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November
28

Safer Holiday Home Decorating
Decorating your home for the holidays is fun and exciting. Not only do you get to spend some time on an enjoyable project, but you'll beautify your neighborhood. Your time and effort could pay off in holiday cheer for lucky kids and families.

With all that in mind, it's no surprise that so many homeowners put such amazing creativity and hard work into their annual holiday displays. Many people start working on their displays the very first morning after Thanksgiving.

Still, in all the hustle and bustle of the season, it's important to take your time with decorating for the holidays. There are all kinds of little hazards involved that can lead to accidents. If you take care to stay safe, you'll get the project done without a hitch.

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January
30

Protect You and Your Family From Radon

Protect home radon

Radon is a naturally occurring gas in our environment. It forms during the decay of uranium, thorium, or radium (radioactive metals) breaks down in rocks, soil and groundwater.  You can be exposed by breathing radon in air that comes through cracks and gaps in buildings and homes.  You are always exposed to it because radon comes naturally from the earth.

Why is this a problem?  Because radon is radioactive, it is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. It is estimated that over 20,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. because of radon.

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November
29

Making Your Home Merry, Bright & Safe

Homeowner Christmas Light Safety Tips

It's the most wonderful time of the year, and with the holiday season comes a desire to light up your neighborhood with festive Christmas lights displays. While you can get a number of decorating tips to make your display the biggest and brightest, it's easy to overlook the safety of adding all of these electrical displays to your home. Our real estate agents at Old Dominion Realty want you to keep your family safe while you celebrate this year.  Here are some home safety tips that apply specifically to your outdoor Christmas light displays.

  1. Access the Roof Safely
    Most people will install some Christmas lights on their roofs, so use caution. Make sure you use a solid, structurally firm ladder when installing lights on the roof. A fall from roof level could have devastating consequences.

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October
13

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

"Don't Wait: Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years" is this year's theme for Fire Prevention Week sponsored each year by the National Fire Protection Association.  This year's choice of themes came from a recent survey conducted by NFPA, which revealed only a small percentage of homeowners know the age of their smoke alarms or how often they need to be replaced.

Whether you're a current homeowner or someone interested in buying a house, it's a good idea to review the age and location of smoke detectors in your current (or future) home. 

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July
7

Tips to Protect Your Home While on Vacation
Vacation is an exciting prospect that many people look forward to. Often in the excitement, small details are forgotten until the time to leave is upon you. One aspect that can be a concern for homeowners is keeping your house safe while you're away. The best way to do that is to take the time to plan in advance. Here are 10 tips for keeping your house protected when you're on vacation so you can have some peace of mind and enjoy your well-deserved escape.

Keeping Your Home Secure and Safe

#1: Have someone stay in your home or stop by frequently – A home that's occupied, even if it's for a short period each day, can help prevent any issues. Consider asking a friend, family member, or trusted neighbor to housesit or at least drop by each day to check on things. This can include looking for packages dropped off, turning lights on or off depending on the time of day, making sure the newspaper is picked up—basically doing things that let others know that "someone is home."

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January
22

Home safety is vital for people that want to protect the people and property in their residence. Every home and neighborhood is different, but there are some things that everyone should do in order to ensure that their residence is safe. Apply this advice to give yourself more peace of mind about your home being protected.

Never Put Notes On The Door For Deliveries

Placing a note on your door is one of the most obvious tips to a burglar that no one is home. Instead of placing these notes, try to call the delivery company to reschedule. Most delivery services will also allow you to pick up a package at their facility if you are not home while they deliver it.

Use Extension Cords Safely

For proper home safety to prevent fires, extension cords must be used appropriately. Never use an extension cord outside that is only graded for indoor use. Be certain that all of your extension cords are in working condition and do not have any broken connectors or frays. Do not use extension cords around a corner or through a doorway.

Keep Your Valuables In A Safe Place

If you have jewelry or other valuable possessions that you do not plan on wearing or using very often, think about investing in a safe deposit box to store them. Another excellent home safety tip to store your valuables is to keep them in an unexpected location, such as a child's room or hidden in the pantry. These are places thieves rarely look when they enter a home.

Make Sure Guests And Children Have The Necessary Information

Kids or people that are staying at your place must be aware of what to do in the event of a home emergency. Make sure that important phone numbers are posted in a very visible place and that everyone at the house knows the address in case they need to call emergency responders. They should also know where important home safety tools are located, such as a fire extinguisher or alarm system keypad.

In today's world, it may seem like there are more threats than ever to the safety of a home. Fortunately, advanced technology means that people can also do more to safeguard their home. Follow these home safety tips and you will have a better chance of keeping your home protected from all internal and external dangers.

December
10

A close up of a gorgeous Christmas treeWith all of the other things going on, protecting your home during the holidays can be a challenge. However, holiday home safety is even more important because of the increased frequency of break-ins and accidents this time of year. There are several things to consider to ensure that your house is safe from the forces of nature, burglars and other things that could cause harm during the holiday season.

Put Deadbolts On All Doors

Deadbolts are some of the best locks available to withstand a break-in. They cannot be picked or opened using a credit card like spring-latch locks. It is wise to have deadbolts on front and back doors for an extra layer of security against burglars that sometimes increase the amount of homes they target during the holidays.

Test Your Smoke Detectors

Holiday home safety does not end with securing your home from external threats. During the holiday season, there is often a large amount of cooking and baking going on, which means increased risk of fires. Smoke detectors need to be in working order to ensure maximum holiday home safety.

Do Not Advertise Holiday Plans

If you are going out of town to visit family, do not post this information on social media networks. Do not tell any strangers or people that you do not trust about your holiday travel plans. This will tip off burglars that your home is an easy target.

Keep Holiday Lights On A Timer

Many people like to have lights around their house for traditional holidays. However, these lights can be a fire hazard if left on too long. Ensure that you use timers to keep these lights from staying on for too long and causing problems in your yard.

Be Careful How You Dispose Of Gift Packaging

It is great to receive new gifts during the holidays, but you should not advertise to others that you have an expensive item in the home. Cut up large boxes so that they can be concealed in a can. It is also a good idea to throw them away at night to avoid burglars that may be surveying homes in the neighborhood.

Old Dominion Realty is happy to provide you with these suggestions to keep your home safe. Holiday home safety is crucial because of unique risks during this time of the year. Follow these easy tips and your home will be more protected from accidents, thieves, and other holiday risks.

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