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.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Can Super Bark Free Be Activated Manually?

Question about the Super Bark Free ES-PET-PC16

Q: "Can the Super Bark Free be activated manually without the dog barking? Our neighbor's dog charges me at the lot line. I's like to discourage this activity." - Larry.

Answer: The Super Bark Free has a test button but is not made to be activated manually. The Super Bark Free is heavy, operating off 4 D cells.

What we suggest is an ultrasonic dog corrector like the Dazer , Pet Agree or Dog Off. Each weighs only a few ounces. The Dazer and the Pet Agree are essentially the same except for the color and the name. According to the manufacturer, in some countries only the Pet Agree is sold as the word "dazer" connotes cruelty. Both generate an ultrasonic sound which dogs dislike. The Dazer and Pet Agree are powered from a 9 volt battery and feature a belt clip. Our UPS delivery man uses one as do joggers, etc.

The Dog Off Pro, also powered by a 9 volt battery, features a flashlight, 120dB audible emergency personal alarm. belt clip and ultrasonic sound generator for dog correction.

We stock all three and can ship same or the next business day.

Thanks for your question.

Sincerely,
Barbara

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

How Can I Keep Sparrows Out of My Horse Barn?

Question about Bird Repellers:

Q: "I had a question about bird repellers. I need something for my horse barn to keep sparrows out, but there are cats, dogs and horses out there. Would your electronic device be safe for them? Please answer my email asap, as the birds are making a big mess out there". Thanks, Pat

Answer: Safe Home sells several electric bird repeller units with prices ranging from under $100, the P3 International Passive InfraRed Sonic Bird Repeller to units that include a combination sonic and ultrasonic repeller with 4 speakers plus visual scare devices, the BroadBand Pro for under $1000 to "industrial strength" units for over $1500. We also sell visual scare devices, roost inhibitors and bird spikes. Some electronic bird repellers are sonic only, some are ultrasonic only and some feature both auditory and silent sounds.
My suggestion is to begin with visual scare devices and perhaps one sonic bird repeller unit. You could begin with the visual scare and add the sonic repeller later if you are concerned about the noise. Without seeing your barn, more accurate suggestions are difficult to make. Several years ago, a dairy farmer in Idaho bought Irritape and a 4 speaker Super BirdXpeller I from us at the suggestion of a neighboring farmer. Your situation may require something like this if the easier, less expensive methods don't work. (He said the cows were more bothered by the birds and the bird poop than by the noises.)
I suggest that you install the Terror Eyes orange balls on springs outside all openings to your barn. That would mean on either side of your main door and near all open windows. If your barn has openings at the eaves for ventilation, I suggest you install mesh screening to keep the birds out. A Prowler Owl in your barn would add to protection. If your barn permits installation and you have good cross ventilation, adding Irritape inside or outside on trees near to the barn to keep the birds away. The Irritape makes noises as it moves in the wind and the changing patterns scare off birds, too.
All nests must be removed. To keep birds from nesting or roosting on the beams, you can install netting, use a sprayer and spray Bird Proof Liquid or install bird spikes. Bird spikes are definitely the most expensive way to go in terms of time spent installing and money. Inside the bird proof is probably the easiest. Birds don't like sticky feet. And without weather to effect it, the bird proof should be effective for years.
The Bird-X BirdXpeller Pro 1 is a proven winner in bird control of sparrows, etc. That and the unit by P3 International, the motion sensor activated BirdChaser are your best choices for a smaller barn. I suggest you use a timer so that the units activate when the horses, etc. are out for the day.
Ultrasonic units work well to keep birds out once you've gotten the situation under control with the other units. The problem with ultrasound is that it is like light beams, the sound bounces off hard surfaces and is absorbed by soft surfaces plus the units must be installed high off the ground so that birds can fly under the sound waves and not be effected. Ultrasonic repellers mounted low will drive your cats and dogs nuts.
Please contact us with your barn dimensions and we'll help you choose what you need.
Sincerely,
Barbara

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Stand Alone Water Alarm Comparisons

Question about Water Alarms.

Q:"What kind of stand alone water alarms do you sell?" Thanks. Lee

Answer: Safe Home Products sells three different water alarms that are stand alone.

1. The Flood Detective: The only water alarm that features AC operation with battery back-up. 92 dB alarm. The 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. Flood Detective's fail-safe technology informs you of A/C power loss or low battery levels. 8 foot cord on each sensor. Daisy chain additional water sensors to expand coverage of a single Flood Detective water alarm unit. Multi-sensor Capable: one water alarm can monitor multiple sensors. (Maximum of 5 is recommended for easier location of water leaks.) 7 year warranty.


2.The Gizmode Water Alarm : This is a battery only water alarm with a very loud alarm: Sounds at 110+ db for up to 72 hours. Construction: Sturdy ABS plastic outer shell with 4 stainless steel sensors. Powered by a single 9 volt battery (not included) Low battery warning. Tip resistant. Moisture Sensors: Sensitive to low moisture levels. Standing water not required. Stainless steel sensors: Will not corrode nor stain. Sensor contacts sink deep into carpet, thus detecting the first signs of moisture below the carpet's surface. Size: 3" Diameter x 3" Tall. Takes up minimal space. Optional Sump Pump or Water Overflow Attachment. (Sold Separately). 1 year warranty.


3. The WaterHound moistures sensors: These are battery only or AC only (with adapters that are not included.) Each moisture sensor unit has a 65 dB alarm and a six foot sensor cord. Two versions are available, one with a single probe and one with two probes each on its own 6 foot sensor wire. Use as a stand alone or with the WaterCop which is a motorized ball valve that responds to radio signals from the Waterhound and shuts off the main water valve when signaled in the event of a moisture sensor alert. 1 year limited manufacturer's warranty.


So, if your concern is a window well, the better choice is the Gizmode Water Alarm. If you are concerned about water seeping in under a carpet, the Flood Detective would be least obtrusive. However the Gizmode would work as well. For use under a water dispensing refrigerator, the Flood Detective or the WaterHound are better choices since they do not require much room.


If you have additional questions, please contact us. We do offer discounts on purchases of quantities of any of these units.


Sincerely,

Barbara

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Quantity Purchases of Window Guards for an Apartment Complex

Question about Window Guards: "My company needs 200 white window guards. We will be installing these in an apartment complex. I was going to purchase these on-line and wanted to know the best shipping method. These are for windows where the bottom pane moves up and down. I was looking at the John Sterling Window Guards that are 20 inches high and fit a window that is 24 to 42 inches in width." -Erin

Answer: Erin, before we talk about best shipping methods, there are many questions that we need to have answered as Safe Home Products wants to make sure that your company purchases the correct guards and the correct brand of guards for your particular application.

Safe Home Products sells two brands of window guards, Guardian Angel guards are totally removable from the mounting bars and are ASTM approved for New Jersey installations. A different guard is the John Sterling ASTM approved for New Jersey applications. The John Sterling guards come in several types including fixed, swing open, and removable. Some John Sterling guards have an option for a locking pin or a lock for security purposes. Both brands of window guards can be installed in a wide variety of windows including sliders, horizontally opening windows and casements that wind or push out.

A. Code requirements: Many cities, counties, states have code requirements. Among the codes are these factors:

1. Amount of window opening that must be covered by the guards.

2.Bar spacing requirements: 3.5 inches or 4 inches or 4.5 inches.

3. Open space allowed between the bottom bar and the bottom of the window opening and the top bar and the top of the window opening. Can a permanent window stop be used to keep that top opening at a particular level (say 3.5 to 4 inches)?

4. Fixed (non removeable) Guards versus Removeable Guards: Some codes require that all guards be removable or swing open. Other codes say that fixed must be put in non-sleeping areas, etc.

5. Locking Requirement? Presence or absence of a hole in the window for purposes of using a locking pin or lock device.

6. Requirements for non-opening guards at or above a particular level in a building? (In some cities, the guards installed above the 6th floor must be fixed as fire ladder trucks can rarely reach beyond a 6th floor to rescue people through windows.)

7. Do you want to order bulk packed guards? There is one John Sterling window guard that can be purchased bulk, i.e. you purchase the window guard, the locking channel, the screws, etc. all separately. This guard also comes in white or dark brown.

B. Accurate measurements of the windows: We quote window guards based upon the information provided to us by our customers. Many guards differ in size by only 1 inch. For example, if the window opening is 23 inches wide, the guards we discussed cannot be used. Similarly if the window opening is 42.5 inches, you would need a different sized guard.

D. How will the guards be mounted? Interior or Exterior within a room to be protected? Most guards are mounted inside the interior window frame. There are options for mounting John Sterling window guards side by side to fill larger width or banks of windows. For example when 3 larger double hung windows are in a single window frame, there are supports that can be used for side by side installation. Also some people prefer to mount the guards by securing into the window studs that are around the window.

D. Color: Guardian Angel come only in white. The John Sterling Max Series 1700 come only in white. The John Sterling 1100, 1200 and 1300 series are availabe in off-white or dark brown (special order for larger quantities)

C. Delivery options. Delivery by truck (common carrier) is the most economical for larger orders of guards. The goods would be put on wooden or plastic pallets.

1. Availability of a loading dock? If not, there would be additional shipping charges for a truck with a lift gate.

2. Someone to unload the truck. The freight company's responsibility ends with arrival on site unless special, costly arrangements are made in advance. A fork lift, pallet jack (if a loading dock is available) or manpower would be needed to remove the guards from the truck. Most trucking companies deliver by appointment. So we would need a phone number for the delivery location/person.

3. Is this a commercial address? In general, freight companies will deliver only to commercial business addresses.

4. To get an accurate freight quote, we would need to have a street, city and zip code. With the current fluctuation in fuel prices, this quotation would probably have to be amended prior to shipment of the goods as it would be "good" only for 3 to 4 days.

D. Estimated Time to Deliver On-Site: Orders of 100 or more window guards generally take 14 days to 21 days to manufacture. Occasionally, goods can ship faster than that. Time in transit once shipped averages 4 to 6 days.

Once we get the information above, we can then quote the costs more accurately. For example, if the bar spacing of 4 inches is acceptable, we can quote a comparable guard that is 22 inches high and can be configured both as a fixed and a removable guard. If the 3.5 inch spacing is part of the code, we have only one option to quote and it is a 20 inch high guard.

I hope this information is helpful to you and others who are purchasing window guards to protect children from window falls.

If you have more questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,
Barbara

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Can this Wasp Trap Stop my Paper Wasp Problem?

Question about the product Contech Yellow Jacket and Wasp Trap CT-WASP152.

Q: "Will this product work for paper wasps? My County Extension Agent says traps won't work for paper wasps. Do you agree? We live in West Texas--Lubbock. The paper wasps were so bad late summer that we couldn't get in the house."

Answer: Your County Extension Agent is correct. This trap is designed to lure yellow jackets and wasps away from outdoor areas where food is being consumed. The trap will not rid you of a paper wasp colony.

To get rid of paper wasps, you must remove the nest completely and then spray and then spray an insecticide to kill any surviving wasps. Otherwise the surviving wasps will return to the same spot and build another nest.

The University of Minnesota extension service recommends June as the best time of the year to control wasps, after the queen has established her colony and while the colony is still small. Do this at night when wasps are less active as they have trouble flying at temperatures below 50° F. Never seal a wasp nest until you are sure there are no surviving wasps inside. Sometimes doing this drives the wasps to nest inside a building.

There are no insecticides that repel wasps. Apply a ready-to-use aerosol "wasp and hornet spray" into the entrance of the nest during late evening according to label directions. If no activity is observed the next day, the nest has been successfully exterminated. If live wasps are still observed, repeat the treatment at three-day intervals until they are all dead.

Please contact us if you have additional questions.

Sincerely,
Barbara

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Can a PestChaser PC1000 get Rid of a Rat in My Wall?

Question about the Woodstream PestChaser PC1000 for Rodent Control.

"I have a rat in my wall. Can I plug this into an outlet on this wall and will it work?"

Answer: No, if the unit were placed inside the wall, aimed at the rodent, it might repel the rat. Ultrasound is more like light rays than like audible sound waves. This means the sound cannot penetrate walls or objects. The ultrasonic sound waves project only out from the speaker which is at the front of the unit.

Rats come into homes through small openings in the foundation, where the foundation meets the siding and through attic spaces.

To discourage rats:
  • Take away their food supply: keep pet food and human food in sealed containers.
  • Destroy their homes by removing trash, old boards, weeds, etc. and store wood and building materials at least a foot off the ground.
  • Close off their holes and entryways by covering windows with screens, sealing floor drains, caulking around pipes and cables where they pass through walls, and stuffing holes with stainless steel mess.
If you own your home, have done the above steps and you find evidence that the rats are in your attic, consider an Evictor strobe light repeller . We have had only positive comments about the effectiveness of this unit for squirrels, rats and other varmints in attics when the unit/units are correctly installed.

Thanks for your question.
Sincerely,
Barbara

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Using a PowerPack to Power a Heater?

Question about the XPower Powerpack 400 Plus Radio and Air Compressor.

Q: "Can this powerpack be used to operate a heater when camping and if so for how long?" Rickey

Answer: No, this powerpack cannot be used to operate a heater when camping. Electric heaters typically draw 1000 watts of power. This is a 400 watt power pack with a 600 watt surge. Plugging in a 1000 watt electric heater would cause either the circuit breaker to trip or a fire to cocur.

My suggestion: purchase one of the new generation of catalytic heaters that use propane. Catalytic heaters are a safe, portable option. I do recommend that you purchase and use a Costar 9RV, a recreational vehicle rated carbon monoxide alarm. We've sold these to the military to use in tents where catalytic heaters are used.

If you have other questions, we'd be happy to help.

Sincerely,
Barbara

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