Zahra Zoglauer's Blog
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 aren’t alone if you think those numbers are shockingly high. However, most of us are never taught cooking safety techniques. In this article, we’re 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.
One of the most important things you can do to reduce the risk of house fires is to stay in the kitchen while you’re 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 don’t necessarily need one for the cooking that you’re 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 aren’t 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 don’t 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.
Adding a residence to the real estate market can be stressful, particularly for a first-time home seller. Fortunately, we're here to help you maintain a positive outlook as you await offers on your house.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help a first-time home seller remain calm, cool and collected after he or she lists a residence.
1. Set Realistic Expectations
Although a first-time home seller might expect dozens of offers in the days following a house's addition to the real estate market, it may take some time to stir up interest in a residence. However, a home seller who establishes realistic expectations from the get-go will know how to stay the course throughout the property selling journey.
A first-time home seller should understand both the best- and worst-case scenarios. That way, a home seller will know how to respond to any potential pitfalls that may arise.
Furthermore, a first-time home seller should have a plan in place for what will happen after a home offer is accepted. This will ensure a home seller is fully prepared to vacate a house as quickly as possible.
2. Learn About the Housing Market
The housing market is exceedingly complex, especially for those who are selling homes for the first time. Conversely, a first-time home seller who takes a diligent approach can gain the real estate market insights to make confident decisions.
For example, a first-time home seller should analyze the competition closely. By looking at the prices of similar houses that are available, this home seller can establish a competitive price for a house and increase his or her chances of a quick home sale.
A first-time home seller also should check out the prices of recently sold houses in his or her city or town. By doing so, this home seller can find out whether he or she is entering a buyer's or seller's market and plan accordingly.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
Selling a home may seem like a simple process on paper, but challenges can quickly arise that prevent a first-time property seller from achieving his or her desired results. But with support from a real estate agent, a first-time home seller can get the assistance that he or she needs to remain confident at each stage of the property selling journey.
A real estate agent understands the challenges associated with selling a house and will help a property seller avoid such problems. In fact, a real estate agent is happy to provide expert guidance to help a first-time home seller operate like a home selling professional.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will respond to a first-time home seller's concerns and queries. This guarantees a home seller can obtain unparalleled insights into how to set a competitive price for a residence, how to bolster a house's interior and exterior and much more.
Want to keep things positive as you proceed along the home selling journey for the first time? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can maintain a positive outlook as you navigate the home selling cycle.
If you recently added your house to the real estate market, it may be only a matter of time before you sell your house. In fact, if you know what to expect after a home listing is published, you can plan accordingly for all stages of the home selling journey.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you prepare for the home selling process.
1. Craft an Engaging and Informative Home Listing
Oftentimes, a home listing may dictate a seller's success. If a seller creates a listing that fails to effectively highlight a house's benefits, buyers may shy away from the residence altogether. On the other hand, a seller who crafts an engaging and informative listing can increase the probability of a fast, profitable home selling experience.
Your home listing should include relevant information about your residence, including details about your house's age and condition. Also, it may be beneficial to include high-resolution photographs of your house to help buyers envision what life may be like if they purchase your residence.
There is no need to stretch the truth in your home listing, either. Because if you fail to provide homebuyers with accurate information about your home – and these buyers discover "hidden" home problems during an inspection – you ultimately may put a potential home sale in jeopardy.
2. Make Your Home Available to Potential Buyers
As a home seller, you should strive to make your residence available to as many potential buyers as possible. Thus, if a buyer requests a home showing on short notice, you should be willing to temporarily vacate your residence to accommodate this buyer's request.
In addition, you should try to keep your house neat and tidy. That way, if a buyer requests a showing on short notice, you won't have to worry about scrambling to clean your home.
3. Know What Your Home Is Worth
After you list your house, buyers will read your home listing and set up showings. And if a buyer is truly interested in purchasing your home, he or she likely will submit an offer.
A seller generally has only a limited amount of time to assess an offer and decide whether to accept, reject or counter it. Fortunately, if you conduct a home appraisal, you can find out what your house is currently worth.
With a home appraisal, a property expert will examine your residence, as well as evaluate pertinent housing market data. Next, this property expert will offer a home valuation that helps you understand the true value of your house.
Lastly, if you need assistance as you sell your house, it may be helpful to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can teach you about the real estate sector and help you make informed decisions at each stage of the home selling journey.
Take the guesswork out of selling your house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can boost your chances of enjoying a fast and successful home selling experience.
If you're looking for that second home in the vacation paradise of your dreams, these five locations have just turned the corner from luxury sellers' market to luxury buyers' market:
Tennis clubs, golf resorts and views of white sand beaches and pristine blue water top the reasons why Maui has become a top-five hot luxury market. After experiencing a surge in vacation home prices over the past few years, the market here is now beginning to level out. This is good news for homebuyers seeking refuge on Hawaii's second-largest island. If you're in the mood for a tropical island paradise that won't cost a millionaire's fortune, Maui could be the solution.
Palm Beach, Fla.
Forty-seven miles of beaches and the absence of state income tax are only two of the draws for those looking to buy a luxury home in Palm Beach. Now becoming a strong market for buyers, this highly populated area of the United States features exotic nightlife and culture for days. There's always something to do and someone to do it with in Palm Beach, including buying a luxury home.
It's mostly young millennial couples who are buying up the luxury homes in and around Washington, D.C., including the area of Arlington, VA. High-paying jobs enjoyed by highly educated workers make this a hot spot for the upwardly mobile among us and the hottest commodities right now are new constructions or homes that have been renovated in the last five years.
Kauai, the northern-most island of the Hawaiian chain, has always been a magnet for the wealthiest home seekers. Privacy, lush green spaces and a quiet, unconventional lifestyle factor among the reasons for Kauai's popularity. Not known for it's sizzling nightlife, this area is prized for just the opposite -- as a private, respectful place to settle in and kick-back on vacation, spectacular views included.
Surprisingly, Brooklyn -- with its population of over 2.5 million people -- has recently become a luxury buyer's paradise. Once all but forgotten in the shadow of nearby Manhattan, the new construction of luxury condos, coupled with the old-time charm of the traditional brownstone, has rocketed Brooklyn to the forefront of choice places to live in the U.S. For luxury home buyers who enjoy the hustle and glamour of city living, Brooklyn is holding its own.
If you're looking to buy a luxury home in an area that may have been previously unaffordable, make one of these five luxury hot spots your new jumping-off point.