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John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

15 Safety Tips when the Power’s Out

February 19, 2016 1:51 am

Severe storm conditions may threaten structural damage to your home, but they can also result in electrical hazards. These dangers are most often associated with the use of portable generators and space heaters, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), and may exist long after the storm has ended if a power outage occurs.

When operating a portable generator, keep in mind these tips: 

• Do not operate a portable generator in your home, basement, or garage. Generators can very quickly produce high levels of carbon monoxide, which can be deadly. 

• Be sure the generator is used with a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to help prevent electrocutions and electrical shock injuries. 

• Do not connect generators directly to the household wiring without an appropriate transfer switch installed. The power from the generator can back-feed along power lines and harm anyone who comes into contact with them, including utility line workers making repairs.  

• Make sure there is at least one working carbon monoxide detector in your home. Test the batteries at least twice a year, at the same time smoke detector batteries are tested.

When operating a space heater, keep in mind these tips: 

• Make sure your space heater has the label showing that it is listed by a recognized testing laboratory. 

• Before using any space heater, read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels carefully. 

• Inspect space heaters for cracked or broken plugs or loose connections before each use. If frayed, worn or damaged, do not use the heater. 

• Never leave a space heater unattended. Turn it off when you're leaving a room or going to sleep, and don't let pets or children play too close to a space heater. 

• Space heaters are only meant to provide supplemental heat and should never be used to warm bedding, cook food, dry clothing or thaw pipes. 

• Proper placement of space heaters is critical. Heaters must be kept at least three feet away from anything that can burn, including papers, clothing and rugs. 

• Place space heaters on level, flat surfaces. Never place heaters on cabinets, tables, furniture, or carpet, which can overheat and start a fire. 

• Place space heaters out of high traffic areas and doorways, where they may pose a tripping hazard. 

• Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Do not use an extension cord or power strip, which could overheat and result in a fire. 

• Do not plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater. 

• Always unplug and safely store the heater when it is not in use. 

Source: ESFI

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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How Paint Colors Set the Tone—and Mood—of Your Home

February 19, 2016 1:51 am

Repainting a room in your home? Don't overlook the psychological impact of color. Studies have shown that different hues create different moods, and can even affect behavior, says Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert at the Paint Quality Institute.

"There are lots of good reasons to select a particular paint color, including personal preferences and design considerations, but often overlooked is the psychological power certain colors exert on mood, attitude, and outlook," says Zimmer.

"Even before you go to the paint store or start to look at color cards, think about the mood you'd like in your surroundings," continues Zimmer. "Do you want the space to be relaxing or invigorating? Once you make that decision, the color choice becomes easier.”

If your goal is to create a tranquil space, then look for a soft green or pale blue. These are the most calming colors, so they're ideal for rooms where you rest and relax, such as the family room or bedroom.

Other go-to colors for rooms where you rest include certain beiges, browns, and taupe. More enveloping than blues and greens, these quiet tints and shades impart warmth and coziness to a space.  

At the other end of the psychological spectrum are paint colors that can inject energy into your surroundings. Yellow is the best example. Like a splash of sunshine, yellow walls can lift the spirit and brighten your outlook. What better color to use in a kitchen or breakfast area where you start the day?

Shades of orange—tangerine and apricot, for example—are also energizing, so they too are good choices for rooms where you spend your mornings.

Reds are energizing, too, but they need to be used sparingly, since their bold appearance can literally increase heartbeat. But if you're seeking a great dining room color, look no further: studies show red can actually increase appetite, which is why it is used in so many restaurants. 

Aside from the color of the paint you choose, keep in mind that tone also plays a role in setting the mood. Brighter tones invigorate, while those that are muted ("toned down") tend to be more relaxing.

After choosing the perfect color, make sure it continues to look just so by applying the highest quality paint. Products that are 100 percent acrylic resist fading, so the color you apply is the color you'll continue to enjoy for years to come, says Zimmer.

Source: Paint Quality Institute

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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