Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Prepping Your Home for Fire Safety

Fires damage or destroy thousands of homes every year and claims many lives in the process. They can be caused in all sorts of different ways. This doesn't mean you just have to buy fire insurance and hope for the best. There are things you can do to greatly reduce the risk of fire in your home. Here are a few of the basic tips everyone should follow to protect their homes and families.

1. Watch for problems in electrical systems.
Faulty electrical cords and outlets are a common source of home fires. It's important that you regularly check appliances, wires, and outlets for damage. If cords are melted or hot after being plugged in, replace them. If you smell burning or feel tingling when you touch an electrical appliance, have it looked at. If an outlet is discolored or broken, have an electrician replace it. For more tips on electrical safety, click here.

2. Install proper egress window wells.
Building codes in most places in the U.S. require all bedrooms and all rooms with habitable space to have easily accessible escape routes in the event of a fire. Basement rooms must have egress window wells big enough for rescue personnel in full gear to enter and exit. Upstairs bedrooms must have access to the ground from their windows. Homes built before a certain date may be exempt from these rules, but don't sacrifice safety to save a little money. Basement egress window wells must meet certain dimensional standards to comply with building codes.

3. Control dry vegetation near your home.
In the heat of the summer, brush and forest fires can spread quickly, endangering many homes. You can help keep your home safe by removing dead trees and bushes in close proximity to your house. Also look out for dry grass nearby. If possible, do what you can to keep it cut short. Keep shrubs and trees in your yard well trimmed to prevent overgrowth.

4. Have fire extinguishers and smoke detectors ready for action.
Smoke detectors should be checked at least every 6 months to make sure they're working properly. Replace missing or depleted batteries as soon as possible. Fire extinguishers should be placed strategically through your house near areas of hire risk such as the kitchen or the garage. Test them periodically to make sure they are in proper working order.

5. Plan escape routes and have fire drills with your family.
Having all these precautions in place won't mean a thing if a fire does happen in your home and your family doesn't know what to do to get to safety. Make a plan for escape and go over it regularly with your family. Plan what will be done about any pets and who will help younger children. Have regular fire drills and make sure your children know how to access egress window wells when they need to. Set a designated meeting spot where your family will meet so you can quickly know that everyone is safe.

Article originally published here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Letting Your Man Have His Own Space

The majority of the house is designed in such a way that it is used by the couple that owns it or it may have a feminine touch which tends to overshadow things. It is important, however, for the man to have an area of the home that he can call his own as well. It doesn’t matter if he is going to use this area to watch sports, to get some exercise or simply to sit and relax in his own area, some thought should go into the design of this room to make sure that it works well for him. What are some of the things that you should consider when doing this room for your man?

One important thing to consider is that the room should remain clutter free if at all possible. This can be done by utilizing wall space properly. Keep in mind, using a peg board is not only suitable for the workshop but there are pegboard accessories and pegboard hook options which make a very popular look for other rooms in the home as well. Another thing that needs to be considered is the lighting that is in the room. Although most men will like to keep the room a little bit darker than the rest of the house, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they want to live in a dreary area. With some recessed lighting that is carefully placed throughout the room, you will find that they are able to get the light that they need without having it overpower the overall atmosphere. (Source: