It’s Home Safety Month

According to the Center for Disease Control. unintentional injuries are the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S., overtaking  strokes on the list. Most accidental injuries are completely preventable, so paying attention to home safety can save pain, time money or even a life.

Entryways can be made safer with the addition of more lighting and railings. Steps and sidewalks, whether they are made of wood or cement, should not be left to crumble, warp, pull away from the main structure or sag unevenly. Where possible, a no-step entrance is even better.

Adequate lighting can make all the difference when walking from room to room. All areas of a home should have adequate lighting. Lights can be places on timers to illuminate rooms on a specific schedule. Motion-activated or on-all-night-lights can help when walking in a house at night. In particular , hallways and stairs should be properly lit.

Keeping the interior of  home clean, organized and in good repaid can help prevent accidents. Clutter can be not only unsightly, but dangerous. Messy conditions and broken items are trips and falls waiting to happen. Area rugs that slip out of place, stacks of newspapers and magazines and piles of belongings or other possessions can serve as barriers and obstacles, as well as tripping hazards.

Most homes have a mandated smoke alarm, but in safety survey, less than 20 percent of all homeowners reported they ever tested their alarm. The majority of deaths from home fires are from smoke inhalation, so early warning an evacuation are critical. A working smoke detector should be in every bedroom or sleeping area, another in the hallway outside sleeping areas, as well as a smoke detector for every level of the home.

If there are children in a home, accidental ingestion of pills or household chemicals is always a concern. All medications should be out of reach or in a locked cabinet, and all household chemicals and cleaners should be made inaccessible to children. Some cleaners today in the form of brightly-colored and vacuum-sealed powders that are appealing  to children. These and all cleaners should be out of reach and the Poison Control hotline number posted near the phone or in the cabinet.

Even prescribed medicines can be hazardous. The CDC estimates about 128,000 people die each year from drugs prescribed to them. This makes prescription drugs a major health risk. Medicines should always used only by the person whose name is on the bottle and any adverse reactions to a medication should be reported immediately.

As the prevalence of guns continues to rise, so do gun accidents and fatalities. Sadly, American children younger that 15 are nine times more likely to be involved in a gun accident than those is the rest of the developed world. IF there are guns in the home, they must be placed in a locked cabinet with the key hidden. Ammunition should be locked separately.

fire can be a household hazard, but one that in the main can be prevented by having chimneys cleaned and inspected and making sure dryer lint is regularly removed from filters, vent and piping. If a fireplace is sued frequently, screens and other barriers should cover the area of open flame.

In case of fire emergency, fire extinguishers should be installed on every floor of the home;keep on in the garage, and one in the kitchen.

Apps Help to Make Moving Easier

Is there anything worse that moving? Maybe not, but new apps help keep owners and renters organized, on-track and on-the-move.

The free Moving Day app an be launched the moment packing starts to record every item that goes into a box. Once the box is full, a label can be printed with its own bar code for tracking and reference.

When the boxes have shipped and arrived at the new destination, scanning each bar-code  will allow for a quick check to make sure nothing has gone missing. And it something does get broken or lost, the Easy Reporting document feature of this app will provide quick and easy information to the moving company and insurance company.

Move Advisor is another free app, and offers a detailed week-by-week moving checklist. Within the app is a checklist tool, Moving Timeline, which features an action button that suggests ways to complete a particular task faster and easier. For example, tapping the action button underneath “Reserving a Rental Truck” brings up a number of websites for national truck rental companies. The Movers Around You tool helps procure a reputable and reliable professional moving company near any location, providing a list of companies and their contact information.

MyMove is an app with a section to record confirmation codes for utility companies, rather that writing them down on whatever scrap paper is handy. In addition, the Moving Tips section connects users to a regularly updates blog section of MyMovingReviews. This blog is one of the top databases from which users can access expert moving related articles/moving tips and tricks, relocation guides, moving checklists, interview, and more industry news on the web.

Unpakt.com lets users compare 600 pre-screened, license, local or interstate moving firms, read credentials and reviews, and book online. Plug in the size of the home, the moving date, the location of the new space, and any additional needs like storage or extra drop-off stops. There is a live-chat feature that connects users with advisers. There is also moving information and an app for setting up your moving timeline and making an inventory.

Craigslist is one choice for unloading old furniture, appliances and other home goods when preparing to move. An additional resource, AptDeco.com, is now available in the New York and Washington D.C. area fro those who ma want to earn a little extra cash, as well as keep old home furnishings out of the landfill. AptDeco will not only help with pricing, but will pick up items and handle the financial exchange.

To buy or sell home furnishings that might be slightly more upscale, MoveLoot.com is an online consignment marketplace, with locations currency in San Francisco, Raleigh, Charleston, Atlanta, New York City,and Los Angeles. The company has its own warehouses and teams that will pick up, deliver and set up objects.

 

Do-It-Yourself Backsplash in a Weekend

The average minor kitchen renovation costs $19,226 as of 2015, according to Remodeling Magazine. A kitchen renovation at that price includes new cabinet fronts and hardware,new oven and stove-top, new counter-tops, flooring and paint.

There’s also the option of given the kitchen or a bathroom-a new look for under $200.  There won’t be any new appliances of flooring involved, but a new back-splash will provide an updated look for a very small price.

Shopping for back-splash material is part of the fun, and there are many types to consider for a do-it-yourself project.

Tin-tile back-splashes are rust-resistant, easy to clean and easy for a do-it-yourselfer to install using tile adhesive. Glass mosaic tiles come in variety of sizes and colors and will add sparkle and light to any kitchen. There are clay tiles, matchstick tiles and subway tiles, and many more in endless colors,sizes and shapes.

One of the easiest choices to install is mosaic tiles, because they are mounted on 12 x 12 sheets. There is some measuring and cutting involved, but in most cases, the bulk of the job can be completed in one day, and the tiles grouted the next. It is also a relatively inexpensive job to undertake, because mosaic sheet prices generally start under $10 per sheet.

To install the tiles, the mesh backing is cut to fit along counters and under cabinets. Many of the 12 x 12 sheets also feature smaller strips that can be placed as borders.

Mastic adhesive will be used sparingly to avoids drips and reduce drying time. The mastic is spread from the center-line outward, about two to three feet outward. If a large swatch of adhesive is spread, it might dry before the rest of the tiles are replaced.

Plastic tile spacers placed between the tile and counter top will allow a small gap that can caulked later, and keep the tiles directly off the counter top. A thin space should be left between sheets. After every two to three sheets that are hung, the sheets can be secured to the mastic with a board and rubber mallet.

Occasionally, a tile or two will fall off a sheet but they can be reinstalled with mastic. Sheets are not always perfectly square, so adjusting sheets and moving tiles around can be done to keep the joints lined up correctly. It takes about  to 20 to 30 minutes for the mastic to harden.

A waiting period of 24 hours will give the adhesive time to set and then the tile can be grouted. After a few days, grout sealer can be applied to protect the grout.

Other possibilities for  do-it-yourselfers include a sheet of colored glass as a back-splash or even clear glass placed over wallpaper. A glass back-splash is held into place using strips of molding. This method keeps the glass firmly in place without glue.Creating a seam at the bottom along the counter-top with clear silicone will keep water or debris from getting behind the glass.

Other items that can make an interesting back-splash material include smooth stones, reclaimed plastic, cork and more.