Tracey Fiorelli
Janice Mitchell Real Estate, Inc | 508-509-8162 | [email protected]


Posted by Tracey Fiorelli on 3/14/2020

There are a lot of effective ways to keep your home safe, secure, and free from intrusion, but those techniques are of little use if you don't consistently use them.

Technological solutions are well worth considering because they can be activated and monitored from almost any location.

Whether you're at a restaurant across town or comfortably lying in bed on a chilly night, the cost of a  high-tech security system can be worth it, in terms of convenience, safety, and peace of mind.

If the cost or learning curve of using an automated home security system is outside your comfort zone, there are still plenty of simple and inexpensive techniques you can use to keep your family safe and sound. Regardless of the strategies you choose, it's better to err on the side of caution than to assume it'll never happen to you.

Change your locks: If you've just bought a new home or recently moved into one, having new locks installed on your doors is one of the cornerstones of a good home security plan. While some homeowners tend to be rather tight fisted when it comes to lending their house keys to friends, neighbors, housekeepers, and contractors, others tend to be quite liberal with the practice. Each time your house keys have been copied and passed along to people you don't know well (or at all), the overall security of your home has been compromised. If you're not sure which category the previous owner of your home fits into ("tight fisted" or "liberal"), then it would make sense to change the locks on all your doors. That way, you're eliminating the element of doubt and fortifying the secureness of your new home. It will also help you sleep better at night and increase the chances that only welcome guests will pass through your doors!

Get to know your neighbors: By maintaining friendly relations with your immediate neighbors -- especially those that live next door and directly across the street -- they will be more likely to contact you or the police if they see anything suspicious. If you happen to be chatting with neighbors and they mention that they're going away for the weekend or longer, they'll appreciate it if you promise to "keep an eye on their house" while they're gone. Hopefully, they'll return the favor when you're away for the day or out of town for longer. It's a good feeling when neighbors are looking out for neighbors, but -- as is the case with all relationships -- it does require some maintenance. More often than not, however, it's worth it!





Posted by Tracey Fiorelli on 6/30/2018

You know there are certain household items that need to be replaced regularly. But just how regularly is where things might start to get fuzzy. Especially those big tickets items that need to be replaced on a yearly span rather than months or days. Keep reading to discover how often you need to replace items around the home. Pillows. You want to replace the pillows in your home every couple of years. You’ve probably heard by now that up to a third of a regularly used pillow’s weight can be attributed to dust and dead skin cells. You may not, however, made the connection that a dust filled pillow equals dust mites. While dust mites do not carry communicable diseases, they do pose as an allergy and/or asthma irritant. HVAC filters. During the summer and winter months when your system is working longer hours to maintain your home’s temperatures you will want to change your filters each month. Meanwhile, in the spring and fall, you can do so less frequently, changing it around the three-month mark. Changing your filter regularly will keep your system running efficiently and save you money on energy costs in the long run. Fire extinguisher. You have a fire extinguisher in your home, right? If you don’t I suggest you run out and get one right away. Fire extinguishers can be replaced every ten years, however, they do need to be tested monthly and inspected regularly. Toilet brush. This is one not many homeowners think of, if ever. However, it advisable to replace your toilet brush every six months with regular cleanings in between. As you can image, toilet brushes are host to all kinds of germs and bacteria you don’t want to hang around your home. Toothbrushes. If your family stays on top of their recommended regular teeth cleanings every three months this point shouldn’t be an issue. However, it is one worth mentioning. Your family’s toothbrushes should be replaced every three months as they can develop bacteria that lead to gingivitis and/or tooth decay. And isn’t that what we’re trying to avoid when we brush our teeth? Smoke detectors. It is best practice to proactively replace the batteries in your smoke detector twice a year. With that said it is a good idea to also replace the smoke detector itself every ten years to ensure you have an up to date model. Throughout those ten years, however, you should be regularly testing your alarms. If you have recently moved to a new home and are unsure of how old your smoke alarm system is it is a good idea to plan on replacing them in the near future. Hopefully, you already regularly maintain these items. However, if you can’t remember the last time you have replaced any of the items mentioned you should consider making a plan to invest in some replacements. Making a spreadsheet in your home binder or setting up alerts on your virtual calendar will help you stay on top of the regular maintenance your household items require.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Tracey Fiorelli on 11/5/2015

Protecting your home from burglars may seem like a no-brainer to some. Unfortunately for many homeowners, it takes an actual break-in for them to turn their attention to securing their homes against intruders. Here are a few preemptive steps that you can take in order to put your mind at ease. 1. Install a security system. Many modern homes come equipped with some form of security alarm. However, if you find yourself purchasing a home that doesn't already have a security system in place, you should consider your options for outfitting your home with one. There are many different types of security systems to choose from, and picking the most expensive plan doesn't always mean you are getting the most protection for your dollar. If you live in a rural area, for instance, focusing on a deterrent-based form of home security might better suit you than one that places police response as their most-prized feature. If it will take 15 minutes or more for a police officer to respond to your property, then you may need to consider a plan that places emphasis on loud alarms, or even a form of motion-sensor lighting to deter a break in. TopConsumerReviews.com has compiled an up-to-date list of some of the most comprehensive security plans on the market today. http://www.topconsumerreviews.com/home-security/ 2. Keep your doors and windows locked. Many break-ins don't actually require anything being "broken" in order for an intruder to gain access to your home. Keeping your windows and doors locked may seem like an obvious step, but you'd be surprised at the number of burglaries and home invasions that occur from homeowners ignoring this very practical safety measure. Also, if your home doesn't already come equipped with them, consider purchasing deadbolts for all of the exit doors in your home. Additionally, consider installing a peephole in your door if you don't already have one. Sometimes, all it takes is opening your door in response to a knock that can set off a home invasion. Never open your door to a stranger unless you are comfortable and secure in doing so. Don't feel foolish asking for credentials when opening your door to someone claiming to work for the water or gas company, either. Many times, a burglar can shut off certain things in your home from the outside to pave the way for knocking at your door, claiming to be there to help restore your services. 3. Alert a trusted neighbor when you go on vacation. Having a trusted neighbor pick up your mail and newspapers will give your home the appearance of being occupied, and will take the attention away from the wandering eyes of a potential burglar. Also, if the neighbor sees suspicious activity, it will give you an extra line of defense in the event that your security system and safety measures happen to fail. 4. Leave an electronic appliance on that is visible through a window. Many burglars prefer to do their work in your home while you are away. Leaving a television on in a room, or a light on in a window visible from the outside will give them the impression that your house is currently occupied. Many former burglars have stated that they avoid break-ins where there is an obvious risk of coming into contact with the homeowner. 5. Keep track of your spare keys. Putting a spare key to your home under the mat isn't the smartest option, and is in fact one of the first places many burglars check in order to ensure they can get into your house quickly and quietly. Consider hiding your spare key under a rock, away from the front door. This will ensure a tougher hunt for the potential burglar. 6. Landscaping. Many people haven't considered landscaping being an enabler of home invasions, but many landscaping options we use for our privacy concerns can actually end up HELPING a potential burglar gain access to your home. Privacy bushes and fences outside your first-floor bathroom window might seem like a good idea at first, until you consider that you are also giving a potential burglar an easily concealed place to work on entry into your home. Consider more sensible options, like window tinting or decorative cling wraps instead. If you must have a privacy hedge, consider one that loses it's concealment capabilities when viewed from the front yard. This will ensure that your neighbor cannot see you get out of the shower, but would severely limit the amount of concealment a burglar could take advantage of. For more information on how to secure your home, as well as tips for protecting yourself against home invasions, please visit the following links. http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/household-safety/security/home-security-tips.htm http://www.statefarm.com/aboutus/_pressreleases/2010/burglary_is_probably_the_most_preventable_crime-az.asp http://www.crimedoctor.com/homeinvasion.htm





Posted by Tracey Fiorelli on 1/1/2015

Mold in a home can present serious health risks for the occupants, and even more problems for those looking to buy or sell a house. Remedying a major mold problem can be costly, so taking steps to ensure that mold can't gain a foothold is important for you and your family. Control the humidity - Keep your humidity levels low....No higher than 50%. Most people run into humidity issues in their basements, so think about getting a dehumidifier if you are having trouble with moisture levels. If you have central a/c, then controlling the humidity level of your house should be relatively easy, as the air in your home will be constantly on the move, keeping humidity from building up in any one particular room. Just be sure to have your air conditioning and heating ducts checked for signs of mold. Check Your Vents - Dryer, kitchen, and bathroom vents can all pose mold problems if they aren't built to blow exhaust directly out of your home. Flooding - If your home happens to incur flood damage, be sure to rectify the problem within 24 house, and at most, 48. Any longer than that, and you risk mold growth. Sometimes, minor flooding issues can be overlooked for a day or two, so if there are any instances where carpets, rugs, or upholstery are moist or wet for an extended period of time, then have them replaced to avoid mold complications. Painting - If you plan to paint your home, look into adding mold inhibitors to your paint. This will cut down on the amount of places in your home that mold can proliferate. If you suspect that your home has an existing mold problem, then please follow the link provided. http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldcleanup.html





Posted by Tracey Fiorelli on 8/14/2014

Child-Proofing Your Home. Unintentional injury is one of the leading causes of death in children under 14. That should be enough to make any parent shudder. Child-proofing a new or existing home can be quite the headache, but it's an incredibly neccessary step in making sure your home is safe for all members of your family. Luckily, by following a simple checklist, you can rest easy knowing that you've covered most, if not all of your bases. While there are extra steps that may need to be taken on a house-by-house basis, most of these steps are applicable to just about every kind of residence. Smoke Detectors - While this may seem like an obvious step, you'd be surprised how many people don't follow through with their fire alert system. Low batteries, improper placement, and broken detectors can all spell potential tragedy for you and your family. Pay close attention to the manufacturer's instructions. You should have at least one smoke detector per level of your home, including the basement and attic. One very important step you can take these days is to purchase batteries that are designated for electronic devices. Carbon Monoxide Detectors - These need to be placed near sleeping areas, and at least 15 feet away from any fuel-burning appliances. Anti-Scalding Devices for your faucets - Contact your local plumber to get an estimate. Door Stops and Door Holders - If your home already comes equipped with these, then make sure they are all in good working order. Outlet Covers and Plates - Ensure that covers and plates aren't easily removable. Edge and Corner Bumpers - These come in a variety of styles, and are easily installed on the sharp edges and corners of your home. Pay special attention to the corners in your kitchen, as many child injuries take place here. Safety Latches and Locks - These need to be installed in cabinets that would be accessible at your child's level. These will prevent your child from gaining access to areas that hazardous cleaning materials are stored, like under your sinks. Doorknob Covers and Door Locks - Use these on rooms that aren't child-proofed. If you can prevent unsupervised access to a room, you don't have to worry about keeping it in perfect working order in regard to child proofing. Child Gates - Stair-related accidents can be avoided by implementing a gate system. Pay special attention to the types of gates used.....Pet gates are NOT the same product, and may lack the level of protection needed to ensure proper safety of your child. Childen are resourceful individuals, and can breach many systems that your family pets cannot.