Archive for December, 2014

Holiday Safety Tips for Your Household

Posted on: December 28th, 2014 | No Comments

Don’t let the hustle and bustle of holiday madness result in a dangerous environment for your family; instead, keep these holiday safety tips in mind!

Mother and two sons enjoying  the season and following holiday safety tips.

 

Holiday Safety Tips for Kids:

Vigilance is key when it comes to practicing proper holiday safety tips for any younger members of the family.

  • Decorate with kids in mind. Place breakable ornaments and sharp hooks higher on your tree. Also keep other decorations with smaller parts out of their reach. Kids are curious!
  • Electronic toys are great, but they often come with batteries that can be harmful to small children. Stay vigilant and consider removing the batteries when the toy is not being played with. Other toys or decorations may include magnets, which are equally harmful and should be removed.
  • Decorating is a great holiday tradition, but certain holiday plants are poisonous to humans (and pets). Keep the following out of reach: mistletoe, holly berries, and Jerusalem cherries.
  • Engage older children in cooking. Use the opportunity to teach all children kitchen rules and precautions.
  • Remove wrapping paper and bow remnants promptly after gifts have been opened, as these can be a choking hazard to small children. Also avoid allowing balloons to deflate for this same reason.

 

Holiday Safety Tips for Pets:

Like kids, pets are curious and holiday safety tips are just as important for these four-legged family members.

  • When pets are allowed to wander into the hectic comings and goings of family, it’s easy to lose track of them. Keep them safe by picking up anything close to the ground that might be harmful, like Poinsettias and the other poisonous plants mentioned above.
  • Sweet treats are one of the greatest parts of Christmas, but they should never be given to pets and should be kept out of their reach. Chocolate is especially dangerous to dogs.

 

Holiday Safety Tips for the Whole Family:

Whether you are traveling or preparing your own home to be a gathering place for friends and family, remember these general holiday safety tips.

  • Water your tree regularly to prevent dry needles from piling up on the floor and being consumed by young kids or pets. They are also a fire hazard.
  • Keep open flames (candles, fireplace) under close watch and away from flammable objects (tree, garland, blankets, etc.). Always extinguish when leaving the house or going to bed. In addition, keep foreign objects such as wrapping paper or disposable dinnerware out of the fireplace.
  • Check light strands for fraying, broken sockets, etc.
  • If you are traveling, check the car prior to your journey. Do the tires have good tread depth? Are the car seats secure? Is the oil and windshield wiper fluid full?
  • When traveling, passengers may get restless (especially younger ones). It’s beneficial to everyone to take occasional breaks to stretch their legs, get food and use the bathroom.
  • Never hang electric lights on a metallic tree or fasten them to walls with metal tacks or nails.
  • Create a list of emergency numbers for any emergency that might arise, no matter who is home. This is especially handy and a stress-reliever for parents leaving children in the hands of family from out of town or a baby sitter.

It’s never clearer than during the holidays that family comes first, and that’s why following these holiday safety tips are important! Keep these safety tips in mind and create a safer environment for everyone.

Don’t stop with these holiday safety tips. Follow through and have your house inspected for any less apparent safety issues prior to visits from your family. Inspect It 1st can check your house for serious health threats like Radon or aging house problems such as plumbing leaks or heating malfunctions.

7 Tips for Staging a Home in the Winter

Posted on: December 9th, 2014 | No Comments

Staging a home for the winter.The winter months are typically a time for settling down in front of a warm fireplace with your family gathered around, passing a plate of brightly frosted cookies. However, it can also be a time for staging a home to sell. After all, if you have plans to move after the holiday season, you can’t stop showing your home to potential buyers.

 

While you may think that staging a home during the winter months is more challenging given a hectic schedule or the dreary grey world outside, there are ways to make your home shine and sparkle with a holiday cheer that will work in your advantage. In fact, many buyers will be able to picture themselves in front of that warm fireplace with family – if you are staging a home correctly to capture the magic and character of the season.

 

 

Here are seven tips to make staging a home in the winter more successful:

  1. The Path to Perfection – Keep in mind that guests won’t be pulling into your garage. If there is snow on the ground, the first step to staging a home is to shovel the driveway and/or a path to the front door. Also check for ice, as traffic over the snow can easily pack down and melt the snow into a dangerous walkway. Sprinkle sand or salt over the path to reduce this risk. In addition, place a mat or two at the front door to limit the spread of snow and muck into the house.
  2. Let There Be Light – If you are staging a home for the evening, turn on the porch lights and enough light inside to be welcoming – that means at least one light in every room. Did you put up a Christmas tree or garland? Turn those lights on. However, the less personal the decorations the better. And if you are staging a home in the day, do away with fake lighting and opt for natural. Just open the window drapes or blinds and let the sunshine in, and only turn on lights where the natural light does not reach. Light also helps a space seem larger.
  3. “Brr” Be Gone – Even if it’s not snowing outside, it’s sure to be chilly. Keep your house warm enough to render a coat unnecessary. A few degrees warmer will keep the heater from kicking on (which could be noisy) and help convince the buyers to linger inside longer. If you have a fireplace, make sure it’s lit for warmth as well as charm.
  4. Eye Candy – Eye candy can start with a festive wreath on the door or twinkling lights outside. Inside, consider staging a home with decorations in the most lived spaces. The living room may have a Christmas tree or stockings hung on the fireplace. Add folded throws or blankets over the arms of couches. Place poinsettias or other holiday plants in the room. The kitchen table might be set with clean dinnerware over a tablecloth or placemats.
  5. Dial Down the Scents – Candles are appropriate to the season but can often be overwhelming. If you light candles, consider the scentless kind and instead bake or cook prior to visiting buyers. Most people would much rather smell chocolate chip cookies than overpowering floral waves.
  6. Set the Mood – Music can be appropriate for this time of year, but keep in mind that not every guest enjoys the same type of music. Try to choose music that is more classic or instrumental, and turn it down to a barely noticeable level that will accent the mood.
  7. Provide Specifics – When staging a home, set out a small card or piece of paper with a list of items of features that you want to highlight in the house. This step is especially helpful in the winter when something like a back porch and jacuzzi might be covered and hidden.

Staging a home is a crucial step in the selling process, enabling you to move onto your next residence and also transition the new family in. These are big decisions for you and those closest to you, and that’s why you should Inspect-It 1st before moving in. Have your new house tested and examined by the experts to ensure that it’s a safe environment. Inspect It 1st offers services to check heating, plumbing, electrical, ventilation, foundation, and everything else that will keep your new home running beautifully!

Our home inspection company's history began in 1991 with the establishment of American Home Inspection. Over the course of the following seven years, a home inspection business prototype was developed that could be implemented anywhere in the United States. Our founders believed they had a unique methodology of providing homebuyers and sellers with consistent, professional and unbiased home inspections.

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