Keeping a home safe from intruders is of great importance to many homeowners. One way to prevent intruders is with window bars, or safety bars. These metal bars are attached to the outside of the window, usually the basement and ground floor windows and are designed to prevent anyone from entering through the windows.
This can offer a sense of security for the homeowner as it is an effective way of stopping a burglar from entering through the window, however, there are some safety concerns to think about when it comes to this type of security device. A major problem arises if the resident needs to exit the home in an emergency such as a fire. Not only would they stop someone from getting out of much needed exits, but they could also block vital points of entry for firefighters.
If you feel like you really need window bars in your neighborhood, what are some ways you can do it and ensure they are not a fire hazard? Make sure they are fitted with a quick release device. This type of mechanism would allow the occupant to easily release the bars from the inside of the home. It should not require any kind of special tool to release them and needs to be easy for a child or elderly person to use. This is because a person can become disoriented and panicked in an emergency situation, and precious time would be lost trying to open a difficult mechanism.
As we can see, then, window bars can provide a good level of security for the lower floors of the home, but they can easily become a fire hazard if they are not equipped with a quick release mechanism that is easy to use.
After a very long winter here in New York, we are certainly looking forward to some warmer weather and, with that, usually comes a long spring cleaning list. Is getting our air conditioning system ready on that list? While we know that having a yearly maintenance check performed by a professional is an important thing to do, what are some ways we can keep our a/c system well maintained?
Keeping your central air conditioning system well maintained will ensure a comfortable home during a hot summer.
When searching for that perfect place to call your new home, you no doubt have many requirements. For example, making sure it will fit the needs of you and your household, having the right location and all for the right price.
There may be some requirements that don’t automatically come to mind though. One of those things is making sure the property has the correct amount of grading (or slope). Perhaps you’re wondering what is that? And why is it so important?
Please enjoy the following brief video which will help you to answer these questions. We want you to be as informed as possible when it comes to buying your new home, so that the experience will be a positive one.
Although it may not feel like it, spring is just around the corner and with that comes getting much needed maintenance done on our homes. If you will be looking for someone to do the work for you, how can you be sure to get someone honest who will not try to rip you off?
Here are a few pointers:
While there are many honest workers out there, it’s always good to be on our guard. Please feel free to contact us with further questions.
One important area of the house and often considered the heart of the house, is the kitchen. There are many areas of the kitchen that indicate to us what kind of state the rest of the house is in.
When looking at potential problem areas of the kitchen, we would probably start with the sink. The sink gives us an indication of the water pressure and the drainage of the pipes around the sink. If the water pressure is inconsistent with the rest of the house there could be a problem with corrosion in the faucet area or other complications that have to do with the installation or condition of the pipes leading to the sink. One other facet of the sink could be the garbage disposal and its condition could easily be deciphered by turning it on and off.
Since water is a potential hazard for any house, the dishwasher would be another aspect of the kitchen that's important to inspect. We need to check for potential leaks and faulty seals. Water damage can usually be seen around the area of the dishwasher and under the sink. If there is water damage, what usually follows is mold and rotting of the floorboards or cupboards. It's also wise to check for damage in the cupboards, the drawers and it's doors.
The countertops are also commonly used and could lead to further problems down the road if they are not in the right condition. A quick summary of an inspection of the kitchen.
We are just a couple of weeks away from a brand new year. Will 2018 be the year you purchase a new home? Do you have a limited budget?
Perhaps you decide to purchase a house that has previously had a fire. While this can be something that works out for you, there are many factors to consider. The following video will help you to have an idea of what you would need to look out for if you decide to choose this option.
We want you to have a home that you can be safe and able to relax in, please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
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In our previous article, we discussed what a Biowall is. In this blog we will discuss the benefits of Biowalls, and whether it is a good idea to have them in cities such as here in NYC.
Research has shown that when a Biowall is placed in an office environment, it has a beneficial effect on its employees. There are generally happier and there is more productivity.
Sick Building Syndrome (or SBS) can cause a number of ailments such as headaches, dizziness, and nose, throat and eye irritation. Biowalls in their active state provide a natural air filtration system which can aid in reducing the effects of SBS. This natural filtration can also help against unhealthy pollutants.
Biowalls are not only beneficial in the interior of a building, but also have many benefits on the exterior of a building. A Biowall could actually aid in the protection of the building from harmful UV rays and even acid rain.
Active exterior Biowalls also add insulation, which can help in reducing energy costs.
As we discussed last time, exterior Biowalls also help with the effects of UHI (Urban Heat Island) as heat does not radiate as much.
Green roofs are fast becoming a very popular way of helping the environment. Those who are interested in green roofs, would enjoy a Biowall as there is less structural strain on the building than with the green roof.
As we have briefly noted, a Biowall can provide many benefits. Who of us doesn't enjoy being in an environment where there is some level of nature?
It is important to note however, that Biowalls also have some disadvantages. If you would like to know more information about this, please feel free to contact us.
Biowall, this might not be a term you are very familiar with. There are other names for this type of wall, such as green walls or living walls.
What is a Biowall?
Basically they are a wall that is covered with living plants. They can be used both inside as well as outside of a building. They are often used inside in homes and are also good for offices. Their ability to purify the air makes them a good choice for indoor use. Of course they do not replace a traditional HVAC system, but instead are used to work alongside one.
They are good for outdoor use, especially in more urban areas. Because concrete walls and surfaces reflect heat, this can make urban areas a lot hotter than they should be. In the summer time, this can lead not only to excessive heat, but also to bad air quality. It is referred to as the Urban Heat Island (UHI). A biowall in areas like these serve to reduce the effects of UHI.
There are 2 different types of biowall. A panel system, which uses soil that is packed into plastic bags and then the plants are placed into compartments. They are fed by an irrigation system which is connected. The other type of biowall is a felt system. Plants fit into felt that is backed by a waterproof layer, which is used as the means of growing the plants. As the plants grow, their roots grow downwards which helps to support them.
What are the advantages to biowalls? And are there any disadvantages? This will be discussed in future articles.
Lightning poses a threat to all of us, not matter where we live. While the obvious and biggest danger exists for someone outside in a lightning storm, dangers also exist when we are inside our homes.
There are numerous dangers associated with a lightning strike at home. One of the most evident is that the house could set on fire. The risk of electrocution is also an important factor to consider.
Obviously, a fire in a home caused by a lightning strike could significantly damage it, but a lot of damage could also be caused from the water used to put the fire out. This in turn, if not treated properly could create a mold issue later on.
Your homes appliances could be damaged due to power surges.
How can we be safe at home during a lightning storm?
Keep out of the way of windows.
It is best to not do anything that involves using running water such as washing dishes and bathing etc.
Although a surge protector can help protect electronic equipment, don't think that is all you need. Be on the safe side and unplug or turn off any electrical appliances that could be damaged if lightning strikes, things like computers and phones. Also don't use these appliances while there is lightning in your area.
There are other measures you can take to protect your home from a lightning strike, such as a lightning rod or a lightning protection system. It is best to research which option is best for you and your area.
These are just a few things to think about and stay safe during a lightning storm.
While Aluminum siding is not too popular these days in the construction of homes, it can still be found on many older homes. Here are a few helpful things to know about Aluminum siding.
Is Aluminum siding durable?
Yes, it can actually last up to the life of the building, but only if it is maintained well. It doent rust, and it wont be affected by termites.
How safe is it?
If installed properly, it gives great waterproof protection.
In case of a fire, it will not melt or burn.
Is it aesthetically pleasing?
It can be, as it can be easily painted, however this does tend to need to be redone every few years. It should also be noted that Aluminum siding is prone to scratches and dents which can look rather unattractive and is not too easy to fix.
Some home owners may also have a problem with the noise it can make when rain falls on it.
This is just a very simple look at what to consider with Aluminum siding , however for a more thorough inspection, please contact us and we will be happy to advise you or schedule an appointment.
PARKER AND WEST ENGINEERING, PLLC.