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Vol. 12, No. 4
A Shoreline Community, Pine Knoll Shores, N. C.
Gardening Tips for April
By Jan Corsello
We have had crazy yo-yo weather here in Pine Knoll Shores this spring, with daytime
highs ranging from 40 to 75 degrees and lows from 30 to 50 degrees. A few days in the
70s tempt us to believe that winter is over, but as I write this in mid-March, tonights
low is expected to be in the upper 20s and tomorrows high wont get out of the 40s. We
even had a dusting of snow last weekend.
Pine Knoll Shores is in Zone 8, and our average last frost date is April 15. Do not be
fooled—just because garden centers sell summer annuals and vegetables early doesn’t
necessarily mean we can safely
plant them. Keep an eye on the
local weather forecasts.
1 have been moving my
tender houseplants out on
fine days to get some sun and
spring rain, but moving them
back in when I expect it to
get too cold. When moving
plants in and out, try to do it
when the inside and outside
temperatures are roughly the
same to avoid shocking the
Our cool weather has set
back the growth and bloom
time of many plants. Most
of our outdoor plants can
handle the occasional drops
in temperature as long as it
doesn’t stay too cold for too
long. Camellia flowers that
were just opening when we
got a cold snap turned brown
and dropped. Those still in bud
If you haven’t pruned your summer-flowering plants yet, there is still time. Plants
that bloom on “new wood,” such as crape myrtles and hydrangeas, can be pruned in the
early spring. But please avoid “crape murder.”
(Continued on page 2)
Garden Club members trim a crape myrtle in the town garden
on Pine Knoll Bouleyard.—Photo by Jan Corsello
"7The Pine Knoll Shores Radio Station broadcasts 24 hours a day
with weather and emergency info.
ECC 726-1911 • PUBLIC SAFETY 247-2474
Smoke Alarms Save Lives
By Jason Baker, Pine Knoll Shores Fire Chief
Smoke alarms that are working properly can save lives, yet they are often forgotten
by homeowners once they are installed—unless there is a cooking mishap that causes
them to go off or they beep when the battery needs to be changed.
A simple internet search will reveal some eye-opening facts and statistics. The data
below was provided by the National Fire Protection Association for years 2009-2013.
• Smoke alarms provide an early warning of a fire, giving people additional escape
• Three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke
alarms or fire alarms that were not operational.
• The death rate in reported home fires in the same time frame was more than
twice as high in homes without working smoke alarms as in homes with working
• In fires in which smoke alarms were present but did not operate, almost half of
the malfunctioning smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries.
• Dead batteries caused one-quarter of the smoke alarm failures.
Without question, smoke alarms save lives, yet often they are checked only when
they exhibit problems. Early in my career I was on a fire call and was told by the
resident that the smoke alarm did not sound when she had a fire in the oven. When she
showed me the location of her alarm, I was forced to tell her that the box she indicated
was actually a door bell. My fire department at the time provided smoke alarms,
installed them and instructed the residents on the correct maintenance to keep them in
good working order.
Correct placement is key. Smoke alarms should be placed on the ceiling at least
four inches from the wall. One should be placed in each bedroom and also outside
the bedroom. If your bedrooms are grouped together, you may be able to use a single
detector outside the bedrooms. Keep in mind: this detector is in addition to the ones
placed inside each bedroom. If your bedrooms are not grouped together in your home,
you will need to place a smoke alarm inside and outside each bedroom.
It is important to place a smoke alarm in (or near) the kitchen area as well. If you
choose to place an alarm in the kitchen, it should be a “rate of rise” heat detector, which
will sound if the temperature in a room goes up too quickly (rising at the rate of 12 to
15 degrees Fahrenheit per minute). A traditional smoke alarm should be placed outside
(but near) the kitchen, following the ceiling/wall placement guidelines given above in
the bedroom discussion.
In addition to the locations discussed above, there should be a working smoke alarm
on every level in your home, including the basement. On levels without bedrooms,
install alarms in the living room or family room and near the stairs to the upper level.
(Continued on page 4)
h, NC 28512