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50 tasks that could save money and your neck

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By James and Morris Carey
Syndicated Columnist
Safety and energy efficiency are among the least expensive of all home improvement projects. Most can be accomplished in a minute or two and others in an hour or less.
You probably already practice many of the recommendations on our list, but have you shared your knowledge with your family. If only one or two of the 100 items on our list are implemented it may save the life of a family member or friend.
Here's the first 50 items. Next week, we'll run the last 50 safety tips.
1. Test each smoke alarm in your home.
2. Replace the batteries in each alarm.
3. Purchase additional smoke alarms if you do not have one on every level and within every sleeping area.
4. Purchase a carbon monoxide detector.
5. Test your carbon monoxide alarm.
6. Place fire extinguishers in key areas.
7. Place an escape ladder in an upstairs room that might not have an easy exit.
8. Identify two exits from every room with your kids in case of fire.
9. Designate an outside meeting place for your family in case of a fire or emergency.
10. Post your fire escape plan on your refrigerator.
11. Hold a family fire drill.
12. Practice "Stop, Drop and Roll" with your kids.
13. Teach your family to leave their slippers by their bed at night. In an emergency there may be broken glass in the exit path.
14. Install nightlights in the hallway.
15. Put a flashlight in each bedroom.
16. Wipe up spills as soon as they happen to prevent slips and falls.
17. Put nonslip strips in your tub and shower.
18. Remove any gasoline from your home.
19. Write down emergency contact information for your family and make sure everyone has these numbers.
20. Use a fireplace screen.
21. Purchase and use a mold detection kit.
22. Purchase and use a radon detection kit.
23. Purchase and use a lead paint detection kit.
24. Ask smokers to smoke outside.
25. Turn space heaters off before going to bed.
26. Drain the bathtub immediately after bathing.
27. Remove clutter from the stairs.
28. Use the handrail when you are walking up or down the stairs.
29. Blow out candles before leaving the room or going to sleep.
30. Put water on cigarette butts before throwing them away.
31. Clean your clothes dryer lint trap, exhaust port, duct hose and exhaust duct.
32. Have your furnace cleaned and inspected.
33. Strap your wall-mounted television for earthquakes or to keep children from pulling them over.
34. Strap tall cabinets to the wall.
35. Use museum putty between the shelf and the base of fragile objects such as glass and china.
36. Pick up one new thing for your family's emergency preparedness kit.
37. Purchase a first-aid kit.
38. If the power goes out, use flashlights instead of candles.
39. Consider low-flow toilets and shower heads.
40. Consider low-flow faucets.
41. Remove all throw rugs.
Water temperature
42. Turn down water heater to 120 degrees to prevent burns. Do not set lower than 120 degrees. Legionnaires Disease can grow at lower temperatures.
43. Test hot water with an elbow before allowing a child to touch.
44. Roll up your sleeves before you start cooking.
45. Have oven mitts nearby and ready to use when cooking.
46. Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove.
47. Put hot food and drinks near the center of the table only.
48. Never leave food cooking unattended.
49. Put down your hot drink when carrying your baby.
50. Move anything that can burn, such as dish towels, at least three feet away from the stove.
For tips from James and Morris Carey, go to or call the listener hot line, 800-737-2474, ext. 59. The Careys are also on KRKO (1380-AM) from 6 to 10 a.m. every Saturday.
Story tags » Home Improvement

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