RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

Safety at Home: Heat Sources Heighten Fire Risk

January 25, 2016 1:06 am

December, January and February are prime time for home heating equipment fires—in fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), more than half of home heating equipment fires annually are reported in that timeframe. These fires can be caused by heating apparatus like stationary and portable space heaters, wood-burning stoves and fireplaces.

Proper installation can help reduce the risk of fire. When installing wood-burning stoves or gas heaters, for instance, follow the manufacturer’s instructions or have a professional perform the installation.

Simple safety practices can also help mitigate risk. Use your oven to cook food only; never use it to heat your home. When leaving the room (or going to bed), turn portable heaters off. Place a sturdy screen in front of the fireplace to prevent sparks from flying into the room, and burn only dry, seasoned wood. Allow ashes to cool before disposing them in a metal container, and ensure they are kept a safe distance from the home. Hire a qualified professional to clean and inspect heating equipment and chimneys every year.

These months also come with an increased risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Fuel-burning equipment, including vehicles and generators running in an attached garage, can produce dangerous levels of CO and should be vented to the outside to keep from building up in the home.
 
Installing and maintaining CO alarms can lessen the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Test smoke alarms and CO alarms monthly. If you smell gas in your gas heater or other appliance, do not light it. Leave the home immediately and call your local fire department or gas company for assistance.

If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Do not run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not covered with snow.

Source: NFPA

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Concerned about Rising Interest Rates?

January 25, 2016 1:06 am

Interest rates rose for the first time since the recession just one month ago. Since then, many have expressed concern about future increases, unsure of how their personal financial situations will be affected should interest rates rise again this year.

The good news is mortgage rates have yet to follow suit, making this an ideal time to take advantage of low-interest home financing options.

“The impact of rising interest rates will take some time to show a cumulative effect,” cautions Bankrate.com Chief Financial Analyst Greg McBride. “Now is the time for consumers to insulate themselves from rising rates, such as refinancing from an adjustable-rate to fixed-rate mortgage.”

Bankrate.com recently polled Americans to gauge their level of concern about rising interest rates. The majority of respondents, or 56 percent, don’t see reason for alarm, with some, about 15 percent, feeling interest rates have been artificially low. More than 40 percent are concerned about another rate hike, and just over 15 percent wonder what consequences a hike will have on the economy.

Source: Bankrate.com

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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