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January 2020

The Thompson’s Co. recalls aerosol cans of wood and masonry protector due to fire hazard

The Thompson’s Co. is recalling about 852,000 Thompson’s waterseal waterproofing wood protector and masonry protector in aerosol cans. The contents of the cans can react with the package, causing rust to form along the can seam, which could spread to other areas of the can and create pinhole leaks. Leaking propellant poses a fire hazard when it comes into contact with sources of ignition. Leaking sealer can also cause property damage.  The Thompson’s Co. received about 18 reports of leaking cans from retailers. No injuries, fires, or property damage were reported. Read more →


Residential fires: The main causes and tips to prevent them

Each year, an estimated 371,000 residential fires occur in the United States. These fires result in more than 2,000 deaths, 10,000 injuries, and more than 7 billion dollars in damages. And while the total number of fires per year has decreased very slightly since 2008, this is still far too many, especially when combined with the total of deaths. Thankfully, there are steps that people can take to help prevent fires in the future. The key is understanding the most common causes, so you can be better equipped to avoid them. The graphic above shows the impact of residential fires over the last decade, as well as the most common causes of fire in residential settings. Understand the most common causes of residential fires While residential fires can be caused by a variety of issues, cooking fires are far and away the most common cause. More than 50 percent of all fires over the last decade have been started in the kitchen by someone cooking. Other causes include heating systems, 9 percent; open flames, 4 percent; electrical malfunctions, 6 percent; and carelessness, 7 percent. However, all of these totaled don’t equal the same threat that cooking carries with it. Read more →


Beware of tax scams as tax season approaches

It will be time to file your income taxes soon, so that means scam artists are hard at work trying to get your money. The IRS is seeing two new types of tax-related scams, one dealing with Social Security numbers and the other a phony tax bill: The SSN hustle. The latest twist includes scammers claiming to be able to suspend or cancel the victim’s Social Security number. It may be associated with the IRS impersonation scam. Con artists try to frighten people into returning “robocall” voicemails. They may mention overdue taxes in addition to threatening to cancel the person’s SSN. Fake tax agency. A letter threatens an IRS lien or levy, based on bogus delinquent taxes owed to a non-existent agency, the “Bureau of Tax Enforcement.” The lien notification scam also probably refers to the IRS to confuse potential victims into thinking the letter is from a real federal agency. Read more →


Guide to getting bargains throughout the year

It’s January and it’s a famous month for getting lots of items on sale. However, every month of the year usually offers bargains. Here’s information from DealNews, a website listing bargains, so you can make a plan for saving throughout the year: January Gym memberships, white sales with deals on bedding and towels, winter clothing especially winter coats, fitness equipment, spring travel, holiday décor February Winter apparel, home goods, television sets, non-traditional Valentine’s Day gifts Read more →


PayPal Charitable Giving Fund agrees to transparency in donations to charities

Twenty-three state officials have reached an agreement with PayPal Charitable Giving Fund Inc. or PPGF to ensure donors receive adequate information and disclosures when making contributions to charities through the company’s online fundraising platform.  “Every individual who chooses to donate funds deserves transparency and honesty throughout the process,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James. PayPal Charitable Giving Fund Inc. is the arm of PayPal for donating to charities. It’s a nonprofit corporation where donors contribute funds electronically to PPGF and select a charity. PPFG puts the donations together then distributes them to the charities. PPGF doesn’t collect fees from donors or charities; however, a charity receives contributions more quickly if the charity has a PayPal account, a fact that wasn’t disclosed to donors. In some cases, PPGF redirected contributions from the charity selected by the donor to other organizations with similar purposes without telling donors. Read more →


How do you want to be disposed of after you die?

At any stage of life, it’s important to have a plan for what will happen when you pass on, including how you want to be buried. What burial methods are available, how much do they cost and how do people choose one? To get an idea of what people’s burial plans are and why they’re chosen, researchers at Choice Mutual, a final expense life insurance agency, surveyed 1,500 Americans, analyzed their responses, and published a report; 30 percent of those surveyed were seniors. Results of the survey are: How do you plan to have your body disposed of after you die? Traditional burial – 35 percent Cremation – 44 percent Natural burial – 4 percent Donate to science – 6 percent Don’t have a plan/don’t care – 10 percent Other – 1 percent Read more →


Baby boomers concentrate on the basics

Baby Boomer bloggers are writing about returning to the basics and focusing on the fundamental aspects of their lives. As the Billy Joel song says, they “don't wanna waste more time." Boomers don’t want to waste time on political or personal arguments, shallow everyday distractions, or the superficiality and wastefulness of crass consumerism. They’re writing about: Why it’s important to allow yourself to be a human being. How being adaptable can get your through life’s biggest challenges. How folks get together and talk in a civil, controlled, mature manner on a specific topic in a Socrates Café. The importance of reducing the use of plastic containers. Whether traits become more or less pronounced as we age. How to know if your vision board works. Read more →


Milk bottles made by Libbey Glass recalled due to laceration hazard

Liberty Glass is recalling about 44,300 33.5 oz. milk bottles. The bottles can break unexpectedly during use, posing a laceration hazard. No incidents or injuries have been reported. This recall involves Libbey Glass 33.5 oz. milk bottles. They’re clear colorless glass bottles with no markings that measure about 8½ inches in height by 3¼ inches in width at the base. The recalled bottles can be identified by their original packaging – bottle cartons with item No. 92129 and manufacturing dates of either August 15, 2019, or August 31, 2019. If your establishment received these bottles after August 15, 2019, contact your distributor to determine if you received affected bottles. Libby sold the recalled bottles to various foodservice distributors including Edward Don & Co. and The Wasserstrom Co. for about $2 per bottle. Read more →


Online grocery retailers heavily promote unhealthy foods, analysis shows

Online grocery platforms often undermine Americans’ efforts to eat well, according to a review of retailers’ promotions, pricing, placement, and delivery by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy group. More than half of food and beverage promotions on online retailers’ home pages and search result pages were for unhealthy products, and more than three-quarters of the food- and beverage-related emails that retailers sent promoted unhealthy products. The center evaluated the practices of six national retailers operating in the Washington, D.C., area: Amazon Prime Now, FreshDirect, Peapod (Ahold Delhaize), Safeway, Target, and Walmart Grocery. (The latter two weren’t delivering in the District of Columbia during the early 2019 study period, so weren’t included in the ordering and delivery parts of the assessment.) The center’s researchers created two customer accounts and collected promotional data on each retailer’s home page, and promotional, pricing, and search result data on each retailer’s search result pages for five staple products: milk, bread, cereal, drinks, and chicken. The researchers also scored the quality of the produce delivered. Read more →


IKEA agrees to pay $46 million to settle lawsuit on dresser tip-over

Ikea has agreed to pay a $46 million to settle a lawsuit filed after a 2-year-old California boy was fatally injured by a tip-over of an IKEA MALM three-drawer dresser. The settlement, which may be the largest child wrongful death recovery in the United States, includes terms to protect other children from IKEA furniture tip-over incidents. On May 24, 2017, Jozef Dudek was put in bed for a nap by his father in their home in Buena Park, California. When he returned to his son's bedroom to check on him, he found Jozef under the dresser. Jozef died later that day from crush injuries to his neck which caused him to suffocate. The lawsuit filed by Jozef's parents on June 18, 2018, alleged that IKEA knew of many injuries and deaths associated with tip-overs of the MALM line of dressers prior to Jozef's death but failed to take adequate measures to improve the safety and stability of the dressers. Read more →