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Winter good time for visual roof inspection a visual

Dear Readers: With cold winter weather approaching, this is the time to give your roof a visual inspection. Here is a safe way to do it.

Get a ladder and use binoculars to examine the roof.

If this task seems daunting, hire a professional to do the job. Here’s what should be done.

1. Check for loose or missing shingles or cracks in tiles. All need to be repaired.

2. Look at the flashing to be sure it’s secure. Also check the flashing around the chimney.

3. Examine the top of the chimney closely. Make sure nesting material from squirrels or birds nests are removed, so it doesn’t block the chimney and create a fire hazard.

4. Closely check the eaves and gutters. Remove tree debris and anything else that could clog them. Make certain they are attached firmly to the roof or sides of your home. — Heloise

FIRE SAFETY

Dear Readers: All homes should have working fire extinguishers placed in the kitchen and elsewhere around the home where they might be needed. Always keep several boxes of baking soda on hand, too. Here’s what you can do if you have a small kitchen emergency.

Use baking soda to douse a small fire. Toss a handful over the flames; it produces carbon dioxide, which will quell the fire.

Do not use flour or cornstarch, because they can be combustible.

And never toss water on a grease fire, because it can splatter and cause the fire to spread. — Heloise

MAKE YOUR OWN FROZEN

DINNERS

Dear Readers: If you have lots of leftovers, don’t throw them out. Instead, use them to make your own frozen dinners.

Get heavy-duty plastic plates with compartments. Scoop leftover portions into each section of the plate.

Put them in freezer-safe bags, label and freeze. When you need a meal in a hurry, pull them out and heat in the microwave. — Heloise

REPOTTING PLANTS

Dear Readers: If you need to repot plants, here’s how to do it so the plants will do well in the new pots. Pour out any dirt and clean the pot thoroughly, so you don’t spread plant diseases. Mix several spritzes of dishwashing detergent with hot water to clean the pots well.

Then soak the pots in a mixture of one part chlorine bleach to eight parts water. Rinse completely and dry well before adding plants and dirt. — Heloise

WATER BOWLS

Dear Readers: Are your regular pet water bowls too small for you large dogs? Here’s an idea: Repurpose old, small ice coolers that you aren’t using. Fill with water for your big dogs! — Heloise

(Heloise is a columnist with King Features Syndicate.)

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