Considering that this month is home security and safety month too… Crafty Beaver asks; When was the last time you did something to make your home safer? Crafty Beaver wants to review some places in the house where you may not always check and probably should.

1. Analyze Your Wood Stove or Fireplace

Fireplaces and wood-burning stoves can surely help keep us warmer in the winter! DO NOT forget to care for your wood stove or fireplace before you use them each season. If you have a fireplace, typical inspection or cleaning/maintenance before you start it back up for the season could thwart off an unwanted house fire. You may not need to clean it but once a year. A few areas to pay attention to are the top vents, you should change them if they are old or damaged in any way, etc. Investigate and test to see that there are no blockages or hinderances in the chimney, by lighting pretty miniature pieces of wood and notice if the smoke ascends and is not obstructed by anything. Also, don’t forget to oversee the outer part of the chimney for damage and cracks. If these are not fixed, these can leak combustion gasses indoors, creating a fire hazard.

If you don’t know how to do all this or what to look for, have a professional clean and inspect your chimney. CSL (Creosote Sweeping Log) logs available at Crafty Beaver do support and help improve your fireplace performance as it helps block the buildup of deposits, which are both a hinderance and fire hazard to performance. Creosote is a dark colored residue that can be flaky or crusty, tar-like, all varieties of it are highly combustible and can create a fire. You should always ignite seasoned firewood, no trash, no driftwood, treated wood, or artificial logs, for the best results and safety of your fireplace or woodstove.

If you use a wood stove, it’s important to know some of these facts. Your wood stove should have a stack thermometer to help monitor the gases leaving the stove. This is necessary when keeping an eye on efficiency and pollution control. Also, smaller fires in truth helps alleviate deterioration and quality air control. Try to learn to keep the ash cleared out, it helps oxygen better get to the fire to fuel it. The lesser the smoke, the cleaner the burning will go. So go now and get your fireplace and/or wood stove primed and ready for the hard cold by purchasing helpful products at Crafty Beaver today.

2. Stabilize Your Thin TV To Avert An Accident

With slender televisions, they can lean and fall over easier, specially with pets and kids jumping around. According Consumer Reports, 340 persons have been killed from a television falling over from the years 2000 – 2017.

It can be easy to prevent a disaster. Install the special Anti-tip hardware to your TV or Furniture promptly with some of these options:

  • Wall mounting
  • Anchoring furniture with anti-tip brackets
  • Installing anti-tip straps on the back in non-mounted

Most neighborhood hardware stores should have an array of fasteners and brackets if you plan to mount by a custom design.

3. Check Out Your Driveways and Walkways

This could seem like an easy thing to do, but how many times do you consider that you have Inspected and then a person stumbles on an uneven part or there is crummy weather that showed up overnight and there is a disaster on the walkway?? Over time the cement can sink or buckle due to tree roots or other causes. If you notice some cracks or uneven areas, have them fixed up by doing it yourself, or have a pro fix it. If you are in a really cold area, during winter be sure to have ice melt and shovels ready to go. Our store is your place for bitter winter weather help. Just ask a helpful store employee in the store for help with cement crack filler to mend your sidewalk or ice melt for bitter cold days.

4. Replace Your Locks & Door Knobs

door locksIf your locks are worn, old, or you have lost all the keys, it might be the day to improve your locks and door knobs. With the influx of a variety of smart locks on the market, finding the correct way to secure your home will depend on what is best for your family. Crafty Beaver features smart locks with keypads, smart locks with touch screens, smart locks to use with your smart phone, and smart locks with hidden key options in an assortment of styles and colors. Do a bit of investigation for which design is best for you. Some are special order only. But ask department employee to aid you when at the store.

You can save money by re-keying your lock, instead of purchasing new. You might need to change out your lock due to a new renter, you lost your keys, or you need to change your keys for the lock. You might need to re-key your lock instead of buying a new one to save money. You will need to carefully remove it from the door and bring it into the store, being the cost of doing this is far less than a new lock. Inquire with our hardware store in Chicago and Skokie to see if they offer this service.

5. Monitor Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Be sure to monitor your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors every 6 months. a very high percentage of smoke alarms will last generally 10 years. Some a shorter time, some a bit longer, but on an everage it is recommended to replace both your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors every 10 years. If your detectors are not hard-wired, change the batteries at least once a year. You can not consistently rely on the “bird” chirp of the detector to alert you for new batteries. There is an assortment of brands and styles of detectors on the market now, if you are unsure, visit Crafty Beaver in Chicago and Skokie to inquire about smoke alarms, and other safety products needed for your home.