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Fire Away! 4 Hot Tips for a Fire-Safe Summer

Posted on July 07, 2015 by James Florence

So, you survived the 4th of July without any major fire-related catastrophes. However, just because the fireworks have subsided (for the most part—watch out for stragglers), it doesn’t mean you can cruise through the rest of fire season on autopilot. To make sure you have your bases covered in terms of fire safety, take a look at this checklist:

1. Make sure your smoke detectors are operational. If you’re like most people, you’ve probably been tempted to remove the batteries from a smoke alarm—especially by the 27th time you inadvertently set it off while cooking bacon. However, in the event of a legitimate fire emergency, having your smoke detectors out of commission can carry dire consequences. Read more

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Posted in: Fire Prevention
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Time to Check Your Dryer Vent

Posted on January 02, 2012 by Chris Bjorklund

Every time I use my dryer, I clean out the lint screen. Unfortunately, not all the lint is captured there. According to Doug Francone, owner and President of Ductz of Walnut Creek and The Tri-Valley, some lint slips into the duct that’s used to move the hot, moist air from the dryer to the outside. Over time, that lint can build up and cause problems.

Your dryer has to work a little harder when its venting line gets clogged—it might take two hours to dry a load that used to take 45 minutes. Besides wasting energy, clogged venting lines wear out dryers sooner. On a more serious note, they’re also a leading cause of home fires. Read more

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Posted in: Home Tips
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Do I Have to Replace All My Old Wiring?

Posted on July 30, 2009 by Chris Bjorklund

Many old Bay Area homes were wired using a method called “knob and tube,” which was in common use until the 1940’s. You don’t always have to replace it, according to Nick Courcoumelis, owner of Positive Electric, a Diamond Certified company. “Knob and tube can’t be used in places where it can’t supply enough power to a kitchen, bathroom, laundry room or outdoor wiring. Or anywhere you need surge protection because it doesn’t have a ground. However, if it’s in good condition, it can still be used in other parts of the house, like bedrooms.”

Mr. Courcoumelis explains that codes don’t allow electricians to install knob and tube wiring anymore. However, you can insulate over it in California, Read more

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Posted in: Auto Tips, Home Tips
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