Thanksgiving is the peak day of the year for kitchen fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Almost three times more fires occur on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year. The holiday season is a bustling time of year in most kitchens. The host is preparing the bird in the oven and maybe frying something on the range. Guests file in, children play, and for minutes the stove goes unattended as the cook takes a call. Unfortunately, this familiar scenario is the perfect recipe for a dangerous kitchen fire. "Most of these fires involve the kitchen stovetop," says Lorraine Carli of the NFPA. "The majority of the cooking fires occur because of unattended cooking." However, residential-kitchen fire safety has come a long way since the days when smoke alarms and fire extinguishers were the only available firefighting tools. With some know-how and the right equipment, your holidays can be safer than ever before. --Sal Vaglica, thisoldhouse.com
MORE: 17 Gadgets
Blog Posts by This Old House Magazine
- This Old House Magazine | At Home – Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:57 AM EST
Thanksgiving is the peak day of the year for kitchen fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Almost three times more fires occur on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year. The holiday season is a bustling time of year in most kitchens. The host is preparing the bird in the oven and maybe frying something on the range. Guests file in, children play, and for minutes the stove goes unattended as the cook takes a call. Unfortunately, this familiar scenario is the perfect recipe for a dangerous kitchen fire. "Most of these fires involve the kitchen stovetop," says Lorraine Carli of the NFPA. "The majority of the cooking fires occur because of unattended cooking." However, residential-kitchen fire safety has come a long way since the days when smoke alarms and fire extinguishers were the only available firefighting tools. With some know-how and the right equipment, your holidays can be safer than ever before. --Sal Vaglica, thisoldhouse.comRead More »from Stovetop Fire Safety Musts for a Truly Happy Thanksgiving
- This Old House Magazine | At Home – Tue, Nov 22, 2011 2:51 PM EST
Make a great first impression with easy exterior enhancements that'll warm up the look of your home and boost curb appeal. --Tabitha Sukhai, thisoldhouse.com
SHOWN: Create the Craftsman-Style Holiday Entry shown above
Upgrade Front-Door Hardware
Making a memorable first impression is tough if your front door has ho-hum hardware. Update your entry with a bold new door handle, escutcheon, kickplate, and knocker. Here's how to Install New Front-Door Hardware
Add a Creative DIY Wreath
Decorate anyRead More »from 5 Entry Upgrades That'll Welcome Your Holiday Guests Before They Even Get Inside
The guests are arriving any day now, but the to-do list is endless. Here are 5 simple repairs you can finish off in less than an hour, before the house starts to fill up. --Tabitha Sukhai, thisoldhouse.com
Clean a Clogged Burner
Use a straight pin to remove burnt-on food from the holes. Scrub removable parts with a solution of equal parts warm water and baking soda.
Tighten Loose Chair Legs
Add a dab of epoxy to a wobbly leg; hold it in place with a band clamp or belt and let dry completely.
Repair a Blister in a Vinyl Floor
Puncture the blister and fill with adhesive using a glue syringe. Wipe away excess, then weigh down the spot and let dry. If you don't have a syringe handy, an artist's brush or narrow-nosed ketchup bottle will do the trick.
Fix a Sticky Sliding Closet Door
These clever little helpers do jobs much bigger than their size and their price tag let on. Here are our top 5 picks for things you should have on hand and how they can save the DIY day.
Wrangle a Stack of Materials
What it is:
Self-locking reusable ribbon "tape" (think one-sided Velcro).
Why you need it:
Because it ties together pieces of molding and stacks of lumber without sticking to the surfaces-again and again. Scotch Bundling Wrap, available at 3M.
Cut Power to Appliances
What it is:
A single-plug adapter with an on-off switch.
Why you need it:
Because your toaster oven shouldn't be a vampire when it's done browning your English muffin. Outlet Switch, available at Harriet Carter
Steady a Table
What it is:Read More »from 5 DIY Problem-Solvers for Less Than $6
A set of adjustable feet that can raise furniture ½ inch to 1¼ inches.
Why you need it:
Because the stack of matchbooks just won't stay put underneath your wobbly coffee table. Leveling Trio, available at American Science &
Let's face it: you've been procrastinating on nagging home repairs all year long. But, you'll want to make sure that your home is in top shape for festivities with friends and family. You can get the stuff you've been putting off DONE in no time. Here are the top 10 plights of procrastinating DIYers and how to repair them before the New Year. --Tabitha Sukhai, thisoldhouse.comRead More »from Top 5 Fixes to Get Done Before the Guests Arrive
(See all of our fast fixes to complete before your holiday guests arrive at thisoldhouse.com)
1. Fix the Doorbell
Ninety percent of the time, when a doorbell doesn't work it's the fault of the button on the outside because weather and constant use wear it out. But it's also possible the chime or transformer, the other parts of a traditional wired doorbell, have stopped working. To pinpoint the problem, simply test each component. See how to do it in the How to Fix an Old Doorbell step-by-step.
Spruce-Up Your Entry
Refinish the Front Door
NEWSLETTER: Exterior Enhancements to Make Guest Feel Welcome
- This Old House Magazine | At Home – Wed, Nov 16, 2011 2:36 PM EST
One of the busiest days of the year for plumbers isn't Super Bowl Sunday, with its fabled toilet-busting bathroom-break halftime. No, it's actually the day after Turkey Day, with its garbage disposer mishaps, clogged sinks, and dishwasher meltdowns. The good news is, with a little advance planning and our tried-and-true tips, you can avoid most disasters this holiday-and actually enjoy dinner with friends and family. Here are our top 5 tips to hosting a stress-free Thanksgiving.Read More »from 5 Things You Can Do Now for a Stress-Free Thanksgiving Feast
(See our full Thanksgiving Day Survival Guide at thisoldhouse.com)
1. Make Sure Your Oven is Ready for Prime Time
It may seem counterintuitive, but don't run your oven's self-clean cycle in the days before cooking, because the cycle is so stressful on the appliance, it could cause an older model to break down just when you need it most. Instead, use a damp cloth to wipe around the burner elements and and save the big cleanup until you're lunching on leftovers.
Also make sure your oven's temperature gauge is
- This Old House Magazine | At Home – Thu, Nov 3, 2011 9:20 PM EDT
Love the whimsy and romance of an old home, but you're stuck in a stark, newly constructed one? Well, with a little know-how and elbow grease, you can DIY your way to architectural interest in any room. Here are This Old House's top 10 Step-by-Step projects to add timeless character to a house of any age. --Tabitha Sukhai, thisoldhouse.comRead More »from Top 10 Ways to Give Your Ugly House Some Pretty, Old-House Charm
1. Install Crown Molding
Crown molding brings a timeless sophistication to any room. The good news: it can be added without a big bill from the lumberyard or clouds of drywall dust. Installing crown molding, however, is a task that strikes fear in the heart of many amateur carpenters-and even some pros. Corner joints are especially troublesome. But, you can get it right with some patience. Here is the Step-by-Step Guide, How to Install Crown Molding.
All About Crown Molding
Making Backing Strips for Crown Molding
VIDEO: How to Cope a Joint for Crown Molding
2. Add Stair Brackets
The newel post and balusters get all the attention, while
Would you buy a house that was the scene of a grisly murder? Truth is, you might never come to know your home's dark history, since only about half of the states in the U.S. have formal seller disclosure laws. That means agents don't have to fill you in on a property's past unless you ask outright. Why? Well, selling houses is hard enough these days. But don't worry. TOH has your back with another list of what the National Board of Realtors calls "stigmatized properties."
Meantime, if you're in the market for a new home and you'd rather not live where someone once died, do your homework. Make sure you explore the neighborhood and chat with locals-and ask your agent about the house's history, especially if the property is particularly grand with a suspiciously low price tag. (Amityville 101, people!) --Tabitha Sukhai, thisoldhouse.com
MORE: See ALL of TOH's American Murder Houses II
This home on the corner of Beachcomber Lane and Sea Lark Road in HoustonRead More »from American Murder Houses
- This Old House Magazine | Work + Money – Fri, Oct 28, 2011 6:12 PM EDT
Our 4th annual Pumpkin Carving Contest has brought us our best harvest of ghoulish gourds yet! Check out five of our favorites here, then see all the finalists-24 runners up and some of the best carvings we've ever seen-and the Grand Prize Winner at thisoldhouse.com! Have a safe and happy Halloween.__Tabitha SukhaiRead More »from The Best Entries from the 2011 TOH Pumpkin-Carving Contest
Plus, see all 200+ amazing pumpkin entries from this year's contest, or check out the crazy jack-o'-lanterns from years past.
1. Honorable Mention to start things off, courtesy of Mary H. in New York. Every year for the past three years, Mary took the time to create a TOH-themed pumpkin like the This Old Monster House one shown here. Thanks, Mary!
More: 12 Inspirational Pumpkin Carvings
2. Frankenstein Monster
"I use a number of clay and wood working tools. Anything with a sharp edge or point is also a great help. That includes X-Acto knives, razor blades, kitchen knives, chisels."
MORE: Scary Houses Turned Into Spectacular Homes
3. Tintin and
- This Old House Magazine | Work + Money – Fri, Oct 21, 2011 5:19 PM EDT
Gathering around a fire in the cool of the evening is so pleasant that it can be hard to get rid of your guests. Prefab fire pits make building an outdoor blaze easy-no hauling of stones to make a campfire-and they offer the plus of portability; people have been known to take them on picnics. We found two with similar profiles: a high-end wood-burner with a solid-copper dish, and a copper-finish budget version that is kinder to air quality because it burns propane. That's just one thing to keep in mind before investing in fuel, heavy metal, and a year's worth of marshmallows. -DEBORAH BALDWIN, This Old House magazineRead More »from How to Choose the Best Copper Fire Pit for Your Fall Yard
See how to compare a high-end versus a budget copper fire pit on thisoldhouse.com.
MORE: How to Build a Fire Pit
The High End Model: Frontgate 40-Inch Copper Fire Pit
Bowl depth: 8 inches
Height: 14 inches
Weight: 66 pounds
Warranty: One year
Is it for you?
If you like the scent and sight of a wood fire and the look of a big, heavy copper bowl.
See information on price