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Helpful Hints

By Heloise

This article was published August 8, 2014 at 2:03 a.m.

DEAR READERS: How many fire extinguishers are in your home? If you live in a house, you should have several: at least one in the living areas, one in the kitchen and one in the garage. If you live in an apartment or condo, you should have a fire extinguisher, maybe even two.

There are a couple of things you can do to check if the fire extinguisher is still functional. Inspect the pin to see that it is in the right place. If it's not or it is damaged, you must get a new extinguisher.

Check that the extinguisher is at the right pressure. There is a gauge to see that the needle is in the green "zone." If it is not, the pressure is "off," and you need to replace the extinguisher.

Please heed this advice. Tear this column out and post it someplace where you will see it to remind you. You don't want to have a fire, grab the extinguisher and have it be a dud.

DEAR HELOISE: If you plan to fly and then rent a car on your trip, when you get to your destination, go to a store and purchase an inexpensive foam cooler. It will keep your drinks and snacks cool while you sight see. On your last night, unload the cooler and leave it in your hotel room with a note to either discard or keep.

-- Sherry G., Cecil, Ala.

DEAR HELOISE: Vehicles equipped with a sunroof can be cleared of hot air by opening the sunroof immediately upon entering the vehicle. Hot air rises, so the air is hottest in the upper area of a vehicle. Opening the windows helps the airflow even more.

-- Becky in Mississippi

DEAR HELOISE: While driving my car, my left arm became sunburned. I cut off the long sleeve of an old shirt, hemmed the cut end and slipped it over my left arm. No more sunburn with my "sun sleeve."

-- Kathleen Jerz,

Fairfax, Va.

DEAR HELOISE: I have several hanging plants and hated all the water that dripped from them and was wasted. I devised a method that not only cuts down on waste, but saves me time as well. I place one of my potted plants under the hanging plant, then I water the hanging plant. The water that drips from the hanging one falls into the potted plant below. Voila! Two plants watered at once.

-- Wendy in Alabama

DEAR HELOISE: I have a hard time reaching the air-conditioning vents to adjust them because they are so high up on the wall. The last time I had a broom that was no longer good, I saved the handle. Now I can easily use the handle to reach the vents and adjust them. No more getting out chairs and trying to reach.

-- G.D., via email

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

MovieStyle on 08/08/2014

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