Taking Charge for Electrical Safety

Electrical safety is one of the most vital safety measures to prevent dangerous or unpleasant bound to happen in your home. Electrical safety precautions can help protect the household from electrical shocks and burns. According National Fire Protection Association’s Applied Research Department, there were an approximate 34,000 home structure fires reported per year in 2014 to 2018. Involved in these incidents include lighting equipment like cords, plugs, wiring, and lighting. From these, there were 470 reported deaths and 1,100 injuries.

Electrical distribution and lighting equipment placed first in damage among properties and ranked third among the major causes of fire in the recorded number of house fires, fourth in the cause of house fire death, and third in injuries from home fires.

From these data and the list of all common safety hazards around the house by the National Home Security Alliance, it is evident that electrical safety is one major facet that every household should respect and comprehend.

Here are some tips you should consider to avoid electrical incidents.

If you are working on anything electrical, make sure to cut off the power at the circuit-breaker box prior to doing your electrical chore. If you are not familiar with the function of the circuit-breaker, it is best to study the circuit-breaker fundamentals first or if you are really not confident about it, just ask for someone who knows the basics. This is probably the most fundamental way in dealing with electrical safety hazards. Double-check if there is no power to anything electrical that you are dealing with unless you want to have contact with a grounded wire. I guess not.

It is stated in the National Electrical Code that it is required to have a ground fault circuit interrupters or GFCI equipped in any room in your home that has running water; talk about kitchen, laundry area, and bathroom. The main job of a GFCI is to stop the flow of electricity from a circuit whenever it perceives that the circuit has become a shock hazard. This method is compulsory for newer homes. But for older homes, it is best to get your rooms with running water equipped with GFCI.

Refrain from using extension cords as a permanent power source. They sure are great for jobs that are temporary but to use them as a substitute for permanent wiring can be dangerous. Do not ever run through ceilings or walls because if a cord is covered, heat cannot escape, which can cause a fire hazard.

Kids can be so curious about things. This includes your electrical outlets at home. We do not want our kids to share the same fate with the curious cat so if you have children or having any kids soon, it is highly recommended to get tamper-resistant receptacles. These receptacles are specifically designed to prevent children from getting hurt while fidgeting with an outlet.

As much as possible, avoid getting a single outlet overloaded. It can likely to cause harm if a bunch of appliances with high-wattage are plugged into a single outlet. Give the outlet a break! You could consider installing a new one or reorder your appliances to different outlets.

If you happen to come across a warm outlet in your home, you could be dealing with some problems. There are several reasons why an outlet is warm to touch. This can be a hard task so it is best to get the assistance of a professional electrician to do the diagnosing and rest of the job. The best you can do is to limit how many devices are plugged into the single outlet at one time.

If you do not have any electrical experience at all, do not do any electrical job at home on your own as it is a very dangerous task and can cause serious damages and injuries and worst, death. So make sure to acquire the service of a professional when you run into any electrical problem at home if you are not confident with your skill and knowledge about the situation.

Let There Be Light

In a recent survey conducted by a real estate referral company in 2020, 450 out of a thousand real estate professional responders said that a listing with good lighting—especially those with decorative lightings—are most likely to sell, of course along with other important inspection aspects, unlike homes with lighting fixtures that are outmoded. Most homeowners choose to be tied down by a single dimmer switch rather than surrounding their household with warmth.

If you are planning on selling, it is important to know that good lighting is imperative. Potential buyers can be so technical sometimes but they do not overlook the overall appearance and mood of a space given off by the room’s lighting and listings can get sold just by this particular aspect.

Here are some ways to make your home more appealing through lighting for quick sale or just plain ambiance improvement.

Unblock Natural Light

Although using blinds and other window treatments can be of great help with your home’s cooling and heating, they can inhibit natural light from infiltrating your home, it can somehow appear outdated to potential buyers. Control natural light like using electrical lighting. Remove any type of window covering such as drapes or valances. Or trim down some shrub obstructions outside. Natural light gives off a certain drama and art into a home’s space.

Another best way to achieve getting a radiant room through utilization of natural light is replacing old windows with energy-efficient ones. You can never go wrong with windows that are energy efficient. While they allow natural light to pass through, they are also great temperature regulators. So whether you are selling or just want to save from energy bills, they are the best!

Lighting Assignment

Like the functions of stage lighting in a play, it is also important to know the best lighting situation to do in a specific area in your home. Studies have shown that visibility affects the ability of an audience to understand a spoken speech in a play. So if the lighting designer was not able to make the audience see the actors, the audience would not be able to clench the emotions in a particular or the whole scene. In a home, a seller or homeowner should be able to understand the light needed for a certain space and put the proper mood for it through correct lighting techniques.

Light Layering

Again, mood is one important facet in making an impression for your home. And to create your desired atmospheric effect, consider layering light. First, the general or ambient layer—which is probably the most basic one. We are talking about general illumination such as flushmount, recessed lighting, and any other light fixture. Basically, when a light switch is flipped on, ambient lighting illuminates the space. Ambient lighting helps you see the entirety of the space creating a uniform light level throughout the room or space.

Next is the task lighting. Directed to a specific area of the room, task lighting specializes to light up a certain function: think vanity light in your bathroom to help with bathroom activities, lighting under the cabinet or cupboard countertop food preparation, and a side table lamp in your bedroom to accommodate reading.

Lastly, the accent lighting. It is simply the prettiest of all three layers as it is considered to be the jewelry lighting. They don’t have to be functional. They are basically decorative lights to make the space more appealing especially to home shoppers.

When the Thermometer Dips

Fall in Texas occurs during the months of mid-October to November and the season is almost over for Texans. Winter starts in December and usually lasts up to February, January being the coldest month with temperatures ranging from 7°C (45°F) to 17°C (63°F) – which is still comfortable to many. And now is the right time to prepare your Texan homes because “winter is coming”.

To be winter-ready means to keep you warmer during the cold season. This way will also help the household in reducing energy consumption. Thus, saving money throughout the winter months. You will also be able to extend the life of your home’s systems and guaranty to eliminate safety hazards.

Here are some techniques to prepare your home in the cold weather months:

Air Leaks

While you are still under fall season, it is best to consider acquiring professional services to audit home’s energy. They will also be able to provide evaluation of window and door seals situations. You can also check yourself by holding a candle in front of a prospect draft. If the flame wavered in the draft, then you got yourself an air leak. For doors, you can install foam to a door that is leaking or cover with weather strip inside the doorframe. It is also advisable to get double pane windows as early as you can before winter. Double pane windows helps stabilize your home’s temperature. This means that you are able to reduce energy with double paned windows because their added insulation. The cheaper way to seal out drafts if you do not have double paned windows is by covering your windows with plastic.

Gutter Cleanup


Gutters, without a doubt, will be filled with leaves that have fallen from trees. If not maintained prior to winter season, damages may come about. If a homeowner is not able to get leaves and other debris out of the gutter, the channels will be block which may result to overflowing. If they overflow, the water will certainly run down your home resulting to sped-up home exterior deterioration. As for winter weather, stored water from blocked channels will become ice. As a result, gutters could tear away from your home because of the weight the ice adds to them.

Inspect Home System

Probably one of the most vital aspect to check on prior to the cold season is the home’s heating and air conditioning system. Before it gets freezing, make sure to have your HVAC system inspected by an HVAC contractor company. You must service your furnace regularly. In this way, you would be able to assess dilemmas that may occur before costly breakdowns. This technique will also lengthen the life of your furnace and will certainly persist in running in a way that it achieves maximum productivity with minimum wasted expense.

Wood Check

Another thing that needs protection on your home are the exterior wood trims. Painted wood trims adds elegance and warmth to your home. Essential aspect for the winter season. For rotted trims, you have the option of replacing them but it is not a cheap move. To prevent costly repairs, inspect wood trims in a yearly basis. Look over the caulk and paint. Reassure that the caulk is not cracked and apply new caulk if needed. Make sure also that the paint is not chipped and peeling away, otherwise apply new paint.

Water Tank Insulation

Is your water heater running accordingly? If not make sure to check on it and perform necessary actions to fix it for the cold days. Water heater should be flushed two times in a year and ideally, in advance of winter kickoff. Wrap the water heater in a blanket insulation to conserve fuel. Then set the temperature to 120 degrees.

Tree Clearing

Trees in your property sure increase the total property value. These greeneries also save energy and benefit the environment. But during the winter, they can be a burden. It is a good move to trim away branches of trees before it starts to get freezing. During fall season, assess if the trees around your property are still healthy so you can come to a decision whether to trim them or remove them out entirely because once a tree is no longer healthy and shows signs of fall on your home when it gets ice-coated during the winter, it can cause damages.

Double Check on Safety Detectors


According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), home fires occur more in the winter than in any other season, and heating equipment is involved in one of every six reported home fires. Fire resulting to the utilization of heating equipment may be unavoidable so make sure to run a test on all of your smoke detectors. Furthermore, check on their battery life. You may also want to consider getting carbon monoxide detector in your home.

There are so much winter elements that you should look forward to that may bring real damage to your home. You are probably not over with the recent Halloween or still enjoying fall to think of winterizing. But as early as you can, take time to do all the possible things you can do to be fully prepared for the winter elements that may come your way when the thermometer plunges.

Decluttering 101

Some days you just do not want to invite your friends over because you feel like your place is too untidy, filled with things. There are also times that you would see your home as overwhelmingly crowded. Maybe it is time to declutter. Remove all the unnecessary things that is inhibiting you from hosting a Friday night gathering or just enjoying the company of a well-organized, simple, and spacious home on a regular day. Well, it may seem easy to just get rid of all the nonessential stuff. Decluttering is a project of very great extent—a fairly big job. Not to mention the vigor needed for specific areas to do the job.

You do not want to be late in preparing your family’s dinner, go to the supermarket, or miss an episode of your favorite TV series because you are stuck with the decluttering homework. It can be overly demanding thus taking some of your time that is allotted for other house chores and activities. But in order to make decluttering easier, the perfect technique is to do it in several stages. You have to focus on a certain room or space first, finishing it, and moving forward to the next.

Determining the Purpose

Decluttering does not always mean throwing stuff out. Some things that have snuck out of their assigned setting should just be put back to where it belongs like a wine glass in your bathroom. A figurine that has a sentimental worth which you have found in your room can be cleaned and be placed in your personal corner as a display. Glass, paper, and plastic can be recycled. And finally, things that you feel like can be given away to organizations which will be donated to the people wanting or needing them.

Bring out containers before initiating. Make sure to prepare them beforehand NOT DURING the work. Each container—can be a basket, a large box, or a bin—will contain things to be decluttered categorized for specific purposes such as recycling, mending, putting away, throwing out, donating, or any other ground you have in mind.

Living Room

Keeping a living room tidy every day can be quite a struggle for most household as most living rooms do not have much space available for storing things. Sure, a living room can have a cabinet for television set and a side table but they just do not hide that much. It is best to determine the best storage for things that are used very often. These items can be books or TV remote control. Remove all things from the TV console, side tables, and bookcases. Once you have emptied them, find out which items are not on their proper storage or designated spots and put them in your bin specifically for Put Away items. Get rid of the wire madness from your television and other electronics in the space. To make it look more organized, you may want to label the cables, get them off the floor, pinch them together with a clip or cable ties to avoid eyesore. There could be toys around this space so determine whether the toys are still being played by your kids or they can go straight into that donation container you prepared.

Kitchen

For most parts of the decluttering work in your kitchen, you would probably just be able to fill the Put Away container. But like the living room, the kitchen can be quite a challenge to keep clean on a daily basis as cooking and eating happen here. You might want to start off with the areas where there are more stored items such as the pantry. Remove all trash such as an empty bottle of ketchup and long-expired items. Next go through specific category of items like utensils or glassware. Place them back to their proper storage areas. Proceed with the other zones including the drawers, the area under your sink, and lower cabinets.

Bathroom

Bathroom can also be a haven of mess. From expired medications to vanity products such as makeup or skincare items sneaking out of their designated site. Trash items that you will no longer use and put those that remain back in your vanity or medicine cabinet. For the items that you frequently use like toothpaste or a moisturizer, store them properly where you can easily see it when needed. Moving forward, empty cabinet drawers and discard unnecessary items through evaluation and put the rest back into the drawer.

Bedroom

If you want to set a sight on an entirely clutter-free bedroom, start with your bed. Never come out of your bed without making it first. That is one of the most important part of the decluttering a bedroom. Next, go through bedside table. They usually support items such as an alarm clock, table lamp, eyeglasses, medicine, books, or your mobile phone which are all useful during the night. Put away books that you have finished, an empty glass of drink which you had the night before, or unneeded items which could just add up to the weight and take space. Get one of your bins where you can put clothing that need to be hanged or folded. Evaluate what items do not fancy your fashion taste buds and those which do not fit anymore so you could donate them. Fold the ones that you are going to keep and put them in drawers properly.

The Horror of Halloween Party Aftermath

We can all agree that October is one of the most interesting months of the year because of Halloween. People have been celebrating it for many years and the celebration approach has evolved a lot over the course of time. We just can’t get enough of the candies, the costumes, the horror and especially the parties during this holiday. Everyone always look forward to a fun spooky season party. If you are planning to host a Halloween party at your home, you should bear in mind that making your guests experience the best Halloween gathering is not the only responsibility you will face. Cleaning up odious byproducts before, during, and after a Halloween get-together can also be quite challenging. But do no fret! You and your friends can still rock your spooky costumes and enjoy the Halloween night with these few tips to clean up messes on Halloween.

Horrifying Costume Makeups and Paints.

Halloween is the one day a year when people, especially kids, can dress up whatever they want. Most people use makeup for their costumes and in a party, makeup stains can be your worst nightmare! In most cases, costume makeup is made with oil. Your sofa or carpet can end up getting stained—this is most likely to happen and you would need to have a strong stain remover. You can do home remedy to discard the tenacious stain spot by mixing a warm water and one teaspoon of detergent. Grab a clean cloth and dip it into the mixture. Blot the spot with the cloth. Do not rub it. Let the cloth absorb the stain. For wall greasepaint stains, get a degreaser available at your home such as a dishwashing liquid. Apply it on the stain and let it sit for a while before wiping it down. There are other items that can be used for heavier degreasing works but these commercial products may contain toxic solvents. You can always look for green cleaning alternatives.

The Ghosts of the Half-Eaten Candies.

Halloween is not all scary. It can also be sad. There would be half-eaten candies, crushed caramels, and unfinished sweets scattered on the floor after the party. I am not insinuating that you pick them all up and eat them—horrifying thought. These Halloween staple can be really sticky and hard to clean up. Using a metal sponge can cause further problems. The best way to deal with it is by soaking a rag in a hot water. Wring it out and dab it on the sticky nightmare like what you would do with a hot compress. Keep doing it until it is easy enough to pull the candy out of the floor. It will surely leave color stains hence, spray a rubbing alcohol on it.

Bloody Scenes.

Ever wonder how Dracula cleans up after his meal? He sure gets a hard time removing blood stains. Fake blood is also a big thing during Halloween. But they can also be a big problem during post-Halloween party cleanup. Fake blood is made of corn syrup mixed with red-colored dye. You are lucky if it falls on the floor. You can just simply dab the stain with a kitchen towel or a rag and apply a rubbing alcohol. Other degreaser can also do the work. If it accidently stained, say your carpet, try doing the process with the floor stain. But if you feel like stain is worse, you might want to seek the service of a professional cleaning company for stain removal on carpets.

Scary Pumpkin Residues.

What is Halloween without the infamous pumpkins? They have been a big part of the tradition throughout the years. Kids love to carve pumpkins turning them into the scariest Halloween decoration. Carving them can be grubby. Fortunately, you can bond with your kids in carving their pumpkin masterpieces without worrying about the mess it would make. Before the activity, lay down old newspaper or simple paper on the floor. The carved out insides of the pumpkin should fall down to the paper on the floor, making it easier for you to collect them after for trashing. On the other hand, use a wipe cleaner for the residues spilled over the table.

Mysteries of Halloween Emesis.

Vomiting in Halloween parties is in fact, inevitable. I mean, with the amount of candies present and excessive Jell-O intake, it is possible that you will be facing a messy situation. But cleaning the vomit mess shouldn’t be that of a big problem. For easy scrapping, you can use an instant absorber. It can turn a liquid mess into solid residue. You can also use alcohol and hydrogen-peroxide based products if there are residue stains or any foul odor.

If you are more than ready to be dealing with the kind of messes that a Halloween party would scare you, maybe it is time to start decorating your place and invite guests! If you do not have someone to help you with the aftermath, it is advisable to call for a cleaning service company so you wouldn’t worry about making your home look as fresh as it was before.