Healthier Living | Child Safety | Eco Friendly Tips

Barbara Staib, President of Safe Home Products, is an expert on child safety, emergency preparedness, pet training and even pest control. She has personally helped thousands of customers since SHP started in 1999. Here you can find Q&A with Barbara to foster safer, healthier and simpler living.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Standard and Athletic Modes in a Tanita Body Fat Scale?

Q:"Regarding use of the Tanita TBF-410GS body composition scale: If I switch between "standard" and "athletic" modes when taking measurements, what changes will occur in the readout?"

Answer: The standard adult and athletic modes refer to the person's degree of physical fitness. An athlete has more lean muscle mass and less fat than the average person. So when you change the modes, the standard adult who weighs the same as the athlete will show a significantly higher amount of body fat. Bioelectrical impedance increases with body fat. And that is how the Tanita scale measures body composition.

The body fat composition scales by Tanita use leg to leg bioimpedance analysis. A barefoot person stands on two footpad electrodes on the scale platform. The body fat monitor/analyzer automatically measures weight and then impedance. Computer software (a microprocessor) imbedded in the scale uses the measured impedance, the subject's gender, height, fitness level, and in some cases age, (which have been preprogrammed), and the weight to determine body fat percentage based on equation formulas. Tanita's reference method is DEXA. Through multiple regression analysis, Tanita has derived standard formulas to determine body fat percentage. Tanita's equations are generalized for standard adults, athletes, and children.

If you have additional questions, please contact us.

Sincerely,
Barbara

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Operational Distance for a Mailbox Chime?

Q: "Hello! I wish we were only 300 feet away from our mailbox! Do you know of any Mailbox chime versions that are good for 700 feet away? Thanks. Sue."

Answer: Unfortunately, the FCC limits the strength of the transmitter used in this product, thus the distance limit of 300 feet maximum.

Sincerely,
Barbara

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Which System Does the DuoCare Monitor Follow?

Q: " I have a question about the Duo-care Blood Glucose and Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor. Which standards like FDA, CE, etc. does it follow?"

Answer: The Duo-Care is a combination wrist blood pressure monitor and blood glucose (blood sugar level) unit. The blood glucose tester portion follows ISO 15197:2003 standards for in vitro diagnostic test systems for blood glucose monit0ring for self-testing. Whole blood glucose results were comparable to YSI 2300 which is the standard. The blood pressure monitor is within limits of ANSI/AAMI SP10-1992. In order to use the blood glucose portion, Duo-Care test strips and calibration solution is needed. pe

Many persons have both high blood pressure and diabetes so a multiple use unit like this is helpful especially when traveling.

If you have additional questions, please contact us.

Sincerely,
Barbara

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Can Kirk's Original Castile Soap Be Used on the Face?

Q: "The product description says that Kirk's Original Castile Soap can be used as a body wash and as a shampoo but it didn't mention use on the face. Can this be used as a facial soap?" Thanks from Lois.

Answer: Yes. Kirk's castile soap is a very mild soap that is made of all natural products without any chemicals or animal fats. Due to its high glycerine content, Kirks lathers generously in hard water as well as in soft water. Kirk's is a very slow melting soap which means you may be surprised how long one bar of soap lasts!

One of our customers is a Viet Nam vet who was exposed to Agent Orange. He shared that this is the only soap he can use. My late father is the reason why we sell Kirk's soaps. When local supermarkets no longer sold Kirk's, Dad urged me to find the manufacturer and to sell it. Dad's ceramic tile soap dish was so small that he always cut the bar in two. We've been selling Kirks since 2000.

If you have other questions, please contact us.

Sincerely,
Barbara

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Monitoring Water Leaks in a Basement Window Well

Q: " I need to monitor water leaks into a basement window well in a home in Illinois. Can I place the Flood Detective Stand Alone Water Alarm and additional sensors on the window shelf if the shelf is metal? And can I mount the water alarm and additional sensors on the concrete wall below the window? Also how long is the power cord? Thanks for the reply. Steve."

Answer: You can use the Flood Detective as your water leak monitor. Do put a piece of cloth, napkin or paper towel under the sensor or you will get false alarms due to the metal in the detector getting cold or the metal "sweating."

The sensors for this moisture detector "train" together, sensor to sensor, like a daisy chain. Each Flood Detective water sensor has an eight foot (2.44 meters) long flexible, low-impedance corrosion-resistant wire with a two-prong jack on one end. The jack plugs into the sensor plate receptacle. This water sensor design allows multiple sensors to be daisy-chained to a single alarm unit so you can easily place sensors where you need them for flood warnings.

In theory, there is no limit to the number of sensors that can be daisy-chained to a Flood Detective alarm unit. Five water alert sensors per alarm seems optimal in determining which sensor activated due to a water leak. Each sensor cord is 8 feet long and the adapter cord is 6 feet long. These water sensors detect water at a depth of 1/32", are wafer thin for use under carpets or small spaces and have adhesive strips to keep sensors firmly in place.

For your purpose, using the AC adapter is the best choice unless you use metal wound batteries as all batteries become less efficient or freeze in cold environments.

If you have more questions, please contact us.

Sincerely,
Barbara

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Keeping a Dog Out of a Carpeted Area

Q: "Will this item, Two (2) Tattle Tale Sonic Pet Training Alarms, keep a dog out of a carpeted area of the house?"

Answer: No, this is not the best choice. Tattle Tales are best used to keep animals off sofas, counter tops, etc. And they do work well. The dog's weight on a carpeted floor is not likely to set off the alarms.

My suggestions are as follows:

  • Scat Mats: these are static charged mats. Power comes from a 9 volt battery and you can set the charge to low, medium or high. The animal dislikes the static shock. The downside: you'll feel it, too, if you are in your bare feet. (Works quite well for both my Boston Terriers. and they avoid the mats for a while even if they are turned off.)
  • Animal Away: this is an ultrasonic dog or cat repeller that works on motion. The pros: small, silent, dependable. The cons: a few dogs ignore or tolerate the sounds. I have one Boston Terrier who avoided the bathroom for days after I used one to keep her out. (She was anointing the bath rugs.) She shook for ten minutes after the first go around and there was never a second one that I was aware of. The other bolder one ignored it and came on in.
  • Stay Away by Contech: uses a motion sensor that activates a warning sound and then a brief, harmless spray of compressed air to keep your pet away.
  • Taupe or White Pet Gates: As much as gates are a nuisance at times, they do the job without noise, batteries or static. The Cardinal Gates we sell also have extensions for height and width. They are easily installed and remove from their side brackets if you have company coming.

We appreciate your question. If you need more information, please contact us.

Sincerely,

Barbara



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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Chinese, Korean & German Microfiber Cloths

Q: Re: Starfiber 12 x 12 inch aqua microfiber cloths "Where are these cloths actually made? I am looking for some made in Germany that a friend told me about. Thank you. Pam"
Answer: These cloths are made in China. We do sell the OKO line of cloths that are imported from Germany. The Oko are several times more expensive. We know of no tests that compare the two cloths. The OKO cleaning cloth is larger and has a cut nap finish on one side. The aqua 12 x 12 cloth differs from our terry type microfiber cloths in that it has a distinct texture on its "scrub" side. The price difference is significant. We've had countless sales and repeat sales on the starfiber microfiber cloths and no complaints about the cleaning effectiveness of any microfiber cloths or microfiber mops that we've sold.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Will a Yardguard Effect an Indoor Cat?

Q: Re: YardGard Electronic Animal Repeller. "I want to get rid of the neighbors dog, but will this product effect my INDOOR cat? We do open windows, so please advise."

Answer: If you aim the unit away from your home into an open area, the YardGard will not effect your indoor cat even with windows open. Ultrasonic sound waves behave more like light rays rather than sound waves. So they will be absorbed into solid fences, walls, etc. The bounce back is virtually zero.

I do suggest that you use the AC adapter if possible, at least initially. Use the "on" always position. Mount the unit at approximately the head level of the nuisance dog. To be a good neighbor, aim the unit so that the coverage is only of your yard.

Thanks for the inquiry.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Is there a larger pillbox by Timex?

Q:"Does the Timex Medication Weekly Manager System come in another style with larger pill boxes?"

Answer: No, the Timex pillbox with timer has just one size.

Another option with larger pill boxes is the MedReady P1500 basic unit with alarm and key lock. Each pill holder is 1 x 1/2 x 3/4 inches. There are 28 compartments. The pill holder rotates so access to overdosing is not possible. Extra cases are available. Up to 4 alarms sound per day so this is great for 28, 14, 9 or 7 days' dispensing.

The Vitaminder - MEDport Pill Case Stacker is a medication organizer with 5 large round containers that screw together or can be separated for convenience in carrying. There is an extra lid so you can carry one or more units in your briefcase or handbag. My mom uses these. Use a permanent marker or a label for cases: ex. one case per each day of the week or as many cases as you need for each day. Each case is 2 inches in diameter by 1 inch high.

Thanks for your question and I hope this helps you make your decision.
Sincerely, Barbara

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Using the Bona Refresher Kit on Parquet Floors?

Q: Is the Bona Kemi STARFIBER Hardwood Floor Refresher Kit & products suitable to refresh, clean & protect parquet wood floors? Thanks!

Answer: Yes, if the parquet is hardwood , sealed with polyurethane and you have not used an oil-based or wax on the floors. If grit is ground into the parquet, get estimates on professional refinishing versus replacement. Remember that oil based cleaners or waxes get into the scratches on the floor and make refinishing, especially of parquet, difficult at best.

If your floors are merely in need of restoration of gloss in traffic areas, using the refresher after cleaning with the MicroPlus mop and Bona hardwood floor cleaner will save you money.

Parquet floors in older homes generally have a lacquer, varnish, or shellac finish. On-Line Tips.org suggests checking the finish using a cotton ball dipped in acetone fingernail polish remover. Choose an out of the way place. Then touch the floor with the cotton ball. If the floor feels tacky and the cotton is stained, the finish is varnish, lacquer or shellac. If the cotton ball is clean, it's polyurethane.

A friend chose having her parquet kitchen floor refinished two years ago. She was quite unhappy with the results. Parquet is lovely but the surface is thin. In the process, some squares were broken and some did not refinish well. When she asked for some re-work, the refinishers told her that her parquet was too thin to be refinished more than once. .

I hope this helps you make your decision.

Sincerely, Barbara

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What does the Sergeant mean for the WaterCop?

Q: What does the word "SERGEANT" in the description refer to for the WaterCop 3/4 inch 3 Water Hounds (Sergeant) model as compared to the others (WaterCop products) you show that don't have this term?

Answer: In about 2005, DynaQuip, the manufacturer of the WaterCop device, set up packaged combinations of WaterCop valves, motorized actuators, moisture sensors, remote shut-off device, freeze alarm, etc. for its resellers. DynaQuip designated the units in military terms such as Sergeant, Lieutenant, etc.

Safe Home Products began selling WaterCops many years before these "packages" were put together. Since other on-line resellers frequently refer to the WaterCops with 3 WaterHounds as Sergeant packages, we added the Sergeant to our title. Our pricing for components is quite competitive. Since we stock the separate components in our Iowa warehouse, we decided not to purchase the other combinations pre-packaged but let our customers decide how many and what additional components to purchase.

For those of you unfamiliar with the WaterCop device, this is a whole house or zoned water shut off full port ball valve with actuator that responds to radio signals from moisture sensors (WaterHounds) or freeze alert sensors (FreezeHounds). Water is shut off almost instantly when sensors are activated plus an alarm sounds at that sensor. The sensors can be AC powered or battery powered. The moisture sensors come with a single probe or two probes connected to one radio device. The sensors are installed under water dispensing refrigerators, dishwashers, water heaters, washing machines, etc.

Thanks again for your question. Please contact us if you need more information.

Sincerely,
Barbara

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Material in the Coyote Decoy

Q: What is this COYOTE Decoy Replica Goose Repeller by BirdX made of ? Does it fold up or can it be carried easily ?

Answer: There are two different coyote decoy goose repellers. Customers report high levels of success with both types. The 3 D unit gives 360-degree coverage as opposed to the flat, two dimensional one.

The foldable coyote replica is made in the USA from durable coraplast, a plastic. This i2 D units is waterproof, weatherproof andUV coated for no sun fade. Folds to 10 inches by 10 inches. When set up, the coyote is 22 inches by 26 inches.

The 3 dimensional coyote decoy version also folds for easy portability. The coyote body is made from Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) while the stake is polypropylene. Average coverage is 1 to 4 acres of open area.Coyote Dimensions: Life-sized 37” head to tail, 8” at widest point of body, 16” tall (based on stake placement). Weight is 3 lbs.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

How to use the Sensaphone Smoke Detector

Q: "Do you have the user manual for the Photoelectric Smoke Detector 120V for Sensaphones?"

Answer: Yes. You will need to install the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software to view this and most manuals.

We do our best to include user manuals for all the products we sell, if they are available. To find the manuals, go to the page where the product is displayed. The link to the manuals is typically below the item's picture. In this case you would go to the page for the Photoelectric Smoke Detector 120V for Sensaphones and click on the manual link below the picture.

Please contact us if you have other questions.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Monday, February 11, 2008

What is the Temperature of a Gro-Mat?

Q: "What is the factory preset temperature for the Gro-Mat built in thermostats for the SUPER Gro-Mat Mat Size 17 X 37 with Frame ? Thanks. Harrison.

Answer: 130 to 135 degrees F. This is considered the optimum germination temperature range. The mat and rack work together: heat travels upward through the 2 inch open space between the flat and the mat. Heat circulates into and through the soil.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Delaying the Power Outage Alert on A Home Monitor

Q: "Is there a way to program the Home Guard Monitor 500-2 With 30 Hour Battery Backup NOT to call unless the power has been out for 6-8 hours?? The power frequently goes out for short periods of time around us and the 5 minute set up would be quite bothersome. The instructions explain how to set the temperature but not the time frame." Rick

Answer: We contacted the manufacturer for guidance. Here is the response from Microtechnologies: "I do not recommend setting the power outage time delay to 7-8 hours. How about starting with 1 hour and working your way up? Do you have the instructions for adjusting the factory default? If you do it is Option 6."

We hope this helped you. If not, please send us more questions.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Sunday, February 3, 2008

Can an Earcheck check for infections in adults?

Q: "I have a question about Ear Check. Can it be used to detect ear infections in adults? Thank you. daniele.

Answer: Not unless the adult is 19 years or younger. The EarCheck EC-2 is FDA cleared and UL approved for use on children only. EarCheck is not validated or approved for use in those older than 19. This new unit (2007) does not use removeable tips.

The EarCheck Monitor should NOT be used on children with the following conditions as it may provide an inaccurate reading:
  • Under 6 months of age.
  • Ear tubes (ventilation tubes).
  • Water in the outer ear, such as swimmer's ear.
  • Known perforation or rupture of the eardrum.
  • Facial or ear deformities.
  • Visible drainage of pus or blood in the outer ear canal

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Instruction Book for Using Otoscope

Q: "Do you sell an instruction booklet for your Riester Model #R3400 Otscope and Ophthalmoscope?" Thank you. Barbara M"

Answer: No, this is a professional model and comes with no instructions for use. Instead, I suggest you purchase a book we sell called Ears, An Owners Manual. We've had much positive feedback on this book. We order 50 at a time every few months.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Friday, February 1, 2008

Cleaning an Expresso Coffee Maker

Q: "Is Clean Citric Decalcifier okay to clean espresso machines?How large is this container? Thanks. -jg."

Answer: We checked with the OKO distributor. Yes it is safe to use on an expresso machine to remove hard water and lime deposits. 250 grams is the size of the container. Our supplier noted that the citric decalcifier is 100% biodegradable and all natural. Contains no phosphates, formaldehyde or solvents so it cannot harm skin, yard or pets.

Sincerely,
Barbara

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Use of Ultrasonic Super BarkStop Device

Q: " Will the Super Bark Stop (ES-VT-BC16G) work through a fence?"

Answer: Not if the fence is a solid one. This is an ultrasonic sound device just like the ultrasonic rodent repellers. Ultrasound behaves more like a light beam than sound that you hear. If the fence is a cyclone fence or the Barkstop is placed in the open space between the fence posts, some of the ultrasonic waves will go through to the adjoining yard.

Some customers install this unit in a birdhouse enclosure and aim it down over the fence. This will limit the area of coverage, however. Others have mounted the unit to their house or to a tree. The closer the unit or similar units are to the animal, the more effective it is. The maximum range is about 35 feet.

Please contact us if you have more questions.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Strobe operation of the Squirrel Evictor

Q: "Is the strobe from the Professional Evictor Squirrel and Rat Repeller on constantly or does the unit have a motion sensor?"

Answer: Yes, the strobe light must on continuously and there is no motion sensor or on/off switch. The 1,000,000 Candlepower strobe light strobes 90 times per minute. Best results occur when the Squirrel Evictor operates in a dark, uncluttered space where its strobe is the only light source. The instruction manual recommends leaving enter/exit holes unsealed for at least one month. Squirrels, rats, raccoons, etc. are trained by the strobe to hate the protected areas and can leave that area while holes are open.

Please contact us if you have additional questions.

Sincerely, Barbara

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Width of Height Extension for Pet Gate

Q: "I need to keep a large dog out of a room. How wide is the height extension for the White Duragate Metal Pet Gate with Height Extension (SF-MG-25-TPX-W)? I know how tall it is but before I order I want to make sure of the width."

Answer: The doorway width is the same with or without the height extension: 26.5 to 41.5 Inches. The height extension is adjustable as is the gate. With one extension, the gate is 38 to 40 inches high. The gate height varies with mounting height from the floor (flush to 2 inches). With an additional TPX-1, add 8 inches giving a total height of 46 to 48 inches for the gate. Unless your dog can get a running start, the gate with one extension should be tall enough.

Please contact us if you need more information.

Sincerely, Barbara

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