An Extra Measure

dogIt’s been quite the nasty few days with exceptionally cold mornings. A biting -18 degrees was waiting for me as I walked out the door. I worry much about furnaces and frozen water lines. I’ve encountered several near freeze-outs so far this winter. Seems no matter how careful people can be to make sure their furnaces are serviced, there happens to be those times when some quirky thing malfunctions and the furnace goes out. There’s also the freezing pipes that are not getting enough interior air flow due to some thermostats being cranked down, where a water line freezes and subsequent floods when thawed. I was shocked to hear of a home that recently had a water line break on the 2nd floor while the owners were away and in a very short period of time, the home was saturated with water. It turns my stomach when visualizing what those poor owners are going through right now.

People become too habitual in their comings and goings without considering possibilities of things happening while they’re away for extended periods. I’ve always told people to shut the main water valve off in the basement should they either move out, or be gone for an extended period. If a water like should freeze and break, then at least there wouldn’t be a continuous flow of water from the city lines. Some people like to turn their thermostats down farther than they should simply to save energy while they’re gone. Not good I say. This again leaves an opportunity for hidden pipes to freeze and break. Even though you may have the main valve turned off, you’ll likely have a hidden water leak wrecking havoc in your home until realizing there is broken pipe.

Security is becoming more problematic all over the country and Mason City is not immune to this problem. There’s number of naughty monkeys running around in the night stealing anything they can get their hands on including copper water lines and electrical wires. There are many deterrents including security systems, hidden cameras, motion and heat sensors, and above all good neighbors who sleep light and hear much. Someone mentioned today about the lack of community spirit in creating a better world for all. Without a doubt he’s right in believing how everyone benefits from a positive, caring, and selfless spirits within their communities. Yes, there are times when we’d rather have our private little corners of the universe, but if there are not other standbys ready to help when in need, those private corners could turn into nightmares.

Another security measure would be to have a dog that is not a lover of strangers. They can often times psychically sense something’s wrong. I read a short article about how dogs can tell if you’re not to be trusted simply by looking at you. I’ve personally seen situations where an owner’s dog had a massive personality change when encountering someone it considered to be hostile. I believe far to many of the elderly living in their homes are without lap dogs. Dogs are great companions that forgive all our faults, make us smile much, and usually bark whenever they sense something amiss. One of my clients has a poodle who oft sits in her front window waiting to have a bark attack when seeing would be intruders. He’s a good dog, but definitely has his owner’s best interests at heart. With that said, I wish for all to step back and consider if they’ve missed an extra measure in helping to keep their homes safe and secure.

Joe Chodur

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