Archive for July 2019

How to Protect Potted Plants from the Heat

High temperatures are not only hard on us. They can be tough for our plants as well. Whether you have plants indoors, outdoors, or both, there are some simple things you can do to help your plants weather these hot days.

In general, house plants prefer an environment between 70 and 80 degrees, with nighttime temperatures about 10 degrees cooler. Try to keep your potted plants out of direct sun during the hottest time of the day, especially if they are in a southern facing window. Be aware though that some plants require several hours of direct sunlight each day to thrive.

Water your plants properly. Your potted plants should be watered when the soil begins to feel dry. If you overwater your plants, they are more subject to wilting and disease. Underwatering your plants, of course, is also not good for them. You should plan on watering more often as the weather heats up.

If your outdoor potted plants are not thriving, consider moving them to a more protected location. Outdoor plants tend to lose water more easily, as they are heated up more than indoor plants. Try using plastic pots instead of terra cotta or unglazed ceramic pots. These will hold moisture more readily.

Watch for pests also, as warmer weather brings more bugs. Inspect your plants regularly for any signs of insects and consider using an insecticide if you do find any.

Tips for Summer HEAT

When it’s hot outside, it’s time to take precautions. Here are some tips to protect yourself while in the heat. The CDC recommends:

Drink plenty of fluids regardless of your activity level. Drink two to four glasses of cool fluids each hour. Replace salt and minerals lost through sweating by drinking a sports beverage.

Choose light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. Wear a widebrimmed hat and sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection.

Use sunscreen. Apply a product rated SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes before going out.

Pace yourself. Begin slowly and pick up the pace gradually. If your heart begins to pound and you begin gasping for breath, STOP all activity. Move to a cool area or at least into shade to rest, especially if you feel lightheaded or weak.

Don’t depend on a fan to cool yourself. When the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness.

Big Summer SAVINGS

Summer is a great time to save money with seasonal sales. Many movie theaters will offer special summer movie prices and discounts on concessions. Prices on fresh produce will likely fall by as much as 50 percent as farmer’s markets drive prices down.

Gym owners know that summer is slow and exercisers may find discounted rates, free months, and even complimentary training sessions.

Hurricane season in the Caribbean runs June through November. If you’re willing to risk it, cruises and resort packages in the area will often be on sale.

Amazon’s popular Prime Day is usually held mid-July. To compete, many places also offer major discounts covering a wide variety of products, technology and memberships.

Furniture and home goods are traditionally on sale around Fourth of July.

Look for online sales and discount codes in July. Many specials are offered only online.

Berry Brain BOOSTERS

Give your brain a boost by adding delicious berries to your regular diet.

Two separate clinical studies show that berries appear to give a boost to brain power.

In one study, healthy men and women ages 60 to 75 were given two cups of strawberries for 90 days. They showed improved scores for word recognition and spatial memory.

In another study, researchers showed that older adults who ate the equivalent of one cup of blueberries for 90 days didn’t repeat themselves as often.

Quoted in Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter, Barbara Shukitt-Hale said researchers speculate that the anthocyanins in berries have certain anti-inflammatory properties that have direct effects and benefits on the brain.

Supplements, she said, don’t appear to work. It is the combination of nutrients in berries that seem to have a benefit.

Home Fire SAFETY Guide

The Fourth of July is one of the busiest days of the year for house fires. Sure, it’s a celebration and, yes, fireworks are traditional and they can be used safely. Nonetheless, nearly 20,000 fires annually are blamed on fireworks, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Even the most common fireworks, such as a sparkler, can start a fire.

You think it will never happen to you, but it makes sense to be prepared. The most important thing you can do is to have working smoke detectors on every level of your home. An early warning is your best defense against a house fire.

Taking the right steps in the event of a house fire could save your home and even your life. Make sure that all adults and older children understand how to RACE and PASS if there is a fire. This doesn’t mean RACE around the house in a panic and PASS your spouse on your way out the door! RACE and PASS are simply memory aids for what you should do in case of a fire.


R is for Remove. Remove all occupants from the area of the fire. A is for Alert. Alert the authorities; call 911. C is for Contain. Close windows and doors to contain and smother the fire. E is for Extinguish or Evacuate. Which one? That depends on the stage of the fire.

A house fire has 4 stages:

Stage 1: Incipient. The fire is just starting and there is a good chance of extinguishing it. Stage 2: Growth. The fire spreads to other combustible materials. You should evacuate. Stage 3: Developed. The hottest, most deadly stage; evacuation is your primary objective. Stage 4: Decay. The fire is running out of fuel or oxygen but still smolders; a deadly backdraft is possible.

If the fire is beyond the incipient stage and spreading rapidly, you should evacuate and let the fire department handle it. If you are confident that you can safely extinguish the fire, do so only after you have gotten people out of the area, called 911 and contained the fire if possible.

Make sure you have an escape route. Then use a portable fire extinguisher to put out the fire using the PASS method.


P is for Pull. Pull the pin out of the handle. A is for Aim. Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire. S is for Squeeze. Squeeze the handle to discharge the extinguisher. S is for Sweep. Sweep from side to side at the base of the fire.

Keep portable fire extinguishers in strategic locations of your home such as the kitchen, utility areas, garage and storage rooms.

After a home has suffered even a small fire, proper cleanup needs to be done. There may be fire extinguisher residue, charred materials and smoke residue to clean up.

Water-damaged contents, floors, walls and structural materials need to be dried and cleaned.

Strong, lingering odors often require a combination of techniques for successful treatment.

We hope you never have this happen in your home, but if you do, Hansen Steam Way can help or refer you to someone else who can.