Hints From Heloise: Shine a light on halogen safety

February 21, 2013

Dear Readers: HALOGEN LAMPS can be a nice addition to your home. I have one in our living room! However, they can pose a fire risk due to their high temperatures, especially if the lamp is old. They should be placed in the right location to be safe. Here are some helpful hints from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Underwriters Laboratories:

* Do not place the lamp near curtains or bedding.

* Never put any material (clothing, scarves or towels) on the lamp.

* Do not leave the lamp on when you leave the room or the home.

* Keep the lamp away from children or pets.

* Use only a halogen bulb of 300 watts or less to reduce fire risk.

-- Heloise

NAPKIN PLACEMENT

Dear Heloise: My wife and I take turns cooking each night. She gets three nights, I get three nights, and we eat out one night. When I cook, she sets the table, and when she cooks, I set the table.

Hopefully, you can settle this dispute for us. I say the napkin goes under the fork on the left side. She says the napkin goes under the knife and spoon on the right side. It’s driving me nuts. She will do what you say. Which one of us is correct? -- A Reader, Carlisle, Pa.

Well, this is certainly an interesting question! According to the Emily Post Institute, in an informal (like at home) place setting, the napkin should go to the left of the utensils (which would be left of the forks). Sometimes the napkin is placed under the forks. Hopefully, this makes setting the table a little easier! But, my thought is that whoever sets the table gets to set it the way he or she wants! -- Heloise

HELPING HAND

Dear Heloise: A friend’s spouse was recently hospitalized in serious condition. As we organized meals for the family, I recommended that we buy paper towels, toilet paper, disposable plates and utensils. Meals are eaten quickly, but the family needs basics to help make life a little easier. -- Pam D., via e-mail

TRAY SHELF

Dear Heloise: I enjoy your helpful hints daily in the Lubbock (Texas) Avalanche-Journal. I don’t have the luxury of pull-out cabinet shelves, so I improvised. I have a number of large trays like the ones used in self-serve restaurants.

You can find them at garage sales sometimes. I placed one on each cabinet shelf, and now I can easily pull out what I want. Normally, I would have to get down and dig for what’s at the back of the shelf. This works much better for me. -- Katie S., via e-mail

CLEANING ASHES

Dear Heloise: When taking ashes out of a wood-burning stove, open an umbrella and hold it as close to the opening as possible. It will keep most of the ashes from flying everywhere. Of course, make sure the ashes are cool before cleaning them out of the stove. -- Bonnie M. in Arkansas

Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com. Please include your city and state.

, King Features Syndicate

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