Ann Bennett - KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY / Metropolitan



Posted by Ann Bennett on 11/1/2018

We all want our homes to be secure, but do we really take the steps that are necessary to make security a priority in our homes? Between home security and neighborhood security, youíll want to do whatever you can to keep both your home and your neighborhood safe. Below, youíll find some tips to help you select and maintain a safe home an neighborhood. From the moment you move into a new home, you should have your eyes peeled for ways to make your home and neighborhood a safer place to live. Some often overlooked parts of home security are:


  • Door locks
  • alarm systems
  • Smoke detectors
  • Neighborhood visibility
  • Window locks
  • Home entrances and exits


Make Safety A Part Of Your Search Criteria


If you do research before you even buy a home, you can avoid living in an area where you will regret moving to. There are plenty of online resources to help you see where crime is prevalent as opposed to where safer neighborhoods are. Doing this research can be extremely valuable to your home search. Some search engines even provide a certain amount of data thatís available by street as to when and where incidents have happened. Although you may not want to get that detailed, you can use the data you find to help you in your home search. A neighborhood with a large number of incidents may not be where you want to start your home search.   


Find The Holes In Your Homeís Security


Once you close on a home, one of the first things that you should do is asses the security inside the home. This means changing the locks, checking the windows, looking for entrances such as a basement door, and more. Check the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as well. This can really help to ensure that your new space is safe in a few simple steps. To get more heavily into security, install a security system. You can get a system thatís professionally monitored or a simple home alarm to ward off thieves. 


Get To Know The Neighbors


If you take the time to get to know your neighbors, your neighborhood is more likely to be secure. If you are acquainted with the people next door, theyíre apt to keep an eye out on your property and vice versa. You may even want to get involved or begin a neighborhood watch program to help keep the neighborhood safe.


The key to home and neighborhood security is vigilance. The more observant you are, the better chances you have of preventing crime from striking your area.   






Posted by Ann Bennett on 1/18/2018

Thankfully, the human brain is usually a pretty efficient mechanism for keeping our lives organized, healthy, and safe.

However, when we're rushed, overwhelmed, or feeling stressed, important tasks, safety measures, and priorities are sometimes forgotten.

Most of the time, this does not pose an imminent health or safety threat, but there are exceptions. Fortunately, there are often simple solutions available and preventative measures we can take.

Finding high-tech (or low-tech) ways to remember important things can provide you and your family with improved home safety, more peace of mind, and other benefits.

Here are a few strategies for overcoming the pitfalls of occasional forgetfulness.

  • Practice present moment awareness. You'll tend to be happier, healthier, and safer when you condition your mind to stay in the present moment as much as possible. Although there is a lot of value in planning for the future and dwelling on happy memories, it's counterproductive to worry about problems that might never happen or regret things from the past that can't be changed. People waste a lot of energy and create self-imposed stress when they spend more than a few seconds worrying or regretting. Staying focused on the present moment also has some health and safety implications worth mentioning. For example, how many times have you left the house (or gone to bed) and wondered if you locked the door, turned off the oven, or unplugged the iron? Getting yourself in the habit of bringing your mind back to the task at hand and being more aware of what you're doing will help you avoid some of these potential dangers, concerns, and distracting  thoughts.
  • Set an alarm as a reminder. If you set an alarm on your mobile device or computer to remind yourself to get ready for an appointment, send an important email, make a phone call, or check on the progress of dinner in the oven, then you never have to worry about getting distracted and losing track of time.
  • Good habits can be a lifesaver. Going through a mental inventory before you leave the house or go to bed can help reduce forgetfulness about locking doors, turning off kitchen appliances, and reactivating the smoke alarm. And speaking of smoke alarms, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) recommends that homeowners check the batteries in their smoke detectors once a month and replace them with fresh batteries at least once a year. It also urges people to completely replace their smoke alarms every 10 years. Important safety note: The federal agency strongly discourages people from removing smoke detector batteries to silence the device while cooking. Instead, it recommends opening a window, waving a towel at the alarm to clear the air [a paper plate also works], pressing a "hush" button if the unit has one, or moving the alarm several feet away from the cooking area.
While you can't always depend on old-fashioned memory techniques like tying a string around your finger, effective ways to jog your memory can range from using cell phone alarms and appointment-reminder software to low-tech strategies like Post-it notes, to-do lists, wall calendars, and calendar books.





Posted by Ann Bennett on 1/11/2018

When it comes to making your home and property safer for your family and others, the Boy Scouts motto says it all: "Be prepared!"

While it's next to impossible to completely eliminate all risks and potential hazards in and around your home, there are dozens of things you can do to make your property safer.

Every family's safety needs are unique, but here are a few basic precautions that can help reduce the chances of home accidents occurring -- both large and small.

Stair safety: All things being equal, it's riskier to walk down a flight of stairs than it is to walk on level ground. While that may seem obvious, most people don't stop and think about the potential risks of descending stairs as they're about to do it. Although tripping and falling on stairs can be injurious to just about anyone, it's especially dangerous for elderly people. From a homeowner's standpoint, there are several things you can do to reduce the risk of family or friends stumbling on your stairs. On an ongoing basis, it's necessary to make sure there are no loose objects on the stairs that could cause someone to lose their footing. Keeping stairs clear of toys, building blocks, and slipping hazards can be challenging if you have young children. Until they're taught to pick up after themselves -- which might occur sometime between now and college -- stair safety is an important issue to be aware of. Another key strategy for preventing household accidents is to make sure railings are properly installed and firmly anchored. Basement stairs can pose additional risks because they're sometimes inadequately lighted. Concrete floors at the bottom of some staircases can make a fall even more hazardous (not to mention painful). Increasing lighting, if needed, and making the bottom step more visible so that it's not accidentally skipped, are two preventative measures for reducing the chances of anyone falling on basement stairs.

Fire safety: Most people are aware that it's essential to have several working smoke detectors placed in strategic locations in your kitchen, bedroom area, and other parts of your house. Even though it's common knowledge, people don't always remember to install enough of them, replace worn out batteries when necessary, or test them every few months to make sure they're in good working condition. Some people remove the battery to silence smoke alarms while they're cooking, which can be dangerous if they don't remember to put them back afterwards. If your kitchen smoke detector has a "push to hush" button, then that can be a safer way to temporarily quiet a smoke detector when you're cooking dinner. Home fire safety also entails several other precautions, including having a fire extinguisher in the kitchen (and other areas), having a second-floor fire-escape ladder available, and teaching children how to avoid and respond to potential fire dangers. More detailed information and educational materials on fire safety is available from government agencies and non-profit organizations like the American Red Cross and the National Fire Protection Association.

Stay tuned to this blog for more helpful tips, pointers, and ideas for keeping your home safer and more secure.







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