Posted: March 6, 2014 at 2:28 a.m.

DEAR READER: Carbon-monoxide detectors should be installed in every household. Designed to alert residents to carbon-monoxide gas (which is colorless and odorless), these detectors help prevent poisoning, which can lead to sickness or even death. Here are some hints from the Consumer Product Safety Commission:

Install detectors inside each bedroom of the house, or within 15 feet of each bedroom. Make sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions for installation, as instructions will vary with different models.

Have the water heater and furnace checked annually by a professional to make sure they are operating normally.

Never use a portable generator or charcoal grill inside the home or garage.

Know the symptoms of poisoning: fatigue, dizziness, nausea and headache. If an alarm sounds, open all windows and get everyone out of the house. Call 911 once everyone is safely outside. Do not call from inside the house!

Newer carbon-monoxide detectors can last five to six years. Make sure to test them regularly and replace the batteries when needed.

DEAR HELOISE: My silver-gray hair often looks thin when it is not. My hint for individuals with light hair:

The simple act of rubbing a little cornstarch or any white powder through the hair will add volume and give greater control. It is best to place a small amount in the palms of the hands and gradually start working through dry hair. Repeat this process until all areas have been treated, then brush or comb through the hair to remove excess.

My hair shows more thickness and manages easier. Since the cornstarch absorbs oil, it is a fast way to freshen up my hair when there is no time to shampoo.

  • Linda W., Pittsboro, Miss.

DEAR HELOISE: My wife had spray nozzles stop up, and the product would no longer spray out. She was going to throw it away, but I stopped her. I took off the nozzle, removed the tube and placed the spray tip in a container of hot tap water - not boiling, but hot. I left it for a few minutes, replaced the plastic tube and reattached the nozzle. Lo and behold, it sprays like new. This will work for most any type of aerosol, with the exceptions of glue and paint.

  • Charles L., via email

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

Weekend, Pages 36 on 03/06/2014