home safety

Loan Universityhome safetyHome Privacy

7 Things To Do Before Leaving Home for Vacation

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Vacationing is a time to relax and enjoy time with your loved ones, friends or even yourself. Avoid the stresses of trying to remember whether or not you did everything you needed to do before you leave by being proactive. Leave the house to board the plane to paradise…or your in-laws for the holidays worry-free.Here is a list of things to do before you go away to make sure your house is all set while you’re gone:

  1. Ask for a Friend: If you are going to be gone for longer than a few days, it’s probably wise to ask a friend, neighbor or family member to stop by and check on your house. They can grab the mail and newspaper, water plants, and make sure the house is still standing. Consider paying someone to stay at your home full-time to take care of your pets. Generally, it will be cheaper than boarding them and you won’t be displacing them while you’re away.
  2. Do NOT post on social media: Social media is a staple for many to share their life, but it’s best not to post on social media that you will be heading off to the Caribbean for a week­— unless you have someone staying at your house full-time. This gives burglars the perfect opportunity to break into your home.
  3. Remove spare keys: It’s best to give the person watching your home the spare key and have them hold onto it and remove additional spares key. There are rarely any creative spots to hide spare keys and leaving it under your welcome mat is asking for someone unwanted to enter your home.
  4. Timer lights: Invest in a timer for your lights. If your lights turn on periodically, it will look like someone is at home. It will also save you money compared to if you were to leave your lights on constantly while away.
  5. Unplug appliances/electronics: Unplug anything that will not be used while you are on vacation. This includes toasters, computers, printers, television, etc. Even though they are not on they could still be using up energy.
  6. Close windows/lock doors: Remembering to close your windows and lock your doors sounds like it would be easy, but it’s probably not the first thing on your mind when going on vacation. Set a reminder on your phone to check all of your windows, making sure they are locked if low to the ground, and locking the doors that you are not exiting from.
  7. Use a safe: If you have a safe or locked drawer, it’s very wise to place important things into it while you’re gone. Important paperwork, jewelry, and emergency money that you leave around the house are all items that you should be putting a safe place, such as a safe or locked drawer.

Some other things to do before leaving for a vacation are to contact your credit card company to let them know you’ll be traveling, turn off water if traveling for a significant amount of time (but be careful of freezing pipes), and to, of course, remember your wallet and I.D. Ensure you have a worry-free vacation follow the steps below and have fun!

home safetyChild Safety

How to Child Safety Proof Your Home

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Despite the fact that children are injured each year by hazards inside their home, you can safety proof your home and keep your children unharmed. Talk to your children about dangers of playing with certain products or items in your home. For example, you could tell your children not to touch the stove, stick objects in electrical outlets or play near or on steps.Creating a safe home environment is fairly simpleTo protect toddlers and young children from falling down steps, install safety gates at the tops of steps. Ensure that the gates are properly installed and don’t give way when leaned against. Also, install safety locks or latches on kitchen and bathroom cabinets that store harmful household cooking utensils, chemicals like bleaches, grill lighter fluid and heavy skillets and pans that could fall on your child.Again, test the latches to ensure that they are properly installed. Additional steps that you can take to child safety proof your kitchen include putting anti-scald covers on stove eyes and remaining in the kitchen while the stove is on.Keep pots and pans on back eyes, if possible, while the stove is on to help prevent children from accidentally bumping into pots and pans, causing hot liquids and foods to splash on them. If stoves, refrigerators and other appliances are uneven, install pads beneath them to make them even.Anchors, similar to those used in hotel rooms, can also be installed on furniture to keep furniture from toppling over should children climb atop the furniture. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission also shares that edge bumpers can keep children from being injured should they fall against furniture.Alarms that should be in every homeTo protect your child from electrical shocks, place hard-to-remove covers over electrical outlets. Also, make sure that all electrical outlets have a standard plate on them. Engage in fire safety by installing fire alarms throughout your home. It’s also a good idea to store a fire extinguisher in a safe room in your house.Another type of alarm that you can install is a carbon monoxide alarm. Inspect both alarms regularly and replace the alarm batteries no less than once a year. As a family, practice fire and other safety exit drills. This can let you know if older children need more instruction on what to do in the event of natural disasters or a human created emergency.Outdoors child safety proof measures include putting locks on the garage door and placing garage door openers high enough so that young children cannot reach them. Make sure that electric garage door openers are functioning properly. Rakes, shovels, gravel, hammers and other heavy or hazardous objects should be kept out of the reach of young children.Because no child safety proof measures may work all the time, particularly if your child is determined to explore an area or object, educating your child about the dangers of playing with certain items is important. So too is making sure that you and your older children practice safety such as removing toys from the bottom of steps, keeping cords and plastic out of the reach of children and removing water from tubs when they are not in use.

home safetyFlood DamageHome Repairprevent water damage

Water Damage: Prevention and Clean Up

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It’s many homeowners’ worst fear to come home to a water disaster in their home. Water damage can cost thousands to repair and will include a lengthy process in order to adhere to safety standards, potentially disrupting your home life for weeks. In this article we’ll give you tips on how to avoid water damage and what to do when you discover it.

Water damage vs. flood damage

Many people are unaware of the difference between water damage and flood damage. Water damage can occur when you have plumbing issues such as a leaking pipe or overflowing bath tub. Flood damage, on the other hand, is defined by FEMA as an “overflow of inland or tidal waters, unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters,” or even mudflow. Flood damage tends to be the more costly and the more dangerous of the two, as it puts home inhabitants at serious health risk. Part of the stipulation in differing between the two types of damage is insurance coverage; water damage is often covered by homeowner’s insurance whereas flood damage is not.

Avoiding water damage

To avoid costly and time-consuming repairs, follow these steps to prevent water damage from occurring in your home:

  • Keep your gutters clean to avoid backups and drainage issues
  • divert rain water away from your house with downspouts
  • Disconnect hoses and turn off their water supply when temperatures drop to freezing overnight
  • Don’t leave water using appliances running while you are away from home for extended periods of time
  • Keep up with maintenance on your dishwasher, washing machine, toilets, and tubs
  • Turn off your water main when you go away on vacations
  • Check the water pressure to your home. High water pressure can be nice in the shower, but pressures too high can cause your plumbing to fail
  • Check regularly for leaks. Some water damage may go unnoticed for weeks or months, which subjects you to another danger: mold

What to do if you have water damage in your home

If it’s too late for prevention and you’ve discovered water damage in your home there are several steps you’ll need to take to ensure the safety of your home.

  • Turn off electronics in the affected area. If possible switch off power to whole the whole section of your home at the circuit breaker. This first step is to ensure your own safety. Once you’ve turned off power to all potentially dangerous electronics, you can move on to the next step.
  • Remove electronics and other perishable items from the area. If you remove the items soon enough you might be able to salvage them by drying them out.
  • Soak up the bulk of the water. You can do this the old fashion way by using towels and buckets. Or you can use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner to suck up the water from rugs, carpets, and other surfaces.
  • Dry the area completely. To avoid mold, use fans and a dehumidifier to fully dry out the area.
  • Disinfect. Spray the area to remove any bacteria that may have accumulated due to moisture.
  • Contact the professionals. A contractor will be able to tell you the full extent of the damage and whether any serious repairs will need to me made.