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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

 

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


 

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

ToppleStop Furniture Safety Straps Secure TVs and Furniture For Kid Safety

by Barbara 10. February 2012 08:50

Question about keeping TV sets from injuring or killing children using furniture securing devices.

Q:"In the USA Today on February 9, 2012, a news article talked about 4 children killed or critically injured in the Chicago area when TV's fell on them. How can I make sure my children are safe? We have one old style television and a big screen that sits on a table. Thanks. Sara.

Answer: TV's can injure or kill children. Even small sets when knocked off a tall dresser are dangerous. In 2010 or 2011 Consumer Reports recommended ToppleStop furniture and TV straps for securing furniture. Each set of Topple Stops has two straps, one secures to a wall stud on one to the TV set or the stand. One accident was when a TV set sat on a flimsy aquarium stand. TV sets must be on a heavy piece of furniture with slip resistant feet and a low center of gravity. Children also like to pull out dresser drawers and try to clim to the top: a disaster waiting to happen.

So Topple Stops are furniture straps that you attach to the back of solidly set furniture and secure to wall studs behind the furniture. Topple Stops let you anchor appliances and furniture that weighs up to 400 lbs. For items that weigh up to 200 lbs. install a minimum of 1 kit with two point attaching. You need two kits or four point attachment for objects that weigh 200 to 400 lbs. Remember that nothing substitutes for parental supervision.

For metal units, you attach Topple Stop half with an adhesive pad to a dry surface cleaned with isopropyl alcohol (that gets off any residual grease). Then you attach the other half to a wall stud.

For wooden units, the preferred attachment method is using #8 x 1 inch wood screws to attach the fasteners to the frame or the inside edges top or sides of the furniture.

The wall attachment requires using #10 x 2 inch wood screws to the wall studs behind the furniture. If studs are metal, use t-bar anchors to toggle bolts. You can use wall anchors if each has a minimum holding strength of 100 pounds.

Heavy Duty ToppleStop Furniture Fastening System Kit Contents:

  • Two (2) grey Thumb Lock fasteners, 2" long by one wide with 3/4" lock lever. Use with wood screws or 3M VHB adhesive attachment. (Bonding Times: Wait four hours before adding strap. Adhesive fully bonds after 72 hours.)
  • Two (2) 12" long, 3/4" wide grey locking strap with grommet for wood screw attachment.
  • Four (4) #8 x 1" wood screws for furniture attachment    Two (2) #10 x 2" wood screws for wood wall stud attachment.

Thumb lock fastener attaches to locking strap. Fastener can be moved and locked in either direction on the strap. Lift locking lever to "open." Lock fastener on strap by pushing lever down firmly. Note: Thumb Lock adhesive is non-hardening. Fasteners can be removed without damaging surface if slowly and gently pried off with appropriate tool.Suggestion: Install when children are not present, i.e. asleep for the night.

We also recommend Topple Stops for use in day care centers, hotels, motels, etc. to increase safety and reduce liability insurance costs.

Product Performance Warranty: This product does NOT replace child supervision. This product is only intended to help or reduce movement of equipment during jarring movement. It is common understanding that fastened equipment should fare better during jarring movement than equipment that is not fastened, helping to reduce the amount of damage and injury that could result. No warranty can be properly applied to the performance of the products due to the uncertainty of forces generated, and numerous variables involved in a jarring event, or natural disaster. Products that are defective in material and workmanship prior to installation of the product will be replaced. The user or third party installer accepts liability for injury, loss, or damage, direct or consequential, arising from use or misuse or inability to use the product.

Thanks for your question.

Sincerely,

Barbara

Window Wedges Made in USA Add Window Safety to Military and Public Housing

by Barbara 27. May 2011 05:33

Question about the Window Wedge Adjustable Velcro Window Stop,144/CS window stop product for slider windows in military housing.

Q: "Our company supplies military installations around the world with safety products. We've been asked to quote on window stops for slider windows for military housing in Asia. Will the Window Wedge work for slider windows? We don't want to install window guards. Thanks. Valerie."

Answer: The Window Wedge fits on the window frame, not in the tracks. Make certain that the window frames are wide enough as Window Wedge® uses one 8 inch velcro strip to which you velcro the 4 inch wedge portion. This product is made in the USA. We asked you to have your customer measure the windows and they are 3/4 inch wide. We recommend that you have two wedges i.e. one package installed on each window. That is because a child pulling on a slider could possibly pull the unit out of the track.

Each window wedge loop strip is 8 inches long and 3/4 inches wide.The actual wedge section is 3.25 inches long.To open the window greater than four inches for cleaning, remove the wedge from the velcro loop portion of the window stopper.

To Install Window Wedge Window Stoppers On a Slider Window:

    Close window. Clean window frame surface before application of loop strip.
    Peel off backing of 8 inch loop strip and place in center of upper horizontal window frame (not on the glass)
    Attach the Window Wedge® to the loop strip with the
    two tines facing the adjacent window section.
    Slide window open until contact is made with the Window Wedge®
    Attach the second Window Wedge® unit to the bottom part of the
    Adjust the position of the Window Wedge® so that the
    window opening is 4 inches or less.
    Note: For maximum child safety, maximum window opening should not exceed 4 inches.

To Install Window Wedge Window Stoppers On a Double Hung or Single Hung Window:

    Close the window
    Clean the surface of the window trim prior to application. Do not attach to glass itself.
    Peel off the backing from the 8 inch loop strip and place in the center of the upper window frame for a double hung or single hung window.
    Attach the Window Wedge® to the loop strip.
    Attach the second window wedge on the other side at the same height.
    Open the window until it is stopped by the window wedge.
    Note: For maximum child safety, maximum window opening should not exceed 4 inches.

Safe Home does offer bulk pricing on this product. Please contact us directly if you need over 144 packages.

Thanks for your question and your purchase!

Sincerely, Barbara