Friday, October 17, 2014

How National Fire Prevention Week Got Started

National Fire Prevention Week was started in recognition of the Great Chicago Fire of Oct. 8-9, 1871. Since President Calvin Coolidge issued the first national proclamation for the week in 1925, it has been held during the week in which Oct. 8 falls.

Blame it on the cow
According to legend, the fire started when Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicked over a lantern in the barn, resulting in a fire that killed 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, burned down more than 17,400 structures across 2,000 acres.

Last year in the United States half a million house fires occurred and 2,855 Americans lost their lives in fire.

Home heating safety checklist
If you haven't already, you can download a free, printable home heating safety checklist here.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Wood & Pellet Stove Safety - PenBay Pilot

 If you heat with a pellet stove, here's a quick reminder to help you brush up on pellet stove safety





Wood & Pellet Stove Safety - PenBay Pilot

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Recall of Propane Gas Indoor and Outdoor Fireplaces, Stoves, Inserts and Log Sets

Another week, another recall. This time it's 20,000 propane gas fueled products manufactured under the brand names  Hearth & Home Technologies, Heat-N-Glo, Heatilator, Outdoor Lifestyles, and Quadra Fire

The problem is a potentially leaky gas valve that poses a fire hazard.

The products include indoor and outdoor fireplaces, stove, log sets and fireplace inserts sold from May 2014 thru July 2014.

Details on specific products and serial numbers can be found at http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2014/Hearth-and-Home-Technologies-Recalls-Gas-Fireplaces-Stoves-Inserts-and-Log-Sets/

You can also call Hearth & Home Technologies at 800-883-6690 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or visit www.hearthnhome.com and click on Notices for more information.

Fortunately this defect hasn't caused any injuries or deaths yet.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Contemporary Wall Mount Fireplaces - Cool Looks Can Be Deceiving

Contemporary Wall Mount Fireplaces - Cool Looks Can Be Deceiving



If you want to heat just about any room in your home, but want to do it with style, you really ought to look into a contemporary wall mounted fireplace. Before you start shopping around though, I would suggest you take a couple of minutes to look over the article linked to above to get a good idea of what you should be looking for in a wall mount fireplace.

Friday, September 26, 2014

What Do You Say To A 37% Increase In Your Electric Rates?

When I read the Boston Herald online this morning I was shocked (but not surprised) to learn that the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities had approved a 37% rate hike in residential electric rates and - hold on to your hat - a 75% increase for manufacturers and other large businesses.

According to the article this represents an additional $33 per month for the typical homeowner and $19,000 per month on average for big businesses.

If memory serves me correctly, I was paying around 14 cents per kilowatt hour peak rate when I left Boston. A 37% increase translates to slightly more than 19 cents per kWh. This is almost double the rate I'm charged by Florida Power and Light.

Can you imagine any other business (besides the health care industry) that could raise prices 37% and still have customers for their product the next day?

The rate hike is attributed to insufficient supply of natural gas. National Grid describes the cause for the shortage this way: "Because the pipes that bring natural gas into the region have not kept up with increased 
demand for natural gas, the companies generating electricity for National Grid and others to deliver to consumers must pay more for the gas."

Since National Grid made around 2.7 billion (up 6%) in fiscal 2013, this rate hike feels more like a fine or penalty than an action based on market forces.

National Grid's argument for a rate hike is also predicated on a prediction that the coming New England winter will be as severe as last year. Not even the health care industry can get away with raising  prices based on the weather forecast.

Naturally, all the state elected politicians are supporting the increase including Senator Elizabeth "Fauxcahontas" Warren.

All I can say is that I, and thousands of others, have no regrets over moving to Florida and leaving all the chicanery that goes on in Massachusetts behind.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Time Is Running Out For Wood Burning Heaters

If you've been considering an outdoor wood furnace or boiler to heat your home or business, time is running out.

Sometime during April or May of 2015, new EPA regulations will take effect severly limiting the particulate emissions of all wood burning heaters. What this means is every non-catalytic wood stove and outdoor furnace sold today will no longer pass muster and be available for sale.

However, all current inventory is exempt until the new regs take effect giving you a couple of months to complete the installation of a new stove, furnace or boiler.

If you'd like to read more about how rural America is taking it on the chin, check out this article in US News and World Reports.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Space Heater Safety Infographic

Like Smokey The Bear used to say, "Only you can prevent forest fires." The same could be said of household fires, especially where the use of space heaters is concerned. By following a few common sense safety rules, the vast majority of space heater ignited fires could be avoided.

Before you plug your space heater in for the first time this winter, take a minute to look over the tips outlined below and be safe. (Please feel free to copy this infographic to your website or blog.)

 photo SpaceHeaterSafety_zpsd30dce7c.png