3 Quick Holiday Home Safety Tips – Bucks County, PA Homeowners
Most of us in Yardley, Newtown and all of Bucks County have been shopping, decorating and anticipating some holiday vacation time. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there has been a rise in personal injuries and property damage related to holiday home decorating. Don’t forget to keep in mind these 3 quick home safety practices during the holiday season:
1. Fire Proof your Tree – If you are purchasing a live tree for the holidays, be sure to find the freshest one available, with needles that are pliable and do not fall off easily. Be sure to keep water in the tree stand and keep away from heat sources. If you choose an artificial tree, make sure that it is labeled as “Fire Resistant”, which although not completely flame retardant, will be safer for your home.
2. Candle and Fireplace Care – Holidays tend to call for more festive candles and higher fireplace usage. Be sure to have your fireplace and chimney inspected and cleaned prior to this winter’s use. Last year’s creosote can be a fire hazard this year. Do not leave holiday candles lit and unattended. Keep them within sight, on a flat heat-resistant surface, and away from pets and children.
3. Decorate Safely – Emergency room visits due to falls and lacerations increase every year during the holiday season. Be sure to have a responsible person hold the ladder for you when putting out lights or other decorations on your home. Assure that your tree is balanced in its stand securely, and recheck after the ornaments have been added, to avoid it falling on someone. Keep breakable ornaments or other decorations out of reach of children and in areas where they will not accidently be knocked over.Continue Reading > Add a Comment
Changing the Locks – Key to a Safe Home
Are you shopping the Yardley, Newtown or Lower Makefield homes for sale in search of a new home? Or are you a current owner of Bucks County real estate? Here’s just another little safety tip for new and seasoned home owners…Change your locks!
There are times when you need to change the locks on your home to protect your family and possessions. The most important times are when you move into a new home; when keys are lost, stolen or unreturned; or a cleaning or other service provider hasn’t returned the key.
You could replace the entire lockset, which would give you a totally new mechanism that should work better. If you use the same manufacturer, you can probably avoid any carpentry changes to the door. You can order the locks online and have them all work with the same key at no extra charge.
Another alternative is to have a locksmith rekey the current lockset. The locksmith can also easily make all of the locks work with the same key. Compare the cost and decide which would be a better expenditure. If the lock change needs to happen quickly for safety reasons, a locksmith may be your best bet.
While you’re considering your security, a key safe might be a very convenient addition. The cost is reasonable and you can attach it to your exterior wall. Generally, they’re combination locks that would allow you access if you or another family member forgot their key. It’s also convenient to give a house keeper the combination and can be easily changed if necessary. There is no need to have multiple keys floating around with service providers.
Here’s to safe and happy home ownership in Bucks County! Contact me if you are looking to purchase a home. There are many great opportunities in our local real estate market during this holiday season!Continue Reading > Add a Comment
Keep Your Bucks County Home Safe While on Vacation
Are you leaving beautiful Yardley, Newtown or Bucks County, PA to take a well-deserved summer vacation? Don’t forget to safeguard your home for the time that you are away. Here’s a list of 3 easy ways to have a happy return to your home after your trip:
1. Keep home looking lived in - If you reliably get your newspaper every morning at 7 AM, mow your yard every 3 days, and go to bed at 9 PM, then make sure you don’t advertise your home’s emptiness with a pile of old newspapers, unruly grass and the living room light on all night. Have mail and newspapers temporarily stopped, and put your lights on timers that can mimic your usual activity. Better yet, have a friend or neighbor retrieve mail or mow the lawn. The presence of an actual person around the house helps to deter thieves. If you have a pet, consider utilizing a pet sitter, who will also take care of your house, water plants and bring in any door flyers that might also alert to your absence.
2. Secure doors and windows – Almost one third of home break-ins are “no-force” entries, meaning that the thieves simply come in an unlocked door or window. Although a determined thief can enter a locked home, the first line of defense is to make it uncomfortable and time consuming. Check all doors and windows before you leave. Add a metal bar or wood broom handle to the base of sliding glass doors to inhibit entry. Make sure that there is a deadbolt on all exterior doors. Consider adding a double cylinder deadbolt lock (uses a key on both sides of the door), especially for doors with surrounding windows. Most importantly, remove your outdoor spare key. Thieves know all of the good hiding places, like under the mat or in a decorative rock.
3. Don’t promote your vacation – No matter how excited you are about your upcoming trip, keep the information to a minimum, whether it is on your online social media or in person. Facebook “friends” can prove not so friendly, and have been known to burglarize homes of their online acquaintances. Even a discussion in a restaurant or parking lot can be overheard by the wrong ears. Only give out as much information as necessary.
Hopefully, these simple tips will give you better peace of mind on your next vacation, and have your Bucks County home just as you left it when you return.Continue Reading > Add a Comment
A Few Good Tips for a Safe Home in Yardley, Newtown, Bucks County, PA
Summer is around the corner, and hopefully we have time to make plans for some excursions. The change of seasons is also a good time to review our home safety plan. UL, the company known for international safety certification, has a great Home Safety Checklist that focus on electrical, water and fire safety.
Here are a few tips from UL’s checklist and from my own experience with my years in Yardley, Newtown and Bucks County real estate:
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors – Be sure detectors are in working order. Change the batteries at least every Daylight Savings Time.
Fire Extinguishers – If you don’t have them, get one for each floor and for major living areas of your home (e.g. kitchen, bedrooms). OSHA’s Fire Prevention standard requires all fire extinguishers to be “inspected” annually by someone trained to do so.
Fire escape plan – Create or review your fire escape plan with everyone in the household. Create alternative escape routes besides the stairs for your second floor. Have emergency phone numbers listed on all floors.
Extension cords – Check all extension cords to ensure that they are not overloaded. Assure that no cords are placed under rugs or furniture, and that they are not coiled, kinked or frayed.
Water heater – Check that water temperature is below 120 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent scalding and save energy.
Laundry room – Clean out dryer vent hose regularly with a hose brush. Use an aluminum hose instead of plastic to prevent meltdowns and fires. Also check your washing machine water hose for leakage. Not only can old washer hoses pose a plumbing problem, they can cause electrical fires if the water comes in contact with electrical panels or outlets.Continue Reading > Add a Comment