Susan Baghdasarian's Blog
Moving day; you’ve waited months for this day to arrive, working hard to make sure you, your family, pets, and belongings are ready for the big move.
With all of the preparations and various people involved, it’s easy for moving day to become dangerous.
To ensure that you and your family have a safe and smooth moving day, I’ve provided some tips that every mover should keep in mind.
Make plans for pets and young children
The last thing you want on the first day in your new home is to be wandering around the neighborhood looking for your dog who slipped away during the move. If possible, make arrangements for pets to stay with friends or family for moving day to make things easier.
If you need to bring your pets along, it’s a good idea to put them in a “playroom” with their toys, water bowl, etc. while you have the door to the house open. Not only will it stop them from running out, but it will also prevent you from tripping over them while you carry the couch.
Don’t be a hero
It’s our tendency to want to do a job ourselves if we want it done right. But, when it comes to moving, that philosophy can lead to a thrown out back and a damper on your plans.
When it comes to getting large and heavy objects in and out of the house, make sure you have at least one other person ready to lift with you.
Stack from heaviest to lightest
It may seem obvious, but in the confusion of a move, it can be easy to pack your truck or van in a less-than-ideal way. Rather than playing Tetris with your boxes, try to focus on weight instead. You don’t want heavy boxes near the roof in case they fall on you or on your other belongings.
Place the largest and heavier items in the van first. This will allow you to plan the rest of the load around them, rather than having to move them around to make room.
Take a breather
As tempting as it may be, you don’t have to finish everything in one day. As long as your truck is locked and secure, it’s okay if you don’t bring in every single box. Resting throughout the day and staying hydrated, especially when moving in the summer, will help you stay sharp and ready to keep working.
Have an emergency plan
If you take precautions, you most likely won’t have to worry about emergencies. However, accidents do happen and it’s best to be prepared for them when they do. If you or a family member requires medication, make sure it’s handy and that everyone knows where it is.
Similarly, label your first aid kit and keep it with your necessities during the move.
If you follow these tips, your moving day should be a simple and safe process and you’ll be enjoying your new home in no time.
Many homeowners are unaware that the most common causes of house fires are cooking related. According to data from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), cooking fires cause 46% of house fires and 44% of household injuries.
You aren’t alone if you think those numbers are shockingly high. However, most of us are never taught cooking safety techniques. In this article, we’re going to give you some tips to protect you and your family from the most common and some lesser known causes of kitchen fires.
Cooking fire statistics
Knowing the most common causes of cooking fires is a great way to understand just how dangerous certain types of cooking really are. The NFPA reports that frying is the most dangerous type of cooking. Two-thirds of cooking fires were the result of the ignition of food and cooking materials.
In terms of equipment, the range or cooktop is the most dangerous part of the kitchen, causing over 60% of fires. However, much of the time the cause comes down to leaving your equipment unattended.
One of the most important things you can do to reduce the risk of house fires is to stay in the kitchen while you’re cooking. Unattended ranges, stovetops, and ovens can be particularly deadly since they can happen as a result of someone dozing off while watching television, or someone forgetting they left a burner on after they go to sleep.
A good way to monitor your cooking is to always use a timer, even if you don’t necessarily need one for the cooking that you’re doing. Also, be sure that your smoke detectors are working and that you have a functional fire extinguisher in your home. Make sure your family knows what to do if they encounter a fire.
Before you turn on your burners before frying, make sure there is nothing around your oven that can catch fire. A food container, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper towels, or curtains could all potentially catch fire if they come in close contact with a burner.
Clothing is also a leading cause of kitchen fires that turn fatal. Make sure sleeves and other pieces of clothing aren’t near any burners or open flames.
In case of fire
If you encounter a large cooking fire that is spreading throughout, the best thing to do is to immediately gather your family and get out of the house, avoiding the kitchen entirely. Call 9-1-1 as soon as you are safely outside and don’t re-enter the house under any circumstances.
For small grease fires, smother the fire with a lid and turn off the burner immediately.
Understanding cooking fires
Most fire requires oxygen to burn and spread. If there is a small fire in your kitchen, using a soaked towel or a pan lid to smother it will suffice.
However, grease fires work differently. Never put water on a grease fire, this can cause the fire to spread very quickly. Rather, use a lid to put out the fire if it is small enough to get near. You can also throw baking soda, or use a fire extinguisher on a small grease fire.
Practice home safety as a family and you could prevent home invasions, serious accidents and the need for costly home repairs. Home safety habits also help your family to know how to respond should emergencies occur. Organizations like the American Red Cross encourage Americans to practice home safety. They also encourage adults to teach teens and children what to do in the event of an emergency.
Home safety lessons
Knowing who to contact is only the start when it comes to practicing home safety. Yet, this beginning step is one of the most important. Regardless of where you live, 911 should be the first number to call during an actual emergency.
But, 911 isn't the only number your children need to know. Teach your children, including young children, their grandparents, aunts and uncles telephone numbers. Also, teach them your work and cell phone numbers. Your children should know at least three of these telephone numbers by heart. Write important telephone numbers down for children to keep in their address books and book bags.
Familiarize yourself with how to respond to a fire, tornado, floor and earthquake. For example, you stay near the floor in the case of a fire. Also, gently touch doors and door knobs before exiting rooms. Seek higher ground during a flood.
Stay away from windows during earthquakes and tornadoes. Depending on where you live, teach children how to respond to hurricanes and dust storms. These are minimal emergency response steps. Makes sure that you know how to respond to emergency situations from A to Z.
Responding to non-weather related home emergencies
Install and test smoke alarms. Replace batteries in alarms. Don't assume that house alarm systems are functioning. Check them. Also, test your home for asbestos, mold and carbon monoxide. Let these three spread and your home could become unsafe for everyone who enters it.
To practice home safety, keep a ladder in the basement, make sure that windows open and close throughout your house, including basement and attic windows. Place flashlights in easily accessible storage areas like kitchen drawers, bedroom nightstands and bathroom cabinets.
Other items to keep on hand include non-perishable food and bottles of water. Also, keep blankets, an extra pair of clothes for each family member and coats, gloves and hats in a safe area. In addition to keeping these items at home, you should also have similar items in at least one of your vehicles.
Teach children not to open the door to strangers, including utility workers. Also, teach children not to play with electrical outlets and household chemicals. Consider installing home security systems. If you have young children or elderly relatives living with you, security systems that allow you to visually check on your home could be a plus.
Mapping out home safety plans forces you to think about the layout of your house, nearby exits and how long it will take your entire family to escape an emergency situation. It also motivates you to educate yourself on how to respond to different types of emergencies. Run regular emergency response and evacuation drills at home and you could have the confidence that your children will know how to respond should an emergency occur while you're away. Most of all,developing and practicing home safety habits could keep your entire family safe.