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12 Things You Should Never Flush Down the Toilet

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

Tissues and Paper Towels

While they may seem a little like toilet paper, they are not. The materials used to make tissues, paper towels and similar products do not dissolve easily and are far more likely to clog your toilet, as well as cause problems for your septic tank or at your water treatment facility. 

Cat Litter

Even if your cat litter says that it is ‘flushable,’ don’t flush it. All cat litter is bad for your toilet. It lingers in your pipes, refuses to dissolve easily and interacts poorly with your sewer system. If the temptation to use the toilet is too much for a family member in charge of cleaning litter, then put a box of disposable plastic bags or similar poop-scooping solutions by the litter box so that it’s less of an issue. 

Disposable Diapers

Yes, disposable diapers tend to get covered in waste. Unfortunately, toilets were not made for any kind of disposable diaper: Trying to flush these diapers is an incredibly common cause of serious pipe clogs that need professional attention. Avoid this problem, and provide another option for dealing with diapers. 

Tampons

While the toilet is frequently a handy option to get rid of tampons and other feminine hygiene products, it’s also a bad idea. Tampons can easily create clogs deep in pipes and should never be flushed. 

Condoms

Condoms are another case where convenience shouldn’t trump toilet care. Throw them in the trash instead of flushing: Both condom materials (typically latex) and associated lubricants are bad for your plumbing. 

Anything Made of Cotton

This includes cotton swabs, cotton balls, Q-tips, and any other associated product. Cotton is excellent at absorbing water, but it doesn’t break down easily. The combination is a dire one for your plumbing. 

Any Type of Plastic

It doesn’t matter if it’s packaging plastic or a Band-Aid, you can’t flush plastics down a toilet. Plastic doesn’t dissolve and can cause many problems in your pipes—if they get that far after a toilet flush. 

Dental Floss

Yes, even small items like dental floss can cause trouble for your toilet. It’s stringy, doesn’t dissolve and can bundle around other objects to form larger clogs. 

Food

Any type of food is off limits, no matter how soft it may be. The same is true of any leftover pieces, shells, bones or grounds that you want to get rid of. These belong in neither your pipes nor your garbage disposal. Throw them in the trash or compost. 

Gum

Water does nothing to get rid of gum, so it tends to stick around – literally. You don’t want it in your pipes! 

Hair

If you’re fishing hairballs from your sink or tub, don’t dump them in the toilet: That’s just moving the clog from one part of your plumbing to another. Throw it away instead. 

Pills

TV makes flushing pills look dramatic and effective, but it’s a horrible idea. If you have pills past expiration or just don’t want them in your house, find a local medicine take-back program or grind them up and throw them away on trash day. Otherwise, those potent chemicals will get into sewer systems and even groundwater, where they can do untold damage. 

Sewage Backup or Toilet Overflow? Call Us Today – (954) 748-7887

What You Need to Know About Air Duct Cleaning

10/15/2018 (Permalink)

Air duct cleaning is a misnomer. In actuality, the entire HVAC system should be cleaned. Failure to clean all components of the system can result in recontamination of the entire system, thus minimizing the benefits of cleaning.

Just as you wouldn’t clean only half of your living room floor, you also would not want to clean only part of your HVAC system. NADCA recommends cleaning the entire HVAC system, including the following components:

  • air ducts
  • coils
  • drain pan
  • registers
  • grills
  • air plenum
  • blower motor and assembly
  • heat exchanger
  • air filter
  • air cleaner

There are two key components to HVAC cleaning: breaking contaminants loose, and collection of contaminants.

Breaking Contaminants Loose

Properly cleaning HVAC systems requires removing the sources of contamination. Source removal begins with the use of one or more agitation devices designed to loosen contaminants from the surfaces within the heating and air conditioning system. Examples of agitation devices include: brushes, air whips and compressed air nozzles or “skipper balls.” Agitation can also be achieved through hand-brushing or contact vacuuming.

Collection of Contaminants

During cleaning, the entire HVAC system is placed under continuous negative pressure (a vacuum) to prevent the spread of contaminants. Continuous negative pressure allows very fine particles to be removed from the system as they become airborne, ensuring that these particles are not released into the living space when the system is turned on after cleaning. This negative pressure also serves to extract the loosened contaminants, which are collected and removed from your home.

System Access

HVAC system cleaning is not a complex process, but each job is unique. Where possible, access to duct interiors should be made through existing openings such as supply diffusers, return grills, duct end caps and existing service openings. Cleaning technicians may need to cut access holes in the duct work in order to reach inside with various cleaning tools. Creation of these service openings, and their subsequent closure, requires craftsmanship and professional skills.

Equipment Requirements

There is a wide variety of equipment available to HVAC cleaning professionals. Both truck-mounted and portable vacuums can be used to stop the spread of contaminants and get the system cleaned to the NADCA Standard.

Antimicrobial Chemicals

Antimicrobial chemicals include sanitizers, disinfectants and deodorizers that can be applied to nonporous surfaces in HVAC systems to address microbial contamination and help control odors. Only chemicals registered with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can be used. These products should only be considered after mechanical surface cleaning has been performed and if the need for such treatment has been deemed necessary. 

For more information on HVAC and air duct cleaning, call us today, (954) 748-7887

Source

Seven Ways to Be Safe and Healthy This Halloween

10/12/2018 (Permalink)

Don’t let your health get tricked this Halloween! Here are a few ways to stay safe and healthy.

1. Get Moving

Carve out time to be active this Halloween – between get-together and trick-or-treating in the neighborhood. Take a walk and do some weight training to help you feel good!

Regular physical activity can help control your weight, reduce your risk of heart disease and some cancers, improve mental health and mood, and increase your chance of living longer.

2. Eat Well

Don’t spend this Halloween filling up on junk food and sweets. Give yourself and your guests healthier choices and nutritious treats.

Fruits and vegetables are part of a well-balanced and healthy eating plan. Fruits and vegetables also provide essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, and other substances that are important for good health.

3. Keep Your and Your Family’s Bite Healthy

Keep Halloween candy at bay. Care for teeth the right way – brush with a fluoride toothpaste each and every day.

Tooth decay (cavities) is one of the most common chronic conditions of childhood in the United States. Untreated tooth decay can cause pain and infections that may lead to problems with eating, speaking, playing, and learning.

4. Play it Safe

Take precautions to stay safe while trick-or-treating on Halloween night. Watch out for cars, use reflective gear, walk with a group, and carry a flash light.

Check out CDC’s Injury Center for tips to stay safe at home, on the road, and at play.

5. Scare Away the Flu and Colds

Don’t get spooked by the flu, wash your hands frequently and get a flu vaccine, too!

Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year. Get vaccinated to protect yourself and your loved ones and learn about good health habits that can help stop germs.

6. Don’t Be a Zombie

Sleep is importanteven on Halloween! Adults need 7-8 hours each night. It’s best for staying healthy and helping the disease fight!

Insufficient sleep is linked to an increased risk for the development of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

7. Be Afraid of Smoking

Keep your Halloween activities smoke and tobacco free. Being smoke free is the way to be!

Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causing many diseases. Get help to quit smoking.

Have a Safe & Healthy Halloween!

Content source: 

CDC Office of Women’s Health

Consejos para un Halloween seguro y saludable

10/12/2018 (Permalink)

Los accesorios de los disfraces, como espadas y cuchillos, deben ser pequeños y de materiales flexibles y blandos.

Evita salir a pedir dulces solo. Sal en grupos o con un adulto de confianza.

Pon cinta fosforescente en los disfraces y las bolsas para dulces para que te puedan ver los conductores de autos.

Revisa los dulces antes de comerlos por si están dañados y para evitar el peligro de asfixia. No comas demasiadas golosinas.

Lleva una linterna cuando salgas a pedir dulces para que puedas ver a tu alrededor y los demás te puedan ver. Siempre CAMINA y no corras de casa en casa.

Antes de aplicarte el maquillaje, pruébalo primero en un área pequeña. Quítatelo antes de acostarte para prevenir una posible irritación de los ojos y la piel.

Mira en ambas direcciones antes de cruzar la calle. Acuérdate de cruzar las calles por las áreas designadas.

No te pongas lentes de contacto de colores o con diseños para evitar lesiones graves en los ojos.

Camina solamente por las aceras o, si tienes que caminar por la calle, hazlo lo más cerca posible de la acera siempre mirando en dirección al tráfico.

Usa máscaras, disfraces y zapatos que te ajusten bien para poder ver mejor y evitar tropezones y caídas.

Solamente come dulces que vengan empacados de la fábrica. No comas dulces hechos por personas que no conozcas.

No entres a la casa de otra persona a menos que te acompañe un adulto de confianza. Solamente visita casas que estén bien iluminadas. No vayas a casas oscuras. Nunca te subas al auto de una persona que no conozcas.

Nunca camines cerca de velas o farolitos encendidos. Asegúrate de usar disfraces resistentes al fuego.

Source: CDC

Home Fire Drill Day October 13, 2018

10/12/2018 (Permalink)

HOME FIRE DRILL INSTRUCTIONS

Learn the basics before you play.

A home fire happens every 86 seconds, yet half of parents say their kids wouldn’t know what to do if their smoke alarm went off.

Home Fire Drill Day is when we’ll change that by turning drills into family games.

STEP 1. KNOW WHERE TO GO.

  • Pick a safety spot that’s near your home and a safe distance away.
  • Explain to your kids that when the smoke alarm beeps, they need to get out of the house quickly and meet at that safety spot.

STEP 2. CHECK YOUR SMOKE ALARMS.

  • Test your smoke alarms with your kids so they know the sound.
  • Make sure there’s a smoke alarm on every level of your home, and one in each bedroom. Learn more here.

STEP 3. DO THE DRILL.

  • Have kids head to their bedrooms and wait for the drill to begin.
  • Got kids under 6? Assign adults to help anyone who’ll need it.
  • Put one adult in charge of sounding the smoke alarm and running the drill.
  • Next, sound the smoke alarm, start the timer and have everyone book it to the safety spot.
  • Once everyone gets to the safety spot, stop the timer. If you all made it in under two minutes, you each get an imaginary gold medal. If not, give it another try.
  • In real fire, get to the safety spot, then call 911 and keep everyone close until firefighters arrive. 

GOT IT? GOOD. NOW HAVE FUN WITH IT AND PLAY SOME FIRE DRILL GAMES.

Fire Drill Games teach kids how to escape a home fire in ways that are fun and memorable. Use your awesome parenting powers to make up fun prizes you can enjoy as a family – like staying up late together for pajama movie night – if everyone aces your home fire drill.

Source

October is Fire Prevention Month – 10 Home Fire Safety Tips

10/11/2018 (Permalink)

A home is often referred to as a safe haven.  This month, make sure your home is protected from (and your family is prepared for) a fire.  Here are 10 simple tips to help you avoid fires and reduce the risk of injury should one occur:

1)      Smoke Alarms – These are still a very important addition to your home.  Smoke alarms are widely available and inexpensive.  Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home and test it monthly.

2)      Prevent Electrical Fires – Don’t overload circuits or extension cords.  Cords and wires should never be placed  under rugs or in high traffic areas.  Avoid loose electrical connections by checking the fit of the plug in the wall outlet.  If the plug loosely fits, inspect the outlet right away.  A poor connection between the plug and the outlet can cause overheating and can start a fire in minutes.

3)      Keep Plugs Safe – Unplug all appliances when not in use.  Follow the manufacturer’s safety precautions and use your senses to spot any potential disasters.  If a plug is overheating, smells strange, shorts out or sparks – the appliance should be shut off immediately, then replaced or repaired.

4)      Alternate Heaters – Make sure there is ample space around any portable heating unit.  Anything that could catch fire should be at least three feet away.  Inspect your chimney annually and use fire screens to help keep any fires in the fireplace.

5)      Fire Safety Sprinklers – When combined with working smoke alarms, home fire sprinklers greatly increase your chance of surviving a fire.  Sprinklers are affordable and they can increase property value and lower insurance rates.

6)      Create An Escape Route – Create and practice your escape plan with your family from every room in the house.  Practice staying low to the floor and checking for hot doors using the back of your hand.  It’s just like a routine school fire drill – but in your home.

7)      Position Appliances Carefully – Try to keep TV sets, kitchen and other appliances away from windows with curtains.  If there is a wiring problem, curtains can spread a fire quickly.  Additionally, keeping your appliances away from water sources (like rain coming in from windows) can help prevent wiring damage which can lead to a fire.

8)      Clean Dryer Vents – Clothes dryers often start fires in residential areas.  Clean the lint filter every time you start a load of clothes to dry or after the drying cycle is complete.  Make sure your exhaust duct is made of metal tubing and not plastic or foil.  Clean the exhaust duct with a good quality dryer vent brush to prevent blockage & check for lint build up behind the dryer at least twice a year.

9)      Be Careful Around the Holidays – If you fill your home with lights during the holiday season, keep them away from anything that can easily catch fire.  Check all of your lights prior to stringing them up and dispose of anything with frayed or exposed wires.

10)   Conduct Regular Inspections – Check all of your electronic equipment and wiring at least once a month.  Taking a little time to do this each month can really pay off.

Following these simple tips could potentially save your life or the life of a loved one.  Pass this list on to your friends and family and make this fire prevention month count!

by 

HOW EFFECTIVE IS YOUR HURRICANE PLAN?

9/17/2018 (Permalink)

Many community associations in Florida have an emergency plan that they will activate as a hurricane approaches. But just how thorough is yours?.

With 119 units, the Esperia at Bonita Bay condominium in Bonita Springs isn't among the largest in the state, but it has a highly structured and detailed hurricane plan. A committee produced the plan, which was approved by the Esperia board in April and distributed to staff and residents.

it's written with military-style precision, featuring an Incident Command System complete with a flow chart of key steps to be taken before, during, and after a major storm. 

The document includes many standard features of a hurricane plan, such as:

  • Emergency contact information.
  • Responsibilities of the board, building management, and residents.
  • A list of services that might be unavailable during and after a hurricane. In addition, it includes some features that might be worth adding to formal storm plans by other associations, such as:
  • A checklist for managements incident commander
  • A checklist of things that residents should do before they evacuate
  • A prepared notice advising residents of an impending hurricane and the risks of staying 
  • A form to be filled out by residents who decide to stay
  • Checklist for pre-storm and post_storm communications
  • A checklist for the post-storm grounds survey and cleanup
  • A checklist for the post-storm inspection of residential units
  • What residents should know about the association's insurance coverage and reserve funds. S.B.

By: Common Ground CAI's Magazine for community Association Leaders

 www.caionline.org/cg

Hurricane Florence Spins Up Into A Category 3 Storm, Aiming At U.S. East Coast

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

Hurricane Florence is expected to hit the southeastern U.S. as "a large and extremely dangerous hurricane," the National Hurricane Center says, after the storm quickly strengthened on Monday. Florence is now predicted to bring "life-threatening impacts" to the U.S. late this week.

Those impacts range from a strong storm surge to flooding from torrential rainfall and hurricane-force winds. Forecasters warn that the predicted track will likely change — but for now, it shows the strong hurricane bearing down on the North Carolina coast, with a potential landfall north of Wilmington.

With each passing flight into the eye of the storm and every new computer model forecast, it has become increasingly unlikely that Florence will turn out to sea and spare the Eastern Seaboard from potentially devastating storm surge, flooding and wind. There’s even some indication that the hurricane will slow or stall out over the Mid-Atlantic later this week, which could lead to a disastrous amount of rain.

Like Hurricane Harvey stalled over Texas in 2017, Florence could linger over the Southeast for several days after landfall. Forecast models suggest more than two feet of rain could fall over the higher elevations of the Carolinas and Virginia, which would generate dangerous flooding downstream. The flooding might be similar to what the Carolinas experienced during Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

Start your storm prep now if you live in the projected path of Hurricane Florence don't wait until last minute. 

Be Safe!

Why Pick Up Dog Poop? The Dangers of Dog Feces

8/30/2018 (Permalink)

Why Pick Up Dog Poop?

  • " I pay taxes, why should I have to pick up dog poop?"
  • " It's like fertilizer-it's good to let is stay there!"
  • Dogs are part of nature-letting their poop stay on the ground in natural, too."

Have you heard or even thought of these excuses before? Approximately 40% of dog-owning Americans polled have admitted they don't pick up after their pet. Unfortunately, cleaning up after your dog is your responsibility as a pet owner. Even if you keep your dog contained in your own yard, taking the time to regularly clean up after your dog helps keep your family and community safe. Once you discover the threats dog feces pose to humans and the environment, you won't want to leave the house without a plastic up bag again!

Dog Poop Dangers

Dog poop smells bad and no one likes stepping in it, but it is more than an inconvenience: it is a legitime danger. Dog poop dangers come in several forms.

  • It poisons grass and lawns.
  • It carries hookworms, ringworms, tapeworms, and more.
  • It transmits human diseases, too!
  • It pollutes waterways and is in the same EPA category as oil and mine runoff!

Dog Poop is Not Fertilizer

Cow manure is an age-old, and effective, fertilizer, but dog poop is not. Cows are herbivores and their poop is pretty much broken down plant matter. It's sort of like smelly compost. Well, just like you're not supposed to put meat products in your compost bin, a dog's diet makes it poop very poor as a fertilizer. In fact, it is usually pretty toxic to plants. It is very acidic and will kill your grass if left unattended. 

Dog Poop Carries Disease 

Of course, dog poop can carry worms. This means if your dog visits the park and someone else left dog poop with warm eggs laying on the ground, your pup is vulnerable. Dog poop can carry human-infecting aliments, too, including vicious parasites. Among other things. 

Dog Poop Contaminates Water

When the rain washes over dog poop and flows into the drainage system, that contaminated water is carried into local waterways. If you like to hang out at a nearby river or lake, this means the fecal water is mixed in where you enjoy swimming and boating! Studies indicate that about 90%of fecal coliform bacteria, which is used as a measure of water health and quality, is of non-human origin, mostly canine Dog poop is considered so dangerous that it is in the same EPA pollutant category as oil and runoff from abandon mines, and two or three days worth of un-picked up poop from 100 dogs can cause a big enough spike in bacteria levels to necessitate closing waterways within 20 miles to swimming and shell fishing. 

How to Dispose of Dog Poop

There are many different ways to dispose of dog poop: 

  • Use special, biodegradable pick up bags and throw it in the trash.
  • Reuse your plastic grocery bags to pick it up.
  • Flush it down the toilet (this is okay for dog poop, but some bacteria in cat poop can survive water treatment).
  • Hire professional poop removal company. 

For More Information

www.doodycalls.com/earthday_2012.asp

By:Community Living

By: Natasha at Pethelpful.com

Natasha's Blog can be found at : www.natashalh.com

Red Cross Offers Tips for a Safe Labor Day Weekend

8/29/2018 (Permalink)

The Labor Day holiday is fast approaching, signaling the unofficial end of summer and time for that last hurrah of summer fun. The American Red Cross has steps everyone can take to help stay safe over the long holiday weekend.

TRAVEL SAFETY Many families see the holiday weekend as their last chance to travel and celebrate the end of the season. Many will hit the road sometime over the three-day holiday weekend. The Red Cross offers these travel tips to help keep you safe on the highway:

Find out what disasters may occur where you are traveling and how you would get information in the event of a disaster (local radio systems, emergency alert systems).

Pay attention to the weather forecast for your destination.

Buckle up, slow down, and don’t drink and drive. Designate a driver who won’t drink.

Be well rested and alert; give your full attention to the road.

Use caution in work zones.

Observe speed limits.

Make frequent stops.

Be respectful of other motorists.

Clean your vehicle’s lights and windows to help you see, especially at night.

Turn your headlights on as dusk approaches, or during inclement weather, and don’t overdrive your headlights.

Carry a Disaster Supplies Kit in your trunk.

Don’t let your vehicle’s gas tank get too low.

If you have car trouble, pull as far as possible off the highway.

Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive. If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route. 

RIP CURRENTS If a trip to the beach is part of your weekend plans, remember the possibility of dangerous rip currents which are responsible for deaths on our nation’s beaches every year, and for most of the rescues performed by lifeguards. For your safety, be aware of the dangers of rip currents and remember the following:

If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current. Once you are free, turn and swim toward shore. If you can't swim to the shore, float or tread water until you are free of the rip current and then head toward shore.

Stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties. Permanent rip currents often exist near these structures. 

GRILLING SAFETY Perhaps your plans include an old-fashioned barbecue at home. The Red Cross offers these steps you should follow to use that backyard grill safely:

Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.

Never grill indoors – not in your house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.

Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill.

Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.

Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to help keep the chef safe.

Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using grills. 

The Red Cross hopes everyone enjoys their Labor Day weekend and stays safe whatever their plans may be. For more information, visit redcross.org/prepare.