Christmas Gifts That Provide Safety and Convenience for the Holiday


At this happy time of the year, when the holiday rush is on, Christmas trees are lit and kitchens are busy--with stoves and ovens in full force--fire accidents have a greater likelihood of occuring. Surveys note that about 65% of home fires are kitchen related.

One of the most popular current items, according to Marty Love, cookware buyer for Gelson's Markets, is American Safety Product's Halonite ($29.95 for Model No. 10), a small but sensitive fire extinguisher. The compact unit contains 100% halon, a chemical that interferes with complex reactions in the combustion process triggered from fire--a chemical reaction between oxygen, fuel and heat.

What makes it different from other halon extinguishers? Aside from being lightweight and easy to handle, it contains pure halon with no nitrogen propellant; it is less likely to leak and maintains a near constant pressure. It is a heat-seeking vapor. The reaction is so fast, shooting at a long range that you think it "senses" the smell of fire.

"It's also nontoxic and leaves no residue," Love explained; "you can spray it directly on a grilled steak in a pan or barbecue that got out of control and still eat the meat. When your car engine is on fire, you don't even have to open the hood, you can spray it through the grill and the fumes will track the fire under the hood."

Although effective on all classes of fires, it works particularly well on electrical fires. Just squirt through a wall socket and the halon vapor seeks and extinguishes the interior wall fire in seconds.

Another great advantage of the Halonite is that it can be used again and again until it is gone. A non-pollutant, it leaves no damage to delicate equipment, furniture or paintings. "It's less intimidating," Love said, "I actually feel now I have something that will work. I feel much safer and much more confident about it."

Aside from giving a lifetime protection for only $1 per pound of product per year, American Safety Products provides a 12-year warranty. There's a 10-year replacement for an unused product for only $10 or $1 per year.

The Halonite is available and will be demonstrated at Gelson's Markets: Dec. 7 (North Hollywood); Dec. 8 (Encino); Dec. 9 (Westlake Village); Dec. 10 (Marina del Rey; Dec. 11 (Pacific Palisades); Dec. 12 (Newport Beach) and Dec. 13 (Tarzana).

Mention wet-and-dry vacuums and a picture of a big and bulky machine with a fat hose flashes into your mind. But what if you need it for small jobs such as picking up crumbs or drying up wet spills like coffee, tea or milk from the table or kitchen counter? Powerful enough to gobble up all these is a versatile little hand-held machine from Black & Decker: the cordless PowerPro Dustbuster Plus with Accessories Vac (Model DB4000; $64.98).

New accessories include a squeegee attachment for liquid spills, a rotating crevice tool for tight areas, a ceiling wand and furniture brush for cleaning lamp shades. Available in white with a smoked plastic chute, the new Dustbuster Plus includes two power settings, one for ordinary everyday mishaps and a maximum setting for providing more than 25% more power than the original Dustbuster vacuum. Incidentally, the original machine was introduced 10 years ago, liberating you from the big vacuums for mini jobs.

The Power Pro Dustbuster Plus with Accessories Vac is available at Virgil's Hardware (Glendale), Adray's and Fedco.

Toting potluck appetizers or snack foods to a party? Designed to transport or store snacks is Rubbermaid's new Servin' Saver Party Food Tray ($8.50). Large enough to hold good-sized portions, the tray with sealed cover measures 16x10 1/2x4-inch high and is available in almond and pastels--peach, mauve and slate blue. A dip or sauce can go into a center compartment while assorted finger foods fit nicely into four larger compartments.

What's convenient about the see-through tray-like lid is that it can be inverted to hold ice and placed under the tray to chill the food or it may double as a second serving tray. The product is top-rack dishwasher safe and offers a lifetime warranty.

The Rubbermaid Servin' Saver Party Food Tray is available at major discount and hardware stores.

Organization is the key to a clutter-free kitchen, particularly a small one. Mike Goldberg of Kitchen Specialist in Los Angeles is providing more usable space for flatware and cutlery with a kitchen drawer insert set ($100) that he recently designed. Constructed of easy-to-clean molded styrene in white or almond, this innovative product consists of a double-tiered divided tray set. When the drawer is pulled out, the top tray may be pushed back to reveal the lower tier. Goldberg also offers a removable plastic cutting board to fit to replace the cutlery tray on the top.

To accommodate the storage structure, the inside drawer should have a 3 1/2-inch minimum height and a 17 1/4-inch minimum length. Two models of different widths are available: a 14 3/4-inch-wide kit that can be trimmed with a saw to as far down as 12 1/4 inches, and a 20 3/4-inch-wide kit that can be trimmed to 18 1/4 inches.

The kitchen drawer cutlery insert kit is available at Kitchen Specialist, 10643 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles 90064. For mail orders, add state tax plus $12 shipping to cost. For more information call (213) 470-6727.

Baking batches and batches of cookies? Get out the cookie gun, but this time make sure batteries are included. With an easy push from the thumb, you can pop out various shapes of the cookie dough from battery-operated Super Shooter Plus from Proctor-Silex Inc. ($24.95). The gadget offers shapes of hearts, flowers, stars, trees, ornaments and ribbons with its disc variety.

Equipped with a decorator tip, the cookie press doubles as a food garnishing tool, which may also be used for injecting fillings into pastries or pasta.

The Proctor-Silex Super Shooter Cookie Press is available at Sears and J. C. Penney stores.

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