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.
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
It’s time for the Fall season, which means the annual chores need to be done. Many of us put these chores off as long as possible. From raking, to cleaning the house, to splitting firewood, to getting ready for the holidays, these tasks need to get done. Many of these fall chores are physically exhausting. But, depending on your health, they can also be a great form of exercise and calorie burners.
Here are some healthy reasons why fall chores can help you get some exercise.
Raking Leaves – on average burns 280 calories per hour.
Whether you have to rake leaves or grass clippings from your lawn, this chore is exactly that – a chore.… Read the rest
If you have fuel burning appliances in your home, you owe it to your family to have CO detectors installed. Carbon monoxide detectors are great devices to use when fuel-burning appliances are used in the home. They can be very useful for keeping watch on the CO levels in the home.
Carbon monoxide (CO) can be a sneaky killer, it’s colorless, odorless, poisonous gas that forms from incomplete combustion of fuels, such as natural or liquefied petroleum gas, oil, wood or coal.
• 170 people on average in the United States die every year from CO produced by non-automotive consumer products.… 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
If you find the constant scheduling of tasks or general chaos in your household is too much to handle, then perhaps investing in a family command center is good idea. There are many versions of a family command center and each one is specifically designed to fit different household and family needs. The best thing about creating a family command center is that it is a great DIY project, so it won’t end up costing a fortune to get your family’s duties back on track.
How to Create a Family Command Center
Materials & Location
The general materials you will need to create a simple family command center are:
- Bulletin/dry erase/chalk board
- Hammer/electric drill
- Measuring tape
- Writing utensils (markers or chalk)
Depending on the complexity of your creativity skills or budget, you can also add decorative measures, such as ribbons, bows or picture frames of each family member, but feel free to be as basic as possible.… Read the rest
The recent bathroom trend has been to go for the modern look; incorporating stylish travertine or granite tiles, with an unusually shaped bathtub and a walk in shower. However, modern bathroom designs don’t suit every property and owners of period buildings have to take a different approach. Victorian themed bathrooms are becoming increasingly popular and are a great way to add a touch of class and individuality to your room. But how can you create such a look?
An ornamental sink
Sinks tend to be the focal point of any bathroom and people are naturally drawn to them due to the fact that a mirror is usually hung right above.… Read the rest
A moisture meter is a device designed to measure the moisture content of various building materials, such as roofing, siding, insulation, drywall, plaster, wood, tile and fiberglass. Structural and safety hazards, such as mold, rot and decay are all potential consequences of elevated moisture levels in these materials. An inspector can use a moisture meter to locate moisture that would not otherwise be apparent.
Here are a few ways that inspectors may find moisture meters useful:
•A moisture meter can be used to determine whether a material is moist enough to allow mold to grow. Mold will begin to accumulate on surfaces that contain approximately 20% moisture, although this value varies based on vapor pressure and other factors.… Read the rest
Everyone seems to be struggling for money these days. Maybe it has something to do with being in the middle of the worst financial disaster of our time. If you’re entrepreneurially minded you could change all that if you have a garden. It doesn’t matter how small the garden, though bigger would be better. There are lots of ways you could turn your garden into a money making machine.
Now you won’t need to worry about next months credit card bill. You won’t be spending next summer at home if you can afford to get away somewhere beautiful. All because you dared to be different.… Read the rest
10 Easy Ways to Save Energy in Your Home
Most people don’t know how easy it is to make their homes run on less energy, and here at Leahy’s Inspections, we want to change that. Drastic reductions in heating, cooling and electricity costs can be accomplished through very simple changes, most of which homeowners can do themselves. Of course, for homeowners who want their homes to take advantage of the most up-to-date knowledge and systems in home energy-efficiency, Home inspector energy auditors can perform in-depth testing to find the best energy solutions for your particular home.
Why make your home more energy efficient?… Read the rest
1. Check gutters for leafs and debris and clean out if needed
2. Low areas in the yard or next to foundation need to be filled in. Low areas (negative grade toward home) will cause water to pond and if not corrected could leave you with some unwanted foundation problems. All grading around house should drop 6 inches every 10 ft away from the home.
3. If you used your fireplace over the winter, good time to have the chimney swept and cleaned and be ready for next winter.
4. Look for exterior paint issues, cracking, buckling and etc. Look for areas that need caulking.… Read the rest