When I decided to become a home inspector, I got into a habit of inspecting things everywhere I went. I honestly cannot help myself anymore, it’s just what I do. Being a father and just loving kids in general, I started noticing things when I would go to playgrounds in the Arlington, Mansfield and Burleson areas with my own kids or with my nieces and nephews that worried me about their safety. I recently pulled some information from the CDC website I thought I would share to remind parents of how important it is to keep you children safe from serious injury.
According to the Centers for Disease Control:
Each year, more than 200,000 children in the U.S. are treated in emergency rooms for playground-related injuries.
About 75% of all non-fatal playground-related injuries occur on public playgrounds, mostly at schools and daycare centers.
Playground-related injuries cost an estimated $1.2 billion in 1995.
Girls are more prone to playground-related injuries than boys (55% to 45%, respectively).
The most at-risk age group for playground-related injuries are children ages 5 to 9.
Swings are responsible for the most injuries on home playgrounds, while climbing apparatus is the most dangerous equipment on public playgrounds.
Playgrounds in low-income areas in New York City have more maintenance-related hazards than those in high-income neighborhoods. For example, trash, rusty play equipment, and damaged fall surfaces were found to be more common in poorer communities than in wealthy areas.
We all want to keep our children safe and secure and help them live to their full potential. Knowing how to prevent leading causes of child injury, like falls, is a step toward this goal.
Falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for all children ages 0 to 19. Every day, approximately 8,000 children are treated in U.S. emergency rooms for fall-related injuries. This adds up to almost 2.8 million children each year.
Thankfully, many falls can be prevented, and parents and caregivers can play a key role in protecting children.
The following are tips that can be used to prevent children from sustaining injuries related to falls:
Play safely. Check to make sure playground equipment your child uses is properly designed and maintained and there’s a safe, soft landing surface below.
Make home safety improvements. Use home safety devices, such as guards on windows that are above ground level, stair gates, and guard rails. These devices can help keep a busy, active child from taking a dangerous tumble.
Keep sports safe. Make sure your child wears protective gear when playing active sports, such as wrist guards, knee and elbow pads, and a helmet when in-line skating.
Supervision is key. Supervise young children at all times around fall hazards, such as stairs and playground equipment, whether you’re at home or out to play.
• Across the United States, injuries are the leading cause of death among children ages 19 and younger.
• About 33 children die every day because of injuries.
• Each year, nearly 9.2 million children aged 0 to 19 years are seen in emergency departments for injuries, and 12,175 children die as a result of being injured.
In addition to doing all you can to protect a child from being injured because of a fall, follow these steps to prevent other leading causes of injuries:
Burns —Fire and scalding water can pose threats to children. To help keep kids safer from burns caused by fire, install and maintain smoke alarms in your home.
Drownings —Drownings can happen quickly and quietly, but installing four-sided fences, with self-closing and self-latching gates, around backyard swimming pools can make a life-saving difference by keeping kids away from the water when you’re not there to supervise.
Poisonings —Everyday household products can be poisonous to children, but you can safeguard your home. Keep medicines and toxic products, such as cleaning solutions, in locked or childproof cabinets.
Road traffic injuries
—To make injuries less likely when you’re on the road with kids, always use seat belts, child safety seats, and booster seats that are appropriate for your child’s age and weight.
Very few homeowners realize the need to drain a few gallons of water from your water heater twice a year. Regardless of the type of water heater you have, gas or electric, water heaters can develop a build up of sediment at the bottom of the tank. This build up can cause the water heater to operate inefficiently, shortening the life span of the appliance. Prior to draining water from your tank, you need to understand the proper way and safety concerns of performing this task. It is very important that when you are doing this maintenance to your water heater, you make sure the appliance is turned off and that you protect yourself from a potential burn.… Read the rest
MOST HOMEOWNERS DON’T REALLY UNDERSTAND HOW IMPORTANT THE INSULATION IS NEEDED TO GIVE YOU COMFORT AND REDUCE THOSE ENERGY BILLS IN YOUR HOME. BELOW IS SOME SIMPLE INFO ON INSULATION.
HOW INSULATION WORKS
You need insulation in your home to provide resistance to heat flow. The more heat flow resistance your insulation provides, the lower your heating and cooling costs.
Heat flows naturally from a warmer to a cooler space. In the winter, this heat flow moves directly from all heated living spaces to adjacent unheated garages, basements, and even to the outdoors. Heat flow can also move indirectly through interior floors, walls and ceilings wherever there is a difference in temperature.… Read the rest
Being a Fort Worth and Dallas area home inspector has taught me some simple methods homeowners can perform to help reduce your energy bills.
Homeowners can easily conduct a simple home energy audit for themselves to find and repair obvious issues. With a simple walk-through, you can spot many problems within the house.
Locating Air Leaks
It’s possible to save 5% to 30% per year in energy savings from reducing drafts in a home, and the home is generally much more comfortable afterward. Homeowners can check for indoor air leaks, such as gaps along the baseboard or edge of the flooring, and at junctures of the walls and ceiling.… Read the rest
With Winter around the corner, now is probably a good time to get that fireplace in shape for this season of sitting by the fire with a good book, spouse or significant other.
Even with our mild winters here in the Dallas Fort Worth area, the Chimney Safety Institute recommends that homeowners who light fires in their fireplaces three or more times a week during the heating season should have their chimneys inspected and cleaned once a year.
If unseasoned wood is burned in the fireplace, twice-a-year cleaning and inspection may be necessary, because unseasoned wood usually burns at a lower temperature than seasoned wood, causing more smoke and therefore more creosote.… Read the rest
Came across this a/c systems evaporator coil today. It’s amazing how lazy some people are. If you pay a professional to do a job, you expect to get a professional job done. The coil was so off level, condensation was standing on the left side of the pan whenever the a/c was running. Here in Texas, that’s most of the year. After years of this happening, the pan finally rusted through and is now leaking into the secondary pan and beyond to the plenum. The plenum is leaking onto the ceiling and wall of the bedroom below. Now we have a huge mess with water damage and mold.… Read the rest
Keeping the Lights on With High Quality Solar Inverters
No matter the size of a solar photovoltaic installation, it requires a solar power inverter in order to convert the current provided by the solar panels into usable AC current. Due to this, hobbyists and industrial concerns alike should only select the highest quality inverters for their use. Fortunately, SMA and Aurora solar inverters are examples of premium inverters.
The Importance of Quality
When selecting a solar power inverter, quality should always be the most important consideration. Not only are premium solar inverters more efficient and cost effective, but they also are more reliable.… Read the rest
I recently performed my routine maintenance on the jacuzzi tub we have in the master bath. I thought I would share some of the tips I’ve picked up during my home inspection career. I’m always seeking to better my knowledge on questions that may come up during one of my home inspections.
All whirlpool bathtubs have a small amount of residual water left in the pipeline. Minerals in water begin a process of calcifying around the insides of your pipes. This hard scale build up not only restricts water flow, but becomes a perfect breading ground for infectious bacteria. As the algae breaks off, you will see it in your bath water as ugly black flecks.… Read the rest
When people think about blood sucking insects, they first picture a mosquito or tick. Did you know bed bugs are also blood suckers. The tiny, sneaky insects are spreading so rapidly across the United States that almost no region or area is unbitten, a new survey suggests. The United States has seen a 50-fold increase in bed bug infestations over the last five years, according to the National Pest Management Association. An entomologist told MSNBC, “It’s like the return of the wooly mammoth,” as many of his peers had previously never seen a single bed bug in their careers. The outbreak has affected most parts of North America and Europe, especially in urban areas.… Read the rest
One of the hottest trends in 21sthome decorating and design is the combination of antique furniture with modern and contemporary interiors. Antique furniture has always been around in flea markets, museums, and in privately owned shops, but recently, more and more ordinary people have preferred to incorporate the ageless appeal of every piece of it into their very own home. Antiques are a wonderful way to add depth and dimension to any part of the house. The superior craftsmanship behind each piece is just an icing on the cake.
Worth Every Dime You Pay For
Antique furniture pieces have earned a reputation of being ridiculously overpriced.… Read the rest
Ok, being green isn’t always fun, it can be an inconvenience; and so can trying to save money. Unfortunately both of these things need doing and now is the time to start.
Fortunately, the two items often go together quite nicely, sooo if you feel like you should be saving more, and you would like to help the environment too, try these tips and kill 2 birds with one stone, so to speak.
Be Cooler With Your Heating
Learn to be smarter with your heating. Turning down your thermostat is the easiest way to start, but also consider turning radiators down or off in rooms you rarely use, and shut the doors to keep the heat in.… Read the rest