Dear Readers: The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (www.CPSC.gov) has compiled a top-10 SAFETY CHECKLIST FOR YOUR HOME — let's take a look:
Smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors with fresh batteries are a must, as are ground-fault circuit interrupters (circuit breakers — GFCI) in the bathroom and other wet areas.
Your home should be well-lit inside and out, with nonslip flooring and no clutter in walkways. Devise two exit strategies to get out of your home in an emergency, and discuss and practice them with family members.
Candles, ashtrays, hot plates and other combustibles should not be left by curtains, bedding and furniture. Have a professional inspect your chimney and furnace once per year.
The CPSC recommends that your water heater be set no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit to help prevent burns.
Finally, keep all medications in child-resistant bottles; matches and lighters must be out of reach, too. Safety is always priority one. — Heloise
Dear Heloise: I purchased some undergarments that are made with 94 percent polyamide and 6 percent elastane.
Should I air-dry these garments rather than put them in a hot dryer? Can the heat of the dryer break down the elasticity of the garment and lose that stretchiness? I never dry my bras in the dryer; should I do the same with these undergarments? — H.G., via email
Great question. It's best to choose the dryer heat setting carefully. If it's too hot, the elastic may break down, and the tumbling action can really do a number on your clothes. To be on the safe side, drying your undergarments for a longer period of time at a lower heat setting may be a better option. You also could line-dry, or lay delicates flat to dry. — Heloise
Dear Heloise: I live in an apartment. When moving in, I had to "stash'' items in different dresser drawers, etc. I created a document titled "Where is it?" since I knew I would not remember where everything was.
As I put items in drawers, on shelves and under skirted chairs, I logged them in my "Where is it?" document. Now, when I need to get something, I go into my document and "search'' for the item I need. Voila! — Dee in California
Great timesaver! — Heloise
Hi, Heloise: A shoebox and its lid are perfect frames and shadow boxes! This is especially fun for kids on a rainy day. Scraps of yarn, colored paper and fabric, buttons, sequins, confetti, even rocks and twigs can combine to make a wonderful picture. Attach with glue sticks or rubber cement. — Granny May, Columbus, Ohio