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Vent maintenance key to dryer fire prevention

In Children and Family, Education, Health, Home Improvement, Local News, Science, Technology, Uncategorized on April 15, 2015 at 5:07 pm

dryer_vent_3_ductzDayton, OH – According to the United States Fire Administration nearly 3,000 clothes dryer fires are reported each year, causing an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries and more than $35 million in property damage. Statistics show that the most common cause of those fires (some 34-percent) was failure to keep the traps and dryer vents clean and free of lint.

Many people proceed from the incorrect impression that the dryer’s removable lint trap will protect prevent major lint build up. Dryer lint can blow right past the trap and end up packed around the machine’s internal components and clog the entire length of a vent pipe.

Click to watch the TV interview with Larry Phillips on WDTN-TV2

Click to watch the TV interview with Larry Phillips on WDTN-TV2

Larry Phillips is the owner of DUCTZ of Southeast Miami Valley, a professional duct and vent cleaning service. “The most important reason to have the dryer vent cleaned is safety,” Phillips says. “There are some things you can do to help reduce your risk of a dryer vent fire.”

dryer_vent_2_ductzFirst, Phillips suggests paying close attention to the dryer’s operation. “If you notice that your clothes are taking longer to dry, especially if it’s more than 50 minutes, you should probably have your dryer vent cleaned, or even replaced,” Phillips says.

“Your dryer vent should be made of flexible aluminum and never a PVC pipe or plastic material. Plastic vent pipe materials may add to the fire hazard. Your dryer vent should also vent to the outdoors – never indoors, especially natural gas units. Gases vented during the dryer’s operation can be harmful to people and pets.”

Critters can be cause problems for dryer vents as well. “Outside dryer vents should be free of debris and any louvered cover must be able to open easily. Also, be sure to check the outside vent often, as small animals and birds often see the vent as an ideal place to make a home.”

dryer_vent_1_ductzFinally, Phillips advises to never use duct tape on a dryer vent, but metal foil tape. Most building codes restrict the length of dryer vent pipes to no more than 25 feet. Longer pipes with sharp turns or raised and lowered sections can be of particular concern because lint gets trapped in the elbows and is difficult to detect and remove.

For those who rent a home, Phillips offers this advice. “Ask your landlord what their dryer vent cleaning schedule is. Most landlords are required to have the dryer vent cleaned each year by their local government.”

For more information on dryer vent safety, contact Larry Phillips at DUCTZ of Southeast Miami Valley, (937) 399-8500. Online at http://www.ductz.com/contact-us/location-map/ohio/ductz-of-se-miami-valley/.

Clinton and the lesser of “who cares.”

In Economy, history, National News, Opinion, Politics on April 14, 2015 at 7:37 am

DIH LOGONow that Hillary Clinton has finally confirmed her run at the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, there is growing concern that the next election will be all about electing a woman, rather than choosing the right candidate for the job.

America’s political landscape has changed a great deal since Clinton’s first run at the Oval Office in 2008. After eight years with a Democrat in the White House, and with Barack Obama’s job approval numbers struggling to maintain a tepid 47-percent, the country may simply be ready for a change. But is a female president too much change?

Back in 1984, the Democrats put the first woman on a presidential ticket, selecting former Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro as the vice presidential candidate alongside former Vice President Walter Mondale.  Despite her strong political background and experience many saw her as somewhat of a publicity stunt, designed to appeal to women and a rising number of younger voters.

Ferraro’s albatross, however, turned out to be, not the indecisive voter, but Walter Mondale, a stale, crusty relic of the 1960s who really had no chance against an incredibly popular incumbent by the name of Ronald Regan. Many experts still suggest that the democrats might well have prevailed had the ticket been reversed, with Ferraro as the presidential candidate.

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin suffered a similar problem having been anchored to old-guard republican, John McCain. But Palin also lacked Ferraro’s professionalism, legal education and political clout and she was often viewed as little more than a tactic to draw votes from Hillary Clinton.

clintonWomen always seem to be held back from being in the real fight. Vice president is obviously a great job – the photo ops, the ribbon cuttings, the pacifiers. But if anything is going to be accomplished in the name of social evolution, the female candidate is going to have to be strong enough to lead the ticket; a trait Hillary has certainly demonstrated in her various roles throughout the last couple of decades.

However, if the next election turns out to be all about social popularity, breaking the glass ceiling of the Oval Office and a long campaign of “he said,” “she said,” then the smartest thing the GOP could do to increase their chances of winning in 2016 is go out and find an African American republican woman with impeccable professional and personal credentials. Actually, they already have someone in their camp that fits all of those qualifications – Condoleezza Rice.

Former Secretary of State Rice is one of the few conservatives (male or female) who could potentially give Clinton a real challenge. A republican ticket led by Rice could very well offer conservative voters something besides the lesser of “who cares.”

Unfortunately, based on her previous statements, she would be unlikely to run at all and, from a public relations standpoint, she’s been out of the limelight for some time. With such a hard-hitting campaign expected, Rice would simply not have the time to help voters get reacquainted with her and her platform.

In the opinion of objective observers, President Obama may have achieved a few things, but his current approval demonstrates that he fell short in many ways. If a well-suited opponent ever surfaces from the conservative sea, Hillary Clinton will have a tough time convincing people another democrat can improve things further.

Sadly, if the voting public is true to their tunnel-versioned pattern, they will once again miss an incredible opportunity to elect the right person for the job, rather than simply pulling the lever to motivate an agenda. Regardless of how seriously Americans want social evolution, it will never be a good idea to vote for someone – to any office – solely because of race, gender, religious background or party affiliation.

For once, if politicians would speak honestly and if voters would take just a moment to consider qualifications, character, and intent, American politics might finally be productive, compassionate and properly serve the people. But, as long as human beings still act with more emotion than good sense, any change would be nothing less than a miracle and Hillary is a sure thing.

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. Deer In Headlines is distributed by GLD Enterprises Communications. More at gerydeer.com.

 

Indiana religious freedom law can go both ways

In Media, National News, Opinion, Politics, sociology on March 30, 2015 at 9:56 am

DIH LOGOA few years ago, I published an article on what is, in my opinion, one of the major problems with the heated debate over the legality of same-sex marriage. Most arguments seem to dance around the principal question of why the government has any authority to dictate who we marry in the first place. A state-mandated definition of marriage seems to be, again in my opinion, at the very least, a violation of the most basic of human rights.

Just as is the case for marriage, once again most people are missing the more serious issue with Indiana’s controversial “Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” Everyone’s so focused on discrimination towards one group that they’ve overlooked the larger issue that this ill-conceived legislation has opened the door to every manner of state-enforced, religiously-based discrimination.

IMG_3317Having read the actual bill text (Indiana Senate Bill Numbers 568 and 101) I can tell you that it seems to me so open-ended, it seems to give people the right to discriminate against anyone they choose claiming only religious offense. Apparently, what the brilliant Indiana legislature didn’t take into account is that it works both ways. In other words, would they still uphold their law if a Christian is discriminated against by someone of another faith, say a Muslim or Jew?

Or, let me put it another way. Suppose a Christian man comes into a Jewish-owned shop. He removes his hat as he enters but, as a person of Jewish faith, the shopkeeper’s tradition is for men to keep the head covered at all times. Immediately offended, the shopkeeper refuses him service and asks him to leave citing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Yes, this is an exaggerated scenario. But, were it to happen, would the shopkeeper be protected for this bit of state-approved discrimination? My guess is the intolerance at the Indiana State House works only one direction.

Incidentally, I’ve never much liked the term “tolerance” with regard to social diversity. Instead, it would be nice if people made at least some small effort to understand other ways of life, although I realize that is probably an uphill climb. One place where the word does apply, however, is when people have to tolerate the ignorance and bigotry of others.

Despite differences in faith, race, ethnicity, choice of Apple over Microsoft, green over blue, whatever, it really is possible for people to disagree without prejudice. Every day I am exposed to people and concepts that don’t mesh with my view of life.

Regardless, I try to just accept that their way is different, let people be, and hope they are kind enough to do the same. Ignorance may be bliss for some people but will never further the cause of peace and goodwill.

Accepting the differences of others without fighting them to bend to my way of thinking doesn’t mean I’ve compromised my own beliefs. If anything, it reassures me that my choices are right for my life and helps me to encourage people be who they are, whether I agree with it or not.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have and voice strong opinions. But it’s not my place, nor anyone else’s, to implement it by denying someone the basic liberties granted by the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution – to say nothing of the first 10. And, in my amateur opinion, when the Indiana bill is finally challenged – and it will be – the 14th will undoubtedly be the machete that severs the snake’s head.

Until then, I offer a word of apology to my western neighbors in The Crossroads of America, the great State of Indiana. Your entire state is being hurt over this and that’s unfair. We all need to remember that, like everywhere else, kind people live and work in the Hoosier state and shouldn’t be labeled because of the stupidity of a few.

And to Indiana Governor Mike Pence I say this on behalf of myself and my fellow 21st Century business owners in the great Buckeye State of Ohio. We refuse service to you and those who authored and approved this bill because you are offensive to our belief in good character and common decency.

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. Deer In Headlines is distributed by GLD Enterprises Communications. More at deerinheadlines.com.

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