When you're enjoying the sun, make sure your home isn't left feeling the heat. These six tips will keep your home safe when temperatures rise:
- Keep your wiring system cool. Before you plug in portable fans and air conditioners, make sure the extension cord you're using is in good shape and heavy enough to safely handle the load it's carrying. Cover extension cords with tape to prevent falls, rather than running them under rugs.
- Check fans for frayed cords before plugging them in. If your fan's cord has spent the past year wrapped in a tight, tidy coil, wires may have pulled loose or become exposed through cracks in the insulating plastic.
- Prevent air-conditioning puddles. Give condensation from both central and portable units a harmless way to escape. Place a plastic tray under portable air conditioners used on carpeted or hardwood floors.
- Choose plastic rather than glass for pet water bowls kept on the deck. When the sun beats down, unlikely objects can turn into fire-starting lenses. Also, keep reading glasses and vases off sunny window sills.
- Don't make a thief's job easier. Instead of opening windows, install heavy-gauge screen doors with double bolt locks (available online and at most hardware stores). They're more secure than window screens and, with their large size, allow even greater air circulation than an open window, especially when paired with a box fan to blow cooler evening air throughout the house.
- Shield furniture, floors and carpets from fading and sun damage. Keep shades drawn, especially on scorching southern exposure windows. Pop up patio table umbrellas and awnings to offer extra shade.
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