Monthly Archives: June 2016

Some Things You Need to Know About House Fires

When house fires break out, every second counts. Blazes progress quickly, and temperatures can soar to 900 degrees Celsius in about three minutes. To protect yourself and your loved ones, have a house fire plan in place before disaster strikes.
1. Early detection of a house fire is essential.

Prevention is the first and most effective step in managing house fires: be sure to install working smoke detectors on every floor and carbon monoxide alarms outside sleeping areas, and test them monthly. “Change the batteries annually,” says Stephen Welowszky, division chief of public education with Toronto Fire Services. Family members of seniors should take extra precautions, he notes. Consider devices specifically designed for hearing-impaired individuals that emit a strobe light, as well as pager-like options that vibrate if the alarm sounds while you’re asleep.

2. Be cautious in the kitchen.

In the period between 2009 and 2013, cooking caused an average of 1,357 fires
 a year in Ontario alone, according to the province’s Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management. In the case of a grease fire, don’t put water on the flames—this will cause them to flare up violently, warns Welowszky. Turn off the heat and smother the blaze with another pan, if possible.

3. Learn your fire extinguisher ABCs.

Fire extinguishers come in different types, indicated on their tags: A, B, C, or ABC. Type A is for combustible materials like paper and cardboard; type B is for flammable liquids, such as cooking oil; and type C is for electrical and appliance fires. Welowszky says type ABC is best for households.

4. Make a house fire escape plan.

Know two ways out of every room and off of each floor (windows count), and rehearse this fire drill regularly with all members of your household.

Decorating Mistakes Yu Should Avoid

1. Your Wall Art Looks Disorganized

Decorating your home with artwork can be difficult. Marissa Sauer, interior designer and founder of Design MACS, recommends that each piece of artwork connect spatially to something else in the room. So, if you have a five-foot sofa, choose a four-foot painting.

“It’s important to pick pieces that are to scale with the wall that you’re putting them on. A piece that is too small could look a bit random, and a piece that’s too big can make the room look small and cluttered,” she says. “The art has got to connect to something.”

2. You Decorated Your Home with High-Maintenance Furniture

Steer clear of high-maintenance furniture if cleaning every surface in your home is the last thing on your list of chores. Dust will be more noticeable on dark-stained woods and fingerprints will show up quicker on mirrors and glass. If you want your home to look less messy, be mindful of furniture that gets dirtier faster, and clean them first.

3. Your Walls Look Dated

With current colour trends leaning toward lighter and airier looks, duller colours with brown undertones could make your home seem dated and dirty. “It’s not that they’re bad,” says Sauer. “It just feels a bit dated, and people often connect things that are older with things that are messier.”

4. Your Picture Frames Aren’t Arranged Properly

If you want to organize multiple pieces of art, roll a large sheet of paper to the size of the space you’d like to fill. Place the sheet on the floor and shift around your picture frames until you finds a setup you like. Traces each frame and mark where each nail needs to go to hang them. Finally, tape the paper to the wall, put all the nails in where the dots are, and tear the paper down.

5. You Have Exposed Cords Everywhere

Nothing says clutter — and danger — like a bunch of exposed cords and power strips around your home. Identify each room’s problem spots and look into creative ways to conceal. For example, your computer’s power strip can be hung in a basket underneath the desk.

6. You Over-Decorated

When organizing objects on tables and shelves, keep everything in groups of three, five or seven. Also make sure there’s a clear focal point and lots of white space, advises Sauer. To keep things interesting, put objects of different heights together, and if you have a square table, position them on a 45-degree angle.