Physical Contact with Electricity

Problem: Person suffers electrical shock.

Background: Electrical shock can paralyze chest muscles, making it impossible to breathe. Call immediately for medical help. If a victim is no longer in contact with the source of the electricity, and is not breathing, immediately give mouth- to-mouth resuscitation if possible. When the victim begins to breathe, treat for traumatic shock. Keep warm with clothing or blanket, and position feet higher than head to help blood reach the brain.

What to do: If you find someone in contact with live electricity indoors, don’t touch the person since the electricity could travel through them to you as well. Shut off the power by pulling the plug, turning the switch, or turning off the power at the circuit breaker. If you can’t turn off the power, you can try to free the victim using a dry rope or stick that won’t conduct electricity to you (use extreme caution and don’t use anything wet or made from metal to move the victim). Call for emergency medical assistance. If you find someone in contact with a live wire outdoors, call the fire or police department for emergency medical assistance. Then also call your electric utility company to tell them the exact location of the victim so they can immediately shut off the power.

Special advice: Power lines downed by storms or accidents are very dangerous; the body can act as a lightning rod and carry the current to the ground. Be alert for power lines, especially when working with scaffolds, ladders and tools, when in stalling antennas, when trimming trees or flying kites. Call the utility company to help locate underground conduits before digging in your yard. Don’t use electric mowers or power tools on a wet surface, and keep appliances away from water, including tubs and showers.

Helpful hint: Call for help if you must work near utility poles or power lines. Tennis shoes or work gloves will not protect you from electrical shock. Power company employees use special precautions, such as rubber protectors, insulating rubber safety gloves and hard hats, plus years of training, to keep them selves safe.

Phone Doesn’t Work

Problem: Phone doesn’t operate, emits excessive noise or rapid busy signal.

Background: Problems can stem from your phone set, the wiring in side your home, or in outside lines and switching equipment. A rapid busy signal means all phone circuits are busy; try your call again in a few minutes. Noise on phone may be caused by weather, aerial satellites, poor grounding, or other temporary conditions. (If the noise persists, the tips below may help you identify the problem.) Interference may also come from citizens band (CB) radios and AM/FM broadcast stations. In stalling a modular filter, available through stores that sell phone equipment, may help. Cordless phones (see Cordless Phone Defective) use radio frequencies and may receive interference from radio transmitters. If so, contact the cordless phone supplier or manufacturer for help.

What to do: First make sure all phones are hung up. If you have only one phone, take it to another home and plug it in. If it doesn’t work there, the problem is likely in the phone. If you have two or more phones, unplug them all. Then try each one—one at a time—in each phone jack. If a phone doesn’t work anywhere, the problem is most likely in that phone. If none work in one jack, the problem is with the jack. You might also borrow a friend’s phone and try it in each of your jacks. If it doesn’t work in one jack, that jack is the problem. If it doesn’t work in any jack, the problem may be in the line.
(Note: If you have installed new phone wire or jacks, you can test the installation by plugging a phone into the jack and listening for a dial tone. You should be able to interrupt the dial tone by dialing any single number other than 0. If the dial tone is not interrupted, reverse the wires at the jack. If you still don’t hear a dial tone, recheck the connections and equipment.)

Special advice: If there is no dial tone, make sure the line cord is firmly plugged into the jack and phone, and that the handset cord is firmly plugged in at both ends. If the phone won’t ring, check to see that the ringer switch is set to “on.” If so, note the ringer equivalence number (REN) on the bottom and ask your phone company if it requires more ringing power than is normal. If there is static, check for a loose handset cord or, if possible, try an other cord. (Some weather conditions, such as very low humidity, can cause static build-up.) If you get a dial tone, but can’t dial out, make sure the tone/pulse switch is set to “pulse” if you have rotary-only ser vice.

Helpful hint: If you have phone accessories—such as answering machines, speaker phones, or cordless phones—make sure they are working. If phones work without the added equipment, the problem may be with the accessories. If you have a phone connected to an answering machine and have a dial tone but can’t dial out, try plugging only the phone into the jack. If it works, you may have a compatibility problem and may need a 2-for-1 adaptor, available where phone equipment is sold.

Patching Wallpaper and Removing Bubbles

Most bubbles you see in wallpaper are just air pockets. But sometimes, a bit of debris causes the pocket. In order to tell the difference, press on the area and see if you feel anything. If you do, cut a small X on the wallpaper with a utility knife, remove the debris, apply a little adhesive to the back of the wallpaper, and press it back against the wall. Smooth out any ripples.

If the bubble is an air pocket, simply slice the wallpaper carefully. If the wallpaper has a pattern, try to cut along the pattern to conceal your work. Apply adhesive to the back of the wallpaper and gently push it back onto wall. Remove any excess adhesive and use your hands to smooth out the paper.

How to patch wallpaper:

1. Find a remnant of wallpaper that matches the piece that needs to be replaced. Cut a section that is slightly larger than the damaged area. Apply it to the wall over the damaged area with removable tape. Make sure the pattern lines up.

2. Take your utility knife and cut through both the wall paper patch and the wallpaper that is on the wall. This will ensure that you have a replacement piece the exact same size as your opening.

3. Remove your patch and wet the damaged area. Gently peel the damaged piece away, being careful not to dam age the surrounding areas. Scrape away any excess glue or wallpaper in the area. You may need to use a hot, wet washcloth to ease the glue off the wall. Make sure the wall is clean and dry before you continue.

4. Apply adhesive to the back of the patch and carefully place it in the clean, dry area. Make sure the pattern matches up.

5. Smooth out the patch with your hand or a ruler, making sure there are no bubbles.

6. Wipe away any adhesive that might have oozed out with a damp washcloth. Let dry.

How to Paint Door Frames

Your doorway can provide a dramatic entrance and de corative frame for a room, but it may also show signs of wear and tear. Providing a fresh coat of paint can enhance the look of the entire room.

We recommend using a sheen that is higher in gloss than what is on your walls as this will showcase your trim and doors by separating them from the rest of your walls. However this is a personal choice. To provide a professional look, use a good quality paint brush rather than a roller.
For best results, ALWAYS READ THE PAINT CAN LABEL. Professionals read the paint can labels to get the paint manufacturers’ most up-to-date information and instructions on the use of each specific paint. Every paint is different, and the labels provide important information, such as the average coverage area per gallon, drying times, number of coats needed, and surface preparation requirements. The labels also give specific safety information that should be carefully adhered to.
1. Start by painting your doorframe from top to bottom.

2. Then, with the door ajar, if you haven’t removed it, start painting the trim by carefully cutting in near the inside wall.

3. Then, continue painting around the rest of the trim.

4. Wait until the paint dries completely before adding a second coat to the door frame and trim.

How to Paint Baseboards and Molding

Here are some simple steps that will help make painting your baseboards easier.

Painting Tips & Tools

• Use a 2 to 2 ½ inch angle sash brush (depending on the size and type of trim).
For latex paint, use a good quality nylon or poly/nylon brush.

For alkyd paint, use a natural bristle brush.
• Start painting in the corner, then work your way around the room.
• Carefully paint in a straight line, making sure that your paint strokes follow the length of the baseboard rather than going up and down.
• Don’t remove the painters tape until the paint is dry to the touch.
• We recommend using a sheen that is higher in gloss than what is on the walls, as this will showcase the molding, separating the walls from the trim. However, this is a personal choice.
For best results, ALWAYS READ THE PAINT CAN LABEL. Professionals read the paint can labels to get the paint manufacturers’ most up-to-date information and instructions on the use of each specific paint. Every paint is different, and the labels provide important information, such as the average coverage area per gallon, drying times, number of coats needed, and surface preparation requirements. The labels also give specific safety information that should be carefully adhered to.
Preparation

1. Protect the floor with a drop cloth.

2. Wipe the baseboard with a damp cloth to remove dust and dirt.

3. Protect the wall just above the baseboard with wide painter’s tape.

4. Also place painter’s tape around the doorway and top edge of the door.

How to Paint Radiators and Vents

Painting a hot radiator can affect the quality of the paint finish, so make sure that the radiator is turned off and completely cooled down before you start painting.
• Use a soft cloth and mild detergent to remove any dust and dirt from the radiator. You will want to use a wire brush to remove any loose rust on the radiator. These areas should be primed with a latex rust inhibitor primer like Benjamin Moore’s Acrylic Metal Primer.
• Although you can use a Hi Heat coating to paint the radiators, it will limit your color choice. Most premium quality interior latex paint will withstand a temperature up to 180° F, so you can use the same paint that you used on the walls or trim. Painting a radiator the same color as the wall will help it blend in with the wall.
Preparation

1. Begin by placing drop cloths under and next to the radiator to protect the floor.

2. Replace old, cracked caulk by filling the cracks with new, premium-quality caulk before you start priming.

3. Next, use a soft cloth and mild detergent to remove any dust and dirt from the radiator.

4. Use a wire brush to remove any loose rust.

5. Rusted areas should be primed with a latex rust inhibitor primer.
For best results, ALWAYS READ THE PAINT CAN LABEL. Professionals read the paint can labels to get the paint manufacturers’ most up-to-date information and instructions on the use of each specific paint. Every paint is different, and the labels provide important information, such as the average coverage area per gallon, drying times, number of coats needed, and surface preparation requirements. The labels also give specific safety information that should be carefully adhered to.
Painting the Radiator

1. Generally, a brush is the best application tool but depending on the size and style of the radiator you may also be able to use a small slim-jim roller along with a brush.

2. Start by painting at the top, working your way to the bottom.

3. Don’t paint the valves, as that could make them difficult to open.

4. Allow the paint to dry for at least 24 hours before turning the heat back on.

Wallpaper Removal

I get so many questions on how to remove wallpaper. What’s the best way? What’s the easiest way?

1. Score the walls, this step will ensure the removal technique, penetrates the paper and loosens the glue. (It is worth the small investment to buy a scoring tool!)

2. There are a couple of methods and mixtures that I found to work well for taking down the paper. The mixtures, either equal parts of white vinegar and hot water or a quarter cup liquid fabric softener to each gallon of hot water. The trick is to make the water really hot! Applicators? For the white vinegar, I’ve found a spray bottle works the best. Saturate the wall and let it sit until you see the paper bubbling up and then peel the paper off using a wide putty knife to get under the paper. If you find it’s sticking, just spray and scrape, spray and scrape as you go.

3. If you choose the fabric softener route, put the mixture in a big five- gallon bucket and put a paint grid over the side. Use a paint roller to spread the mixture over the walls, and then simply scrape the wallpaper off.

4. When the paper is removed reapply the solutions to remove any paste residue. A window squeegee can make quick work of this job.

Wallpaper Problems

Wallpaper can add a lot of character to a space, but like anything else sometimes there are problems. Well, I can show you how to fix them.

1. For crayon or wax marks on wallpaper, aim your hairdryer on the spot to soften the wax and then wipe it away with a paper towel.

2. Or, try holding a few paper towels over the spot and running a hot iron over them. The heat will transfer the wax to the towels. Just be careful not to burn your fingers.

3. For a grease stain on your wallpaper, grab the baby powder. Rub it into the spot, and let it sit for a little while then brush it away with a soft paintbrush.

4. If you’re wary about hanging pictures on your wallpaper, try this: Cut an “X” into the paper with a sharp utility knife. Carefully peel back the four flaps you’ve created and drive the nail into the wall under the paper. Then if you ever need to move the picture you can simply glue the flaps back in place.

5. Just remember to test any cleaning solution in a hidden spot first to make sure you’re not going to damage your wallpaper.

Wallpaper Cutouts

If you’re looking for a quick and easy change for your decor, pre-pasted wallpaper cutouts are the answer. They stick on the wall anywhere and peel off when you want to change the look.

1. Make sure that your wall is nice and clean. You may even want to vacuum it to get rid of any excess dust.

2. Arrange the wallpaper cut outs on the wall using the small dot stickers included in the package.

3. When you’re happy with a design get a small bucket of water and a new sponge.

4. Remove the wallpaper cutouts one at a time from your design . Remember to remove the adhesive dot. Use the sponge to moisten the back of the cut out making sure that you get all of the edges. Hold it there for at least five seconds.

5. Put the cutout back on the wall, and then carefully smooth it out with a paper towel. That’s all there is to it. If you decide to change the decor, you can remove the cut outs by pulling up an edge and peeling them off. Clean the adhesive off the wall with a little water.

Wallpaper Bubbles

Bubbles in your wallpaper make the wall look awful. Luckily there easy to fix!

1. For small bubbles (smaller than a quarter), grab a utility knife and cut a small slit right in the center. Use a syringe filled with liquid wallpaper adhesive to carefully inject a little adhesive behind the slit. Use a damp sponge to carefully smooth out the bubble and then let the area dry.

2. For a larger bubble (bigger than a quarter), use the utility knife to cut an “X” into the area. Carefully peel back the four corners, and apply wallpaper paste to the back of the paper. Grab a clean damp sponge and gently push each of the four corners back into place, smoothing as you go.