Gunning Daily News

Fire Safety Tips for Your Family

August 26, 2013 8:09 pm

(Family Features)--No one wants to believe a house fire could impact their family, but house fires occur more often than people think. According to the NFPA, home fires kill an average of seven people every day and caused $11.6 billion in property damage during 2010. One of the most important tools in keeping your family safe is a working fire alarm.      

In a recent survey by Omnibus, more than 50 percent of people reported removing the batteries from their home’s smoke alarms. A working smoke alarm can make all the difference in whether a family has the critical time to escape a home fire.

On average, families have less than three minutes from the time the first smoke alarm sounds to escape a fire. That’s why it’s so important to keep a working smoke alarm on every level of your home and outside each sleeping area and to have an escape plan in place for your family.

Other essential home fire safety guidelines include:

  • Test alarms once a month.
  • Keep extra Energizer batteries on hand for fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Install a fire extinguisher in or near kitchen.
  • Keep flashlights with fresh batteries at your bedside for help in finding the way out and signaling for help in the event of a fire.
  • Develop and practice emergency escape plan.  
  • Participate in the “Change Your Clock Change Your Battery” campaign. Each year when you change your clocks for daylight saving time, change the batteries in your home’s smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.


When you change your clocks for daylight-saving time, change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, and remind your friends, family and neighbors to do the same.


Word of the Day

August 26, 2013 8:09 pm

Tenants in common. Style of ownership in which two or more persons purchase a property jointly, but with no right of survivorship and separate undivided interests.  They are free to will their share to anyone they choose, a principal difference between this form of ownership and joint tenancy.


New Baby? You Need New Financial Planning

August 23, 2013 6:45 pm

The anticipation of having a baby is an exciting moment, but also a time that many people become apprehensive about their family's finances. Creating a financial safety nest will help protect you and your growing newborn.

Below are six ways to help give you peace of mind for your family's financial future:

  1. Pay down debt: Before you start a family, pay down debt early to make sure you are ready to address any major financial costs in the future.It will be easier to attend to the many needs of your family knowing that you are on track to a financially secure future.
  2. Consider long-term goals: Prioritize and prepare for long-term expenses. Ask yourself how many children you plan to have, what type of school will your child attend -- consider private school tuition costs, and what type of car you should buy.
  3. Inquire about maternity/paternity leave: Find out your employer's policy on paternal leave, and how much paid and unpaid time you're given. Create a budget for any lost income and save early.
  4. Choose a family health insurance plan: Review policies and benefits to understand which options best accommodates the needs of your family both in coverage and affordability.
  5. Life insurance protection: Consider purchasing life insurance for your child -- premiums may be lower depending on the child's age when you purchase their policy. Getting coverage for children at an early age may ensure that they have coverage in the future.
  6. Estate planning: Include an updated will, healthcare proxy, and durable power of attorney. Talk with a financial planner and attorney to help guide you through the best options for your family.

Source: www.bmoharris.com/helpfulsteps.


Word of the Day

August 23, 2013 6:45 pm

Plat. Map or survey showing the location and boundaries of individual properties and how they have been subdivided into lots and blocks.


Q: What Role Might Engineers Play in My Remodeling Project? A: Soil and structural engineers can be particularly instrumental to a home remodeling project. An engineer can tell whether you can tear

August 23, 2013 6:45 pm

A: Soil and structural engineers can be particularly instrumental to a home remodeling project.  An engineer can tell whether you can tear down a kitchen safely or whether the walls can bear the load of a second or third story.  You can use an engineer to size interior supports, stamp a drawing for building department approval, design an appropriate structural repair, test structures to withstand such natural forces as earthquakes, create concrete foundation specifications, size deck supports, and inspect repairs during and after your remodeling job.  Engineers can also perform site preparation work such as an excavation and grading, fix foundation cracks or leaks, raise a settling foundation and test soil for structure support.  You can get a guesstimate of what the job you plan is likely to cost so you can show it to contractors once you start to take bids.

 


Elegant Outdoor Entertaining on a Dime

August 23, 2013 6:45 pm

(BPT)—Wish your soiree could have a bit more swagger? You don't need a celebrity budget and abode to throw a stunning celebration. With just a bit of creative vision and DIY savvy, you'll have an affair to remember in no time at all.

Sensational seating

The first step to ensure an enjoyable event is to provide enough seating for your guests to relax.

Elegant ambiance

Once your seating area is set, create an eye-catching centerpiece to set the mood. Turn forgotten pedestal candle holders into chic showpieces that will impress guests and inspire dinner table dialog. Simply spray paint each with a coordinating color of Krylon's Rust Protector Multicolor Textured Finish for an updated and elegant look. Once dry, add candles of various heights and decorate the bases with pebbles or decorative beads for subtle and sophisticated ambiance.

Let there be light

While your new centerpiece will illuminate the table area in the evening, be sure to light up the night with additional accent lighting. Tiki torches are an easy and inexpensive solution that provide excellent perimeter lighting and can even work double duty to keep pesky mosquitos at bay, ensuring your invited guests don't bolt because of uninvited ones.

Luscious libations

A signature drink can be a fun treat for your guests - but be sure the vessel is just as festive. An inexpensive and trendy way to keep guests refreshed and delighted is to serve your libations in the classic mason jar. Jazz up the jars by placing peel-and-stick chalkboard labels on the jars and provide chalk for guests to write their names. And as the final touch, offer mini umbrellas or nostalgic striped paper straws to allow guests to sip in style.

Heat it up

Why not enjoy your tasty refreshments around a fire pit when the sun has finally set? It's the perfect ambiance to relax and enjoy company.

You don't have to spend a ton of money to create an elegant gathering that will impress guests. By paying attention to small, inexpensive details, you can turn a bland backyard, patio or deck into a stylish spot for entertaining that won't leave you penniless at the end of the night.

Source: krylon.com.

 


News in Skylights: Let the Sun & Passive Solar Heat In

August 23, 2013 6:45 pm

In our previous two segments covering skylights, I have learned that a skylight installation project is not for casual DIY-ers. In this final report, we'll cover the few remaining issues to consider if you plan on letting the sunshine and its passive solar energy shine in this winter.

Our sources at the US Dept. of Energy say that in addition to following the manufacturer's guidelines, it's also important to consider slope and moisture control during installation.

The slope or tilt of the skylight affects solar heat gain. A low slope will admit relatively more solar heat in the summer and less in the winter, exactly the opposite of what is desirable.

As a general rule of thumb, you want to achieve a slope equal to your geographical latitude plus 5 to 15 degrees. At least one skylight manufacturer makes a prefabricated, tilted base that increases the angle of a skylight above the roof.

Water leaks are a common problem with improperly installed skylights. Avoid water leaks by:

  • Mounting the skylight above the roof surface
  • Installing a curb (a raised, watertight lip that helps to deflect water away from the skylight) and flashing
  • Thoroughly sealing joints
  • Following the manufacturer's guidelines.

It is also prudent to apply a layer of sheet waterproofing over the flanges/flashing of the skylight. This is generally installed under the finish roofing material as an aid in protecting against ice dams. Avoid water diversion devices such as roof crickets or diverter strips, as they often create more problems than they solve.

Again, the DOE experts say. Even the most energy-efficient skylight must be properly installed to ensure that it achieve its energy performance, so they say it's best to have a professional install your skylight.


Credit Cards and Your College Kids: Tips for Those Entering the World of Credit

August 23, 2013 6:45 pm

While parent’s mail boxes are filling with credit card bills from summer vacations and back-to-school shopping, their college-aged child is likely receiving offers for credit cards of their own.

Due to the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (CARD Act), young adults under the age of 21 applying for credit now must demonstrate the ability to pay or have a co-signer in order to be approved.  Thus, the 21-year-old college student has replaced the entering freshman as the likely target for credit card marketing.

“Building a positive credit history while in college can certainly help the young professional move on with his or her post-graduation life,” says Gail Cunningham, spokesperson for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). “On the flip side, abusing credit can work against a person when trying to land a job, lease an apartment or buy a vehicle.”

The NFCC’s 2013 Financial Literacy Survey found that 33 percent of respondents indicated they learned the most about personal finance at home. Although at first glance this can appear as positive, problems often arise if the parents have poor financial habits which the children observe and subsequently carry into their own financial lives.

Further, the survey revealed that only five percent attributed their personal finance knowledge to what they learned at school.  This number is not surprising, as many states do not include a personal finance course as a requirement for graduation from high school.

Stepping into the world of credit without adequate personal finance training is asking for trouble, as responsibly managing credit is critical to building a solid financial future. The NFCC recommends that young adults consider the following tips for successfully navigating credit:

• Start slowly. Don’t apply for more credit than is needed. A little plastic can go a long way, particularly in the wallet of someone new to credit.

• Don’t act like a kid in the credit candy store. It can be tempting to splurge on music downloads and late-night pizzas, but small purchases can add up quickly.

•   Never, ever charge more than can be paid in full when the bill arrives. This is the cornerstone to successfully managing credit. Use this financial trick: Record each charge in the check register and deduct the amount from the balance just as though a check had been cashed. This method guarantees that the funds will be available when it’s time to pay the bill.

•  Choose the right card. New homework assignment: Research what’s behindthe credit card offers. Fully understand the terms, interest rate, fees and credit limit, as these features will impact the final decision.  Some student cards also offer rewards such as miles or points that can be redeemed, but read the fine print before signing on the dotted line.

• Think long term. Negative marks on a credit file can follow a person foryears. Evaluate charging decisions in light of tomorrow, not today.

• Protect the card. Identity theft is rampant on campuses, and a credit card lying on a desk is as good as gold to a thief. Since studies show that identity theft is often committed by someone the victim knows, don’t be naively trusting.

• Don’t allow others to use the card, as regardless of who runs up the debt, payment remains the cardholder’s responsibility.

• If things get out of control, remember that businesses still accept cash, and a debit card can be used for payment in most locations. Don’t hesitate to put the credit card away if things get out of hand.

“The college student potentially has 50 years or more of credit life ahead of him or her, making it critical that sound financial habits are established at a young age,” continues Cunningham. “Credit can be a friend or a foe. That outcome is determined by whose hand is holding the plastic.”


Source: www.DebtAdvice.org.


Word of the Day

August 23, 2013 6:45 pm

Planned Unit Development (PUD).  Individually owned houses with community ownership of common areas, such as swimming pools and tennis courts.


Q: What Basic Services Can I Expect an Architect to Provide?

August 23, 2013 6:45 pm

A:  Most projects require a set of basic services.  They are as follows:  preliminary, or schematic, design; design development; preparation of construction documents (drawings and specifications); assistance in the bidding or negotiation process, and the administration of the agreement between you and your builder or contractor, if needed.  Some projects will require other services, such as pre-design work, which includes budgeting and financing packages, as well as planning and zoning applications.  Projects may also include special cost or energy analyses, models and tenant-related design.