National Pet Fire Safety Day

By | Safety | No Comments

The American Kennel Club in association with ADT Security Services declared National Pet Fire Safety Day in 2009, and it is observed annually on July 15th. Just like fire drills, pets need consideration when preparing for unexpected fire emergencies.


  • Extinguish open flames. Pets can be curious and not cautious. Wagging tails can accidentally knock over candles. Curious cats will paw at sizzling grease, quickly sending a kitchen up in flames.
  • If possible, remove knobs from the stove when not in use. They can accidentally get turned on.
  • Replace glass water bowls with metal or plastic bowls outside on wooden decks. They can heat up and start a fire.
  • Store leashes and collars near the entrance of your home. When away, keep your pets in the main living area for easy rescue.
  • Fire alert window clings help firefighters identifying the room your pets are located and identify the number of pets in the home. Add one to the window of the room you keep your pets when you are away. Keep it updated with the number of pets who reside with you and your current phone number.
  • Have a plan. Decide which family members will be responsible for each pet.

Sustaining Healthy Indoor Air Quality During Emergencies

By | Indoor Air Quality, Safety | No Comments

Summer has rolled in and for those of us in a region of hot and humid summers, thunder is rolling as well. While a big booming thunderstorm can be fun to watch, it’s not so fun when the power goes out. It goes dark, you can’t cook, the air conditioning is off and the food in the refrigerator might spoil. The EPA provides information about how to keep your indoor air quality healthy during an emergency.


Use flashlights or batter powered lanterns if possible.

If you do use candles, make sure the area is ventilated. Candles emit combustion products and can be a fire hazard.

Portable Generators that use fuels such as gasoline, natural gas or kerosene give off toxic fumes that are hazardous and could kill you in minutes if not used correctly.

Do Not:

  • Do not use portable generators inside your house, garage, on balconies, near doors, vents or windows. Do not use portable generators near where you or family are sleeping.


  • Use portable generators outside, and far away from your home or buildings.
  • Consider a rechargeable power source such as solar powered generators or batteries.



Do Not:

  • Do not use barbecues, hibachis, camp stoves, or any other non-vented combustion appliances to cook indoors. Combustion appliances produce toxic fumes, such as carbon monoxide.


  • Use a vented fireplace or a vented wood or other fuel burning stove, if it is set up for cooking.

Controlling Fleas and Ticks Inside Your Home or Building

By | Safety | No Comments

Here are some tips to keep ticks and fleas from invading this summer:

Deposit fleas in hot soapy water to kill them.

  • Vacuum every day to remove eggs, larvae and adults. High priority areas: carpets, cushions, cracks/crevices in floors and baseboards, and the basement.
  • Steam clean carpets: the hot steam and soap kill fleas in all stages of the life cycle.
  • Wash all pet bedding and family bedding in hot, soapy water every two to three weeks. If an infestation is severe, discard old pet bedding and replace it with fresh, clean material.
  • Use a flea comb to suppress adult fleas. Hair can pass through the comb’s teeth, but not the fleas. Especially comb the neck and tail.

Flea and Tick Tips for the Landscaper

  • Clear tall grasses and brush around homes and buildings, and at the edge of lawns.
  • Place a 3-ft wide barrier of wood chips or gravel between lawns, around patios and play equipment, and wooded areas
  • Keep playground equipment, decks, and patios away from yard edges and trees. Place them in a sunny location, if possible.
  • Mow the lawn frequently.
  • Keep leaves raked.
  • Stack wood neatly and in a dry area.
  • Remove any old furniture, mattresses, or trash from the yard.

For more information, refer to the Tick Management Handbook by The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station for a comprehensive guide to preventing ticks and their bites through landscaping.

National Healthy Homes Month

By | Asbestos, Home Improvement, HVAC, Indoor Air Quality, Lead Paint, Mold, Radon, Safety | No Comments

Celebrate National Healthy Homes Month!


June 2017 is the Second Annual National Healthy Homes Month.

Indoor Air Quality has been identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as one of the five most urgent environmental risks to public health. HVACR manufacturers, distributors, and contractors are installing more indoor environmental products noticing that IAQ plays a large role in employee health and performance.

People spend most of their time indoors; National Healthy Homes Month offers concepts and tips for keeping those inside spaces healthy and safe.

The theme for this National Healthy Homes Month is Everyone Deserves a Safe and Healthy Home. Each week in June; NHHM will focus on the “Principals of Healthy Homes” with associated set of activities:

  1. Childhood lead poisoning prevention
  2. Residential asthma intervention
  3. Injury prevention
  4. Smoke free public housing
  5. Safe indoor pest control
  6. Radon Safety
  7. Disaster Recovery

A series of webinars will also be happening throughout the month.

For resources and activities updates, visit the Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes.

Download the NHHM Planning Guide from the Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes


An Introduction to GHS

By | Baxter Group, Inc., Indoor Air Quality, Safety | No Comments

Global Harmonization System of the Classification and Labeling of Chemicals


GHS is an international effort to comprise a standard format for classifying hazardous chemicals.

GHS defines and classifies the hazards of chemical products, providing consistent health and safety information on labels and safety data sheets. GHS covers all physically, environmentally and health hazardous chemicals in the workplace, transport, consumer products, pesticides and pharmaceuticals.


The following is a breakdown of the classes of hazards in each group.


  • Explosives.
  • Flammable gases.
  • Aerosols.
  • Oxidizing gases.
  • Gases under pressure.
  • Flammable liquids.
  • Flammable solids.
  • Self-reactive substances and mixtures.
  • Pyrophoric liquids.
  • Pyrophoric solids.
  • Self-heating substances and mixtures.
  • Substances and mixtures which, in contact with water, emit flammable gases.
  • Oxidizing liquids.
  • Oxidizing solids.
  • Organic peroxides.
  • Corrosive to metals.


  • Acute toxicity.
  • Skin corrosion/irritation.
  • Serious eye damage/eye irritation.
  • Respiratory or skin sensitization.
  • Germ cell mutagenicity.
  • Carcinogenicity.
  • Reproductive toxicity.
  • Specific target organ toxicity – single exposure.
  • Specific target organ toxicity – repeated exposure.
  • Aspiration hazard.


  • Hazardous to the aquatic environment (acute and chronic).
  • Hazardous to the ozone layer.

By using a universal format, it promotes regulatory efficiency and better emergency response to chemical incidents, reduces cost, facilitates trade, encourages safe transport, handling, use and disposal of chemicals, eases compliance, and reduces the need for animal testing.

For more information on Global Harmonization, view the Official Publication of the GHS.

To have your current Global Harmonization System updated, visit Baxter Group, Inc’s Indoor Environmental Department or call 717-263-7341.

Safety Corner

By | Safety | One Comment

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

Seems like a week doesn’t go by without seeing an article or hearing a news report about death-by-distracted-driver.

The message we should be sending our drivers: “JUST DRIVE”.  Don’t eat, don’t drink, don’t text, JUST DRIVE!