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Healthier Living | Child Safety | Eco Friendly Tips

Shorten Shade Cords with Safety Cleats to Reduce Child Deaths

by Barbara 3. December 2016 07:28

Dear Readers,

Cardinal Gates Shade Cord Safety Cleats popped into my head when I watched the Nightly News last night (December 2, 2016). The story focussed on the tragic deaths of two young children who strangled in danging shade cords. My heart goes out to these families and others who've had similar tragedies over the years. Mini-blind cords are reportedly among the most dangerous.

According to information on the internet, cords longer than 8 inches are not safe. Installation of new cordless shades is recommended. For those many families who cannot afford those purchases, Cardinal Gates Shade Cord Safety Cleats add a modicum of safety. No, this is not a fool proof solution. It is a safety option until cordless shades or blinds are installed.

Loose cords are strangulation hazards for children up to age 8, according to an internet article. By consistently wrapping dangling cords high above a child's reach, the temptation is lessened. We also recommend keeping chairs, sofas, stools, etc. away from windows where shades are mounted.

Buy one, buy 12. Safe Home saves you money with bulk packaging. In our home there are no children under 8. One "clawed" Siamese cat did manage to destroy several of our shade cords before we wound the cords up high on cleats. The cleats are hardly noticeable. We prefer to keep shades up in most rooms also due to Buddy's love for clawing them!

Cardinal Gates Shade Cord Safety Wrap, Clear Cleat, 12/BX or Cardinal Gates Cord Safety Wrap, Clear Cleat are featured on our website. Use for short, long and/or thick cords. Install cleat high enough so children and cats cannot reach it. Wrap cord around the cleat. High mounting on the window frame helps to deter attention from the cords. The included VHB (very high bond) adhesive means fast, easy installation. Adheres to metal, glass, wood and plastic. Peel and stick: one hour curing time. No drilling or hardware! Transparent plastic blends into any decor . Dimensions: 3.25 inches long by 0.50 inches deep by 1.00 inches wide. Twelve cord wraps in this package. Loose cords are strangulation hazards for small children.   NOTE: Not recommended for non-ratcheting blinds.  Bulk package: application directions included. Made in China.  Remember no safety product substitutes for adult supervision of children.

We installed these on most of our window shades (Circa 1993) because of our Siamese cat Buddy whose teeth and claws have caused a lot of damage.

Sincerely,

Barbara

Furniture Anchors Prevent Dressers and Chests from Injuring or Killing Children

by Barbara 30. June 2016 04:13

Using furniture securing devices to keep children safe from injuries or death from furniture falling onto them.

Q:"36 million chests and dressers were recalled by IKEA on June 29, 2016. According to IKEA, "products meet all mandatory stability requirements in Europe and other parts of the world." U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Elliott Kaye said in a statement on Tuesday that tipped-over furniture or television sets kill a U.S. child every two weeks,How do I keep my children safe? Thanks. Tina

Answer: IKEA furniture is not the only source of such accidents. IKEA is offering free furniture anchors to its customers. Furniture anchors are the best safety device to use. When children pull on dressers in an attempt to open upper drawers or pull out a drawer to climb on, the dresser or chest can easily fall on them. 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.

Topple Stops furniture straps attach to the back of solidly set furniture and secure to wall studs behind the furniture. Topple Stops can 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. Use two kits or four point attachment for objects that weigh 200 to 400 lbs. Remember that nothing substitutes for parental supervision.

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Remove Guardian Angel Window Guards from Mounts to Wash Your Windows

by Barbara 20. March 2011 14:07

Question about how you wash your window glass when you have Guardian Angel Window Guards installed

Q: "I need to install window guards because the single hung windows in my new house are only 18 inches above the floor. The windows vary in size but most are 36 inches wide. I also have sliding windows in several rooms. I like sparkling clean windows. How difficult is it to remove the window guards? Are the Guardian Angel guards easy to install? Thanks. Beth."

Answer: Guardian Angel window guards are easy to install and easy to remove, for an adult or older child that is. These window guards are now standardized in the side mount heights as well. That means if you move and choose to remove the window guards to use in your new home, you can drill out the screws and re-install them. Unlike the John Sterling window guards, the Guardian Angel remove completely from the mounting bars.

For your single hung windows, mount a window guard or two or three for taller windows by mounting the lowest mount bar two inches above the sill. Then stack additional mounting bars as needed by butting the ends of the mounting bars together. Then telescope the window bars to lock into the mounting bars.Some people prefer to mount the window guards to cover the entire window. In this case use the longer, taller bars and mount vertically.

If you mount in sliders, the best way is like prison bars. Once more you decide the width opening you want and mount units side by side to fill that space. Yes, prison bars may not be attractive but they don't give your child a ladder to climb!

Each window guard has four locks, two on each side of two of the window bars. For example, there is  one lock on one side of bar 1 in a 3 bar unit and another lock on the other side. Bar 3 has an additional pair. You push in two locks at one time to release the bar. Push to the other side and release the second side. To reinstall, do the reverse. Make sure the bars lock into the side or top and bottom mounts.

Guardian Angel window guards are strong, powder coated white steel. They come in sizes that expand from 14 to 17 inches to those that expand from 73 to 120 inches. There are 3, 4 and 5 bar units that you can mix or match to meet your window protection needs.

Use a pair of Window Wedge window stops or a pair of Window Guardian Super Window Stops to keep the windows from opening more than 4 inches beyond the bars.

Thank you for your questions. Go to any window guard web page for access to our window guard guide.

Sincerely,

Barbara

Fridge Lock Helps Protect Against Spoiled Food and Child Suffocation

by Barbara 18. November 2010 07:14

Question about the Fridge Guard Appliance Child Lock, CLEAR, the Fridge Guard Appliance Child Lock, WHITE and the Double Door Fridge Guard, Child Safety Strap, Black

Q: "I have two problems. The first is that my young children have opened my refrigerator door several times in the past few weeks and pulled out food and drink, leaving a real mess on the floor. The second is that I have a freezer in the basement, a chest type, that I am not using. I am afraid the kids may use it for hide and seek. I have stuff piled on top now to discourage them. I don't feel it is safe, Do you have products that will help keep my kids safe? Thanks. Mary."

Answer: We sell three products. The first two are identical except one is clear and the other is white. These are the Fridge Guard appliance locks to keep kids out of refrigerators. The only other option to consider is a chain with combination lock that wraps around the entire unit. For the chest type freezer, I have no suggestions.

Here is the Fridge Guard information. This works on single door units. Parent Units' Fridge Guard Appliance Child Lock is a clear or white plastic refrigerator safety latch closure that uses high-bonding adhesive that will not mar refrigerator surface. This removable refrigerator lock or freezer door lock uses latch and hook to secure doors from young children. This child safety product is made in the USA. This sturdy child safety lock also protects against dumps, spills, or doors left ajar.
 
    * Easily Installed: Apply latch to side or top for double doors and freezers. Remove red liner from hook. Apply to door with hook facing forward. Install latch in desired location. Press firmly for 20 seconds. Allow adhesive to set overnight.
    * Easily Used: To open refrigerator, press inward on door handle and release flexible latch over hook. Latch resets automatically when door closes.
    * Easily Removed: Gently pry off hook and latch. Use olive oil to remove any adhesive residue.
    * Clear or White.
    * Note: Use as freezer door lock or refrigerator lock to keep younger children safter. For unused refrigerators or freezers, install latches to extend one inch beyond the hooks. Insert up to a 1-inch block of foam or plastic for ventilation through door opening. Refrigerators or freezers with ventilation are less likely to have mold or mildew problems.
    * Remember: No protective device takes the place of adult supervision.


Parent Units' Double Door Fridge Guard  is a black buckle style lock for double door refrigerators or on the refrigerator doors of trio style refrigerators. This child safety device is easily installed and easily removed by adults. If you have an unused double door refrigerator or one in the garage or basement where you store alcoholic beverages, use this safety device to make sure children stay out. The durable rubber strip combines with a patented buckle to securely lock fridge doors.  This stops your children safer from dangerous items or from leaving doors open causing food disasters.

Parent Units' Double Door Fridge Guard :

    * Simple to install
    * Easy buckle lock/unlock for adults to use
    * Keeps double door fridges off limits to little ones.
    * For use on standard kitchen and bathroom cabinets.
    * All childproofing works better when children are not present. We advise you install home and child safety devices when children are asleep for the night.
    *Warning: Always rely on supervision as your best defense against accidents and injuries. Prevention is paramount. True this product is a highly reliable backup, but no product can be 100% fail safe. Proper Installation required. Use a licensed contractor for best performance.

Below are the product performancy warranties for both units:
Product Performance Warranty: This product must be used with supervision. Due to uncertainty of forces generated and numerous variables involved in a jarring event, no warranty can be properly applied to the performance of the product. Parent Units' only responsibility shall be to replace any product proven to be defective in material and workmanship prior to installation of the product. Neither seller nor manufacturer shall be liable for any injury, loss or damage, direct or consequential, arising out of the use or misuse, or the inability to use the product installation, whether by the user or third party, constitutes acceptance of these conditions by the user.  

Thank you for your question. I only remember once that one of my sons opened the freezer door and actually turned off the freezer. I did a lot of cooking the next day and threw out a lot of once frozen products.

Sincerely,

Barbara

Door Guardian Door Lock for Child Safe Closets, Basements and Entry Doors

by Barbara 17. November 2010 11:37

Question about the Door Guardian door lock for use on basement doors and pantry doors.

Q: "We live in a house where the basement door is hinged to open into our kitchen. I am concerned about my curious toddler opening the door with the levered door "knob" and falling down the steep stairs and getting injured. Also there are items in our pantry like dog food that I don't want dumped out while my back is turned. Is this the right product for us? We don't want to install deadbolts in the doors because they are hollow core and the next owner may not see that as positive. Thanks. Sara."

Answer: Yes, the Door Guardian is a terrific child safety device to keep inward swinging doors closed to curious children. When my sons were young, we had a similar set-up and had to install a double turn dead bolt lock high on a hollow core door, a rather permanent installation.

Installation sometimes means mortising out the door frame as the unit has to be level when installed. The lock portion should not cause any harm to the door itself. Mount the Door Guardian high on the door frame so that only older children and adults can reach it. Otherwise, you could find yourself locked in the basement! This is a great addition to a pantry door and a lot less expensive that the combination door lock my son and his wife installed to keep the children from midnight raids that left the kitchen a mess.

Mount the Door Guardian unit at least six inches higher than the door knob or the deadbolt. Depending upon the door frame, you may have to mortise out an area so that the stationary part of the unit can be mounted straight, otherwise the lock part may not keep the door closed. Included are two long dry wall screws and three metal self-tapping screws if your door frame is metal.

Slide forward and flip closed to lock. Slide and turn to open the lock. This is installed on the side of the door with the door knob, on the side that swings inward.

Choose from:

Thank you for your question. Let us know if you have other child proofing concerns: we are happy to help you.

Sincerely,

Barbara