Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 12/20/2020

Architecturally speaking, many home buyers have very definite ideas about their preferred house style.

Whether it stems from a sense of practicality or positive childhood memories, few house hunters are "on the fence" when it comes to the number of stories their ideal house should have.

Perhaps you're one of those people who grew up in a two-story house and wouldn't feel right sleeping down the hall from the kitchen and family room. Some people just prefer their sleeping quarters to be on the second floor!

Although it's a matter of personal preference, there are certain practical aspects to buying a ranch-style or traditional rambler house.

Less stair climbing: While this is an advantage that seniors typically value the most, stairs can be a burden anyone -- especially when you're lugging suitcases, boxes of books, or that heavy new futon you wanted to put in the guest room.

You can probably also recall countless evenings when exhaustion set it, and the last thing you felt like doing was climbing a long, winding staircase to get to your bedroom. (Okay, well maybe it's not "winding," but you get the idea!)

Then, of course, there are those times when you haven't been to the gym in a few months -- make that years -- and your home treadmill has turned into more of a clothes rack than an exercise machine! Although going up and down stairs a few times a day can help counteract the effects of a sedentary lifestyle, sometimes stairs can feel like they're more trouble than they're worth! That would definitely be the case if you have any physical conditions or health problems which make climbing stairs painful or medically unsafe. (Your physician can provide helpful advice on the latter.)

Home maintenance: If you hate getting up on tall ladders to paint your house or clean your rain gutters, owning a one-story home is a solution. Since home maintenance and repairs can often end up costing a bundle, it may make sense to consider doing your own exterior house painting. Although it's time consuming, messy, and sometimes a bit strenuous, painting your own house can potentially save you thousands of dollars in labor costs. Naturally, you'll still need to buy your own paint, brushes, rollers, and other supplies, but the amount of money you can save on labor is substantial.

Personal safety: If there's a fire or other emergency and you need to quickly evacuate your home in the middle of the night, a first-floor window can be safer and less scary than having to exit your house though a second-story window. While this type of dire situation is unlikely and will hopefully never happen to you, it's one of many factors to consider when comparing and contrasting ranch-style homes with other architectural styles.

If you do opt for a two-story (or three-story) architectural style, such as a colonial, craftsman, Tudor, Victorian, or farm house, it's especially important to have a fire escape ladder on hand, as well as a working knowledge of its proper use.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 10/18/2020

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 arenít alone if you think those numbers are shockingly high. However, most of us are never taught cooking safety techniques. In this article, weíre 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.

Cooking safely

One of the most important things you can do to reduce the risk of house fires is to stay in the kitchen while youíre 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 donít necessarily need one for the cooking that youíre 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 arenít 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 donít 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.




Tags: home safety   kitchen   Cooking  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Thomas Murphy on 1/12/2020

Moving can be fun, exciting, and stressful all at the same time. With so many things happening and so much to keep track of, it can be easy to get overwhelmed.

 When youíre stressed and trying to multitask, thereís also an increased risk of personal injury and damaged belongings.

 While it may seem worth it to overlook safety in order to save time or money on moving day, itís important to remember that you and your familyís health and well-being is much more important than saving a few minutes or dollars.

 In this article, weíre going to give you a few simple moving day tips that will help keep you and your belongings safe so you can rest easy on the first night in your new home.

 Ask for help

Many moving day injuries result from one person attempting to lift, carry, or move items that really require more hands. Itís easy to see how this mistake is made. Everyone is busy with their own tasks, whether theyíre packing boxes or cleaning.

To avoid injury when lifting items, know your limits and always ask for help. If you donít feel comfortable moving heavy items, now is no time to push yourself--youíll be needed throughout the day, so depend on your family or hired movers.

Plan your route

Many damages and injuries occur when we havenít properly prepared. Know the terrain of the place youíll be carrying your items to. Plan ahead for the size of staircases, dangerous hills, or ruts in the ground. Put safety cones down in dangerous areas so no one is hurt or drops fragile items.

Load your truck wisely

Whether youíre moving far away or just a few blocks, a lot can go wrong once the truck starts moving. However, even if you donít have many fragile items inside, thereís the risk of boxes toppling on you and your family when unloading the truck if the boxes havenít been stacked wisely.

First, try to keep boxes lighter than what youíre comfortable carrying. Itís easier to move more boxes than to struggle with one particularly heavy one.

For heavier items, utilize equipment like dollies, hand trucks, and furniture sliders to protect you and your belongings.

Finally, practice smart loading and unloading techniques in your moving truck. Load the heaviest items (like appliances) first, and put lighter boxes on top of them. Think of loading like a game of Tetris--always aim for a strong foundation to stack on top of to avoid boxes falling on you or each other.

Take breaks

On moving day you may be on various deadlines, whether itís moving trucks or getting things unloaded before sunset. However, itís important that you take several breaks while loading and unloading, especially if youíre moving on a hot day.

First aid

Sometimes, even if you do everything right, mistakes can happen. Itís important to be prepared for when they do. Make sure you have a first aid kit in your moving truck that contains unexpired first aid supplies.

Be sure to have your cell phone handy and know the location of the nearest hospital in case of an emergency.

If you follow these tips, you should be on your way to having a successful, injury-free moving day.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Thomas Murphy on 1/8/2017

It's many homeowners' worst fear to come home to a water disaster in their home. Water damage can cost thousands to repair and will include a lengthy process in order to†adhere to safety standards, potentially disrupting your home life for weeks. In this article we'll give you tips on how to avoid water damage and what to do when you discover it.

Water damage vs. flood damage

Many people are unaware of the difference between water damage and flood damage. Water damage can occur when you have plumbing issues such as a leaking pipe or overflowing bath tub. Flood damage, on the other hand, is defined by FEMA as an "overflow of inland or tidal waters, unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters," or even mudflow. Flood damage tends to be the more costly and the more dangerous of the two, as it puts home inhabitants at serious health risk. Part of the stipulation in differing between the two types of damage is insurance coverage; water damage is often covered by homeowner's insurance whereas flood damage is not.

Avoiding water damage

To avoid costly and time-consuming repairs, follow these steps to prevent water damage from occurring in your home:
  • Keep your gutters clean to avoid backups and drainage issues
  • divert rain water away from your house with downspouts
  • Disconnect hoses and turn off their water supply when temperatures drop to freezing overnight
  • Don't leave water using appliances running while you are away from home for extended periods of time
  • Keep up with maintenance on your dishwasher, washing machine, toilets, and tubs
  • Turn off your water main when you go away on vacations
  • Check the water pressure to your home. High water pressure can be nice in the shower, but pressures too high can cause your plumbing to fail
  • Check regularly for leaks. Some water damage may go unnoticed for weeks or months, which subjects you to another danger: mold

What to do if you have water damage in your home

If it's too late for prevention and you've discovered water damage in your home there are several steps you'll need to take to ensure the safety of your home.
  • Turn off electronics in the affected area. If possible switch off power to whole the whole section of your home at the circuit breaker. This first step is to ensure your own safety. Once you've turned off power to all potentially dangerous electronics, you can move on to the next step.
  • Remove electronics and other perishable items from the area.†If you remove the items soon enough you might be able to salvage them by drying them out.
  • Soak up the bulk of the water.†You can do this the old fashion way by using towels and buckets. Or you can use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner to suck up the water from rugs, carpets, and other surfaces.
  • Dry the area completely.†To avoid mold, use fans and a dehumidifier to fully dry out the area.
  • Disinfect.†Spray the area to remove any bacteria that may have accumulated due to moisture.
  • Contact the professionals.†A contractor will be able to tell you the full extent of the damage and whether any serious repairs will need to me made.
 





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 9/25/2016

Sooner or later after you bring your baby home it will be time to childproof your home. †There are five areas that you will want to pay particular attention to: cabinets, appliances, electrical outlets and bookshelves. Here are some tips on what to do about those potential trouble spots: 1. Cabinets often contain cleaning products and other hazardous materials and must be secured. Attach child safety latches to the doors and frames of any cabinets that you want to keep small children out of. 2. Bookcases may seem innocent enough but they can tip over and fall on a small child. Use an anchor harness to secure bookcases or any furniture that can tip over to the wall. They sell†anchor harnesses in any store that sells childproofing materials. 3. Keep kids out of the fridge with an appliance latch. Childproof refrigerator†latches mount to the fridge with adhesive tabs. 4. One of the most obvious child proofing details is to cover the electrical outlets. Insert plastic protectors into all sockets that are within reach of young children. 5. Baby gates are also a must to keep toddlers away from anything they shouldn't be exposed to. There are many different gates to choose from. You can buy gates for staircases, pressure mounted and even gates that have a walk through door. Do you have any other tips for childproofing your home?