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Fire fighters battling a blaze

Fire Safety Preparedness in your Home

A fire can become life threatening in just two minutes and will quickly produce black smoke making it extremely hard for you to see. That is why it is important for you and your family to not only take steps to prevent fires, but have a plan together in the worst should happen. Educating and preparing yourself can be a life saver.

  • Make sure that smoke alarms are on every level of your home and test them monthly.
  • Create a home fire escape plan for you and your family and practice it twice a year.
    • Every family member should know two ways to escape from each room in your house.
    • Inhaling smoke is very dangerous, so make sure you stay low as you escape from your house.
    • Practice feeling your way out of the house with your eyes closed.
    • Make sure you have a designate meeting area outside in the case of a fire.
    • Get out and stay out! Never go back in for people, pets, or things.
    • Make sure to time your fire drill and keep it under two minutes to escape.

There are precautions you can take to help decrease the risk of a house fire:

  • Don’t overload your electrical circuits.
  • Unplug hair dryers and other small bathroom appliances when they are not in use.
  • Do not run extension cords under rugs and carpets.
  • Replace frayed electric cords.
  • Stay in the kitchen anytime you are frying, grilling or broiling food.
  • Keep baking soda on hand for extinguishing kitchen fires.
  • Have portable fire extinguishers that are easy to access.

Get your family together and have a conversation about how to prevent fires and implement a plan in case there is a house fire in your home, it could save your lives.


Helpful Tips

Fireworks in red, white and blue

Use caution handling fireworks this Independence Day!

According to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year and cause an average of $43 million in property damages. Make sure your Fourth of July is both fun and safe with these firework safety tips!

  • Homemade fireworks are illegal, so never try to make your own.
  • Sparklers are not safe for small children to use, they burn very hot (hot enough to melt some types of metals) and can set clothes on fire.
  • Make sure fireworks are ignited in a clearing without nearby structures, power lines, homes, bushes and dry leaves.
  • Have a bucket of water and a hose nearby when setting off fireworks in case there is an accident.
  • Pets should be kept securely indoors to keep them from running away or getting injured if the loud noises spook them.
  • Always wear eye protection when lighting fireworks.
  • Never shoot fireworks off from inside a container.
  • Never hold fireworks in your hand when lighting them.
  • Never put any part of your body over fireworks when you ignite them.
  • Do not try to relight a firework.
  • Do not carry fireworks in pockets.
  • Soak all fireworks before throwing them away.
  • Remember, fireworks are not legal everywhere. Check your local ordinances first.

Be safe and smart this Fourth of July and Enjoy your holiday!


Helpful Tips

A person in red boots pressure washing a walkway

Simple Solutions to Enhance Summer Curb Appeal

Keeping up with regular home maintenance can add curb appeal and help you maintain the investment in your home. Read on for a checklist of chores you should complete this summer to make sure your home is in tip-top shape.

 Check your lawn irrigation system to make sure it’s functioning properly

 Clean out your gutters

 Power wash your driveway, sidewalks and concrete porches

 Patch any holes and cracks in your driveway

 Inspect your porch for loose boards or nails and repair as needed

 Clean/ inspect siding of your home and repair as needed

 Prune all shrubs, bushes and trees that are growing close to your home, especially around any AC units

 Clean your chimney

 Wash your windows and window screens

 Check for leaks in outdoor faucets and hoses

 Clean and repair your grill

Summer days are long, so take advantage of the extra sunlight to tackle the exterior maintenance on your home!


Helpful Tips

Potted flowers in front of a line of shrubberyThree Landscaping Hacks

Landscaping can add curb appeal to your home, which can add to the value of your house. Additionally, outdoor living areas can help improve your quality of life. Fresh air and a natural environment can improve focus, and lower stress levels. Try these three landscaping hacks to make your outdoor living area into an oasis you can enjoy in the warmer months without breaking the bank.

Front yard with a flower bed lined with stonesAdd a flower bed border of stones:

Adding a border to your flower bed is easy, cheap, and has a large impact. It draws eyes to your garden, immediately adding curb appeal. You can use a variety of rocks that are similar sizes and colors that complement each other.

Add a walking path to connect features:

Walking paths will create focus in your outdoor space while adding charm. Consider using stone pavers as a relatively cheap and easy solution to connect focal points in your yard.

Stone path through flower bedsCreate a container garden:

Flower pot gardenContainer gardens can instantly add pops of color and create a welcoming atmosphere in your outdoor living space. Place potted plants on the ground, on a pedestal or even mount them on a windowsill.

Taking time to add landscaping to your home will increase its curb appeal, add a personal touch, and make your outdoor spaces more enjoyable. Spruce up your yard with some simple features like container gardens or walking paths and spend some time in the fresh air!


Helpful Tips

Spring Interior Checklist

May 10
8:00
AM
Category | Helpful Tips

Cleaning supplies

As the weather warms up and summer approaches, our minds are on relaxing and soaking up the sun. However, there are some chores around the interior of your home that you should take care of before you run off to enjoy the outdoors. Keeping up with regular home maintenance can help your home run efficiently. Read on for a checklist of chores you should tackle this spring to make sure your home is in tip-top shape.

  • Replace your air conditioner filter. It’s important to replace the air filter in your central heating/cooling system every one to three months to keep it operating efficiently.
  • Schedule a service call to have your furnace checked.
  • Make sure you switch your ceiling fans to spin counter-clockwise. This forces air down and creates a cooling effect.
  • Clean bathroom vents. Removing dust from the covers will help them run quietly and efficiently.
  • Clean showerheads and bathroom drains to remove mineral deposits.
  • Clean out your faucet traps by unscrewing the ends of the faucets with pliers, remove the small screens and flush out all the debris and mineral deposits.
  • Clean all kitchen appliances inside and out, especially your refrigerator and its coils.
  • Clean out your garbage disposal with ice cubes and salt to remove build-up of sludge. Then pour a half cup of baking soda into the disposal and slowly pour vinegar on top to remove odor. Flush with hot or boiling water.
  • Change your water and icemaker filters.
  • Clean your range hood and filter.
  • Clean your clothes dryer vent pipe.
  • Clean your windows and window sills.
  • Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and replace batteries where necessary.
  • Oil your garage door opener and chain, and all door hinges.
  • Check your attic and basement for any signs of water leaks, mold or pests.

Taking care of to-do items around the home may not be the way you want to spend a beautiful spring weekend, but it will help keep your home running efficiently and help you maintain your investment in your home!


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