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Sheltering in Place? Here’s a Worthy Home Health and Safety Project

Thanks to Covid-19, we are all spending more time at home and more time cleaning. Once you've got your  anti-virus protocols in place, since you're already focused on healthy and safety, why not look at other ways you can protect yourself and your family? To that end, I'd like to introduce the concept of "replacement cycles." These are the predictable lengths of time that you can expect household products to last before they lose their effectiveness or deteriorate. Between waking up and going to bed, we engage in many routines for our personal hygiene, beauty and fitness, as well as household cooking and cleaning —all with the best of intentions.  However, many items we use carry hidden dangers if we don’t swap them out soon enough.  Here’s a room-by-room guide: Whole-House: Smoke Detector Batteries. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends changing your smoke detector batteries twice a year, at the same time you change your clocks.  Of course, in the interim, if your smoke detector chirps at you to let you know the battery is dying, you’ll need to replace it before then.  This is so critical.  The CPSC says two thirds of residential fire deaths take [...]

By |2020-03-19T10:16:26-04:00March 18, 2020|

5 Ways Adults Can Achieve A Safer Night’s Sleep

There’s a lot of information available about safe sleep for babies—which is so important—but what about safe sleep for the rest of us? After all, when you’re asleep, it’s a potentially vulnerable time. But it turns out there are concrete steps we can take to sleep more safely—and that can help us sleep more soundly. 1. Sleep with your bedroom door closed Sleeping with your bedroom door closed buys you critical time in the event of a fire. Whether from candles, clothes dryers, faulty wiring or countless other causes, many fires start at night while people are sleeping. It’s sobering to know that you are more likely to die in a fire at home, than anywhere else, according to FEMA. Decades ago, you had 17 minutes to get out of your house alive. Today, because of open floor plans and other factors that make residential fires burn faster, you have 3 minutes or less, according to extensive testing by Underwriters Labs. Fortunately, closing your bedroom door each night is a simple, yet little-known measure that can save your life. A regular wooden door is remarkably effective at keeping the heat, smoke and flames at bay, giving you extra time [...]

By |2019-09-30T12:28:17-04:00September 23, 2019|

Life or Death Tip: Close Bedroom Door

Wow. I recently saw the most striking demonstration of fire safety on an NBC-TV Today show Rossen Reports segment. What a lifesaving tip to share while its still October, National Fire Prevention Month. The video shows the difference between two bedrooms in the same house that is set on fire by burning a sofa in the living room. One bedroom door is left open. The other bedroom door is closed. Within minutes, the bedroom with the open door is full of smoke and is not survivable. The bedroom with the door closed, provides many more minutes for escape – and remains remarkably free from smoke. The video is life-changing and lifesaving. Watch it here. Here are additional bedroom fire safety tips from the Sleep Products Safety Council: Don’t smoke in bed. This is a common cause of fatal bedroom fires. Keep matches and lighters away from children. Playing with fire can be deadly. Using candles in a bedroom can be dangerous. Even a small candle can ignite a deadly fire. Keep space heaters far away from beds and other flammable items. Follow all the space heater manufacturer’s instructions and warnings. Don’t run the electrical cords under your bed or trap them against a [...]

By |2019-05-14T09:34:15-04:00October 25, 2018|

Seven Tips for Buying a New Mattress

A mattress is one of the most important purchases you’ll ever make—after all, you spend approximately a third of your life in bed. The number of choices can feel overwhelming, but you don’t have to lose sleep over it! These seven tips can help: Size matters. If you’re sharing a bed, you should buy at least a queen-size mattress. A healthy person moves 40 to 60 times a night and makes lots of full-body turns. For sound sleep, you need freedom of motion. Test-drive different models. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes you can easily slip off so you can lie down. Compare a variety of support levels and styles within your budget. Finding a bed that feels right is a personal choice. Look under the hood. Ask the salesperson to show you illustrated or actual “cutaways” of the interior of the different mattresses and foundations. The mechanics of innersprings and foams vary widely, which can greatly affect comfort. Find a reputable dealer. Furniture stores, department stores and sleep specialty shops all sell mattresses. Ask friends and family for referrals. If you don’t feel your salesperson is knowledgeable or helpful, take your business elsewhere. Go for the best value, not [...]

By |2019-05-24T09:49:57-04:00January 10, 2018|

December 21 Is Don’t Make Your Bed Day

Here’s how Don’t Make Your Bed Day got started.A fifth-grade boy who attends Calvary Christian Academy in New Mexico wrote a letter to his senator, Tom Udall, requesting that one day be set aside each year to take making the bed off everyone’s list of chores. Do your kids make their bed every day? Do you? Decades ago, one of my children’s beloved babysitters taught me something that I have found to be true.“When you make your bed in the morning, the day just goes better,” Nancy G. advised me.Shannon Barba’s parents have expected him to make his bed each and every day before he goes to school since he was 4 years old. That’s what prompted his petition for a day off. Here’s his letter:“My name is Shannon Barba, and I reside in Tijeras, New Mexico. I am in the fifth grade at Calvary Christian Academy. I am writing you to ask that you help me figure out a way to institute National Don’t Make Your Bed Day. I have made my bed every day since I was 4 years old. I make it so my parents are proud of me. But sometimes, I get really tired of making [...]

By |2019-12-16T14:04:29-05:00December 21, 2017|

Lifesaving Tips from Sleep Safety Group

I recently bought a new mattress. A bright yellow card that came with the product and warranty information caught my eye. It was a list of eight tips from the Sleep Products Safety Council (SPSC), a group devoted to advancing the safety of sleep products that is supported by the mattress industry. I love industry groups like this that are focused on public education. Here is the organization’s “Eight Things You Need to Know About Your Mattress”: Don’t smoke in bed. This is a common cause of fatal bedroom fires. Keep matches and lighters away from children. Playing with fire can be deadly. Using candles in a bedroom is dangerous. Even a small candle can ignite a deadly fire. Keep space heaters far away from beds and any flammable items. Follow all the space heater manufacturer’s instruction and warnings. Don’t run electrical cords under your bed or trap them against a wall. Heat from cords can build up and cause a fire. Avoid placing lamps where they can fall on the bed. Don’t sleep with a baby or let a baby sleep in an adult bed. Babies can suffocate or be strangled if trapped between a mattress and a [...]

By |2019-05-14T09:48:13-04:00November 1, 2017|

Can Stress Make You Sleep Less?

It’s Better Sleep Month. This is a good time to focus on what’s standing in the way of getting your best rest. In our fast-paced, 24/7 world, with smartphones notifying us of every text and email, it isn’t easy to turn off the noise—literally and figuratively—and get to sleep. And, the cruel joke is that the less you sleep, the less likely you are to be able to cope with the problems creating stress in the first place. Talk about a vicious cycle. Now is a good time to re-evaluate and try some strategies to reduce stress and get the sleep you need. Here are a few tips to break the cycle: Don’t bring work into your bedroom. Make the place where you sleep a safe haven from the day’s angst. Turn off your phone. OK, maybe that’s impractical if you need to be available for a family emergency, but most phones can be set to ring only for designated callers. Get into a bedtime routine. Whether it’s a book, a warm shower, hot cocoa or gentle stretches, try to do the same things in the same order each night as a way to train your body to wind down. Take a [...]

By |2019-05-30T15:56:24-04:00May 1, 2017|