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Healthier Living | Child Safety | Eco Friendly Tips

Banister Guard Keeps Children From Falls Thru Balcony Balusters

by Barbara 27. May 2018 12:52

Close call: Condo should have had Kid Shield Banister Guard.

Hard to believe it has been over 13 years since our family ski trip to Copper Mountain, Colorado. My sons, one daughter-in-law, 3 granddaughters, 3 grandsons, one au pair and me. Will never forget the terror in his scream

I spotted the balcony in the 2 story condo rental when we arrived. The youngest grandkids were Will and Alex, then 4 and 2. Already operating SafeHomeProducts.com, I warned the adults to keep an eye on them.I recall it was the second or third day when Will got his head caught between the upright posts of the balcony. Screaming alerted us. We rushed to get him out.  It was then that we realized that  Alex was slim enough to slip through the posts. After that, an adult (and the older children) were on alert. Rather unnerving.

We reported this situation to the rental company. Doubt that any action was taken. The next trip: we rented a single story unit.

Make your home safe! Avoid scares like this one!

Sincerely,

Barbara

Window Blind or Window Shade Wraps Increase Safety for Children

by Barbara 8. June 2015 07:50

Question: "Please suggest how I can make window blinds and accordian shades more child safe. We cannot afford to have them all replaced. The cords are long. Thanks. Susan

Answer: We sell the Cardinal Gates Window Blind Cord Safety Wrap cord wrap that allows you to shorten exposed cords. We have only animals living in our home. We do have cats. The young Siamese ruined several duet shades by chewing on the cords (and climbing the shades). We installed Cardinal Gates window cord wraps on most of our shades. And opened the shades to the max to keep little Buddy from climbing.

These devices attach to your window glass, the frame or the wall using a very high bond adhesive. Made of clear plastic, the window blind cord wrap is hardly visible. It is a rounded oval shape,35 inches long and 1 inch wide in the middle. The cord wrap on the underside is 2 inches by just under a half inch. This size can handle long and or thick cords. You just wrap the cord around the cleat out of reach of animals and children. The clearness of the plastic and the installed heigh keep  a child's attention from cords. We actually installed ours very high so the cat (not de-clawed) cannot play with the window shade nor the cords. Do not install on non-racheting blinds. To lower or raise the shade unwrap to the desired length and then re-wrap around the holder. I mounted the wraps high on the window glass.

The Cardinal Gates Window Blind Cord Safety Wrap is made in China.

Thank you for your question. We do sell these in a bulk pack to save you money.

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

Choosing the Correct John Sterling Window Guard Type to Meet My Needs

by Barbara 13. August 2013 08:05

Question about which John Sterling Window Guards I should purchase.

Q: "I need to protect windows in an apartment complex. I started an order for John Sterling 1125 window guards that did not complete. Please help me.Thanks. Walter"

Answer: There are three types of John Sterling window guards, the 1120 series that meet NYC requirements for non-sleeping rooms, the 1130 series, that come in basic bulk packaging and in units that include mounting bars, escape pins, brackets and screws and the 1170 series, currently only one model that swings open and removes from the mounting posts.

We determined in our phone call that you needed John Sterling 1130 series that open. Below is basic information for anyone who needs to install window guards.

John Sterling Window Guard Types: Fixed or Non-Opening and Swing Open. Check with your local building inspector for the code that applies to your city or state prior to ordering. Measure windows accurately. John Sterling does not recommend mounting these guards vertically.

Non-Opening Window Guards. 1120 Series. 4.5 inch spacing between the bars. These can be ordered in White or Black These are secured with 2.5 inch #10 One Way Screws. To remove the guards, you must break off the screw head and drill out the screw. Add 4 inches to bar height for maximum covered opening. Meet NYC standards for non-sleeping windows.

JS-1123-P   3 Bars 15" H X 23-42"W 
JS-1123-S   3 Bars 15" H X 14-24"W
JS-1123-L   3 Bars 15" H X 42-58"W
JS-1124      4 Bars 20"H X 23-42 "W
JS-1125      5 Bars 25"H X 23-42" W

Non-Opening Window Guards 1130 Series Basic Guards, Bulk Packed. 3.5 inch spacing between the bars. Purchase mounting hardware, locking channel (if desired) etc.  separately. The second number indicates the number of bars. Ex. 1133 has 3 bars and 1139 has 9 bars.  With conversion kits, all can be made swing open type guards. For larger projects, this is the best choice as it is least expensive. White or black.  Add 4 inches for maximum coverage, ex. JS-BK-1133 will protect 11 to 15 inch opening. The last number indicates # of bars. Ex. 1133=3 bars.
         1. JS-BK-1133     11"x 24-42"W
         2. JS-BK-1134-S  14"x 14-24"W
         3. JS-BK-1134     14"x 24-42"W
         4. JS-BK-1134-L  14"x 41-58"W
         5  JS-BK-1135     18"x 24-42"W
         6. JS-BK-1136     22"x 24-42"W
         7  JS-BK-1136-L  22"x 41-58"W
         8. JS-BK-1136-EL 22"x 58-76"W
         9  JS-BK-1138     30"x 24-42"W
         10 JS-BK-1139    33"x 24-42"W

Opening Window Guards 1130 Series. Swing Open. 3.5 inch spacing between the bars. White or Black. Opening protected can be horizontal or vertical. PKG indicates that the screws, locking channel, mounting bracket, lock pin are included.Only white are listed below. The EL and L units are special packages Safe Home had made up since these wider units are not otherwise available except to commercial installers. Add a maximum of 4 inches to the height for maximum window protection.


        1. JS-1133              11"x24-42"W  3Bars Protect opening 11-15 Inches
        2. JS-1134              14"x24-42"W  4Bars Protect opening 14-18 Inches
        3. JS-1135              18"x24-42"W  5Bars Protect opening 18-22 inch
        4. JS-1136              22"x24-42"W  6Bars Protect opening 22-26" Inches
        5. JS-1136-L-PKG     22"x41-58"W  6Bars Protect Opening 22-26" 41-58"Wide
        6. JS-1136-EL-PKG   22"x58-76"W  6Bars Protect Opening:22-26",58-76"wide
        5  JS-1138-PKG       30"x24-42"W  8Bars Protect opening 30-34",24-42"Wide
        6. JS-1139-PKG       33"x24-42"W  9Bars Protect opening 33-37",24-42"wide

Opening Window Guard 1170 Series. Angle Iron. White or Black. Has Locking Channel. Lifts out from mounting brackets. Very difficult to cut with bolt cutters.

JS-1175      21"x24-42 inches.

Please measure your window openings carefully. Remember that window locks are available to limit window openings. These are both keys and un-keyed styles.

Thanks for your question. Go to SafeHomeProducts.com and put the product code of the window guards require into the search bar.

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

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

Reduce Home Air Leaks, Save Money with Sliding Door Outlet Covers.

by Barbara 1. November 2008 15:39

Question about 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.

Q: "What kind of energy savings am I likely to have if I replace my standard outlet covers with the ones that slide open and closed? Is it enough to insert those round plugs? Or should I put complete covers such as the CoverPlug onto outlets I am not using? I've noticed cold air coming in through the unused outlets in cold weather."--Jerry

Answer: Reducing air leakage would immediately improve your comfort. To get a dollars and cents number, you'd need to figure in costs of natural or propane gas, oil, etc. Get a professional energy audit: you may need more than outlet covers for significant savings. CareCovers will reduce leakage, though, as I personally learned.

The best and easiest way to childproof and reduce air leaks are to install the sliding door outlet covers, the Plug Guard Energy Saving Safety Outlet Cover, the CareCover probably in warm white or similar sliding door units. The PlugGuard outlet covers fit only standard three prong outlets and come only in white. The CareCover come in cream, brown, white, ivory and sometimes red depending upon if the duplex unit is a Decora or standard outlet. Carecovers also come in non-grounded two prong covers. These units insulate not only the plug holes but the outlet itself as each unit has a foam strip around the exterior to keep air leaks around the exterior of the cover, too.

The CoverPlugs fit over existing unused outlets. They can be painted or wallpapered. When you need the outlet, just pull out the cover as the original outlet is there.

The advantages of the Levitron units is that they are UL listed.  The PlugGuard doors move up and down while the other sliding door covers move from side to side. A less expensive option that is more difficult for kids to remove are the Sockit Lockets. CareCovers were tested using the Minnesota Blower Door Test that showed a 15% decrease in air leakage with Carecovers. Family Handyman magazine in 2008 recommended CoverPlugs.

I quickly installed CareCovers on all my exterior wall outlets several years ago when I felt cold air coming through outlet holes one January day. (My house was built in 1990 with insulation updated in 1994). There was an immediate increase in comfort without raising the thermostat.

All these units will save on energy just by blocking unused outlet holes. If you use the round plug inserts, remember to install foam gaskets behind each outlet cover.

If you have other questions, please contact us.

Sincerely, Barbara