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5 Space Heater Safety Tips
As I write this, it’s snowy, cold, and getting colder by the minute. For many people, that leads them to look at alternative forms of heating. Sure, you can heat your whole house. But when it’s 25 degrees outside, that gets costly. Blankets are great, but a space heater can provide that happy middle ground of warmth without heating empty rooms. The biggest problem with space heaters? They can be a fire hazard. But if you take a few simple precautions, space heaters can be as safe as any other home appliance. Here are five ways to keep your home warm AND safe with a space heater:
1. Don’t Run It While You’re Gone
Some space heaters are safer than others. A friend of mine likes his Infrared Dr. Heater, which encases the heating elements in a cube-like shape and only runs when the temperature drops below the limit you set for it. It’s like a box on wheels, and includes a remote control. But no matter what space heater you’re using, there’s no reason to leave it on unattended. Pets can knock it over. It could overheat. Other things can go wrong. Stay safe by leaving it off when you’re not in the room.
2. Don’t Place It Too Close to…Anything
The heating element puts out a lot of heat. That’s great for the air. But if it’s facing any object, such as a chair, a couch, a wall, a bookcase, or a wet newspaper you draped over it to dry off (bad idea!) the radiating heat could potentially ignite that object, depending on the science
of the moment. Face your space heater out into the open room, and make sure no one will bump it.
3. Don’t Plug It into Power Strips or Extension Cords
Space heaters require large amounts of wattage, just like a freezer or a fridge. Extension cords are not designed to transfer that much wattage, and this can cause it to overload and risk a fire. Same with power strips. Plus, the longer the distance the power must travel through the cord, the less efficient it becomes, and the harder the space heater must work to pump out the heat.
Plug the space heater directly into a wall outlet.
4. Don’t Use It in the Bathroom
Water and electricity haven’t really liked each other since before the days of Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla. And as far as we can tell, they don’t plan on getting along in the future either. All that moisture in the bathroom only increases the chances of getting electrocuted by your space heater. Plus, with all the moving around that goes on in bathrooms, you risk knocking it over, increasing the risk of fire and burns.
5. Don’t Use Unapproved, Untested Heaters
This isn’t the place to go cheap. Make sure whatever space heater you buy has been tested by Underwriter Laboratories (UL). And, with older heaters, be extra careful as they might be starting to wear down. Newer heaters often come with automatic shutoff features.for the air. But if it’s facing any object, such as a chair, a couch, a wall, a bookcase, or a wet newspaper you
draped over it to dry off (bad idea!) the radiating heat could potentially ignite that object, depending on the science of the moment.Face your space heater out into the open room, and make sure no one will bump it.
Helping Parents Through Home Visits
Life can be complicated at home for kids. Maybe mom or dad suffered childhood abuse and never had any strong role models to teach them how to parent. The kids at Childhaven also need to feel safe and nurtured at home, and that’s why Childhaven runs a home visit program to help their parents.Home visitors do things like show parents positive ways to react when a child ignores them or throws a tantrum. Sometimes, parents just need to realize that parenting is hard, and that on some occasions, there are no easy answers.
Most of Childhaven’s home visitors meet with families at least once a month. Once such parent, Danielle Goodwin-Encinas, felt anxious about her first home visits. She had lost custody of her kids before, and feared it might happen again if she didn’t seem like the perfect mom. But Childhaven “wasn’t coming in and telling me what to do or being judgmental.”Instead, to help her bond with her daughter, Childhaven invited Danielle to visit her classroom. Seeing her daughter thriving in class made a big difference for Danielle. These sorts of breakthroughs don’t happen as easily for parents without home visits, and it helps inspire them to want the best home environment for their kids.
This is why we give a portion of our profits from each home sale to Childhaven. Because strong families form the bedrock of a strong community, and that takes parents, kids, and sometimes home visitors.
Our donations to date for Childhaven!
Your business and referrals help
the kids at Childhaven
Through all of COVID-19 the Childhaven staff continues to care for every child, delivering counseling, developmental therapy, wrap-around
supports, home learning, meals, family meetings, and much more. Every referral you send our way helps the kids at Childhaven, because we donate a substantial portion of our income from every home sale to this amazing organization. If you know anyone considering buying or selling, you have three options:
1. Send an email with your referral’s name, phone and email to email@example.com
2. Call me direct or pass on my number - 206.779.9808
3. Go to our website at Weisbarth.com/refer
Ironclad* 2023 Real Estate Predictions –
*As the great Yogi Berra once said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”But every January, I like to step out on the ledge and make a sincere if feeble attempt to do just that. What can we expect in the coming year in the real estate market in our area?
Let’s start with what we know:
We know home prices have, for the most part, leveled off (or are heading in that direction). Keep in mind that median prices naturally drop every Q4. More importantly, sellers seem to be accepting this new price reality.
We know that the mortgage interest rates that pushed many buyers to the sidelines, have been trending downward recently.
We know that much of what contributed to the market uncertainty, causing both buyers and sellers to take pause, such as inflation, gas prices, etc., are now slowly dissipating.
And, the bottom line, we know that many of those buyers who pulled out of the market about six months ago, have been returning to the market in the last month or two, lured back by the declining mortgage interest rate and the more realistic home prices.
Based on what we know, what do I expect to see in the coming year?
I expect that inflation will continues to drop (and the Fed seems to think that too…), which will cause mortgage interest rates to continue their downward trend. And the lower the mortgage interest rates, the more buyers will participate in the market. Some of these buyers will be brand new to the market, and some will be buyers who are returning to the market. The net result will be an increase in overall demand.
I also expect more sellers to enter the market, increasing both the quantity and quality of the inventory. The net result will be an increase in overall supply.
While it’s hard to predict which of these two forces will be more dominant (demand or supply), I do NOT expect the kind of market craziness that we’d seen during 2020 through Q1 of 2022. I expect that we will not see price drops, but rather price stability or perhaps some modest appreciation. So there you have it – my predictions for the year!
What should you do with all these “ironclad” predictions? I’m glad you asked…
If you’re a seller, then 2023 will be a good year for your. The buyers will be there waiting for you with open arms and reasonably open wallets. While you shouldn’t expect too many bidding wars, you also shouldn’t need to worry about your home sitting on the market for months either. Of course, this assumes, that you take all the necessary steps to get your home ready for the market (and if you need some specific advice on that, just call me...), and that you price your home correctly.
If you’re a buyer, expect to see better inventory, but also some competition. To that end, make sure that you are ready, by educating yourself about the market in general, and about the home buying process in particular (a critical step that we offer to all of our clients). And make sure your loan financing is ready, including lender’s underwriter approval, so you can compete effectively.
And if you’re looking to both buy and sell… well, 2023 is likely to be a good year for you too. But make sure to understand how to reduce your risk and minimize your exposure, by timing the buying and selling correctly. I’ll be happy to explain your different options on that.
If you know anyone who is ready to sell and/or buy a home, please send them our way. Our 5-step system lays out the plan for selling fast and for the most amount of money. And our 3-step system for buyers helps you find the right home and secure it for the best deal possible. And remember that a good portion of our income then goes to support the kids at Childhaven.