Archive for the 'Miscellaneous' Category

Dec 14 2011

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6 Health Tips for the Holiday Season – The Garage Plan Shop

Washing HandsMost of us think of the holiday season as a fun and enjoyable time of the year. But others think of it as stressful and sometimes plagued with illness and poor health. There are many simple things you can do to maintain good health throughout the duration of this exciting and busy time of year. The Garage Plan Shop recommends reviewing the following health tips for a happy and healthy holiday season.

 

  1. Wash Hands – Keeping your hands clean is perhaps the easiest and most important thing you can do to stay healthy and prevent spreading germs to others. During the holidays we find ourselves in more public places more often than usual. Grocery stores, airports, restaurants, and shopping malls are filled with germs. Experts recommend washing your hands often with soap and warm water. Scrub for at least 20 seconds and rinse well. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer. You can even keep a travel size hand sanitizer in your purse or pocket when you go out.
  2.  Stress Management – The holidays are a wonderful time to have fun, be cheerful, participate in special activities and enjoy the company of family and friends. But don’t let all your extra activities wear you down mentally and/or physically. Maintain a relaxed and positive attitude about holiday activities. Manage your time between work, home and fun. Avoid over-committing to too many people and activities. Be sure to get plenty of rest. Finally, make sure to manage your holiday budget as over-spending will surly add more stress to the holiday season.
  3. Practice Food Safety – When preparing holiday snacks, cookies, meals and other edibles, keep you, your family and your friends safe from food-related illnesses. Wash your hands and food preparations surfaces often. Thoroughly clean cookware, cooking utensils, and dishes in between uses. Avoid cross-contamination by keeping poultry, seafood, meat and eggs (and their juices) away from ready-to-eat foods. Be sure to cook foods to their proper temperatures. Refrigerate leftovers right away. Do not leave perishable foods out for more than two hours.
  4. Dress Warm – For most of us, changing temperatures and colder weather coincide with the holiday season. Cold temperatures can cause serious health problems. They are especially dangerous for the elderly and infants and small children. Using several layers, dress warm whenever you go outdoors and stay dry. Be sure to cover your hands and head.
  5. Be Active, Eat Healthy – Moderation is the key to following a healthy diet during the holidays. Substitute your favorite piece of fruit for candy. Eat small portions so you can enjoy a small taste of all your favorite holiday meals. When it comes to dessert, choose one or two of your favorites from the plethora of sweets and treats at holiday parties. Make an effort to schedule a half hour of exercise every day. Also, encourage your family to participate in fun, healthy activities like ice skating, sledding or taking a walk through the neighborhood after dinner to look at holiday light displays. Organize an afternoon family game of football or kickball. Keep in mind, a little fresh air will do some good for everyone.
  6. Medication Management – It is easy to get off track, change your schedule or skip your daily routines during the holidays due to so many different special activities and gatherings. If you take daily medications, it is important to stick to your medication schedule. Take medications on time and as prescribed. Do not make changes in how you take medications. If you always take your medications with breakfast, makes sure you continue taking them with breakfast. If you are traveling out of town for the holidays, don’t forget to take your medications with you. It is important that you do not skip doses.

 

Following these simple tips will help you stay healthy and enjoy the entire holiday season.

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Dec 07 2011

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Shedding Light on Holiday Lights – The Garage Plan Shop

LED Christmas LightsAre you planning to decorate your home, yard and garage with those old strings of incandescent lights this holiday season? According to the St. Louis County Health Department, it is time to make the switch to LED lights. Most strings of incandescent lights are wrapped with a hard plastic PVC coating, which protects the wire inside. This coating is a problem for our landfills taking up to 500 years to breakdown. In addition, PVC is heat resistant and sometimes contains metals such as lead, cadmium and tin that are harmful once they make it into the ground.

 

So what are the benefits of using LED lights for your holiday decorating and light displays? Consider the following facts about LED lighting as reported by the St. Louis County Health Department:   

 

  • LED lights use one tenth of the energy when compared to a traditional strand of holiday mini-lights. Using less energy means a lower electric bill.
  • They last two times longer than incandescent lights – that’s up to 20 years!
  • LEDs can withstand, heat, cold and moisture making them ideal for outdoor displays.
  • These energy efficient lights are cool to the touch reducing the risk of fire.
  • The brightness of LED lights does not fade over time.
  • They are durable and harder to break than traditional holiday lights.
  • LEDs can be found at most home improvement centers and hardware stores.

 

Before you throw those old light strands in the trash, check locally for a recycling/collection program. Many hardware stores and home improvement stores offer collection programs, and some even give a discount on the purchase of new LED holiday lights for every strand of old lights you recycle.

 

So, be earth-friendly this holiday season and decorate your house, garage and yard with LED lights.

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Nov 27 2011

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Featured Garage Plan: Handy Motorcycle Garage – The Garage Plan Shop

Motorcycle Garage Plan 006G-0001If your motorcycle is your prized possession, chances are you don’t want to store it in your garage where there is a lot of activity. Face it. Typical garages might be a good place to protect your cars from the elements or store lawn and garden tools, outdoor games for the kids, bikes and other items, but do you really want to take the chance or getting a scratch or a ding on your motorcycle? This motorcycle garage plan is the perfect solution. Because it is designed for a bike, you’ll be less likely to store anything else inside, therefore having a place to protect your motorcycle from Mother Nature’s fury and ensure it doesn’t take any other “abuse” from everyday family activities in the car garage. A service entry allows easy access inside and a pair of double doors works well for pulling your motorcycle in and out of the garage. Small in size, this motorcycle storage garage fits neatly into most backyards.

 

Now, if you’re not a motorcycle enthusiast, chances are you don’t own one. In that case, this motorcycle garage would work well as a backyard storage shed or garden shed giving you plenty of room to store lawn and garden equipment, fertilizer, potting supplies, etc. Its flexible design allows for other uses besides cycle storage, and its traditional charm allows it to blend nicely with a variety of homes.

 

If you are looking for flexibility, this motorcycle garage plan or storage shed plan is ready to accommodate your needs.

 

Browse all of garage plans and shed plans to find the one that is right for you.

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Nov 16 2011

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Are You Ready to Use Less Stuff? Use Less Stuff Day – The Garage Plan Shop

Did you know the Thursday before Thanksgiving is Use Less Stuff Day? It is a day for us to commit or pledge to reduce our resource consumption during the holiday season. It is time for all of us to start a new holiday tradition. Get your kids, family and friends involved and make the commitment to work toward an earth-friendly holiday season.

 

These ideas should help you get started:

 

  • Plan to recycle. Set up bins to collect gift boxes, wrapping paper, holiday greeting cards and envelopes, beverage cans and bottles. Tell your guests what to recycle and where to place the items so they don’t end up in the trash can.
  • Use fewer disposable paper products and eating utensils. Rent dinnerware, glassware and silverware for a large holiday party or ask guests to bring their own for a smaller gathering. This will eliminate paper plates and plastic cups, forks, knives, etc. from going in the trash.
  • Use less energy. A large crowd will warm your home. Turn the thermostat down a few degrees before guests arrive.
  • Don’t buy too many groceries or prepare too much food for a holiday gathering. If you do prepare too much, send leftovers home with guests or reheat them the following day for yourself. Try your best not to throw away usable food.

 

The commitment is easy. Tell your friends and family about Use Less Stuff Day and make a pledge to participate in an earth-friendly holiday season without sacrificing the fun and joys all of us look forward to each year.

 

For more ideas about Use Less Stuff Day, please visit www.use-less-stuff.com.

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Oct 12 2011

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Preventing Home Fires: 6 Fire Prevention Tips

Filed under Miscellaneous,Safety

Fire Prevention WeekIt is Fire Prevention Week. The Garage Plan Shop wants to share six more important tips with you about home fire prevention and fire safety. Practicing these safety tips will decrease the chances of a home fire.

 

1.    Use Electricity Safely: Check all electrical cords in your home and replace any that are cracked, frayed or show signs of other damage. Do the same for extension cords. If an electrical appliance starts to smoke or smells like it is burning, unplug it immediately. Either repair or replace the appliance. Never run cords under rugs and do not overload outlets or extension cords. Fuses and circuit breakers protect you from fire. Do not tamper with the fuse box or use fuses of the improper size.

2.    Matches and Lighters are not for Children: When in the hands of children, matches and lighters can be extremely dangerous. Store them out of reach and out of view from children. Teach children from early on these items are for adults only. If a child finds matches or a lighter, he or she should tell an adult immediately.

3.    Give Space Heaters Room: Give space heaters plenty of room. They should be placed three feet from anything that can catch fire and burn such as paper, clothing, curtains, bedding and furniture. Turn space heaters off when you leave or go to sleep; do not leave them running. Also, keep children and pets away from space heaters to prevent them from getting bumped and toppling over.

4.    Be Careful and Attentive When Cooking: Use the utmost care and attention when cooking. Never leave anything cooking unattended. Keep all cooking areas clear from combustibles including outdoor kitchens and grills. Turn handles of pots and pans inward one the stove to keep them out or reach of children and prevent someone from bumping the handle and knocking the pot or pan off the stove.

5.    Cool a Burn: If someone should get burned, immediately place the wound in cool water for 15-20 minutes to relieve the burning sensation and pain. If the burn blisters, chars or becomes an open wound, seek medical attention right away. 

6.    Learn and Practice Candle Safety: Though candles smell nice and look pretty, they are becoming a growing household hazard when home fires are considered. Use common sense with lit candles. Never leave a burning candle unattended in any room in the house, even if you are in the next room. Do not burn candles when you go to bed or leave your home. Never place a lit candle near combustibles such as clothing, paper, curtains or bedding. Lit candles should be placed out of reach of children. Do not burn candles in low places or on unsteady surfaces like the coffee table or end tables where they can easily be knocked over by people or pets.

 

Even though Fire Prevention Week will be over soon, it is important to practice these safety tips year round in an effort to prevent a fire in your home.

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