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.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Consumer Reports Highly Rates Topple Stops for Securing Furniture to Wall Studs

Question about Safety Straps and Topple Stops for earthquake safety.

Q: "The recent earthquakes have me worried because I live in California in a home built to the latest earthquake standards. (Actually, there are tremors in Alaska, Hawaii, etc., too.) It is time to protect against falling furniture and TVs since I believe my walls will remain standing. I also have small children who are climbers. Please explain what you sell that would help me. Thanks." Mary.

Answer: Topple Stops were recommended by Consumer Reports to stabilize furnishings to increase home safety. These fastener kits let you keep furnishings from toppling by securing them to wall studs. Then use Safety Straps to secure objects on the bookcases or furniture to the furnishings now protected from toppling over. Safety straps come in white or black.

First, determine how many fastener sets you need by number of appliances or furniture you want to secure to the wall studs, keeping in mind the weight. For example, use two sets for appliances and furniture up to 400 pounds. Keep in mind that a combination of Topple Stops and Safety Straps is needed to secure a TV set to a TV stand which then is secured to a wall stud.

Each Topple Stop Kit Contains 2 Topple Stops Each of Which Includes:

* 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.

The Safety Straps come in a kit that contains 4 buckles and 2 locking straps. The choices are black or white. To use, peel and press adhesive square in place. You'll get four (4) white buckles (2" x 2") and two (2) 5" white locking straps(5/8" wide). Bonding time: Four hours to set adhesive for buckle before adding strap. Full bonding after 72 hours. Use 2 Safety Straps for "low profile" equipment up to 50 lb. Use 4 Safety Straps for heavier weight and top heavy items up to 100 lbs.

Do remember your family emergency kit as well with flashlights, food bars, water, etc.

Thanks for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara

Labels: , ,

Share this post with:

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Safety Edge Padding for Exposed Beams Near Bunk Beds

Question about the Brown Boing Corner Strips BS-CS-48-200110 and Hearth Guard Edge Cushioning in Brown.

Q: "Our sons' bunk bed is located near to an exposed stained wooden ceiling beam. What suggestions do you have for padding the edges to keep them from hard bumps on their heads? The bunk bed is a standard twin length plus the head and foot boards. The beam is about 12 feet long. Thanks." Lynn

Answer: First, you have 144 inches more or less in length of the beam. Since it runs the entire length of the room, there is no need for corners.

If you want to cover both sides of the beam using the Boing Corner Strips, then you need to order a total of 8 strips since 144 divided by 39.5 equals 3.65 strips and you have two lengths of 144 to cover. These come 4 to a case with each strip being 39.5 inch long with a 2.25" x 2.25" lip and 1/2" thick

If you want to cover both sides with the Hearth Guard, you need to order 6 of the 54 inch strips (324 inches) or 5 lengths of 48 inches (240 inches) plus another 54 inches (294 total) just to be safe. The longest stick available is 54 inches long. This pad has a 2 3/8" x 2 3/8" lip.

The Boing Corner Strips come cases of 4 or 10 in 10 colors: Red, Orange,Yellow, Ivory, Green, Sky Blue, Indigo, Grey, Brown, and Purple. Matching corners come in 7 colors: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Sky Blue, Indigo, and Purple. Each corner is 4 inches by 4 inches by 4 inches and about 1/2 inch thick. There are no corners to match the ivory, grey or brown.

The Hearth Guard is available in ivory, gray, brown, black and taupe. If you want to protect the edges of the bunk bed, the corner cushions that match the hearth guard are 8 inches by 8 inches. Or there are smaller corner cushions and edge cushioning to match.

Use glue or tape to attach to the beam or you can use screws. We recommend the glue as it is easier. We used the hearth guard strips in taupe to protect taller persons from bumping their heads on our stair landing.

Both manufacturers emphasize that these products are fire resistant and non-toxic.

Thank you for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara

P.S. This customer phoned later to tell us she had used screws to attach the Boing edge strips to the beams and was very pleased with the results.

Labels: , , ,

Share this post with:

Which Nebulizer: Ultrasonic Nebulizer, Compressor Nebulizer, AC or Battery?

Question about how to choose a nebulizer.

Q: " I am confused. There are so many different types of nebulizers and so many brands. How do I know which I need: an ultrasonic microair, a compressor, a battery powered unit, an AC unit, etc.? I have a Rx from my doctor as I have asthma. Thanks." Vance.

Answer: With your Rx in hand, you are ready to buy, once you decide. (All nebulizers sold and shipped to USA addresses require a prescription from a physician or must be shipped to a medical or veterinary facility).

Nebulizers vary by type and price. The jet nebulizers, also called piston or compressor, are available in tabletop models or handheld portable nebulizer models. The tabletop models are typically less expensive, noisier and bulkier than the ultrasonic unit. An adult mask and sometimes a pediatric mask usually come with the tabletop units. The microair or ultrasonic nebulizers rarely include masks, which are often available at extra charge. Ultrasonic are smaller, quieter and more expensive.

There are many brands. Currently we sell Omron, Lumiscope, Mabis, John Bunn. Power is via rechargeable batteries, AA batteries, 120VAC/240VAC or 12V car cords. Weigh can be a few ounces to 3 to 5 pounds. Units can even resemble cows, penguins, race cars, trains, etc. Nebulizer accessories include disposable medication cups, mesh or foam filters, replacement nebulizer kits, battery packs, etc.

Here are factors to consider:
  1. What Your Physician Recommends?
  2. Frequency of Use? Occasional, Daily, Multiple Times Each Day
  3. Need for Portable Unit? For Travel, Backpack for School Children, Etc.
  4. Need for Masks?
  5. Need for Use in Vehicles or Where Electricity is Not Available? 12Volt Adapter, Replaceable or Rechargeable Batteries?
  6. Storage? Do you have room for a larger unit?
  7. Type of Medication You Use? Need to Get Every Drop Inhaled?
  8. Time You Have to Spend for Treatments? 15 Minutes, 5 Minutes?
  9. Cost: Do you have insurance? What will they contribute?
Compressor Nebulizers: Commonly larger, May or may not have one or two (adult and/or child masks) included. Treatment typically up to 15 minutes. Less expensive (under $100 except for compact portable units). Usually less prone to need repairs: sturdier, remains on a table or shelf, rarely transported or dismantled except for cleaning or storage. Noisier due to the compressor. AC powered. Uses compressed air to turn liquid medication into a mist. Not as efficient at nebulizing every last drop of medication. To make life more confusing, there are also portable compressor nebulizers that are quite small like the Mabis NebXP that operates on a rechargeable battery or AC.

Ultrasonic or MicroAir Nebulizers: Smaller, handheld. (The Omon is the size of a puffer or inhaler). Often no masks included. More expensive, from $175 to more than $300. Easily fits in handbag, briefcase or backpack. More likely to be dropped accidentally. Quiet, sometimes almost silent. AC, disposable batteries, 12 volt adapter and/or rechargeable battery powered. Rechargeable battery power is limited to 2 or 3 treatments before recharge required. Ultrasonic vibrations turn the liquid medication into a mist. Ultrasonic nebulizers often require water to be added to the medication. Faster medication delivery and in smaller, more uniform sized particles. (A customer phoned to tell me his wife did not know he had begun and completed his treatment as the Omron unit was so quiet and the treatment was so fast!) Filters can be expensive but last much longer.

Studies don't show much difference between the two varieties as far as effectiveness is concerned for treatment of respiratory problems.

Thank you for your question. We recommend you enter "nebulizer" into the search on our website and examine the options before you buy. Most manuals are available on the individual nebulizer pages. Feel free to email us or phone if you need more information.

Sincerely,
Barbara

Labels: ,

Share this post with:

Pulse Oximeters for Oxygen Monitoring of Pilots, COPD Sufferers, Accident Victims, Etc.

Question about the John Bunn DIGI O2 Finger Pulse Oximeter.

Q: "I am a private pilot age 60 who flies an unpressurized airplane often above 6000 feet. Friends suggest that I get an oximeter so I know when I need supplemental oxygen. (I carry medical oxygen with me, mostly for passengers.) How does this unit work? I thought this was more for accident victims. Thanks." Steve.

Answer: The DIGI O2 Finger Pulse Oximeter operates on 2 AAA batteries. The LED read-out is easily read in bright and dark lighting conditions. The read-out features a brightly lit LED read-out of oxygen saturation (SpO2), pulse rate and perfusion index (or pulse strength). There are alarms both audible and visual for Low Battery, Low SpO2, High Pulse Rate and Low Pulse Rate. The pre-set Alarm Limits: Low SpO2, 90%, Low Pulse Rate: 50bpm andHigh Pulse Rate: 120bpm. Pulse oximeters are used widely in EMS, hospital and clinical settings as well as for home use and aviation.

Oxygen levels can get low for many reasons. For pilots, that insidious killer, carbon monoxide can begin to effect a pilot or passengers at different rates depending upon age, health, etc. CO replaces oxygen in the blood. So checking with an oximeter may prevent catastrophe if someone in the plane complains of being sleepy, etc.

Health problems such as respiratory or cardiac problems also interfere with oxygen absorption.

For pilots who fly over 10,000 feet in unpressurized planes, a pulse oximeter is a must even if supplemental oxygen is being used. Remember as we age, our bodies react differently.

Thank you for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara

Labels: , ,

Share this post with:

Sheepskin Shearling Wool Pelt Underlay vs Mediwool for Invalids

Question about the products GF-1816 Sheepskin Shearling Wool Pelt and SF-MW-115 MediWool Wool Mattress Pad, 36 x 48 inch Draw Sheets

Q: "My mom spends most of her day in bed due to health problems. We have the alternating pressure mattress. Someone suggested we get a sheepskin wool pelt for additional comfort. I cannot decide between the Mediwool mattress pad and the wool pelt. Can you help by explaining the pros and cons?" Thanks, Sara

Answer: The G F Health Products deluxe wool pelt is 3/4 inch thick and is the actual sheepskin pelt. The total size is 6 to 7 square feet and the shape is that of a sheep, narrow at the top and wider at the bottom. The pelt is washable. Many people prefer the natural pelt. There is a Medicare Code for this product: HCPCS Code: E0189 so you can apply for reimbursement if applicable.

The 36 by 48 inch MediWoolâ„¢ pad is 12 square feet. MediWoolâ„¢ mattress pads are made of one-inch, 100% lambswool pile with draw sheets to hold them in place. There are many sizes available, twin, full, queen, etc. You can sleep directly on the pad or cover it with a sheet.

MediWoolâ„¢ is the trademark of the soft, pure, fleece pads which are fully washable one-inch deep pile lambswool imported from Australia and New Zealand and made in the USA. The wool is hygienically scoured and treated to allow frequent machine washing and drying. The backed fleece retains all of the natural qualities of sheepskin (including absorption of moisture vapor, softness and cushioning) without requiring that the animal give its life. These products are especially versatile due to their ease of washability, unlike the sheepskin which dries out and cracks.

Thank you for your question.

Sincerely,
Barbara

Labels: , ,

Share this post with:

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sensaphone Web600 Remote Monitor Uses Internet

Question about Sensaphone remote temperature monitors that do not need hard wired telephone lines.

Q: "I've looked at your Temperature Guard Monitor for several years. I am now free to travel since I retired. I want to protect my home from furnace or air conditioner failures. But that monitor requires a land-based phone line and I don't have that anymore. (I discontinued my telephone land line and now use a VOIP,voice over internet phone.)Do you have a remote temperature monitor that does not need a land telephone line? I have high speed internet access." Thanks. Tom

Answer: Sensaphone just released a new product,the Sensaphone Web600. This is a compact web-based remote monitor that has an optional battery back-up for when power fails.

The Web600's compact case measures 4.5 inches by 3.25 inches by 1.5 inches. There are 6 available zone inputs. A battery back-up unit (not included) plugs into the left side of the unit. Also there is an ethernet connection and a input for the 5V DC power adapter. There are two lights, a power and an alarm light on the top of the unit.

Besides temperature monitoring, the Web600 can also read values from humidity sensors, air quality sensors, water leak detection sensors and much more. For example, if you are worried about your sump pump failing, install the Sensaphone Compatible Water Detection Sensor.

Thanks for your question. Enjoy your travels and let the Sensaphone contact you or a neighbor or friend if something goes amiss at home.

Sincerely, Barbara

Labels: , , , ,

Share this post with:

How to Install a Mirror over a Bathroom Mirror Defogger

Question about the product Product Code: = 120 Volt Heated Mirror Defogger Model CL-MIR18P75W120V. that defogs a mirror area up to 18 inches x 25.25 inches.

Q: "Can the mirror be glued to the wall over this mirror defogger? Or does the mirror have to be clip mounted? Can the defogger element be wired to the light switch for on and off control? Thanks." Julie.

Answer: Yes, you can glue the mirror to the wall over this unit as long as you do not get glue on the unit itself. Installation of the mirror defogger element by Calorique is simple. Stick the defogger element to the wall, make a few simple electrical connections and replace your mirror. You can wire the unit into a light switch.Power consumption is 75 Watts. Included are attached 18 inch lead wires for hard-wiring.

Thank you for your question. Smile when you look in the mirror after stepping out of your shower!

Sincerely, Barbara

Labels: ,

Share this post with:

Help, Barbara, I Need Pantry Moth Traps!

Question about Contech Pantry Moth Traps.

Q: " "Barbara, this is Mom. I have a great idea for a product you should sell, Pantry Moth Traps. " This is what my 87 year old Mom told me two weeks ago (March 23, 2009) when she phoned me. After living for over 50 years in her home, Mom had pantry moths for the first time. She suspected they were either in birdseed or dog kibble stored in her kitchen pantry closet. She thought they were clothes moths for the first few days but then realized, not.

Answer: Guess what Mom! I've been selling pantry moth traps for the past year as well as fruit fly traps,yellow jacket and wasp traps and fly traps!

Being a good daughter, I promptly sent her two sets of traps. Mom responded that within the first day she'd already captured 11 moths!

What are pantry moths? How do we get them? And how do we get rid of them.

Pantry moths are found in bird seed, flour, dog food, biscuits, pasta, cereal, dried beans, bread, spices, cookies, etc. Store birdseed, dog food and similar products in sealed containers. Birdseed is especially inviting to pantry moths so its better to store that outside on a screened porch or in the garage.

Pantry moth larva are very small, about the size of a grain of rice. When I had an infestation years ago, they came into my house in a box of crackers. I didn't notice them until they literally had eaten into a bag of rice. When you spot moths or larva, increase your search. If you find them or webbing or larva, get rid of that food fast!

The Contech Pantry Moth traps are non-toxic and use pheromones to lure the moths. Each package contains two lures and two sticky pads. The lures attract moths for 4 to 8 weeks. When the sticky pad is full of moths, discard and open another trap. Our moth traps catch 4 times more moths than comparable traps used by the commercial pest control industry.

Use one trap per room: you don't want to confuse the moths by giving them more than one option! Mom put one trap in the pantry closet, one in the kitchen and one in each bedroom on the first floor. Also clean out your cupboards, vacuum them thoroughly and dispose of the vacuum bag or canister contents outside into a sealed bag that goes immediately into the garbage. Then wipe out the cupboards with a vinegar solution.

Thanks, Mom, for contributing to my Blog and for being my Mom!
Love, Barbara

Labels:

Share this post with:

BonaKemi Wood Floor Polish Or Bona Hardwood Refresher?

Question about the product Product Code: BK1001, BonaKemi Hardwood Floor Polish

Q: "Does the Polish leave a high gloss on the floor after it dries like the Refresher does? I noticed the Refresher product has a note on the label that it will leave a higher gloss on the floor than before its use and I would like to understand if that same note applies to the Polish product? Thank you for your response!"- Jennifer

Answer: Thanks for this question. I contacted BonaKemi to make sure my answer was correct. As you can see below, the important questions to ask yourself are whether you plan to have the wood floors refinished completely or not: Bona Wood Floor Polish cannot be re-coated (see below.) If you need technical support, phone this BonaKemi number: 800-872-5515.

BonaKemi Responded: "Bona Floor Polish is for newer floors including prefinished flooring: it is a blend of polyurethane and acrylic. You can buff the polish to get a better shine: the polish gives more of a sheen and blends better into the existing flooring than BonaKemi Hard Wood Floor Refresher. View the polish as a maintenance product like a wax. The acrylic component is why polished floors cannot be re-coated without being stripped. There are acrylic stripping agents available but the risk is that the polish will remain in the cracks unless sanded out.

The Bona Refresher is for older floors, gives more gloss and can be re-coated with polyurethane finish. The most important isse is to measure the area to be covered and not to skimp on the product. For both the refresher and the polish, the coverage is 500 square feet maximum. That is an area that is 10 feet by 50 feet or 15 feet x 33 feet, etc. If you spread the polish or refresher too thin, then you can get streaks. The refresher is not as durable as the polish but again this is meant for older flooring."

Applying Bona Hard Wood Floor Polish.
  1. Vacuum, Sweep or Dust Mop then thoroughly clean with Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner and the blue Microfiber Cleaning Pad on your Bona Microplus Mop. Repeat if necessary. Allow floor to dry.
  2. Gently rock container back and forth to mix. Slightly dampen (with water) a Bona Applicator Pad, Bona Cleaning Pad or paint pad and attach to mop. Squirt Hardwood Floor Polish onto floor. Working in sections small enough to keep the applicator wet, apply product to the floor and spread evenly. Smooth with the grain. Continue working in sections until the floor is completely coated. Rinse the applicator pad with water.
  3. Allow the floor to dry at least 2 hours before allowing foot traffic. Allow to dry overnight before heavy foot traffic.For Best Results: Always test a small inconspicuous section of the floor before use. Do not apply the product too thin. Coverage should be 500 square feet per bottle. Streaking will occur if the product is applied too thin. Coat the entire floor to ensure an even appearance.
  4. Application Frequency: Use as needed every 1-2 months.
  5. Note: Bona Hardwood Floor Polish is not re-coatable with finish. Hardwood Floor Polish must be completely removed by sanding to bare wood before recoating to ensure proper adhesion.
Thank you again for your question.
Sincerely, Barbara

Labels: ,

Share this post with:

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Attracting Hummingbirds to Hummingbird Feeders

Question about the products Hummingbird Nectars,glass and hanging plastic hummingbird feeders.

Q: "We'd like to attract and feed hummingbirds. We've been warned about problems with attracting wasps, ants and yellow jackets to the bird feeders because of the nectar food. Also we don't know where to install the feeders. And what is the easiest way to make the nectar? We live in Missouri." Thanks. Chuck.

Answer: The newer hummingbird feeders are less likely to attract insects. For example, the Jewel Box window hummingbird feeder has an optional ant moat. Also there are optional nectar guard tips you can add to reduce problems with bees or wasps.

Selecting a feeder location is based upon a location with bushes or trees nearby. What attracts hummingbirds are food, water, shelter and places to raise their young. You can mount your hummingbird feeder on a window, on a deck or from a tree. The closer to your home the feeder is located, the more you'll enjoy watching the birds.

Nectar needs to be changed every three days to prevent mold and bacteria growth from the nectar solution. Certainly, you can make your own sugar solution. A simpler option is to purchase nectar mix. If you are serious about hummingbirds, we suggest you buy at least six packages at a time. We also sell by the case. The mixes we sell are dry and include clear, red and strawberry flavored. Each 8 ounces of mix when combined with 6 cups of water makes 48 ounces of nectar. Most feeders hold 5 to 8 ounces of nectar food. The nectar contains sucrose and dextrose. Once mixed, it is best to store the nectar in the refrigerator.

Most hummingbirds migrant and are found in North America in the warmer seasons. Get the feeders up in time for their arrival in your area. In Florida, this is as early as January. In Missouri, expect them in May. Call your local extension service for more information.

The more popular feeders we sell include handblown glass ones like the Bird Brain Lantern Feeder and the UV stabilized impact resistant polycarbonate plastic feeders by Droll Yankees and Aspects. Do remember that the more ornate glass feeders are more fragile than the polycarbonate.

Thanks for your question. Enjoy the birds.

Sincerely, Barbara

Labels:

Share this post with: