My insurance Company sent me this information, and I thought it would be great to share. I hope we all have a safe and happy Christmas Season!
The winter holidays are beloved for the warmth and light they bring to a cold, dark season. But this wondrous time of year isn’t free from danger. According to the American Red Cross, almost 47,000 fires occur during the winter holidays, taking over 500 lives, injuring thousands of people, and resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage.
Fortunately, many holiday fire risks can be minimized with a little care and planning. Here’s how to avoid some common causes of holiday fires.
SEE ALSO: Fire Safety Tips (https://www.thehartford.com/resources/mature-marketexcellence/fire-safety-tips)
9 Ways to Minimize Holiday Fire Risks
1. Be safe with Christmas trees Place trees (and fir wreaths and garlands) three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces and radiators, and never use lit candles to decorate a tree. (Use battery-operated ones to achieve that effect.) Check that artificial trees, as well as decorations, are made of flame resistant or flame-retardant materials.
If decorating a live tree, choose one that is freshly cut, with intact needles, and water it daily to prevent it from becoming dry. Once it does begin to dry out and drop needles, it’s time to discard your tree. Although Christmas tree fires are not common, the explosiveness of dry trees makes them very dangerous if they do occur.
Use a tree stand that can’t tip over and be sure to unplug tree lights overnight and whenever you leave the house.
2. Give candles their distance The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) reports that 56% of candle fires happen because something flammable is left too close to a burning candle. Always keep candles at least a foot away from anything else that could catch fire like ornaments or curtains. (Give other sources of heat, like portable heaters, even more space.)
If placing candles in windows, choose battery-powered lights. Don’t leave candles burning when you’re asleep or away from home; in fact, you should extinguish flames whenever you leave the room. Whenever you burn candles, place them in sturdy holders that can’t tip over, and situate them where they are unlikely to be accidentally knocked over.
Place menorahs, kinaras, and decorative candles on a non-flammable surface like a granite countertop; if you must use a wood surface, lay aluminum foil or another flame-resistant material down first.
3. Inspect your fairy lights If buying new light strings, check the label for proof that the product has been tested at a reputable independent laboratory. You might also want to consider LED lights; they’re safer than their incandescent counterparts.
Also check labels before stringing lights indoors or outdoors to make sure you’ve selected the right type. With any string of lights, be sure that the cord is not frayed or damaged, and that all bulbs are working and tightly connected.
12/13/2017 Reduce Risk of Holiday Home Fire | Extra Mile
Don’t string together more than three strands of lights or 50 bulbs, and connect your lights to a surge protector before plugging into the wall. Turn off and unplug lights when you’re asleep or away from home. When stringing lights outdoors, don’t nail or staple them, as this can damage the wires. Always make sure to follow the instructions from the manufacturer.
4. Beware of kitchen and cooking fires Always keep a close eye on what you’re cooking, and be vigilant about removing potentially flammable items like oven mitts, wooden utensils, or food packaging from your stove-top. Never leave the house while the oven is on. When deep-frying latkes or any other holiday treat, always protect your skin from hot oil, and remember that grease fires should be extinguished with baking soda, not water. Also consider that outdoor cooking carries its own risks, especially if you’re using a large deep fryer for your Christmas turkey. Make sure to use your deep-fryer a safe distance from the house, and don’t over-fill it with oil.
5. Keep an eye on boxes and gift wrap Leaving boxes, wrapping paper, tissue paper, and embellishments lying around means that there’s even more flammable material in your home that could come in contact with a candle or heater. So, clean up the aftermath of present exchanges in a timely manner. And don’t attempt to dispose of gift wrap or trim by sticking it in the fireplace – it can be made from materials that release dangerous fumes when burned.
6. Tend to lit fireplaces If you don’t use your chimney often, have it inspected ahead of time to ensure it’s in safe working order. Burn only dry and seasoned wood, and use a screen to keep sparks from escaping into the room. Never leave a burning fire unattended, and don’t hang Christmas stockings or garlands on a fireplace that will be used to burn fires. Keep anything flammable, from gifts to slippers to throw rugs far (that is, at least three feet) away from the fireplace.
7. Don’t underestimate the heat of smoldering embers Long after a fire has burned out, its ashes can remain dangerously hot. Leave embers in the fireplace (damper open) until they’re cool to the touch, then place them in a metal container and leave it outdoors, away from your house, for at least 24 hours. Dump embers on a non-flammable surface like gravel, rather than on leaves or in the woods, just in case they’re still holding on to any heat.
8. Use electronics responsibly During this busy season, you’re more likely to use appliances and electronics while distracted by other activities going on around the house. You can reduce the risk of a home fire (home/reduce-home-fire-risk) during the holidays by following the same rules that you normally would at other times of the year. Also, be aware of heaters and don’t leave them unattended. And do not string multiple extension cords together, run cords under carpets, or overload your electrical outlets with more than they can handle.
9. Don’t neglect matches and lighters These simplest of fire-starting tools might seem insignificant compared to large candles or wood-burning stoves, but they can be deadly, especially when handled by curious children. The USFA warns that the number of deaths that results when children play with fire doubles in the month of December. Make sure to keep matches and lighters safely out of reach.
In addition to the steps above, you can reduce the chance of a holiday fire by making sure you’ve installed smoke alarms that are in working order throughout your home. Pay especially close attention to children and pets when they’re in the kitchen or around electronics, holiday decorations, and open flames.
Disasters and emergencies take many forms, from severe weather to acts of terrorism. responding is easier if you prepare.
I found this pamphlet the other day and found it very informative. If you are interested, please visit the American Red Cross at www.ready.gov
Here are a few of the highlighted areas:
1) Make a plan, just in case. Make sure each family member knows what to do in an emergency. Review the family emergency plan every 6 months to see if changes need to be made.
2) Decide where to meet after a disaster or emergency. Choose a location outside your home, in case of a sudden emergency like a fire.
3) Prepare your home. Make a list of important numbers and keep the list by the phone, or put it into your smart phone. Plan escape routes to get out of the home. Stock up on emergency supplies. Make sure every family member knows where the emergency supplies are stored.
4) Have a disaster kit ready. Keep three days worth of water , food, medications, and any other essential supplies. Replenish and refresh emergency supplies every 6 months.
5) Connect with neighbors and community. Talk to your neighbors about how you can work together during an emergency.
6) Take action if disaster strikes. Follow the advice of local emergency officials.
Remember to stay calm. Being prepared can help you get through emergencies and disasters.
I am not trying to scare anyone, but I realized how unprepared I am in case of emergency, so I am going to implement these steps in my home.
I manage my own properties, I don't need to hire a Property Manager. If this has been working for you then you are beating the odds.
Do you know legally how to handle the many situations that may occur? The laws vary by County and City in Oregon.
A Tenant dies in your property.
A Tenant dies or abandons a property and leaves a pet behind.Domestic violence by a Tenant to a member of the residence.
A Tenant leaves a vehicle behind when they move.
Collecting money from a former Tenant for damages and/or back rent.
Eviction of a Tenant for various reasons.
These are only a few of the many scenarios Property Managers handle frequently.
You say, "Well that will never happen to me", but it could happen. If you are not handling situations legally with the proper forms and protocol, you could be opening yourself up to a lawsuit.
So now, if you are considering hiring a Property Manager, why not hire one of the best in the area? AshBea Property Management LLC.
New laws and regulations are being addressed in the State Capital. AshBea Property Management LLC is a member of the Salem Rental Housing Association. We take compliance with new laws and regulations very seriously. We also only use rental forms that are up to date with the new laws. You can rest assured when contracting with us you are getting informed and professional service.
- 12/15/2016This is the time of year we think about the fireplace and chimney. At AshBea Property Management LLC we prepare for the Winter by having the wood burning fireplaces inspected annually in the late Summer or early Fall to make sure everything is up to code and safe to use. According to the National Fire Protection Association, the leading factor contributing to home heating fires was the failure to clean chimneys.
How often should a chimney be inspected?So Enjoy the Winter!
- 12/08/2016The Ambiance of Candlelight
It is so relaxing to spend a evening by candlelight. There can be some annoying side effects, though. The type of candle you use can make the difference.
Paraffin candles are petroleum based products. They are full of toxic chemicals and additives, and are unhealthy to breathe. They can leave black soot on the walls and ceiling. They are also bad for your lungs.
There is a great alternative, it is a Soy candle. Soy candles are:
Soy beans candles are beautifully crafted and come in a variety of aromas.Enjoy many relaxing evenings.
- Burn 30 - 50 % longer
- Are healthy to breathe
- They do not leave soot on walls, ceilings, or your lungs
The Garbage Disposal is a hard working appliance in the Kitchen. We often take if for granted it will grind up everything. The disposal has limitations. Do not put the following items down the garbage disposal:
- Avocado pits
- Coffee grounds
- Corn husks
- Egg shells
- Onion skins
- Peach pits
- Potato peels
- Raw meat with bones
Maybe the best solution is to treat your garbage disposal correctly so it won't break down.
Even though we are not officially in the Summer Season, yet, it feels like Summer.
Here are some tips to help survive the Summer heat:
- Use your air conditioner, if you have one.
- If you do not have an air conditioner, there are a few tricks to cool down the home. Open your windows at night to let the cooler air into the home. When the day begins to heat up, close the windows and close the blinds to keep the sun from shining in and heating up the home. If you have ceiling fans or any portable fans, turn them on.
- If you have a pet, remember to keep them cool, and indoors.
- If you have a yard, remember to water the flower beds around the house. It is important to keep the plants around the house watered and green. Green plants around the house can be a barrier to a fire. A soaker hose is very efficient for flower beds. Soaker hoses use less water and all the water is directed to the roots of the plant.
- If you water your lawn, water early in the morning to prevent evaporation. If you have a sprinkler system, set the timer to early morning hours.
I hope these tips help to make your Summer Season enjoyable.
Preventive maintenance on a property could save the Owner money in the long run.
There are 7 principles of a healthy home:
Dry Ventilated Maintained
Clean Pest free Contaminant free
The result of regular maintenance is to slow the rate of depreciation.
Proactive maintenance can increase the value of the property by 1% annually. Without proactive maintenance the property could lose 10% of it's value.
According to the U.S. Census, Director's Credit Union, and Lending Tree, overtime the annual maintenance costs average more than $3,300 annually. The Owner of the property should expect to pay 1% - 3% the initial house price of the property annually to maintaining the property.
Active communication between the Tenant, Property Manager and Owner is paramount in this process. Playing Offense, not defense by being proactive in maintaining the property is the key to preventing small problems from becoming large issues.
We have had a beautiful, mild Winter Season. With a mild Winter we will be seeing an increase in sugar ants and spiders. There are many ways to get rid of these unwanted guests, but I have just listed a few:
A) You can use a spray bottle filled with vinegar and spray the bugs on the ant trail, or the spider nests.
B) You can use a spray bottle filled with bleach and spray the bugs on the ant trail, or the spider nests.
C) There are several Raid products on the market for ant and spider removal.
D) There is a product on the market called Home Defense (I think it is made by Ortho). Home Defense comes in a pump bottle with a wand. You spray it on the ant trail inside and outside of your your home, and on the spider nests. It works up to two months.
There are many other products on the market to take care of these unwanted guest, so read the instructions on the container carefully. If you have children and/or pets, be especially careful how you use the product you have chosen.
Hope this has helped you with options for keeping your home as pest-free as possible.
It is the Season for mold in our homes. Mold is a fact of life in the Pacific Northwest. Here are a few ways you can minimize the mold problem in your home this Winter Season.
There are ways to minimize the likelihood of mold growth in our homes:
1) Use the bathroom fan, leave it running for thirty minutes after bathing or showering.
2) If your bathroom doesn't have a fan, open the window and leave it open for thirty minutes after bathing or showering.
3) Use the kitchen fan whenever cooking. If there isn't one, open a window slightly.
4) Use the fan in the laundry area.
5) If moisture condenses on windows or walls, turn up the thermostat on your heat source.
6) Open doors between rooms and to closets to increase air circulation.
7) Cover fish tanks.
8) Don't keep too many house plants, and don't over water the ones you keep.
9) Keep the temperature above 55 degrees.
10) Open several windows for at least an hour twice a week to change the air in your home.
11) Dry any water that spills on carpets and rugs.
12) If you have an air conditioner, be sure it isn't leaking.
13) Use a dehumidifier if necessary.
Hope these helpful hints help you through this Winter and Spring Season:)
There is no reason to worry with endless property management issues all by yourself. By the same token, choosing a new place to live is something better done when you have someone working on YOUR side. AshBea Property Management of Salem, Oregon is the area’s number one choice for property management and rental assistance. We work with both investors and potential tenants to meet both parties needs. We work with both small and large clients and treat everyone like a VIP. If you check out our testimonials, you can view our track record of excellence. Look through our webpage to better understand what we do and how we do it. We can’t wait to work with you!