Category Archives: Household Hints

A Tale of Two Homes

By George Haab
There were two lovely homes in a mountain community called Emerald Lakes. Each was owned by families who used them as vacation homes and visited them at irregular intervals. Both homes had alarm systems. One kept his vital information, such as his up-to-date telephone and cell phone information up to date. The other moved several times, changing his numbers and failing to notify his alarm company. The homeowner who kept his information current also gave a trusted full time neighbor a duplicate house key.
stock-photo-plan-b-strategy-option-alternative-planning-business-symbol-black-board-isolated-113544286[1]One day during a time of extremely low temperatures several transformers blew. Each homeowner lost all power to his vacation home. The power company tried to call each homeowner. They reached the first homeowner and told him he would have to turn off his main breaker before it would be safe to restore power. The homeowner quickly called the trusted neighbor who went to the home and turned the breaker off. He then notified the power company and the power was restored. His furnace, powered by LP by controlled by an electric thermostat immediately went back on – before the house temperature dipped below freezing. But the second homeowner, the one who did not keep his contact information up to date, did not know his heat was off. Soon the temperature dipped very low and all the water in the house froze. The sink traps were split open, toilet tanks cracked, water pipes burst and the water heater was ruptured. Thousands of dollars worth of damage resulted.
The take away from these stories is obvious. Each of these scenarios has occurred many times throughout the Pocono region. Don’t be like the second homeowner. Keep your contact information current with your alarm company and all your suppliers. And think about giving a trusted neighbor a key. That neighbor can look in your home if the alarm goes off or if you’re notified of a power interruption. As the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Household Hints – For the Birds

Eileen Avrich

As summer ends, and the weather gets cooler, it is easy to forget about our feathered friends.  They aren’t ready to leave for their winter homes, so here are a few tips to help them stay healthy and strong.


Did you know that there are several diseases that can be spread by birds due to unclean bird feeders?  Birds with disease are likely to die from starvation, dehydration, predation and severe weather, so protect them by following these tips.

Avoid overcrowding:  If possible, spread them out.  Crowding creates stress making the birds vulnerable to disease.

Clean up waste:  Keep birdfeeders clean of bird droppings and seed hulls.  A shop-vac works well, but any method done consistently will help.

Disinfect your feeders:  Immerse your feeder or birdbath in a nine to one water-bleach solution, rinsing thoroughly, one to two times a month.

Make feeders safe:  check for any sharp edges and fix or replace.  Even a scratch can become infected.

Food – Discard any food that smells musty, looks moldy, is wet or has fungus.  Store where rodents cannot get into the food.  Mice carry many diseases that can affect birds.

Spread the word to your friends and neighbors who feed the birds.

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