12 Easy Fire Prevention Tips to Keep Your Home Safe This Holiday Season

Christmas lightsThe holiday season is finally upon us! The upcoming days are meant to be joyful, warm, and full of happy memories with friends and family. All too often, though, we get caught up in finding presents, baking cookies, and getting our house ready to host the perfect holiday party, so much so that we make big oversights. One of the top oversights we make, which is also one of the leading causes of holiday tragedies, is what we do in regards to protecting our homes from fire.

Keep the following list of fire prevention tips close to you this holiday seasons and ensure that this time of year is joyous for you and your family.

Christmas Tree Fire Prevention Tips

*Keep your tree secure and upright in its stand so children, pets, or even adults don’t accidentally knock it over.

*Real trees are a bigger danger when they dry out. Make sure your tree has plenty of water and that pets can’t access the water.

*Keep the tree away from any and all sources of heat.

*Make sure that your artificial tree is labeled as fire retardant or fire resistant.

*Avoid using real candles on a tree, especially if your tree is real.


Holiday Lighting Fire Prevention Tips

*Unplug any lighting, indoor and outdoor, before you go to bed or leave the house.

*Don’t run electrical wires under the rugs.

*Keep all candlewicks trimmed to a height of ¼ inch, and make sure that they are all in sturdy holders that won’t tip over and are placed away from furniture. Additionally, never leave burning candles unattended.

*Ensure that the cords used for lights and other decorations are not frayed. If they happen to be frayed, dispose of them and buy new strands; after all, it’s much easier to buy a new strand or two of lights than to attempt to replace your home after a fire.


Fireplace Fire Prevention Tips

*Always have a professional inspect your fireplace every year before you use it, and look for any cracks in your fireplace.

*Always use a screen in front of your fireplace while it is in use.

*Once the holidays are over, don’t attempt to dispose of your Christmas tree, wreaths, or leftover wrapping paper by burning them in a fireplace.


We hope that these tips will help keep you and your family safe this holiday season. And remember, if you’re ever in the hunt for a new home or are looking to sell your home, the professionals at the Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties can help! Call us at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 or view our listings online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com. Have a great holiday season and happy New Year!


10 Essential Steps To Take When Renovating Your Home

home renovation tipsHave you ever looked around at your home and thought that it would be nice to make some permanent adjustments? Maybe you want your bathroom to be larger or have great flooring and granite countertops for your kitchen. Perhaps you want to extend your master bedroom and even include an on-suite!

While all these dreams about renovating one’s house can be pretty exciting, the process can be mind-boggling, and you might not even know where to start if you’re serious about renovating. Even though the people on television make it look so easy, there’s plenty of time and editing that goes into the process when we watch our favorite home shows.

If you’re seriously considering renovations or just want to know what to expect, check out this easy 10-step guide to fixing up your house!

Step 1: Scope the Project – Consider the renovations you want to make to your home. What all does that entail? Is your reasoning for renovations worth the expense and interruption? If so, begin planning the renovation project carefully, and think about how much you want the professionals to do.

Step 2: Straighten Up Your Finances – Once your ideas are all drawn up, you need to work out a budget and figure out how much money you’ll need to borrow. Ask your bank or other lending agency to help arrange a mortgage, and review your budget.

Step 3: Choose the Designer – Now it’s time to scout out and talk to designers! There are several types of designers out there, so be sure to do some research and find out which kind will work the best for your needs. Talk to a few candidates and make your choice. Then work with them to create a design for the project. Gather ideas for materials, fixtures, and fittings, and present your ideas to him or her.

Step 4: Select a Project Manager – Renovating isn’t a simple undertaking – it’s a long process that involves a lot of work. It’s important to choose a strong project manager that will keep everything on schedule while making sure all the proper construction is taking place. Decide whether you want to manage the project yourself or if you’d rather have the architect, designer, builder, or a professional manager take the reins instead.

Step 5: Choose the Builder – Make a list of builders and ask them for quotes. Be sure that they can work within your deadline! After you choose the builder, you will also need to select the subcontractors.

Step 6: Organize the Contract – Written contracts will protect your interests and set out your rights and obligations. They will also give your building contractor an incentive to complete the work correctly the first time, so it is vital to get a written contract from your builder. Make sure that this contract includes details of the guarantee, insurance, payment schedules, and other important information.

Step 7: Obtain Building and Resource Consents – Next, you’ll need to organize the building and resource consents. A great deal of renovation work requires a building consent before beginning. To find out if you need one for your project, check with your building consent authority first.

Step 8: Let the Construction Begin! Once the contracts and consent forms are all squared away, the fun part starts! When building begins, come to an agreement with the builders about using your home while they work. You can also monitor the progress and take care of any unexpected issues that might crop up.

Step 9: Arrange Inspections – After the renovation is completed, you will need to arrange the final inspection for Building Code compliance. Have a professional inspect the home and make sure that it is compliant with regulations. Additionally, be sure to apply for a code compliance certification.

Step 10: Clean Up the Loose Ends – Walk through your newly-renovated home and make your own final inspection before resolving things with your builder. Then get ready to tidy up, move your things in, and start enjoying your wonderful “new” home!

Whether you’re looking for a move-in ready dream home or a fixer-upper that can be changed into the perfect abode, the Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties can help! Find our listings online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com or call us at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 to get started today!