Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope you find some helpful hints for organizing your time and space. My passions are to help you make home a refuge instead of a crisis center, and to help you function in peace rather than chaos - at home or at work. I have switched my main blog to 1-2-3 ... Get Organized on WordPress, so please visit me there.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fall Bloggy Giveaway Carnival

Today is the start of the Fall Bloggy Giveaway! I'm giving away Three Steps to Decluttering, Three Steps to Time Management for the Stay at Home Mom, Three Steps to Clever Cleaning, Three Steps to Organizing Your Kitchen, and Three Steps to Organizing Your Child's Room to one lucky winner.

To register to win, leave a comment below. If you want an extra chance, go to my website and look at my other books not being given away and tell me which one is your favorite. For a third chance, sign up for my blog on organizing tips and come back and leave a comment telling me you did so.

For more giveaways, visit Bloggy Giveaways.

My giveaway will last through midnight Saturday,November 1, and I will announce my winner on Monday, November 3rd. MAKE SURE YOU LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS. :-)

Preventive Organizing - Changing Smoke Alarm Batteries and Other Preventive Measures You Never Knew About

As it nears time to change the batteries in our fire alarms, there are a few more fire safety tips we should be know. How does this relate to organizing? Think of the mess you would have to organize if a fire occurs in your home, big or small.

Last Friday, General Bragg of the Akron Fire Department spent two hours informing Shelter Care house parents of fire safety. Here are some of the tips he passed on, some of which were new to me:

- Never leave ANYTHING on your stove. That includes pans, tea kettles, decorative burner covers, hot pads - nothing! The problem occurs if you forget to turn off a burner and leave the area or the house, whatever is on the stove will over time burn and catch on fire - even pans and tea kettles!

I came home and threw away my decorative burner covers, removed the binder with my favorite recipes which was perched on the back of the stove, and removed my spoon holders.

- The three foot rule: anything that can burn should be three feet from what might cause it to burn.

- While you're changing your smoke alarm battery, you should not only push the button to see that the batteries work, but you should check to see if the alarm itself works. Purchase smoke alarm detector aerosol - one spray should test whether the alarm itself will detect smoke.

When I called my local Lowe's and Home Depot stores, I found that neither carried this aerosol can, but suggested an electrical supply house. The person I talked to at Home Depot suggested taking a wooden match, lighting it, blowing it out, and holding it up to the smoke alarm. I'm not sure general Bragg would embrace this one, but it sounds simple enough.

Also, while you're checking out the smoke alarm, check to find the date it expires. It should be written on the inside of the alarm. Alarms should be replaced every ten years. Alarms should be outside each bedroom door. If bedroom doors are close to each other, one can do the job.

- Sleep with your bedroom doors shut. We watched a video of a real house burning, which took about 4 1/2 minutes to be fully engaged, reaching 1400 degrees F in that short time. The smoke detector didn't go off until about 1 1/2 minutes into the fire, when the temperature was already up to 300 degrees. Our lungs vaporize at 150 degrees. The one bedroom that had the door shut stayed at 76 degrees and didn't sustain fire damage.

If you must have your pets go in and out, cut a pet door at the bottom of the door, the floor being the last place smoke and gasses reach.

- Never leave your dryer on unattended - don't leave the house or go to sleep. Also, vacuum out your dryer vent cavity. When you take out your dryer screen, lint, which is flammable, falls down into that area.

- Practice with your family what to do in case of fire:
1. feel the door to see if it's hot
2. if it's hot, open the window and exit; if you are on a second floor, hang from the window sill and drop down
3. if it's not hot, grab the nearest fire extinguisher (you should have one on each floor and teach family members how to use it)
4. if there is smoke, keep your face about one foot from the floor
5. place yourself with your back toward the nearest exit facing the fire, spraying and sweeping the fire with the extinguisher, if needed
6. meet out in front of your house, or another designated spot so you know who made it out
7. call the fire department
8. report to the fire department if someone is missing and where their room is located - they have the proper equipment to reach that trapped person (most people who go back in to save someone never return).

As house parents for Shelter Care, we have a verbal fire drill every month with each house of girls. It's something I never thought to do with our own children, but it's another way to provide safety and security to your family.