It’s a very sad fact that on average 3,000 people die every year in the United States from the effects of a house fire. Many of these deaths might have been avoided if there were fully functioning smoke detectors in the house. Yes, these small appliances play a critical role when it comes to fire safety. Here are a few brief reminders:
Multiple smoke detectors should be fitted in a home depending on its size. A good rule would be to have one fitted on every inhabited floor of the home. This also includes the basement and garage. Having one in each bedroom would also be a good idea.
Having a fire exit plan is another vital step to surviving a house fire. Every member of the household should know what to do. Perform a fire drill every once in a while. It’s a good idea to do this at nighttime when everyone is sleeping as this is when the household is usually most at risk. Set off the smoke detectors to make sure they are loud enough to wake the whole household and that the sound is distinct enough so as not to be confused with any other sound.
Remember, a smoke detector is only effective if it is working properly. Do a simple test of them once a month to ensure they are working and do not require batteries. Another reminder is to NEVER disconnect batteries even when a sensitive smoke alarm becomes a nuisance. It is all too easy to forget to reconnect them again.
With the children off school for the summer, its time to spend some quality time by the pool. While a swimming pool is a place to have fun, if you have a swimming pool in your backyard, what steps do you need to take to ensure it is a safe environment?
It is a sad fact that many children die each year from drowning accidents, with those under age 5 being at the greatest risk. What makes this so bad is that it happens so fast and generally with no noise, which means that a child has often drowned before anyone knew they were missing. So, how can you protect a child if you have a swimming pool in your home?
If you have a pool on your property, its important that you have some kind of pool barrier. This could take different forms such as fencing or a wall. There are specific guidelines put in place for pool barriers, for example, they must be the correct height, any fencing should have the correct amount of spacing and must make it impossible for a child to climb under.
If you have an above ground pool or hot tub etc. there must also be strict safety measures in place so that a child would not be able to access the pool without supervision.
Walls of the home can also act as a pool barrier but any doors that lead directly to the pool should have an alarm system which will go off when the doors are opened. The alarm sound should be loud enough to hear throughout the home and have a sound that is different from any others. In this way, it will be difficult for a child to gain access to the pool, through the doors, without being detected.
Yes, summer by the pool is what most children want. By following these safety guidelines, you will help to ensure their safety as well.
So many people suffer with allergies which cause all kinds of respiratory ailments. There are numerous causes for this but let’s look at some of the air pollutants in our homes that might make these allergies worse and, some of the ways we can improve the air we breathe at home.
There are all kinds of things in the home that contribute to poor air quality, for example, dust, pet dander, damp or mold, even gas stoves and furnaces that are poorly maintained, lead and asbestos (if the home is older). Then there are the things we use such as cleaning products. Solvents such as formaldehyde that have been used for treating furniture like curtains and sofas, these are all areas that contribute to poor air quality in a home. So, what are some ways you can deal with these problems?
While in many cases, it would be very hard to eliminate the problem all together, there are simple ways to improve home air quality. Keeping the home clean will go a long way to improving the homes air quality especially if there are pets. Its important to try and keep dust to a minimum and vacuum regularly. Replace chemical and aerosol cleaners with non-chemical cleaning products.
Try to keep each room well ventilated so that soft furnishings are aired out well. Replace air conditioning filters regularly. Have a check of the entire home every so often to make sure there is no mold forming. Check appliances etc. to make sure they are working well and are not at risk of producing carbon monoxide. It would be a good idea to have a professional come and inspect furnaces etc. to make sure they are working well.
By following some of these simple suggestions, it will go a long way to enhancing the quality of air in your home.
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.
PARKER AND WEST ENGINEERING, PLLC.