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Protecting Yourself From Carbon Monoxide

by Samia S. Morgan

With the official arrival of winter last week, the cooler temps in the area have homeowners using more fuel-burning appliances being in the home. Such appliances include ovens, space heaters, generators, and fireplaces. These appliances can also cause dangerous levels of carbon monoxide (CO) to build up in the home. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, carbon monoxide poisoning is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in America. With these factors it is a good idea to install  carbon monoxide detectors to safeguard your family.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless, invisible gas. It results from the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, such as wood, kerosene, gasoline, charcoal, propane, natural gas, and oil. This gas can form in the home from incomplete combustion from any flame-fueled (i.e., not electric) device, and open flames, such as from ovens and ranges, are the most common source of carbon monoxide.

If you are considering purchasing a Carbon monoxide detector, they work by triggering an alarm based on an accumulation of carbon monoxide over time. Carbon monoxide can be dangerous if you are exposed to high levels in a short period of time, or to lower levels of carbon monoxide over a long period of time. Carbon monoxide detectors range in price from $30 to $150 and are most effective models are those that offer that offer back-up battery power.

Proper placement of a carbon monoxide detector is important. If you are installing only one carbon monoxide detector, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends it be located near the sleeping area, where it can wake you if you are asleep. Additional detectors on every level and in every bedroom of a home provides extra protection against carbon monoxide poisoning.

Homeowners should remember not to install carbon monoxide detectors directly above or beside fuel-burning appliances, as appliances may emit a small amount of carbon monoxide upon start-up. A detector should not be placed within fifteen feet of heating or cooking appliances or in or near very humid areas such as bathrooms.

 

 

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Tips For Selling During The Holidays

by Samia S. Morgan

Although some sellers are might be reluctant to put their home on the market during the holiday season, selling your home during this time of the year is actually a great idea with many benefits that can help you make the sale. Selling your home during the holiday season affords you many advantages such as the amazing staging options you have at this time of the year. During the holidays you have a chance to show your home at its very best.  You can use all the holiday decorations to stage your home with all that the season has to offer. Below are some tips to help you sell your home during the holidays!

  • It is easy to get carried away when decorating but try to be tasteful. Too many trimmings may distract buyers. Keep your visuals tasteful, a few twinkling lights and greenery bring out the charm in a home. Simple touches like a festive wreath on your door can work wonders!
  • Brighten and warm it up. When showing your home be sure to turn on all lights so your home will look bright, cheery and welcoming. If the weather is cold, turn up the temp a couple of degrees. Don't overdo it, you want it warm and cozy not hot.
  • Make your home welcoming. Make your home feel cozy and inviting during showings by lighting a fire, playing soft holiday music and offering homemade holiday treats. If buyers feel welcome they are more likely to spend more time admiring the home.

Holiday staging can help to sell your home around this time of the year but there are also other advantages. 

  • November and December buyers are usually serious due to the fact that January tends to be the biggest transfer month so home buyers shop at the end of the year.
  • Buyers want to receive the tax benefit of purchasing before the new year.
  • There tends to be less competition with fewer homes on the market and showings will be fewer and less intrusive, but more likely to be fruitful with motivated, qualified buyers.

 

Moving With Pets

by Samia S. Morgan

Moving to a new home can be a stressful time for people so when it comes time to pack up your pet, you need to take their needs into consideration. All pets require special attention and it is a good ideal to make a plan ahead of time to make the move for your pet a smooth transition and less stressful.

Pre-planning is the key to an easier move, travel arrangements should be completed as far in advance of moving day as is practical, keeping departure day tasks to a minimum. It is a good idea to appoint one person in the family that will be in charge of the pet. This will eliminate any confusion as to who has responsibility and will help for a smoother move. Below are some tips that can help you to get organized and make your move a calm transition for your furry members of your family.

  • Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian a few weeks before your move for a check up. Be sure to attain your pet's veterinary records so that they can be forwarded to your new veterinarian. Certain localities may have stringent requirements or restrictions regarding pet ownership. You may need permits or registrations.
  • When you arrive at your new home, designate a unused room with a door that is quiet and just for them. Provide them with fresh food and water and their bed or favorite toy, something that is familiar to them. This will keep them safe and calm while the move is going on. 
  • If you are moving your pets by car be sure to plan for several stops along the way. Pets may find car travel extremely distressing and stopping for fresh air and breaks can help. Don't forget any medications your pet might need as well as a leash.
  • If you are traveling long distance and plan on staying overnight at a hotel, be sure to call in advance to make sure that pets are accepted.
  • If you are moving your fish, be sure to check with your local Aquarium or Pet Store ahead of time on the best way to safely transport your fish.

 
If your pets are not micro-chipped be sure to get a new pet ID tag with your new address and contact phone numbers and if they are micro-chipped be sure to update the info with your
microchip company.   
 

Holiday Events In San Mateo and Bay Area

by Samia S. Morgan

What better place to celebrate the holidays than the San Mateo and Bay area! From charitable events to fun events for all members of the family there is plenty to do. Below are some events you won't want to miss!

Firefighter's Toys for Tots Program                                   December 1st through the 23rd - please drop off a new unwrapped gift at any City fire station or at Hillsdale Shopping Center Toy Collection site which is open daily 10 AM to 8 PM

King Community Tree Lighting 
On December 11th come for this annual holiday tradition. There will be singing,  holiday crafts, hot cider & cookies all while the big 50 ft. Redwood tree outside the center will be lit. Santa will also be there!
Address: 725 Monte Diablo, San Mateo, CA 94401 Location: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center Hours: 6:00-7:00pm

Breakfast with Santa 
Enjoy a delicious breakfast, games, crafts, stories, singing, and visit with Santa this Saturday, Dec. 12th. Address: 725 Monte Diablo,San Mateo, CA 94401
Location: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center Hours: 9:00-11:00am
Contact: (650) 522-7470 Cost: $8 per person.

Holiday SIng-A-Long 
Celebrate the holidays at the 
Holiday Family Sing-A-Long at Grace Cathedral.Gather your whole family for one of two Saturdays in December (December 12 and December 19) to join the Pacific Boychoir as they sing all your favorite holiday songs. This event takes place at Grace Cathedral, an Episcopal church, and is great fun for everyone! Ticket prices range from $5 to $25.

 
Holiday Ice Skating 
Enjoy skating at the Holiday Ice Rink in
Embarcadero Center. The West Coast's equivalent to the ice rink at Rockefeller Center, skaters have been enjoying this large outdoor ice skating rink for more than twenty years. Open to the public through January 3, 2010. Ticket prices range from $5.50 to $9 plus skate rental. Also available are rink rentals for private parties and birthday celebrations.

Improving Air Quality In The Home

by Samia S. Morgan

In some studies of air quality in the home it has been suggested that the air we breathe in our homes is often more polluted than the air breather outside. This is of course an alarming realization especially if you have children or family members who have a fragile immune system. The good thing is that according to National Geographics Green Guide there are a number of things we can do to improve air quality in our homes.

  • Ventilate your home regularly
  • Vacuum weekly
  • Use a good quality air filter on your furnace and replace it regularly
  • Maintain ventilation systems (If your home has one) and dehumidifiers
  • Run exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens
  • If you're considering an air purifier, avoid devices that generate ozone, as these can make lung problems and asthma worse.

In addition to these tips, you should also pay close to attention to the indoor chemicals that you may be using. The two more commonly identified chemicals in our homes include formaldehyde which is present in home renovation products and solvents from fresh paint and phthalates which are used in soft plastics and synthetic fragrances such as air fresheners and dryer sheets. Even common cleaning items used such as bleach and ammonia result in poor air quality.  There are many alternatives on the market today that offer bio-degradable and safe to use cleaning products for the home.

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