Back Under the On The House Christmas Tree - On the House

Back Under the On The House Christmas Tree

By on December 5, 2020
christmas

“Back Under the On The House Christmas Tree” Show Notes for On The House with the Carey Brothers aired December 5, 2020. 

Missed our live show? Don’t worry! Because we have a podcast of the show. It’s the same thing we aired on the radio, but ready for you whenever and wherever you are! Check it out here. 

 

We spoke to Kris Kiser the President and CEO of Outdoor Power Equipment Institute about 7 Tips for Readying Your Outdoor Power Equipment for Winter Storage!

Prep Equipment for Season Changes, Save Time and Future Headaches 

 After your lawn gets its last cut before winter, it will be time to put away spring and summer outdoor power equipment, like lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and trimmers. What’s next? Snow throwers, generators and other small engine equipment need to be readied for winter use. How and when you prepare your equipment for seasonal changes can save you time and money later, says the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI). 

 With record-breaking sales of outdoor power equipment, and homeowners spending more time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic working or renovating their family yards. This means more people are using outdoor power equipment, and OPEI reminds everyone the importance of proper outdoor power equipment storage, maintenance and safe handling.  

Here are a few tips from OPEI to ensure your lawn mower and other spring equipment will be available for use when warmer temperatures return, and snow throwers and other winter equipment will be ready for use when the snow falls. 

  1. Review owner’s manuals. Re-familiarize yourself with how to handle equipment safely. Lost manuals can be found online. Save a copy on your computer if possible, so it can be consulted when needed. Be familiar with your equipment, and all its features, including how to turn it off quickly and safely. 
  2. Service all equipment. Before storing spring and summer equipment, clean and service it or take it to a small engine repair shop. Drain and change engine oil and safely dispose the old oil. Service the air filter, and do other maintenance as directed by the owner’s  manual. Check winter equipment and see if any maintenance and repairs are required. 
  3. Handle fuel properly. Unused fuel left in gas tanks over the winter can go stale and even damage equipment. Before storing equipment, add fuel stabilizer to the gas tank, then run the equipment to distribute it. Turn the engine off, allow the machine to cool, then restart and run until the gas tank is empty. For winter equipment, buy the recommended type of fuel no more than 30 days before use. Use fuel with no more than 10% ethanol in outdoor power equipment. Use a fuel stabilizer if recommended by the manufacturer. Get more information on safe fueling for outdoor power equipment at LookBeforeYouPump.com. 
  4. Charge the battery. Remove and fully charge batteries before storing. Don’t store batteries on metal shelves or allow them to touch metal objects. Store them on a plastic or wood shelf in a climate-controlled structure. 
  5. Shelter equipment from winter weather. Store spring and summer equipment in a clean and dry place such as a garage, barn or shed. Winter equipment should be kept away from the elements, but be easily available for use. 
  6. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Make space in the garage or basement before the weather changes, so there is room to store larger yard items. Clean up the yard of sticks, debris, dog and kid’s toys and other items that can damage or destroy equipment. Clear the paths used regularly in your yard, especially during the winter when snow can “hide” things. 
  7. Have the right weather appropriate extension cord for your generator. Keep heavy duty weather proof extension cords on hand to use with it. Ensure the length of the cord is necessary to operate the generator a safe distance from the house or building. Never operate a generator indoors, in a garage, breezeway or under an open window. 

 

Under The On The House Christmas Tree! Let us Fill Your Christmas Stocking!  

Enter Our Annual Under the On The House Christmas Tree today!

It starts December 5 and ends December 19, 2020! The winner will be announced on December 24, 2020 at our website!

 

How to Hang Holiday Lights Like a Pro 

Find out how the pros safely put up outdoor Christmas lights for a festive holiday display 

Putting up outdoor holiday lights take time, effort and planning. Here are tips and tricks the pros use to help ensure that outdoor holiday light displays are festive and safe. 

 Electrical Safety First

Before planning a design and pulling out the ladder, inspect your holiday lighting supplies for any electrical concerns. 

Outlets: You want to plug any lights into a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet. This outlet is designed to shut off the power when it detects a current flowing along an unintended path. This feature helps prevent electrical shock and house fires. You can recognize these outlets because they have a “test” button on them. Before you start plugging in lights, test these outlets to ensure that they are working correctly. If you have any concerns, contact an electrician. 

Extension cords: Check that your extension cords are UL certified for how you are planning to use them. You’ll especially want to look at whether they are for indoor or outdoor use. If you’re unsure about your cord, it’s worth investing in a new one. 

Light strings: Replace any light strings with damaged or frayed installation. 

 
At this time, you’ll also want to check if your light strings are UL certified. Indoor lights will have a green UL tag or a silver tag with “UL” in green. Outdoor lights will have a red UL tag or a silver tag with “UL” written in red. Even if you found the best deal in town, you don’t want to use them if they aren’t UL listed.

If you’re looking to replace, look for an LED option, as they consume less power and have a lower risk of electrical fire.

Recycle old lights: Local recycling facilities will many times take your old light strings. Check with your local recycling facility before tossing your old, nonworking lights in the trash. 

 

Light-Hanging Considerations

Indoor lights: The outlets in your home should be able to support the small number of lights needed for a traditional Christmas tree. You will want to check that the lights you use are UL certified (green tag or green “UL” written on tag).

Tip: Your electrical system should be checked on a yearly basis. Scheduling this before the holidays every year can be a good checkup for your home.

Ladders: Before you step on the ladder, inspect it for damage or cracks. Then check that it’s UL certified and can support your weight. When using a ladder, ensure that the bottom legs are on solid, level ground, and never stand on the top two rungs of the ladder. 

 

Connected light strings: While it might seem efficient or be easier to string a bunch of lights together, only connect two to three light strings together. The first string will be carrying a heavier electrical load and can get overloaded and start to melt, he says.

Instead, homeowners should .plug a power strip into the GFCI outlet and work from there. Then homeowners can use extension cords to connect shorter strings of light to the power source.

Hanging materials: Avoid using metal objects, such as staples or nails, when hanging your holiday lights. These materials can dig into cord insulation and trip the GFCI outlet, causing your lights to go dark.  

 

Timers:  Use a timer because it can save you time and money. You can program the lights to turn on and off automatically and not run all night. When you pick a timer, check that it can support the number of lights you plan to use on it. 

Tip: Electricians can install light timers and take care of other electrical needs to make holiday lights easier to install each year. An electrician could also install additional GFCI outlets around the exterior of your home to limit the number of extension cords needed. 

 

RECALL! And It’s A Big One!  

Crock-Pot 6-Quart Express Crock Multi-Cookers Recalled by Sunbeam Products Due to Burn Hazard 

Description: 

This recall involves Crock-Pot 6-Quart Express Crock Multi-Cookers, Model Number SCCPPC600-V1, which is shown on label on bottom of unit.  The multi-cookers were manufactured between July 1, 2017 and October 1, 2018, with date codes K196JN through K365JN and L001JN through L273JN.  The date code is engraved on one of the prongs of the electrical plug and on the bottom of the base. 

Remedy:  

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled Crock-Pot in pressure cooker mode, but may continue to use for slow cooking and sautéing.  Consumers should contact Crock-Pot immediately to obtain a free replacement lid.  Consumers who continue using the multi-cooker in pressure cooker mode while waiting for the replacement lid should be certain the lid is securely turned to the fully locked position by aligning the arrow on the lid with the lock symbol on the base. 

Incidents/Injuries:  

Sunbeam Products has received 119 reports of lid detachment, resulting in 99 burn injuries ranging in severity from first-degree to third-degree burns. 

Sold At: 

Walmart, Target and other retail stores nationwide and online at Amazon and other online retailers from July 2017 through November 2020 for between $70 to $100. 

Manufacturer(s):  

Sunbeam Products, Inc., of Boca Raton, Fla. 

Units: About 914,430 (In addition, about 28,330 were sold in Canada.)  

 

WARNING! It’s Illegal to Throw Away These 8 Items 

If you are cleaning up and throwing thing out these certain waste items can be hazardous 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers some of these products a hazard due to potential fires, explosions or toxic chemicals coming from these disposed products. In order to avoid hazardous situations, the EPA givesguidelines for safe management of Household Hazardous Waste(HHW).  

Asbestos 

We all know that asbestos can be harmful if it’s not removed properly, especially for your lungs. Asbestos can be incredibly harmful for the environment (and overall air quality) if not properly disposed. Contact a hazardous/chemical waste company for safe disposal. If you want to get rid of your popcorn ceilings (which could have asbestos in it), your best option may be tocover it with drywall. 

Automotive batteries 

Did you know that when you buy a car battery, you pay a $5 surcharge? You can get money returned to you if you return the battery for proper disposal. Car batteries are wet-cell batteries that most commonly have lead-acid in their chemistry type. 

Gasoline 

Gasoline can cause all sorts of hazardous injuries and accidents. Gasoline can cause severe eye injury if it’s splashed in your eyes. It can cause irritation on your skin and gastric tract if ingested. As a material, it can easily spread fires. Be careful to only purchase the supply that you need, and do not add it to your curbside trash. Contact a hazardous/chemical waste company or find a disposal drop off event near you. 

Motor oil & transmission fluid 

Since motor oil needs to be routinely replaced, you’ll have to deal with the “waste oil” every now and then. Do not dump it down the drain—it’s actually illegal to discard it this way! Water and oil mixed can actually cause contaminates, which can stop sunlight and oxygen from getting into the water (which affects aquatic life). Instead, return the motor oil or transmission fluid to a service station, who can take it off your hand and properly dispose of it. 

Tires 

Tires can cause potential tire fires, which will produce acid smoke that is harmful for humans and the environment. If it’s time change your tires, you can either retread or add new tread to your existing tires, or return the tires to a shop. Some businesses are actually required to take in the same amount of tires that they sell! 

Rechargeable, button, and UPS Batteries 

Batteries include materials that can be toxic for the surrounding environment if not properly disposed. These materials include acid, nickel, lead, lithium, cadmium, alkaline, mercury and nickel metal hydride. Akaline batteries are no longer classified as hazardous, but other batteries such as rechargeable, button or uninterruptible power supply (UPS) batteries could cause fires. 

Electronics 

Electronics are complex contraptions that could contain hundreds of materials within them—some hazardous to the environment. These could include lead, mercury, cadmium, beryllium and more. Compared to some of these other materials, there are a ton of options to properly dispose of electronics. This includes donating, take-backs, mail-backs, e-cycles, e-waste events, drop offs, and even curbside appointments. 

Thermostats & thermometers 

Some thermometers and thermostats contain mercury, which is incredibly hazardous across the board. Some states even ban the sale of mercury thermometers and require digital thermometers with chargeable batteries instead. Mercury is a toxic chemical that can cause harm for the nervous, digestive and immune systems. It can even effect lungs, kidneys, and could be fatal. Switch to a digital thermostat, and find a proper place to recycle mercury thermostats atthermostat-recycle.org. Some contractors are even required by law to recycle mercury thermostats, so make sure to ask them the proper way of disposing of these products if you’re working with someone. 

Buy safer products 

Before even buying the listed products, look for hazard levels or product labels on the product. If it says “DANGER” or “POISON” that means high-level hazards, while “WARNING” and “CAUTION tend to mean lower levels of hazard. Avoid hazard altogether by finding products with green seals, epeats, MPI green performance, or US. EPA stickers. 

 

Holiday Fire Safety

Traditionally, the winter holidays are a time for families and friends to get together. While some gatherings may look different this year due to COVID-19, many traditions remain. It’s fun to decorate for the winter holidays and cook special meals, but holiday decorations and cooking can increase your risk for a home fire. As you deck the halls this season or fix a festive meal,be fire smart. 

Be careful with your holiday decorations. Make sure they don’t block windows and doors. Additionally, following afew simple tipscan help make your holidays fire-safe. 

  • Water your live Christmas tree every day. A dry tree is a fire hazard. Trees too close to a heat source cause one in every four winter fires. 
  • Make sure you are using the right lights. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. 
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. 
  • Keep lit candles away from decorations and things that can burn. More than 1/3 of home decoration fires are started by candles.  Consider using flameless candles, they look very similar and are safer. 
  • Blow out lit candles and turn off all light strings and decorations when leaving the room or going to bed. 

Due to social distancing precautions, many of us may be attempting to cook a holiday meal for the first time this year. Cooking is the main cause of home fires and injuries no matter the season. Fromfrying a turkeyto making pies, be sure tofollow these tipsto prevent cooking fires. 

  • Stand by your pan – if you leave your kitchen, turn the burner off. 
  • Watch what you’re cooking. If you see any smoke, or grease starts to boil, turn the burner off. 
  • Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove to prevent them being bumped or pulled over. 
  • Keep a pan lid or baking sheet near by to put out pan fires. 

 

 

Mentioned Links 

Thank you~ 

A very special thank you to all of our callers! We live to answer your questions, so keep them coming! 

Thank you to our Technical Support: 

  • Danny Bringer – Chief Engineer  
  • Carol “Remodeling Babe” Carey – Executive Producer  
  • Sam Reed – Associate Producer  
  • Rico Figliolini – Digital Master 

 

Thank you for tuning in to see what’s under the On The House Christmas Tree this year! And check in next week for more cool tips! 

About Samantha Reed

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