the alarm will sound.

Health

 

4. Blood Pressure Monitor

When caring for the elderly, closely monitoring their health is very important. A particularly important investment is in a blood pressure monitor. Rising or falling blood pressure can be an early symptom of a variety of problems, so checking it regularly will stay on top of changes in the body. There are plenty of great at-home blood pressure monitors, such as the Life Source Digital Blood Pressure Monitor, which takes accurate, easy-to-read measurements, and stores up to 7 of your last readings so you can track progress.

5. Pill Organizer

Most elder care patients have several different medications that need to be taken at specific times. Keeping track of it can be difficult. Purchasing an organizer can save a huge headache, as dosages can be allotted in advance. A particularly handy pill organizer is one that comes with an alarm, such as the MedReady Basic Alarm Pill Dispenser. It comes with 28 compartments. It is programmable to dispense the dosage only when it is time to take the medication, and is locked so other dosages are accessible. This can be helpful in dementia and Alzheimer’s patients who may take medications when they shouldn’t.

6. Pill Crusher

Pills can be difficult, if not impossible, to swallow for some elderly patients. It is definitely worth investing in a good pill crusher. If he or she takes multiple medications, thoroughly clean the crusher between uses as some medications react poorly together. To be extra safe, buy a few different pill crushers. A great one for multiple-pill takers is the Metal Pill Crusher. It is simple to use, even for arthritic hands, and you can crush the medication into disposable cups to prevent mixing medications.

Comfort

 

7. Wedge Cushion for Seats

One of the most important parts of being home-cared is being comfortable. However, reduced mobility can make this difficult. Whether due to surgeries, or simply due to age, getting up and down from a seated position can be difficult.  The quickest way to fix that issue is with some wedge cushions.  The added firmness helps alleviate back pain, and the wedge design makes it easier to get up and down. Many come with the coccyx wedge cut out to really take the strain off your tailbone.  The Memory Foam Coccyx Wedge Cushion is a great example, and even comes with a handy carrying strap for easy transport.

8. Wheelchair Covers

Most wheelchairs are designed for function, not softness, and the hard seat of the chair can exhaust already tired backs and behinds. Fortunately, there are many wheelchair covers designed to help alleviate the pressure. Lambswool wheelchair covers are durable, soft, and absorb perspiration. Plus, lambswool acts as a natural disinfectant, so it won’t build bacteria between washings. For extra comfort, add some lambswool armrest covers.

9. Mattress Pads

If you are caring for someone who is primarily bed-ridden, purchasing a mattress pad is essential. Egg crate mattress pads are particularly effective in relieving and preventing sores acquired from long hours in bed. It also provides added firmness and softness for sore joints and muscles. For those with incontinence, you may want to pair it with a Protect-a-Bed Waterproof Allergy Mattress Cover.  It’s made with 100% cotton and protects the mattress against bacteria and dust mites. It’s lightweight and fast drying, as opposed to the rubber mattress pads.

10. Hearing Amplifiers

As people age, they lose the ability to hear at certain decibels, which can be frustrating, especially on the phone. There are hearing amplifying phones you can buy such as the Hearing Easy Amplified Phone or the Clear Sounds Expandable Handset, which will improve voice quality for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. For those that could use an overall hearing boost look into the SuperEar Powerful Ear Amplifier, which has a directional microphone to let the user aim at the sound he or she wants louder.

Tags:

General | Home Health | How To Guide | Indoor

Top-Ten Items For a Safe Summer!

by Safe Home Team 28. May 2009 08:55

The warmer months mean backyard barbeques, outdoor fun, and long days to spend in the sun. It’s wonderful to get swept up in relaxation and recreation, but you also still need to be mindful of the little dangers and discomforts that the new season brings. In this article, we will give you the Top-Ten items you need to make your home safe, simple, and comfortable all summer!

Backyard Health

 

1. Pest Repellents

Spending time in your backyard is one of the real joys of summertime, especially if you’ve put long hours into a beautiful garden. However, those hours can turn into delicious meals for the neighborhood wildlife, such as moles, deer, and rabbits. Make sure not to let that time go to waste by putting repellents around.  Be careful in your purchasing, as many repellents can be harmful to the land you’ve cultivated. Try a sonic mole chaser such as the Super Sonic Mole Chaser, which is made from aluminum and runs on D cell batteries, or the Sol Mate Mole and Gopher Chaser, a solar powered repellent that stores energy up to five days.  If you still prefer the granules, go with something environmentally safe, such as the Mole Scram, Deer Scram, or Rabbit Scram Granular Repellents. They made with Castor Oil, Citronella Oil, Garlic Oil, and Peanut Hulls to keep the pests out while not affecting the health of the earth.

2. Rain Gauges

Rain Gauge An important part of having a great backyard garden is making sure your plants get the right amount of water. Too little, and all your hard work will by dry and shriveled. Too much, and you have nothing but pools of sad mud. Get a rain gauge to monitor the amount of water your garden receives from Mother Earth. You can get decorative gauges for your garden or more high tech gauges for indoors. The Honeywell Wireless Rain Gauge is one of the coolest on the market. It give you a seven-day read out, so even if you’ve been out of town – or just forgot to pay attention – then you can see exactly how much rain your plants got throughout the week. Plus, it has a handy indoor temperature read out.

3. Safe, Effective Mosquito Traps

Once you have a safe, beautiful garden, you want to be able to enjoy it. But when you’re getting eaten alive by mosquitoes and other blood-sucking insects, it’s difficult to relax! There are plenty of bug spraysand topical solutions out there that go directly on your skin, but for a backyard garden you may want to consider purchasing a mosquito trap. There are a lot of propane traps on the market, but perhaps one of the most effective, and environmentally safe, ways to keep mosquitoes away is with the Electric Mosquito Trap Champion by Kooltron Half Acre. There is less harmful energy output than its gas-powered counterparts, while still being incredibly effective and easy to clean. It’s also completely quiet – no humming or zapping. Just make sure you get your trap going early. They are designed to attract females to keep the insects from multiplying.

4. Mosquito Bite Soother

You may have your Kooltron Mosquito Trap in your backyard garden, but that won’t help if you leave the sanctity of your own property. Mosquito bites are preventable, but unfortunately they still occur. Make sure to have itch soother around the house at all times to take care of those hot spots. One of our favorites is the Itch Smoother Mosquito Bite Remedy. It uses localized heat to zap irritated areas. It is more effective than the average topical antihistamine, and it doesn’t leave pink blotches all over your skin!



Home Health

 

5. Fruit Fly Traps

Keeping your food safe is vital to your home’s health. If you have fresh fruits and vegetables around – and I hope you do! – fruit flies and other small insects will treat them as their own.  Setting fruit fly and moth pantry traps around is the easiest way to get rid of them. One of our favorites is the Contech Fruit Fly Trap. It is non-toxic and 100% pesticide free, which is a good thing to have for something you’re putting near your food. Remember, even if you get rid of all the bugs in your kitchen, you still want to thoroughly wash produce before eating it, especially if it is commercially grown. You never know what kind of chemicals or viruses are left over from previous handlers.

6. Bug Vacuum

Rain GaugeYour kitchen and pantry aren’t the only places insects lurk. Check all your nooks, crannies, corners, and drapes for hidden homes and clusters of larvae. Get rid of them, or the problem will never be fixed! While you can use sprays to kill bugs if you desire, we prefer chemical-free alternatives. Check out the Lentek Bug Vacuum. It’s a rechargeable vacuum built specifically for taking care of the bugs in your home. Also, the Lentek Electronic Racket Zapper is your flyswatter 2.0. It has a charged racket head that kills insects on contact. No more Karate Kid precision needed to swat those flying insects!

7. Dehumidifier

Another way to keep bugs and bacteria out of your home during the summer is by controlling the level of humidity in your home. When moisture in the air builds up, mold and mildew thrives on it. Installing dehumidifiers around your house will help to decrease this harmful build up. The best part? You can cut down on the energy output by your air conditioning with strategically placed dehumidifiers. This means less waste and less money spent. These days, there isn’t enough of either around. They come in all sizes, so for smaller rooms dry the Eva-Dry Mini-Dehumidifier.

8. Mold Alert System

Rain Gauge So how do you know if your home is too humid? Well, most molds and bacteria prosper at relative humidity levels of 65% and over. Consider placing mold alert systems in areas of concern, such as kitchens, pantries, and basements. The Mold Alert Digital Thermo-Hygrometer is as high tech as its name. It monitors room temperature, relative humidity, and dew point. Once the relative humidity exceeds 65%, an alert sounds to let you know it’s time to crank up your dehumidifier.



9. Houseplant Moisture Meters

The change in season can also make it difficult to keep track of how much water your houseplants need. How do you strike a balance? Grab yourself a water meter to prevent over watering. A favorite is the Dr. Frog Electronic Plant Moisture Meter. Not only is it adorable, but also it lets you know when your plants need watering. So even the plants you always forget about in the guest room won’t be neglected.

10. Smoke, Radon, and CO2 Alarms

smoke alarmNo matter the season, it is important to have working smoke, radon, and carbon monoxide alarms in your home.  Most people with any sense have working smoke alarms in their homes. However, radon adn carbon monoxide are silent hazards, particularly in older homes. Many older homes have gas dryers with a three inch exhaust, instead of the now-mandatory four-inch ones. This may contribute to a lethal dose of carbon monoxide in the home, particularly for small children or elderly adults. Install alarms, such as the CoStar 9 Volt Carbon Monoxide Alarm on each floor of your home.

 

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Home and Garden | Home Health | How To Guide | Indoor | Outdoor

Top Ten Items for Simple Puppy Care!

by Safe Home Team 27. April 2009 08:00

puppies

Congratulations! You’ve decided to add to your family by bringing home a new puppy. Pets are an endless source of love and entertainment. Love your dog back by making sure it is properly fed, watered, trained, and cared for. You will need a lot of patience and the proper tools. While we can’t be there to calm you down when Fido eats your favorite shoes, we can make sure you have the right equipment. Below are ten items that will make training and care much easier.

1. Pet Feeder with Timer

Getting your puppy the proper amount of food is a balancing act. They need to fill their tummies, but puppies typically don’t know when to stop eating. Talk to your vet, shelter, or breeder to find out how much the dog should be getting per day based on its size and breed, and make sure you feed it at the same time every day. Investing in a programmable feeder will take away this worry. The Ergo Automated Pet Feeder is one of our favorites. It comes in small, medium, or large, so you’ll be able to find one for any breed. If your puppy is a fast eater, looking into the EatBetter Bowl. It’s designed to encourage your puppy to take smaller bites.

2. Clean Water for your Pet

An often-overlooked source of germs is the puppy’s water bowl.  To make sure you maximize your puppy’s health, wipe it out each refill with some kind of disinfectant. Pick a natural one, such as vinegar, as your puppy will ingest it. To save yourself some hassle, consider purchasing a waterer with a filtration system – such as the Ergo Pet Oasis Automatic Pet Waterer, which comes in small, medium, and large. It has a filtration system similar to your Brita pitcher. You can be sure that your pet is getting water just as clean as yours. Plus, the constant stream of oxygenated water constantly cleans the bowl, ridding it of harmful bacteria and viruses.

3. Pet Bed

Puppy BedEveryone needs a place that is just his or hers, and your dog is no exception.  Provide a cozy resting spot by getting a comfy, size appropriate bed made with natural fibers, such as lambs wool.  You will certainly want one with a removable cover so you can throw it in the washing machine about once a week. For added comfort, you may want to invest in a heated or cooling pad if you live in an area that gets particularly hot or cold. Allied Precision makes some fabulous heated beds and mats in any size you need. The Cool III Pet Water Bed is one of the best cooling pads on the market for comfort and durability.

4. Housebreaking Aides

One of the most frustrating parts of being a new puppy parent is housebreaking. No matter how diligently you watch, the minute you turn your back Fido will inevitably piddle on the floor at some point. You may want to place some pet training pads near the door the dog goes out from. It will cut down on the messes that happen when the puppy is just too small to hold it. You could also consider installing dog doors so the puppy doesn’t have to wait to be let out. A cool alternative is the dog doorbell. You can place one by the door, and Fido rings to be let out or in!

5. Collar and Leash

Your puppy is going to need exercise to stay happy and healthy. Make sure it has a comfortable collar and leash.  As the puppy is learning, you may consider a retractable leash, such as the Flexi Retractable Leash. It will allow you to give the puppy some space, but pull him back if he wanders ahead.

 

6. Pet Confinement for Home and Travel

One of the best dog training tips we can give you is to invest in some pet gates. When your puppy is young, it is best to limit the areas in which it can roam, and sectioning those areas off with gates makes moving about the house much easier for you. It is especially important to use while potty training your dog.  If you have a larger breed, you can purchase pet gate extensions to keep him from jumping over. Any room with linoleum or tile floors would be ideal, as it makes cleaning up those inevitable accidents less of a chore. If you take the dog many places, consider getting a puppy playpen, such as the Home ‘N Go Pet Pen. If the puppy has a mess at someone else’s house, at least he’ll do it in the playpen.

7. Bark Stop Training Aides

Puppies bark. A lot. Just like any other baby, they’re just trying to figure how to best communicate with the family. You will want to teach your dog that barking is not acceptable or you’ll end up with one big head ache! If you want some quick results, you can go the route of the shock collar, such as the Innotek Smart Dog Professional No Bark Collar, which is one of the safest shock collars made. If you’re worried about the “shock,” there are sonic alternatives like the PetSafe Premium Ultralight Bark Control Collar. When the dog barks, it emits a high-pitched only audible to the dog. Put these on the puppy during times when it's particularly inapprorpiate for him to be barking, such as morning or night. Also, try to reinfornce it with a firm but calm, "Quiet!" Soon the puppy will associate the command with the behavior.

8. Indoor Boundaries Training Aides

Puppies want to be everywhere the humans or their food are. However, jumping on the furniture or “counter surfing” are difficult and annoying habits to break. As previously mentioned, pet gates are a great way to control your puppy's movement around the house. However, there are many more aides out there. Consider purchasing Scat Mats. They are static charged mats that you can place in front of sofas or counters. Eventually you can replace them with uncharged dummy mats, and in no time Fido will realize his boundaries.

9. A Brush

Regularly brushing your dog will make both you and the puppy happier and more comfortable. He will shed less, and pet odor won’t build. Using one with an ionizer, such as the Lentek Ion Pet Brush, will really help cut down on odor and dander. Plus, this brush has massaging qualities, so your dog will love grooming time! Ideally you want to brush the puppy daily as he gets older, but a few times a week is fine too.

10. Ear Scope

Keeping a dog’s ears healthy is incredibly important as it develops. However, infection, mites, and foxtails can get in there and cause damage. Make sure you wipe your puppy’s ears out every time you groom. To make sure that Fido’s ears are clean and healthy, investing in an ear scope is a good idea. If he seems to be scratching more than normal, you can look in and see what’s going on. Be sure to buy one that is specifically for pets, as they have the correct length of scope to see into doggie ears.


If you’re feeling overwhelmed, get it all in one place with the Complete Puppy Packages in either pink or blue. It has all the basics you need for bringing home a new puppy.

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How To Guide