When It’s Too HOT in the Kitchen


You’ve likely heard the joke that goes, “I can always tell when my wife’s cooking is done because the fire alarm goes off”.  But fire is no joke.  And most home fires do begin in the kitchen.  So remember, the best way to prevent a kitchen fire is to stay near the stove whenever you are cooking something – especially when frying.  Also, keep your stove and oven clean.  Move anything that can burn at least three feet away from the heat.

But if the worst does happen, here’s what you should do, according to homesafetycouncil.org:

  For Pan Fires:

– If you have a small pan fire on the stove, put on an oven mitt.

– Carefully slide a cookie sheet over the pan. A lid can also be used.  This cuts off the oxygen and allows the fire to go down.

– Turn off the heat at the burner.

– Leave the pan covered and in place.  Do not try to move it!

– Let the pan cool down before you take away the cookie sheet or lid.

  For Oven Fires:

– Turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

– Call the fire department so that firefighters can check for possible flame spread.

  Toaster Oven or Microwave Fires:

– Turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

– Unplug the appliance if you can safely reach the outlet.

– Call the fire department to report the fire.

– Have the appliance serviced before you use it again or replace it.

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Inspect for Success

Cranston, RI, April 17, 2010 -- FEMA inspector...
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Most homeowners believe a home inspection provides valuable information that helps them avoid home maintenance problems and save money, according to a recent survey by Harris Interactive and the American Society of Home Inspectors.  Seven out of ten homeowners surveyed say the home inspection on their current home helped them avoid potential problems with their home, and almost two-thirds (64%) say they saved money in the long run because the inspection uncovered minor issues that could be easily remedied.  The survey also finds that nearly 90% of homeowners believe home inspections are a necessity, not a luxury.

While many homeowners who had an inspection understand the value it provides, many still incorrectly believe that certain components are included in a standard home inspection.  For example, electrical wiring and plumbing behind drywall, and swimming pools are commonly mistaken as items that are included in an inspection, but they typically are not.  Also 70% of homeowners surveyed assume all home inspectors are required to be certified and licensed, which is not necessarily the case.

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No Regrets

Despite the ups and downs of the housing market and the decline in home values, most homeowners, including those who are underwater on their mortgages, don’t regret owning a home.  In a recent survey by the National Assoication of Home Builders, three out of four Americans believe that owning a home is the best long-term investment and is worth the risk of a sometimes-volatile housing market.  Approximately 95 percent say they are happy with the decision to own a home.

The sentiment is also strong among homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages.  Nearly two-thirds believe owning a home is worth the risk, and 83% say they are happy with their decision to own a home.

Four out of five  (80%) say they would advise a friend or family member to buy a home, while slightly fewer underwater (78%) would do the same.  Only 19% of homeowners who are underwater believe homeownership is too risky.

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Determining the Possession Date

When you buy a new home,you’ll eagerly await the day you can move in.  But how is that date determined?  The date of possession is one of several details that must be negotiated between you and the seller.

In most cases, possession will be transferred after you have signed your mortgage loan and a clear title has been transferred.  Then, when you and the seller agree on a date, it will be incorporated into the written contract.  Once this is done, the date cannot be changed without written agreement.

In rare cases, a seller may request to stay in the house for a short while after closing.  If the buyer agrees, a post-sale occupancy agreement must be put into writing and included as part of the contract.  The seller may be asked to pay a rental fee, which is agreed upon by both parties.

The buyer may also request permission to take occupancy before the purchase transaction is completed.  This, too, must be agreed in writing and the rental stipulations will be included in the purchase agreement.

Many aspects of the possession date are negotiable, but special provisions should be thoroughly spelled out and mutually agreed upon in writing.

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