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Healthier Living | Child Safety | Eco Friendly Tips

Window Blind or Window Shade Wraps Increase Safety for Children

by Barbara 8. June 2015 07:50

Question: "Please suggest how I can make window blinds and accordian shades more child safe. We cannot afford to have them all replaced. The cords are long. Thanks. Susan

Answer: We sell the Cardinal Gates Window Blind Cord Safety Wrap cord wrap that allows you to shorten exposed cords. We have only animals living in our home. We do have cats. The young Siamese ruined several duet shades by chewing on the cords (and climbing the shades). We installed Cardinal Gates window cord wraps on most of our shades. And opened the shades to the max to keep little Buddy from climbing.

These devices attach to your window glass, the frame or the wall using a very high bond adhesive. Made of clear plastic, the window blind cord wrap is hardly visible. It is a rounded oval shape,35 inches long and 1 inch wide in the middle. The cord wrap on the underside is 2 inches by just under a half inch. This size can handle long and or thick cords. You just wrap the cord around the cleat out of reach of animals and children. The clearness of the plastic and the installed heigh keep  a child's attention from cords. We actually installed ours very high so the cat (not de-clawed) cannot play with the window shade nor the cords. Do not install on non-racheting blinds. To lower or raise the shade unwrap to the desired length and then re-wrap around the holder. I mounted the wraps high on the window glass.

The Cardinal Gates Window Blind Cord Safety Wrap is made in China.

Thank you for your question. We do sell these in a bulk pack to save you money.

Sincerely,

Barbara

Practical Ideas to Reduce Heating and Cooling Bills Now and In the Future

by Barbara 4. February 2014 06:37

Question about how to reduce my energy bills without spending a lot of money.

Q: "My gas bills this winter almost doubled with the very cold weather. Can you give me some ideas about how to reduce my bills without being cold? Thanks. Phil"

Answer: First, contact your gas company to learn if they have a one time free energy audit available to customers. If not, I suggest you contact several insulation contractors in your area to give you their opinions about the R values in your attic and side walls. You may choose not to add additional insulation. With some rebates available in some areas, adding insulation may not be as expensive as you believe.

Next, check for air leakage from your unused electrical outlets that are on the outside walls of your home. Safe Home sells a variety of plugs and covers to reduce the leakage. For examples, look at the electrical outlet covers and sliding door outlet covers such as CoverPlug Duplex Outlet Cover for Electric Outlets, the Plug Guard Energy Saving Safety Outlet Cover, the IVORY STD 3-Prg 1 Screw Outlet Cover,6/PK, the Kiddy Cop Outlet Covers, Leviton 12777, 12/Box, or the Sockit Lockets.  We installed the Care Cover outlet covers one bitterly cold January years ago and learned how much cold air was blocked from entering our home.

If you choose outlet plugs, I suggest you purchase insulating covers that install behind each electrical outlet. To install, remove your current outlet cover, push the insulation around the plugs and replace the liner and the outlet plugs.

Use insulating foam around all water lines into your home. Make sure the "flaps" seal tightly on exhausts from clothes dryers.

Purchase a set back thermostat for your furnace. Many utility companies have a rebate to help pay for this unit.  Do remember that setting the temperature back means that time is required to get the temperature to a comfortable level. We learned in June 2013 that our original furnace was undersized: the new one comes up to daytime temperatures much faster. We keep our nightime temperature set at 68 degrees and daytime at 72 degrees. The natural gas fireplace keeps the family room comfortable on the below zero days and nights.

Change your furnace filters regularly. Choose a MERV rating that works with your furnace. Too high of a MERV rating means you'll not get much air through your filter. Safe Home filters have two layers of filtration. When the white layer gets gray, it is time to change the filter. The second layer filters out odors and chemicals; the first, dirt, dust and pollen. Safe Home filters come in one inch sizes that are self-sealing due to an internal frame and in 4 inch filters that have a self-sealing perimeter.

Use supplemental electric heaters where you need them. We suggest the ECO SAVE Ceramic Heater that is compact and efficient and used only 750 watts of electricity. If your feet get cold while the rest of you feels comfortable, then consider the Toasty Toes Heated Footrest.

If you have the money and your furnace is 15 or more years old, consider replacing the furnace. Make sure you get at least three bids. If the BTU ratings vary a lot, get another bid or two. YOu don't want an oversized furnace nor an undersized one (like the one we had for over 20 years).

We replaced both AC and the main furnace this summer with next to the highest efficiency units. (Total cost was $5400 less the rebates.) The new furnace is two stage, i.e. two blower speeds. We got rebates from both the gas and electric companies. Also we did not choose the most expensive units available. Sometimes you have to choose between a few thousand dollars and paying your HVAC person annual AC and heating tune-ups.

This past month we did use an electric ceramic heater set at 65 degrees F in our tiled bathroom and another one in the kitchen (ceramic flooring). That took the chill off in those rooms. Unfortunately, our new kitten has yet to learn to keep his claws in. So the insulated window shades remain up even in the cold weather. (A toss up between ripped shades and more insulation or keeping Buddy from climbing them.)

If you have other questions, please contact us.

Sincerely, Barbara

Choosing the Correct John Sterling Window Guard Type to Meet My Needs

by Barbara 13. August 2013 08:05

Question about which John Sterling Window Guards I should purchase.

Q: "I need to protect windows in an apartment complex. I started an order for John Sterling 1125 window guards that did not complete. Please help me.Thanks. Walter"

Answer: There are three types of John Sterling window guards, the 1120 series that meet NYC requirements for non-sleeping rooms, the 1130 series, that come in basic bulk packaging and in units that include mounting bars, escape pins, brackets and screws and the 1170 series, currently only one model that swings open and removes from the mounting posts.

We determined in our phone call that you needed John Sterling 1130 series that open. Below is basic information for anyone who needs to install window guards.

John Sterling Window Guard Types: Fixed or Non-Opening and Swing Open. Check with your local building inspector for the code that applies to your city or state prior to ordering. Measure windows accurately. John Sterling does not recommend mounting these guards vertically.

Non-Opening Window Guards. 1120 Series. 4.5 inch spacing between the bars. These can be ordered in White or Black These are secured with 2.5 inch #10 One Way Screws. To remove the guards, you must break off the screw head and drill out the screw. Add 4 inches to bar height for maximum covered opening. Meet NYC standards for non-sleeping windows.

JS-1123-P   3 Bars 15" H X 23-42"W 
JS-1123-S   3 Bars 15" H X 14-24"W
JS-1123-L   3 Bars 15" H X 42-58"W
JS-1124      4 Bars 20"H X 23-42 "W
JS-1125      5 Bars 25"H X 23-42" W

Non-Opening Window Guards 1130 Series Basic Guards, Bulk Packed. 3.5 inch spacing between the bars. Purchase mounting hardware, locking channel (if desired) etc.  separately. The second number indicates the number of bars. Ex. 1133 has 3 bars and 1139 has 9 bars.  With conversion kits, all can be made swing open type guards. For larger projects, this is the best choice as it is least expensive. White or black.  Add 4 inches for maximum coverage, ex. JS-BK-1133 will protect 11 to 15 inch opening. The last number indicates # of bars. Ex. 1133=3 bars.
         1. JS-BK-1133     11"x 24-42"W
         2. JS-BK-1134-S  14"x 14-24"W
         3. JS-BK-1134     14"x 24-42"W
         4. JS-BK-1134-L  14"x 41-58"W
         5  JS-BK-1135     18"x 24-42"W
         6. JS-BK-1136     22"x 24-42"W
         7  JS-BK-1136-L  22"x 41-58"W
         8. JS-BK-1136-EL 22"x 58-76"W
         9  JS-BK-1138     30"x 24-42"W
         10 JS-BK-1139    33"x 24-42"W

Opening Window Guards 1130 Series. Swing Open. 3.5 inch spacing between the bars. White or Black. Opening protected can be horizontal or vertical. PKG indicates that the screws, locking channel, mounting bracket, lock pin are included.Only white are listed below. The EL and L units are special packages Safe Home had made up since these wider units are not otherwise available except to commercial installers. Add a maximum of 4 inches to the height for maximum window protection.


        1. JS-1133              11"x24-42"W  3Bars Protect opening 11-15 Inches
        2. JS-1134              14"x24-42"W  4Bars Protect opening 14-18 Inches
        3. JS-1135              18"x24-42"W  5Bars Protect opening 18-22 inch
        4. JS-1136              22"x24-42"W  6Bars Protect opening 22-26" Inches
        5. JS-1136-L-PKG     22"x41-58"W  6Bars Protect Opening 22-26" 41-58"Wide
        6. JS-1136-EL-PKG   22"x58-76"W  6Bars Protect Opening:22-26",58-76"wide
        5  JS-1138-PKG       30"x24-42"W  8Bars Protect opening 30-34",24-42"Wide
        6. JS-1139-PKG       33"x24-42"W  9Bars Protect opening 33-37",24-42"wide

Opening Window Guard 1170 Series. Angle Iron. White or Black. Has Locking Channel. Lifts out from mounting brackets. Very difficult to cut with bolt cutters.

JS-1175      21"x24-42 inches.

Please measure your window openings carefully. Remember that window locks are available to limit window openings. These are both keys and un-keyed styles.

Thanks for your question. Go to SafeHomeProducts.com and put the product code of the window guards require into the search bar.

Sincerely,

Barbara

Use Cardinal Gates Versa Gate to Block Off Low Picture Window From Toddler

by Barbara 28. June 2013 06:05

Question about how which window guards to install to protect a non-opening picture window from a two year old.

Question: "I have a 7 ft high by 5 ft wide picture window in my second floor apartment. How can I protect my granddaughter from falling through this window? I am considering window guards.

Answer: In our discussion, you explained that the window is a double pane and is within inches of the floor. You are on the second floor of a high rise building.

My suggestion is to use a Versa Gate in Oak with extensions if required to keep her away from the window glass. A double paned window is generally quite resistant to breakage. However, accidents happen.

The versa gate comes in white steel as well as the oak color. You can add extensions if needed. The door in the middle allows you access to the window yet keeps your grandchild out.

My concern with window guards is that your window would have to be covered like prison bars. Installation would require holes drilled in your window frame or beyond it. And the cost would be quite high. If you were to use window guards, you would need two of the Guardian Angel 4 bar 7320 units plus one of the 5 bar 7320 units, an expensive answer to your safety question.

The Versa Gate by Cardinal Gates could be attached to your wall studs. After you no longer need it, the screw holes can be patched in the wall board and no one would realize it had even been there.

Thank you for your question.

Sincerely,

Barbara

Protect Sharp Corners of Exterior Metal Posts With UV Treated, Anti-Bacterial, Molded Foam Basic Corner Strips

by Barbara 7. January 2013 10:58

Question about how to safetyproof metal square posts in a Headstart playground area with Boing yellow corner strips

Q: "The director of my Headstart Program wants to protect children in our playground from (16) sixteen 90 degree angle square metal posts. He wants each post protected at least 48 inches from the base of each post. Four metal posts are 4 inches on a side. The other 12 metal metal posts are 3 inches on a side. What do you suggest? Thanks. Helen from Texas."

Answer: After reviewing all the options, I phoned my manufacturer. The only option is to purchase the Basic Corner Strips, cut them and stack them to the appropriate height. These are "Skin Urethane" molded foam strips with a shock absorbing "inner" foam and a thick outer “skin” to protect from abrasion, UV rays, moisture and bacteria.

Polyurethane is a completely self-skinning polymer that is stain-resistant, puncture-resistant and remarkably easy to clean.It resists staining caused by grease, chemicals, waste products, and other liquids, and can be cleaned as easily as a countertop. Polyurethane is naturally antibacterial/antimicrobial and odor-resistant, making it ideal for clean room environments.

Each shape of protective padding or protective corners is made to specific dimensions and baked in a mold for 30-40 minutes. This basic corner strip is currently available in yellow, red, green, blue, orange and ivory. The primary colors are the most popular for safety proofing, especially the yellow. Black and grey are usually available. At this writing, January 7, 2013, neither is available.

I suggest you purchase the case of 25 yellow as you need at least 20 and this is the most economical way to buy. Each stick is 39.5 inches long (39.4 inches on the inside) by 2.25 inches by 2.25 inches and 1/2 inch thick. Cut the sticks to stack them the height that you want. Put the cut side at the bottom and use silicone to seal that edge when you cut these lengths to stack to the 48 inches that your director wants: then water and moisture do not effect the strip. These strips are made to be installed either inside or outside. You need a minimum of 20 strips to cover the 48 inches. This product covers the sharp corner edges of the 90 degree angle posts. There is no product to will "fill in" the missing space.

Boing Safety Corner Edge Strip Features:

  • Designed for all types of wall/equipment/furniture corners, fireplaces etc.
  • Also great for "square posts".
  • Shock Absorbing.
  • Durable and long lasting.
  • Easy installation.
  • Use "GE-Silicone I" or II brand Rubber Silicone.
  • Quick repair or replacement.
  • Waterproof.
  • Can be used indoors or outdoors.
  • Fire retardant.
  • Anti-Bacterial.
  • UV treated.
  • Non-toxic: contains no PVC or phthalates.
  • 10 colors: Red, Orange,Yellow, Ivory,Green, Sky Blue, Indigo, Grey, Brown, and Purple.
  • Colors match 3 D Corner Cushions (not included).
  • Dimensions: Each stick is 39.5" long x 2.25" x 2.25" x 1/2" thick.
  • Non returnable if used.
  • Limited 1 year manufacturer's warranty. 

Basic corner strips are also available in boxes of 4 and 10 strips. Please contact us if you have more questions. Thank you for the opportunity to quote.

Sincerely,

Barbara

 

New York City Approved Window Guards for Non-Sleeping Rooms

by Barbara 3. September 2012 05:39

Question about which child safety window guards are approved for use in New York City.

Q: "We are converting a warehouse into apartments. Which window guards are approved for use in New York City? Thanks. Tim."

Answer: The John Sterling 1120 series fixed window guards are New York City Approved window bars for non sleeping areas. Approvals for the JS-1120 series are #HDWG 05-87-86 and HDWG-04-93-09 for use only in double hung style windows.  Never install on a window leading to a fire escape even if this is a non-sleeping room. Check your local borough code for approved window guards for sleeping rooms. Remember that most fire truck ladders can reach only to the 6th story. We recommend that residents in apartment buildings have regularly tested smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, a fire escape plan and smoke hoods.

The JS-1120 series come in a variety of sized. Included are the mounting screws and the window guard unit. These guards offer increased home security and child safety. Just enter the product code/codes of the units you want to see them on our webiste.

The white John Sterling 1120 series come in these sizes.

  • JS-1123-P: 15 inch high bars, expand from 23-42 inches
  • JS-1123-L : 15 inch high bars, expand from 42-58 inches
  • JS-1123-S : 15 inch high bars, expand from 14- 24 inches
  • JS-1124:      20 inch high bars, expand from 23-42 inches
  • JS-1125    : 25 inch high bars, expand from 23-42 inches

The black John Sterling 1120DB series come in these sizes. These unit take 2 to 6 weeks for delivery after they are ordered.

  • JS-1123-PDB : 15 inch high bars, expand from 23-42 inches
  • JS-1123-LDB : 15 inch high bars, expand from 42-58 inches
  • JS-1123-SDB : 15 inch high bars, expand from 14- 24 inches
  • JS-1124-DB   : 20 inch high bars, expand from 23-42 inches
  • JS-1125-DB   : 25 inch high bars, expand from 23-42 inches

John Sterling Fixed Mount Security Window Guard 1120 Series Features:

  • Window Type to Protect: Double Hung
  • Location of Windows: Not in a sleeping Room
  • Spacing between bars: 4.5 inches.
  • Diameter of Bars: 5/16th Inch.
  • Standard Color: Off White. Note: Black option requires 3 to 6 weeks for manufacture.
  • Construction: Steel window guards
  • Strength Test: Tested to withstand 150 lb. force at maximum extended width.
  • Permanently Fixed: Do NOT swing open for easy exit in case of emergency.
  • Made in USA.
  • Manufacturers Limited Warranty: Replacement of any part found defective in material or workmanship. Warranty is limited strictly to replacement of the defective part and does not cover any other expenses which may arise in the use or replacement of such part.
  • Mounting Options: Recessed or Surface Mount. Surface Mount burglar bar installation is easier as screws are easier to drive and less accessible to intruders on the outside.
  • Tamper Resistant: Option to drill out the Phillips cross slots in each screw to make tamper resistant.
  • Installation Options: Double Hung windows only. Mount security bars over both upper and lower window sashes or over lower sash only as desired.
WARNING for Series 1120 Series Sterling Window Guards:
Use of this product on a fire escape window in New York is illegal, could be a serious safety hazard and could result in a fine by the Department of Buildings.  Some communities require a quick means of easy escape from window guards in some applications.  Check your local codes.

John Sterling Window Security Guards when properly installed will tend to discourage illegal intruders.  But no protection is absolute.  With enough time and tools a determined criminal can defeat any barrier.

Installation Requirements:
  • Install only in solid, non-rotting window tracks.  Expand Guard to fit tightly into outside window track.
  • Temporarily support Guard in level position NO MORE THAN 4-1/2 inches from sill to upper half of bottom bar.  Mark location of holes on each side.  Remove Guard and drill 5/32" diameter. pilot holes 1" deep.
  • Re-position Guard and mount with #10 one way screws (included.)
  • Raise the inner window NO MORE THAN 4-1/2" above the lower half of the top bar.  Position "L" shaped stops so as to limit the opening above the Window Guard to a maximum of 4-1/2.

Please contact us for quantity prices. As the quantity increases, our cost decreases and your price decreases, too.

Thanks for your question.

Sincerely,

Barbara

Choosing John Sterling Window Guards for Casement Windows Based Upon Screen Sizes

by Barbara 16. July 2012 10:59

Question about John Sterling window guards.

Q: " I have just screen sizes for casement windows I want to protect with window guards. Can you help me? Thanks. Sondra.

Answer:

Here is a list of the screen sizes you provided and the window guards suggested by John Sterling.

If the second dimension is height, then turn the guards to mount vertically like prison bars. Use only the fixed if possible because the swing units could swing down and cause injury to someone.

Please go to the SafeHomeProducts.com website for more information.

Hope this helps. Thanks for your questions.

Sincerely,

Barbara


 

Free Standing Pet Gate or Wall Mounted Child Gate With Door Can Be Extra Wide Gates Using Extensions

by Barbara 11. July 2012 14:26

Question about the Cardinal Gates Home Safety VersaGate

Q: "I need a gate for a extra wide doorway. I have both dogs and small children. Yet I would like to be able to open a door in the gate rather than step over it. Which gate or gates do you recommend? My dogs are small ones. Thanks. Sheri."

Answer: The Versagate VG-65 won the Child Safety House Calls Pediatricians Childproofing Product Award 2010 for its modular system, quality metal construction and its 24 inch door. Choose from white steel, light oak stained beechwood with metal gate frame or black metal.The VersaGate VG-65 Basic Gate System Features:

  • Door Section with 24 inch gate: 40 inches total width
  • Gate Extensions: 2, each 20 inches wide.
  • Two rubber-coated, stabilizing feet to increase stability and prevent scratching floors. Use two for the wide door section and one for each gate extension. Each foot is 6 inches in diameter and one inch high. The bottom is textured to them less likely to skid on a slick floor surface.
  • For maximum stability, the feet can be mounted to the floor.
  • Gate Height: 30.5 Inches.
  • Bar Spacing: 2.25 Inches.
  • Gate and frame are both made from strong, sturdy steel except in the beechwood gate which is wood with a metal frame.
  • Door Operation: Push red safety button and lift handle 90 degrees upwards. Pull gate to open. Close gate and lower handle back to original postion. Gate will click when locked.
  • Your Cardinal Gate is warranted to be free of manufacturing defects for a period of one year from the date of purchase when used in homes, and according to manufacturers instructions. When used commercially, such as day care centers, the warranty is 90 days.
  • All Cardinal Gates are JPMA certified & adhere to guidelines as set forth by the JPMA & the Consumer Products Safety Commission.

The VersaGate VG-65 expands to a maximum of 77.25 inches in width. For each additional 1.25 feet needed (16 inches), add one VG-20 extension.(not included). Or choose the VG-10 (not included) or the VG-40 inch extensions (not included).

For additional stability, attach to side walls for a very stable child gate or dog gate. More effective wall-mounting hardware (vertical hole pattern) means the gate can be removed from the wall without removing the screws. Added feet means the Versagate can be installed in a straight line.  Baseboard shims plus easier mounting to stabilizing feet makes this a great pet gate or child gate for almost any situation.

This has been one of our more popular gates.

Thank you for your questions. If you have more questions, please contact us at sales@safehomeproducts.com or phone us.

Sincerely,

Barbara

 

Childproofing A Home Against the Biggest Home Risks to Children

by Barbara 8. July 2012 06:00

Question about the most common dangers to children in and around homes.

Q: "We have a 6 month old baby, our first. Where should we begin to childproof our home? What are the biggest risks to a toddler or younger child? Thanks. Sue."

Answer: According to the USA Today, July 5, 2012 report, the Consumer Protection Product Safety Commission lists drowning, poisoning and tipping furniture as most common dangers. You may recall the baby crib recall. The cribs our parents used for us and we used for our children and grandchildren can no longer be sold. Remember the double release locks you pushed with your foot and the side dropped?  The Commission received reports and does research to determine which products are safe.

Drowning, poisoning and tipping furniture are considered the most common risks to young children. Cordless window blinds are recommended to reduce risks of strangulation.

The COSC recommends that whatever safety devices you buy for do-it-yourself installation or have installed by handymen or professional childproofers meet voluntary industry standards or are recommended by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association.

Common sense tells you that poisons, medications, dishwasher detergent, etc. must be stored in secure places whether that place is a cupboard or a closet.

Here are a few suggestions based upon our customers' purchases:

These are childproofing products that are easily installed and may save the life of your child or grandchild or a visiting child.

Thank you for your questions.

Sincerely,

Barbara

 

Cardinal Gates Silver Deck Shield Net with 1/2 Inch Mesh Openings for Child Safety

by Barbara 25. April 2012 06:12

Question about the advantages of the Cardinal Gates 50 Ft. Silver Deck Netting over the Cardinal Gates Black Deck Shield Netting

Q: "Why is the silver so much more expensive than the black? Why would installing it be better than the black? Thanks. Tom."

Answer: The silver deck shield netting has a longer life and is less visible on light colored decks or when used to block animals (or children) from pushing between the pickets of fences. Both are easily installed using the wire ties, etc. included with each deck net kit. Both are made from polypropylene plastic and UV protected.

The major differences between the silver and the black deck netting are as follows:

  • Thickness: Silver is substantially sturdier and thicker—more than 7 times thicker than black. Black is approximately 0.26mm thick. Silver is approximately 1.98mm thick.
  • Size of openings: Silver: each "mesh" rectangle measures ½-inch hole size .  Black: each "mesh" rectangle measures about 1.25" x .75". 
  • Visibility: silver is even less visible from a distance.
  • Height: 35 inches for black and 36 inches for the silver
  • Can cut with scissors
  • Ideal for homeowner associations
  • Cable ties (provided) to attach uv mesh netting to deck posts.
  • Eye screws (provided) to attach plastic netting to deck surface.

There are two other lengths available.

Thank you for your question.

Sincerely,

Barbara