Late last month, State Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) introduced legislation to fund a statewide earthquake early-warning system using technology that already exists. During a press conference at Caltech in Pasadena on January 28th, it was discussed that the prototype called the California Integrated Seismic Network needs more money in order for it to go public, and the estimated cost is $80 million. [Read more…]
When storms hit a populated area, like Hurricane Sandy did in late 2012, we usually think of devastation like what’s pictured above. We can imagine that it’s hard for emergency vehicles to get through, and that there’s chaos at hospitals across the affected areas.
But did you ever stop to think about how flooding and/or fire can affect the actual tools of the medical industry? Think of how many sterilized products go into just a simple, routine blood test, or even a throat swab. Now think about how you would perform these procedures when you’re entire storage facility has been flooded with rank stormwater, causing all of your hypodermic needles, gauze and other implements to be completely useless. [Read more…]
No, it doesn’t get that cold in California in the winters, although the mountains do see snow this time of year. But we dare anyone to tell us they didn’t get shivers up their spine seeing photos and video of the snowstorm back East! Anyone? No, we thought not.
And even though us Californians don’t have much to worry about in the way of freezing temperatures, we are complete “weather wimps” and still bust out the space heaters and start up the fireplaces when the nights and mornings are chilly. [Read more…]
We hope that your home is never destroyed by a fire, because we’ve seen the aftermath. Southern California’s Santa Ana winds can make a simple fire widespread and deadly, and can burn a home to the ground. We’ve dealt with homeowners who have lost everything and this is just the first shock.
Some of these people have found out that this isn’t the worst part of losing your home. The worst part comes when you submit the insurance claim, only to find out that you’re underinsured.
According to a 2008 survey from industry watchdog United Policyholders, over 75 percent of claimants from San Bernardino and San Diego counties experienced this devastating scenario. The same survey found that these victims of wildfire were underinsured by an average of $240,000. [Read more…]
For the most part, yes—portable ethanol fireplaces are safe. But, as with any device or appliance that has an open flame, there are precautions that need to be taken.
Who doesn’t love sitting by an open fire when there’s a nip in the air? In recent years, the portable ethanol fireplace has made sitting by the fire, both indoors and outdoors, something that’s both easy and nice to look at. Some of them are very attractive, using colored rocks or sleek chrome for a modern, clean look for inside the house, and out.
What is ethanol anyway? It’s actually pretty cool—it’s a plant-based fuel product that does not release new carbon dioxide into the air. That means it’s much better for the environment than a wood fire, which causes all sorts of air pollution! [Read more…]
As a year ends and a new one begins, many of us make resolutions about being more active, eating a better diet, weeding through an old wardrobe or cleaning out cupboards for donations to goodwill. But what about your house? It can’t make these kind of plans to spruce itself up or keep itself in shape to live a long, healthy life the way you can.
So why not give it a helping hand? It’s not just helping your house, it’s helping you in the long run. Regular home maintenance is good for a property, extending its “economic age”, a term meaning the number of years a house is expected to survive. It also ensures safety, prevents those little maintenance problems turning into costly repair projects and can possibly even reduce energy consumption. And, especially in this crazy real estate economy, you want to make sure your home is well maintained just in case you want to sell—it seriously helps the resale value. [Read more…]
We’d like to assume that you were all quite good this year, and were showered with presents at Hanukkah and Christmas. What did the holidays bring you? Perhaps you received new sporting gear, like skis, a snowboard, a stand-up paddle board or a road bike. Maybe you splurged on that ATV you always wanted, or bought a new diving watch to go with the lessons your wife gave you?
Did you buy your lovely wife some jewelry, perhaps a set of diamond earrings from Tiffany & Co. to match the tennis bracelet you bought her last year? A jacuzzi for the back yard? New golf clubs so that you both can play together? [Read more…]
We know that many of you already put up your Christmas trees, and hopefully you’ve been enjoying their wonderful pine scent, festive looks and twinkling lights. Some people wait until closer to Christmas to choose the tree and decorate it.
Either way, you’ll probably hang treasured ornaments on it, and place your carefully chosen presents underneath it—presents you’ve probably spent a pretty penny on. [Read more…]
We know how much our customers love their families, and how important it is to share the holidays with those you love. And we know that many people consider their pets to be part of the family, and even consider them their children. How can you make sure the four-legged family members stay safe and healthy this holiday season.? Here’s our top tips—consider this our gift to your furry friends! [Read more…]
Hanukkah starts this Saturday, December 8th, and for those of you who are not aware, one of the traditions of the Hanukkah celebration is the menorah. The menorah is a candelabra with nine branches that are lit during the eight-day Hanukkah holiday, and is used to celebrate a miracle, when the Jews found only enough pure olive oil to light the menorah for one day after a successful revolt centuries ago. The miracle was that the supply lasted eight days, until a new supply could be obtained. Nowadays, the menorah has eight candles to light each night during Hanukkah.
In addition to the menorah, another Hanukkah tradition is making latkes, pancakes made of potato and onion and fried in oil—another celebration of a small amount of oil keeping a long-lasting flame. And even as careful as you can be, most house fires are started in the kitchen, which means that you should be extra vigilant when using hot oil for cooking.
With one to eight candles burning nightly plus hot oil or grease, there’s bound to be some fire-related accidents. Please review this handy list of safety tips to practice during the Hanukkah celebration to keep your family safe and sound. Don’t ruin the holiday by accidentally burning your house down!
- This week is the perfect time to test the smoke detectors in your house, and change the batteries if needed.
- Buy a fire extinguisher and keep it near the place you’ll be setting up the menorah.
- Place the menorah on a non-flammable, solid and level surface.
- Make sure all candles are secure in their holders.
- Keep all flammable materials, including drapes, blinds, decorations and plants, away from the menorah.
- Before lighting your menorah, make sure that it is meant to be lit, and not for decorative purposes only.
- Electric menorahs should not be used if wiring insulation is frayed or broken.
- Never, and we mean NEVER, leave a lit menorah unattended.
- When cooking latkes, keep children away from the hot oil; ideally, keep children away from the kitchen.
- Keep frying pans on the back burners of the stove, and keep the handle of the pan(s) away from the edge so children cannot reach it.
- If cooking oil catches fire, turn off the gas or electric range and cover the pan with its lid—if you can do so at no risk to yourself. Ideally, use a fire extinguisher appropriate for grease fires.
- Never throw water or a wet towel on an oil fire, as that will cause the hot oil to splatter on you or ignite something nearby.
Please have a happy and safe Hanukkah celebration! If you do have an accident in the kitchen or with your menorah, please call us immediately after you call the emergency services: (877) 732-8471.