Learn Before You Burn: Reduce Health and Environmental Hazards with a More Efficient Fire

2As the Indiana temperatures continue to get colder many residents are turning to their fireplaces or wood stoves for warmth. Keep in mind, there are ways to burn a more efficient fire and reduce wood smoke which is harmful to human health and a source of air pollution.

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Protect Your Pets From Holiday Pitfalls

 Holidays can seem hectic at times,especially for our four-legged friends. The director of pet care issues at the Humane Society of the United States, K.C. Theisen, advises pet owners to take some precautionary steps to ensure a safe holiday for all members of the family, including the furry ones.

Before putting your pets outside consider the weather conditions. Although dogs and cats do have fur coats, they are still in danger of hypothermia or frostbite if left outdoors in freezing temperatures for an extended period of time.

Establish a “safe space” for your pet when guests come to visit. Some pets mingle among groups without an issue but others may be a bit skittish. Having a space where your animals can get away from all the hustle and bustle can reduce anxiety for yourself and your pets.

Keep absolutely all chocolate out of reach because it contains a toxin that is dangerous for cats or dogs to ingest. Plants to place in a pet-free space are poinsettias, mistletoe and holly. These plants can be poisonous and cause stomach problems if consumed.

If your pet is known to act rambunctiously be sure to securely anchor your Christmas tree and place garland, tinsel, breakable decorations and ornaments out of reach. Even the most well-behaved pets can become curious about decorations, so to be safe, hang them in pet free zones.

Avoid Winter Accidents With These SCILL Center Tips

Next time you go to wipe the snow off your car, be courteous – get all of the snow off your vehicle to prevent it from whipping around your car as you drive down the road, worsening the visibility for those behind you.

Ron Dawson of the SCILL Center said one of the key things that most people do not do in the winter time that could prevent an accident is to clean off the car completely. Snow flying off your car can obstruct the view of drivers behind you and cause an accident. On top of that, Dawson encourages drivers to wipe their lights clean from snow and ice to improve visibility.

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