Jun 152012

8 Easy Steps to Fireworks Safety

  There just does not seem to be enough time to create good habits when it comes to fireworks.  Each year, home owners lose everything because they were careless or just didn’t know how to store, use, and discard fireworks.  Subscribers at www.maintenanceguru.com received detailed instructions this month concerning fireworks safety.  Dave Risha, the Maintenance Guru sais that the dangers associated with fireworks can be significantly mitigated with a few simple precautions.

Step 1: Conduct a risk assessment to determine your plan of action in the event that a fire starts. A risk assessment will help you find out all of the possible problems with the storage area, and your methods of storing. Then you can begin the process of making it a safe storage site.

Step 2:Remove sources of ignition from the storage area. Store fireworks away from petroleum based substances like gasoline or kerosene, electric or gas heaters, drain cleaners and fertilizers.

Step 3:Store fireworks in a closed container. Plastic tubs with lids are perfect for keeping fireworks dry and away from possible heat sources.

Step 4:Place fireworks away from other materials that could catch fire easily. It is important to keep them away from cardboard boxes, newspapers, pallets or parked vehicles.

Step 5:Keep exits clear of fireworks. Store fireworks away from doorways, ensuring exits are open and accessible if a fire does start.

Step 6:Test your smoke detector and make sure batteries are fresh and working.

Step 7:Make sure your fire extinguisher works and keep it close to the area where you are storing fireworks. Check to see if the extinguisher is full and the expiration date has not passed.

Step 8: Store fireworks in a secure room or building. You should be able to lock the building or room to prevent children or unwanted intruders from getting to the fireworks.

You Can Take Steps to Reduce Effects of Flood Waters

The Maintenance Guru’s home town of Jacksonville, FL has been the recipient of several inches of rain over the past two weeks.  Tropical Storm Beryl moved through with near hurricane force winds then stuck around for a few days dropping much needed rain in northern Florida, across Georgia and up the Eastern seaboard.  Once it moved out, more rain followed.  For nearly two weeks, rain has fallen in the vicinity of Jacksonville daily.  With hurricane season here, it is time to consider the effects of flood waters and how to mitigate the possible damage due to floods.
There are actions that can be taken to reduce the effects of rain and flood waters within homes and offices.  I found the following article athttp://www.disastersafety.org/project?projectId=3861.

Step 1

Things you can do when there is an imminent risk of flood:


  • Clear drains, gutters and downspouts of debris.
  • Roll up area rugs and carpeting, where possible, and store these on higher floors or elevations. This will reduce the chances of rugs getting wet and growing mold.
  • Move furniture and electronics off the floor, particularly in basements and first floor levels.
  • Anchor fuel tanks. An unanchored tank can be torn free by floodwaters, and the broken supply line can cause contamination or, if outdoors, can be swept downstream and damage other property.
  • Prepare an evacuation kit with important papers, insurance documents, medications and other things you may need if you are forced to be away from your home or business for several days.
  • Inspect sump pumps and drains to ensure proper operation. If a sump pump has a battery backup, make sure the batteries are fresh or replace the batteries.
  • Shut off electrical service at the main breaker if the electrical system and outlets will be under water.
  • Place all appliances, including stove, washer and dryer on masonry blocks or concrete at least 12 inches above the projected flood elevation

Step 2

Things to do if time allows:

  • Hire a licensed electrician to raise electric components (switches, sockets, circuit breakers and wiring) at least 12 inches above the expected flood levels for your area.
  • If flood waters enter the sewer system, sewage can back up and enter your home. To prevent this, hire a licensed plumber to install an interior or exterior backflow valve. Check with your building department for permit requirements.
  • Make sure your yard’s grading (slope) directs water away from the building.
  • Have the installation of your furnace, water heater and other permanently equipment modified so that they are elevated above the expected flood levels for your area.

Step 3

Recover: Things to do after a flood:

  • As soon as it is safe to do so, disconnect all electronics/electrical equipment and move it to a dry location.
  • Remove as much standing water as possible from inside the building.
  • Remove water-damaged materials immediately.
  • Ventilate with fans or use dehumidifiers to dry out the house.
  • Acting quickly can increase the chance of salvaging usable materials, reduce the amount of rust, rot and mold that might develop, and limit the likelihood of structural problems.