Yvonne McNamara
SUCCESS! Real Estate | 508-858-8044 | ur@homewithyvonne.com


Posted by Yvonne McNamara on 9/17/2017

There are plenty of things to worry about around your home when you have kids. One of your top priorities should be safety for your kids. If you look closely, you’ll find some hidden safety dangers around your home that should be addressed. The top culprits can be found described in detail below.


The Dishwasher


Your dishwasher is something that you probably use every single day. There are a few considerations that you need to make about the dishwasher when you have kids. First, the door should have a good locking mechanism. If the door to the dishwasher doesn’t shut properly, all if takes is a little tap for the door to release and fall right on top of your child who is either walking or crawling around the house.


The other point to consider about a dishwasher is the actual contents of the dishwasher. Silverware, especially sharp objects, should be left pointing downward. This is in case the washer is left open and the child gets at it. You don’t want sharp knives pointing upward that could cause an injury to your child. The detergent can also be a hazard to your child. Whether you are using pods, liquid detergent, or the powdered kind, all pose poison control risks and choking hazards to your kids. Keep the dishwasher closed and locked when it is not in use. Also, be sure to wipe down your dishwasher in case of any debris that’s left from your detergent. 


Ovens And Ranges


If your range or oven is not installed properly it could cause serious harm to your kids. For safety, be sure that ranges have anti-tip brackets installed. This way if the child leans on the stove or climbs it, the unit will not fall on them, posing the risk of serious injury. 


Wall ovens should be secured as well. Make sure that the door of the oven locks and cannot fling open easily. When cooking, use the back burners in stead of the front. You should also keep the pot handles turned inward so they aren’t as easy for kids to reach.  


The Nursery


The nursery is where your child will spend a lot of their time. First, you should start with the crib. The crib needs to be firm and nothing should be in the crib other than the mattress and a tightly fitted sheet around the mattress until the baby is old enough. The crib should also be sturdy. It’s preferable to have a new crib for the baby as occasionally, hand me down cribs can be missing parts or have faced major amounts of wear and tear. The nursery should also be free from excessive cords and be equipped with window locks. This way, you’ll be able to put your child to sleep with peace of mind.         






Posted by Yvonne McNamara on 9/3/2017

Once you've lived in your home for a while it's easy to become relaxed on security. Maybe it's because you live in a safe neighborhood, or maybe you just have a habit of not locking doors. Regardless of the reason, practicing good security can pay off in a huge way protecting yourself, your family, and your belongings from harm. In this article, we're going to cover some home security basics that you might be forgetting and help you build a habit of taking care of them. Read on to learn some tips for security at home.

Safety hazards

Some of the most common safety hazards to your home are completely preventable. Hazards like fire and carbon monoxide are both easily averted by safe practices when it comes to cooking, electronics, and using open flames of any kind. Follow these tips to protect yourself from fire:
  • Install fire and CO detectors throughout your home. Set a reminder in your calendar to check the batteries yearly or however long is recommended on the detector.
  • Make sure your family knows basic cooking an electronics safety such as how to properly use ovens, microwaves, and power outlets.
  • Teach your family the proper use of fire extinguishers and have a fire safety week at your home where you cover the aforementioned topics, as well as how to evacuate the house in case of a fire.

Burglary

According to the FBI, break-ins are the number one most common threat to a home. There is a break-in every 15 seconds in America. Follow these tips to prevent break-ins at your home:
  • Don't leave spare keys outside your home or on your porch. Similarly, don't leave spare keys on or in your vehicle.
  • Make sure your doors and windows lock properly. Burglars will often move past a home if they cannot easily enter through the front or back doors. Installing a deadbolt will add to the integrity of your doors.
  • Don't keep valuable items like laptops, televisions, or expensive sound systems in plain sight from the road.
  • Change the locks when you move into a new home and keep track of the number of key copies that are made.
  • Keep a fireproof, waterproof, heavy safe in your home with important or dangerous items stored inside. This includes jewelry, important documents, and firearms & ammunition.
  • Get to know your neighbors and agree to keep an eye on one another's homes, especially when one of you is away. Install motion sensor lights and find out if your neighbor uses them. Similarly, have them pick up your mail when you're away so it doesn't seem obvious that your house is empty.

The Role of the internet and technology

Technology can be a useful tool in making your home safer or it can be an easy way to advertise that you are vulnerable to a break-in. Follow these tips when it comes to technology-related security:
  • Don't post pictures of valuable items on social media
  • Don't advertise to your social media "friends" when you are going away. This could be an invitation to break in.
  • Installing a security system or even some dummy cameras and alarms can be a great deterrent.
  • Use encrypted cloud storage to keep your data safe. That includes copies of birth certificates, social security cards, family photos, wills, and more.
 





Posted by Yvonne McNamara on 4/16/2017

Whether you have parents that are aging, house guests that are seniors, or if you need to adapt your house for your own needs, most of us will someday start thinking about making our homes a safer place to navigate. Making your home more elder-friendly means more than just installing a ramp to your front door. There are likely many obstacles in your home that can cause problems for those with mobility issues. In this article we'll show you some simple ways to make a home a safer place for seniors and those with limited mobility.

Stairs

Stairs are the most obvious and most important thing to consider when making your home senior friendly. You probably have at least three sets of stairs in your home, but some people have many more. When it comes to making stairs safe for seniors and those with limited mobility you have three main options: Chair lift - If someone needs to get up a long flight of stairs, chair lifts are the most useful item to have in your home. These are expensive additions to a home, however, so you probably wouldn't want to invest in one unless it is a permanent alteration. Ramp -  Ramps are great for outside stairways. At the very least you should have one ramp leading to your house. These can be assembled temporarily as well, which makes having a ramp a good option if you have a house guest with limited mobility. Alter current stairs - All stairs that remain in your home should have sturdy rails. If your stairways don't have any, installing rails is a good idea in general. Steps should have nonstick surfaces. You can buy an adhesive grip at most hardware stores. Rearrange - If your house guest is only staying for a short while it doesn't make sense to build ramps or buy an expensive chair lift. Instead, make sure they can access their bedroom and bathroom all on the ground floor. If that means switching bedrooms for a week, it's a much safer option that making them risk stairways daily.

Bathroom safety

There are a number of small changes you can make in your bathroom to make it more accessible to those with limited mobility. Here are a few that every homeowner should make:
  • Use slip resistant grip in the tub
  • Leave bathroom lights on overnight to avoid trips
  • Install a medical alert button in  the bathroom within reach of the tub
  • Make sure your bathroom door locks can be opened from both sides in case of emergency
  • Practice good communication and awareness

General home safety

Aside from stairs and bathrooms, the home has a number of other dangers that we often take for granted. Some good practices include:
  • Remove slippery rugs from floors
  • Clear walking spaces of clutter, moving furniture if you have to
  • Have your guest let you know or accompany them when they're walking outside on dangerous surfaces
  • Make your guest aware of things like fire extinguishers, telephones, and first aid kits
If you've taken all of these measures, ask your guest what you could do to make them safer and more comfortable in your home.





Posted by Yvonne McNamara on 6/24/2016

Sooner or later after you bring your baby home it will be time to childproof your home.  There are five areas that you will want to pay particular attention to: cabinets, appliances, electrical outlets and bookshelves. Here are some tips on what to do about those potential trouble spots: 1. Cabinets often contain cleaning products and other hazardous materials and must be secured. Attach child safety latches to the doors and frames of any cabinets that you want to keep small children out of. 2. Bookcases may seem innocent enough but they can tip over and fall on a small child. Use an anchor harness to secure bookcases or any furniture that can tip over to the wall. They sell anchor harnesses in any store that sells childproofing materials. 3. Keep kids out of the fridge with an appliance latch. Childproof refrigerator latches mount to the fridge with adhesive tabs. 4. One of the most obvious child proofing details is to cover the electrical outlets. Insert plastic protectors into all sockets that are within reach of young children. 5. Baby gates are also a must to keep toddlers away from anything they shouldn't be exposed to. There are many different gates to choose from. You can buy gates for staircases, pressure mounted and even gates that have a walk through door. Do you have any other tips for childproofing your home?





Posted by Yvonne McNamara on 12/18/2015

In the hustle and bustle of prepping a home to be sold, many people overlook one very important detail; home safety. And while you'd like to think that prospective buyers visiting your home are upstanding citizens, the simple truth remains that selling your home opens your door wide open to complete strangers...Strangers who are going to be encouraged as potential buyers to explore every detail of your home. Luckily, by taking a few small steps, you can rest a little easier. 1. Hide you valuables - This may seem like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how many people forget to put away common valuables like jewelery, high-value collectables, expensive perfumes, and high-end designer accessories like handbags and money clips. Be sure to go from room to room, keeping an eye out for anything that may hold appeal for a potential thief, and tuck away anything you think might draw a thief's attention. Do a follow-up walk of your house the next day, just in case you may have missed something. 2. Firearms - If you are a homeowner who is also a gun and/or weapon owner, then you are probably already taking the necessary precautions in regard to gun safety. However, for some collectors, prominent display is one of the things that a gun owner may take pride in. Just because your guns are in a locked, secured display case doesn't mean that they still don't hold risk to you or your loves ones. In a private setting, a locked display case is just fine...But in a situation where you are selling your home, complete strangers will have the ability to see that you are a gun owner, how many guns you have, and the precise location of your collection. Considering the value of a gun collection can run into the thousands, they should be treated just like any other valuable in your home; locked away and out of sight. 3. Personal mail - Things like bill invoices, credit card statements, and social security information should be put out of sight. Identity theft is on the rise, and by taking the proper precautions, you can avoid your personal information from falling into the wrong hands. 4. - Prescription medication - Be sure to remove medications from your medicine cabinet that carry the potential for abuse. 5. Parental safety - If you are a parent, you'll obviously want to take precautions to keep your children safe. Remember...You are allowing complete strangers full access to your home. For peace of mind, consider removing family photos, personalized items such as prominently displayed school jerseys and embroidered pillows, and that A+ math test on the refrigerator. Many people feel this step is either unimportant or unnecessary. If you feel fine with displaying these items, then feel completely free to.  The odds of a person wanting to do your family harm are fairly low.  But if you are a "better safe than sorry" kind of person, then consider this step. As long as a few precautions are met, you have no reason to feel uneasy about your home being shown. The vast majority of the people who are going to be looking at your house are responsible members of society, looking for a home to either start or grow their own families. That being said....Better safe than sorry.