TIP OF THE WEEK
Home accidents cause nearly 13 million injuries a year. Some simple updates to your home can help you avoid these accidents, as well as give your rooms a facelift.
The less clutter, the better: Sometimes the bulky knife block can be an eyesore or take up too much space on small countertops. If you are looking for new and interesting ways to store sharp knives, try installing magnet strips on the backsplash in the kitchen. This will not only keep your counter clutter free, but give your kitchen some flair.
Step it up: Have kids at home? Put a stepstool that slides into the toe kick beneath the sink so that your kids are able to roll it out like a drawer and step up to wash their hands. This is also great for parents who have young chefs in the house who like to help out in the kitchen.
A Soft Landing: If you find yourself having "butterfingers" more often than not, try putting down flooring that is made from a soft material like cork in the working areas of the kitchen. This way, you can help prevent breakage next time something slips through your fingers.
Get a grip: If you are planning a bathroom remodel or simply want to make a change, choose tile with textured surfaces. This will make them less slippery under wet, bare feet. Smaller tile with more grout also helps prevent slippery surfaces.
Let there be light: Whether it's a trip to the kitchen for a midnight snack or to the bathroom in the middle of the night, toe kick LED lighting that is connected to a motion sensor can be a great nightlight that doesn't always have to be left on.
-- Family Features/3M
Showing in the cold
Selling your home during the winter months can be tough. Colder temperatures, snow, ice and rain, can all hinder potential buyers from venturing out to look at homes. Although showing a home in the winter isn't ideal, you can make your showing pleasant for those that do come by. Start by turning up your thermostat a degree or two warmer than usual and then set it to normal to prevent the heat from turning on while buyers are inside your home. If you have a fireplace, light a fire and open the damper, but be sure to place a grate in front of the fire to avoid any potential fire-related accidents. Along with keeping the temperature warm, you can also serve hot soups, chili, stew or hot apple cider or hot chocolate to keep your guests warm.
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Emphasize your fireplace
If your home has a fireplace, it's probably been an afterthought during the warmer months of the year. But now that the cold is bearing down, the fireplace -- and more importantly, the space in front of the fireplace -- will not only be a source of warmth, but also a place for family and friends to gather. After cleaning and prepping your fireplace to be used, create a cozy space by rearranging your furniture. Pull your furniture in toward the center of the room and face them toward the fireplace opening. You can also create more coziness with extra pillows and throw blankets for family and friends to use while enjoying the warmth.
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Backup power solutions
A loss of electricity poses one of the greatest potential dangers and inconveniences when a winter storm strikes. The most popular backup power solutions are portable generators and permanently-installed standby generator systems. Portable generators are generally low maintenance, compact and easily maneuverable on the property. These units are typically powered by gasoline and can work well as a quick solution during a power outage to provide reliable electricity to a few essential items and appliances. Families who want a backup power source that offers uninterrupted power should opt for a home standby generator system. Home standby generators are permanently installed, so they need to be done by a professional. These generators are connected to a house's existing propane or natural gas line. Home standby generators can power more of a home's high-wattage appliances.
-- Family Features/Briggs & Stratton