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Check your holiday lighting before plugging in


November 08, 2017   By Willard Strong in Safety
Santa, reindeer, snow and all things holidays are permeating the airwaves, retail stores and the cyberworld in full force.

Of course, displays at retail outlets have been around for a couple of months now. I know, I know. Why so long before Halloween and Thanksgiving? One advantage to holiday décor out so “early” is that it isn’t picked over. So choices abound.

Let’s talk holiday lighting. It is always a good idea to closely examine your indoor and outdoor lighting for frayed wires, bulbs that don’t work, and other things like that. If they need replacing, now is a good time to do it when selections are good.

LED holiday lights have never been more cost-effective to buy. Look for the ones that are UL (Underwriters Laboratories) approved. That means they’ve been checked out for safety. It’s important to look for the UL symbol when purchasing anything electric.

Another good tip is... Continue Reading >>

Don’t be a hurricane statistic


September 13, 2017   By Willard Strong in Safety

A portable generator can come in handy in the aftermath of severe weather, but remember to follow manufacturer’s instructions for safe use.

Another weather event has come and gone and with it, the humanitarian toll that a hurricane or tropical storm typically brings.

Sadly, there are fatalities with bad weather. We should all learn how to stay safe when it comes to storms and preparing for them.

Generator Safety: One man died when a gasoline-powered generator was being operated in a garage, apparently with the door closed. A man died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Never, ever operate a generator, lawn mower, automobile or any internal combustion engine in an enclosed area. Even with the garage door open, one can be overcome by fumes.

A lot of generators were sold leading up to Irma. Undoubtedly, many buyers had no experience with generators. It’s very important to read the manual and think safety when using a generator. For example, be careful when fueling them. Do it outside, away from your house, and keep gasoline away from an open flame, including cigarettes or a gas, or... Continue Reading >>

Go fly a kite


May 11, 2017   By Jessica Yourko in Safety

Kite safety is important for everyone, kids and adults alike.

Over the last couple of weeks, the wind seems to have unleashed its potential on us just about every single day.  You would think I would have been prepared for this phenomenon and I would have rushed my children outside to partake in a hobby dating back long before there were even power lines around:  kite flying.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t get windy around here often. Unless we are in the middle of a hurricane or a fast moving afternoon storm, all is pretty calm.

I don’t own a kite. I know for a fact. I looked.

I am not even sure if I have ever even bought one for my children.

There is almost nothing worse than picking out the perfect kite, unwrapping it and then waiting on the wind to take it away.  And waiting…and waiting…and waiting.  

However, just in case this wind keeps up, I have already made plans to take my children shopping for their very first kite... Continue Reading >>

How's the health of your home's electrical system?


February 08, 2017   By Willard Strong in Safety

Upgrading the breaker box could avoid a costly fire in your home.

There’s a nonprofit organization, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFI) that keeps statistics on home electrical fires. Who knew, right?

USFI estimates that there are about 51,000 home electrical fires every year, resulting in approximately 500 deaths, 1,400 injuries and $1.1 billion in property damage. That’s pretty sobering.

Sure, something such as a lightning strike can cause a fire but so many of these tragic losses are preventable, if homeowners would only do a few things to make their homes safer.

For example, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that electrical receptacles are a factor in 5,300 fires annually. Problems with 110-115 volt “outlets” as we commonly call them, are likely less of a factor if you own a newer home. More on that later.

If you have an older home, you’re probably more at risk for having an outdated electrical system overall with insufficient amperage,... Continue Reading >>

Be electrically safe and sound this holiday season


November 22, 2016   By Willard Strong in Safety
This is the week many of us put up our holiday lights and decorate the tree. Of course, some traditionalists will wait until the calendar turns to Dec.1 to begin decking the halls and such.

The holidays are supposed to be joyous time for family and friends, but bad things can of course happen any time of year. There are simple and easy things you can do to make the Thanksgiving and yuletide season safer for you and your loved ones---and give you peace of mind.

For example:

Prior to putting up or stringing lights on the tree, make sure you examine each set for loose connections, damaged sockets, or bare or frayed wires. Now, some lights may hold some sentimental value to you, but there’s nothing sentimental about have to dial 911 for the fire department if a dangerous lighting set goes terribly wrong. This could be an ideal time to replace older lighting sets with LEDs that are super energy efficient, essentially... Continue Reading >>