Monthly Archives: August 2016

Kitchen fires can spring up quickly

According to the most recent government statistics available, there are more than 150,000 kitchen fires in the United States yearly, with hundreds of people killed and thousands more injured. Cooking mishaps cause up to 90 percent of kitchen fires, and most of those are grease fires. Those frightening statistics lead up to one big question: Do you know what to do when a kitchen fire flares? Should you first reach for the fire extinguisher or for the phone to call the fire department?

Grease Fires in the Kitchen

Grease fires belong in a class by themselves and should not be handled like any other kitchen fire. Rule No. 1: Never pour water on a grease fire. The best way to handle a grease fire is to smother it, if possible, and let it die out. Follow these specifics:

  • Whenever you’re cooking, have an oven mitt, a potholder, and a lid that fits your pan all on hand and ready to grab in case fire sparks.
  • If grease catches on fire in your cooking pan, quickly put on the oven mitt, then place the lid over the pan to smother the fire. Try to slide the lid over the flames as opposed to dropping the lid down from above.
  • Turn off the burner and leave the pan exactly where it is so that it can cool.
  • Never move the pan, never carry it outside or put it in the sink, and don’t lift the lid until the pan has turned cool.

Oven, Microwave, and Electrical Fires

Fires can happen anywhere in the kitchen — near an electrical outlet, in the microwave, or in the stove. Here are some tips to help you know what to do in case of any of these kitchen fires:

  • Oven fires. Immediately close the oven door and turn it off. If the fire doesn’t go out right away, call the fire department. Have the oven inspected and repaired before you use it again.
  • Microwave fires. Close the microwave door and keep it closed. Turn the microwave off and unplug it if you can do so safely. Leave it closed and don’t use it again until you can have the appliance checked out by a technician.
  • Electrical fires. Prevent electrical fires by not overloading your electrical outlets with appliances. If a fire starts, use a fire extinguisher; never douse it with water. Always call the fire department for an electrical fire, even if you have already put it out with the fire extinguisher.

Guest Room Do and Dont

The living room is arguably the most important room in the house when it comes to decorating. It’s the room where you entertain guests and loved ones, and it’s where families tend to spend the bulk of their at-home time together (after the kitchen). In order to make sure it looks its best be sure to follow these living room do’s and don’ts.

DON’T choose the paint color first. Paint is available in thousands of colors and can easily be changed. In most cases it should be one of the last things you do.

DO choose your most expensive or favorite item and decorate around it.

DON’T use an area rug that is too small. This is the number one mistake people make when decorating living rooms.

DO make sure that all the pieces of furniture fit on the rug. Ideally all four legs of major pieces should be on it, but if this simply isn’t possible make sure to fit at least the front legs on the rug (the back legs can be off). But all the legs of smaller pieces should be on the rug whenever possible.

DO pull the furniture away from the walls when possible in order to create intimate conversation areas.

DON’T hang artwork too high. People have a tendency to hang art closer to the ceiling than it should be. This goes for every room in the house.

DO hang artwork at eye-level. Obviously this varies from person to person, so use your judgment. But it’s better to err on the side of lower rather than higher.

DON’T ignore the importance of dimmer switches. Each and every light in a living room should have a dimmer switch on it.

DO have a mix of overhead, ambient and task lighting. Use table lamps, floor lamps, sconces – whatever you like. Just be sure to use a mix. It will provide more light as well as make the room and everyone in it look better.

DON’T use too many throw pillows. Throw pillows are great decorative accents but don’t use so many that you have to move them all off the couch before you sit down.

DO use pillows thoughtfully. Choose a few that enhance the piece of furniture and overall look of the room. And don’t be afraid to invest in some high-quality pillows. They’re small but they have a big impact.

DON’T be afraid to mix high items with low. There are a lot of great ways to save, and there are some times when you should splurge.

DO buy the best quality sofa you can afford. A sofa is a big investment and you want it to last. Remember, a sofa of average quality should last at least 10 years while a high-end sofa should last up to 25.

DON’T be afraid to decorate with patterns. They add life and character to a space.

DO follow the basic rules of decorating with patterns. The ideal number to use in a single room is three. Mix the scale using one large, one medium, and one small (or some other combination of the three).

Decorating Mistakes That You Need to Know

  • Float a Rug in the Middle of the Room
    The elements in a room should be connected, both visibly and physically. A rug on the floor adds color and a connecton between pieces of furniture. The rug should be tucked under the front legs of chairs, sofas, and tables.A rug placed in the middle of a room, unanchored, poses a safety hazard. It would be easy to trip on an edge or corner of the rug or slip and slide if the rug moves.
  • Push All the Furniture Up Against the Wall
    You may think that a room will look larger if the middle of the floor is open, without furniture. But the opposite is true. Unless you’re going to have a dancing party in the middle of your room, move the furniture into groupings in the center.Arrange a sofa with a table behind it, away from the wall with a walking space behind. Show off the back of the sofa and arrange decorative items and a lamp for reading behind it. Move chairs out of corners and you’ll have a more open, airy look in your room.
  • Put Out All Your Collectibles
    Whether you collect knick knacks from travels like ash trays or salt and pepper shakers or fine pieces of sculpture or one-of-a-kind hand-blown glass, you shouldn’t put everything out at one time.Do your best to select only the most important pieces, either in monetary or sentimental value, and get rid of the rest. If you can’t bear to throw the pieces away, put them away and rotate the items on display. Less really is more!