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CONSUMERS : Travelmate Guide Makes Highway Services Compute

If you’re planning a cross-country motoring vacation, you might consider Interstate Travelmate, a pocket-sized computer guide that lists travel services available at 14,000 exits along major interstate highways, freeways and thruways in the United States.

Manufactured by Whistler of Westford, Mass., the Interstate Travelmate is easy to use--once you read the directions--and lists more than 30,000 gas stations, motels/hotels, restaurants and campgrounds. Just program in the state, the highway and the exit you’re nearing, and push whatever service you need. The Travelmate will tell you the number of miles to your requested destination.

The travel calculator also will give you state-by-state phone numbers for highway patrols, weather conditions, emergency road services and tourist assistance, as well as toll-free numbers to make motel or hotel reservations along the way.

The computer’s database will be updated every year, say Whistler representatives, and owners of the Interestate Travelmate can have their computers updated yearly for $20.

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Interstate Travelmate is available for $99.95, plus $4 shipping and handling, from Beverly Hills Motoring Accessories, 200 Robertson Blvd., Beverly Hills, Calif. 90211; in California, (213) 657-4800, outside California (800) 421-0911.

Fire-Fighter: A Pool Resource to Douse Fires

Homeowners with swimming pools may want to check out Fire-Fighter, an emergency pumping system that can pump water from a pool at up to 150 gallons per minute, according to its California distributor.

“With all the swimming pools around, I thought it would be a good idea to have a pump on a dolly that could be set up quickly to pump water out of the pool to use to fight fires,” said distributor Al White of Encino. “The average swimming pool holds 30,000 to 45,000 gallons of water. That can do an awful lot to save your home while you’re waiting for the fire department. And if you throw a box or two of detergent in the pool, it will create a foam and increase your output of water.”

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The Fire-Fighter is a self-contained unit on a two-wheel cart made of 3/4-inch steel tubing. The device, powered by a 5-horsepower Briggs & Stratton gasoline engine, has 100 feet of high-pressure fire hose and a 10-foot intake hose to put into the pool. The centrifugal pump, which is primed by hand, takes 25 to 30 seconds to begin pumping, said White.

“In only three minutes, you can easily roll the unit into position, start it up and direct a stream of water as far as 200 feet from the edge of the pool,” White said. The engine and pump are guaranteed for one year.

The Fire-Fighter costs $1,095 plus shipping costs (local orders are delivered at no charge). To order, contact Al White, 5231 Zelzah Ave., Encino, Calif. 91316; (213) 987-1185.


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