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Have You Heard?
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Have you heard...?
Nearly 22, 000 residential fires occur due to space heaters each year, and 300 people die each year due to fires started by space heaters. (CPSC Feb. 2012).
If you use a space heater in your home or office NEVER leave it unattended. Keep children and pets away.
Place the unit on level ground, and do not place it on a carpet, near drapes or bedding, and be sure to leave space all around the unit.
For maximum safety, plug space heaters directly into the wall.
Four Additional Winter Tips...
Certain injuries are more common in colder weather, such as slips and falls, injuries due to shoveling and, of course, vehicle accidents due to wet or slippery conditions.
A few additional tips to stay warm and healthy this year include:
Dry feet=warm feet. Wear warm breathable waterproof boots. Don’t under-estimate the importance of the right sock. Cotton socks are not your friend during the winter months; they make your feet colder. Wear a fleece, IsoWool, or sock liner. A good sock can make a crucial difference.
Dress in layers. It’s best to wear several loose-fitting, light weight warm layers. Make sure your outer layer repels water and cuts the wind. Cover you head and hands with warm clothing. In extreme cold wear a face mask.
Eat properly. Before working outdoors drink lots of fluid, but avoid alcohol and caffeine which increases the rate in which your body loses heat.
Know daily weather conditions. Watch your local news and plan ahead. Keep an eye on the wind chill factor. Wind chill is a combination of the actual temperature and wind speed. Low wind chill numbers mean that any body parts exposed will lose heat at a faster rate. High wind chills mean weather related problems are more likely to occur, so take more precautions.
Brookstone Builders, Inc.
600 Harvey Road
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Mother Nauture is set to take revenge on New England this winter!
According to Farmers Almanac the New England area needs to get ready for a "wintery" winter. The Almanac has reported that last winter was our fourth warmest for the contiguous 48 since record keeping began in 1895. That is to change for some of the states while others will still experience relatively mild and dry conditions. For New England we are predicated to have a snowier than normal season with cooler temperatures.
So in addition to getting your snow blowers ready, purchasing shovels and salt and lining up your chiropractor for weekly adjustments due to all the back pain you will experience from removing snow, there are also some things you need to do to get your house or office winter ready.
In addition, if your job requires you to work outdoors you need to think about a few things as well.., read on for some suggestions.
Homeowners/Business owners should think about prepping their homes/offices for the winter months.
These tips will help keep you warm all winter long while saving money:
Check Filters on heating and cooling equipment. Using old dirty filters restricts air flow causing your system to work harder. Also schedule a “tune up”. Keeping your furnace running well can save up to 5% of your heating costs. It is suggested a family of 4 with pets should change a filter every 60 days.
Install a programmable thermostat or even better multiple ones in multiple zones. Be sure to install them away from heating and cooling units, drafts, windows, direct sunlight, or bright lights. If you follow these install tips, you can save a lot; when you are not going to be in a room for some time, lower the heat setting to 68 degrees. For every degree you lower your heat in the 60 -70 degree range, you save up to 5% on heating costs! When leaving for extended periods of time you can even set back to 55 degrees, which can save as much as 20% on heating costs!
Insulate wherever you can. Check your attic, basement, crawl spaces, pipes and ducting. You may need to upgrade the level of insulation or replace old insulation.
Cover up unused vents and AC units.
Check for air leaks around doors, windows, wires going into your home or office building, and along the foundation; these can be plugged with caulking. Install weather-stripping on thresholds to seal gaps. Doing these inexpensive things can save up to 10%.
Install insulated window treatments if you can’t afford to install more energy efficient windows. Pull shades close at night and open during the day; be sure to let in the sun to help warm your space naturally.
Most energy companies offer free energy evaluations. If you’re able to take advantage of this no-cost service, they will inspect your home/office and make suggestions on how you can reduce energy costs.
Consider replacing older furnaces with newer Energy Star equipment. Keep in mind that the higher the EF number (Energy Factor) the more efficient the equipment. The purchase price might be higher than other less energy efficient equipment but over time you will get your money back and more.
Showers account for 2/3 of water heating costs, so reduce water use and heating costs by reducing shower time. Shut off the water while brushing teeth or shaving. Set the thermostat to a “normal” 120 degrees. This can be a savings of 7-11%!
Don’t block heating vents with curtains or furniture. Keep them clean by vacuuming the vents regularly.
Fireplaces look nice but in homes they are typically and energy loser. When not in use be sure to close the damper. If you decide not to use your fireplace permanently, you might also close and seal the damper with a piece of rigid insulation.
If your job requires you to work outdoors during the cold winter months, it is important to take some precautions, just as one does in the extreme heat during the summer months.
There are two common cold weather related illnesses to beware of; here’s a quick summary along with warning signs and treatment best practices:
Hypothermia can occur when being exposed to cold temperatures and, in some cases, cool (above 40 degrees) temperatures. Simply stated, Hypothermia occurs when your body begins to lose heat faster than it can produce heat. When body temperature drops below 95 degrees, an emergency situation exists in which the brain’s ability to think clearly is compromised; dexterity and the ability to move well can also be affected. This makes hypothermia dangerous because a person may not be aware of or know what is happening. Those most affected by hypothermia are the elderly, babies sleeping in cold rooms, children left unattended in poorly-heated space, adults under the influence of alcohol, the mentally impaired, and people spending long periods of time outdoors (homeless, hikers, and hunters, those who work outdoors). Warning signs hypothermia might be setting in are: shivering/exhaustion, very low energy, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, drowsiness, red skin and becoming cold to touch. In severe cases a victim may lose consciousness. If you notice any of these signs, it is important to take action immediately by seeking professional medical attention. If there is a delay in getting medical attention, warm the victim by moving indoors or to some sort of shelter and remove any wet clothing. Warm the center of the body first (chest, neck, head and groin) using dry warm blankets, towels or clothing or even better skin to skin contact. If a warm beverage is available have the victim consume it slowly (not alcohol).
Frostbite is an injury to the body that is caused by freezing. Frostbite causes loss of feeling and color in the affected area. It most often occurs in the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers or toes (extremities). Frostbite can cause permanent damage to the body and in severe cases can lead to amputation. Warning signs of frostbite are; white/grayish-yellow skin, skin that feels unusually firm or waxy, and numbness. As in some cases of hypothermia, the victim is often unaware of frostbite until someone else points it out. Hypothermia is a more serious condition so if the victim is also experiencing hypothermia they should seek medical attention immediately. While waiting for medical attention, move to a warm space. If the frostbite is in your toes do not walk or stand, as this can increase the damage (unless absolutely necessary). Immerse affected area into warm, not hot, water, or warm the area by body heat. Do not rub the frostbitten area with snow or massage it at all, because this can cause more damage. Do not use a heating pad, light stove or fireplace, as the affected areas are most likely numb and can be easily burned.
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