Real Estate Watch: Improving fire safety in your home

Real Estate Watch: Improving fire safety in your home

I have noticed during 2015 that the sirens from the local fire departments have been going off more frequently, but then again it might be my imagination going bonkers!  

But really, is this possible, with the aging of homes on Long Island especially on the North Shore going through New Hyde Park and its surrounding towns?  

There are a multitude of reasons why fires start, especially at this time of the season.  

As a home ages, so does the electrical wiring and outlets.  Many times this is an overlooked area that many homeowners and landlords forget about or just do not think about as a serious safety hazard within their homes.  

But many times, this can turn into a catastrophe and in some instances death for its inhabitants.  

Who thinks about checking wiring or outlets, very few from my experience; it is only when there  is a fire, that the results come out, faulty wiring, overloaded circuit from a space heater.  

I suggest if you haven’t checked your wiring and/or outlets lately, have a licensed professional  electrician come in to check them out and also make sure you have upgraded or up to date G.F.I. circuit breakers and outlets anywhere near water (bathrooms and kitchens as required by the local electrical code), so as to not get electrocuted.   

If you were to drop a hairdryer or any other type of appliance in water where you are bathing or washing dishes, etc. this could turn into a very fatal situation.   

I myself have changed most of my outlets over the past few years, because the original ones were so poor, that I thought it was time to be on the safe side and replace them with up to date ones, especially in my bathrooms and kitchen, where accidents can and do occur.  

Also, there are people, who ignorantly use kerosene heaters indoors to keep warm, but then don’t realize the serious dangers of  getting asphyxiated from the carbon Monoxide emitted and they and their children can and do die in their sleep.   

A very famous tennis player, Vitas Gerilaitis, had passed away in September of 1995, due to asphyxiation, from a supposedly improperly installed heater in a cottage out on a Southampton estate.  

This was an unfortunate accident that could have been prevented, if proper installation had occurred. 

When is the last time you checked and cleaned out your chimney/fireplace and minimized and reduced the creosote, that also does cause fires in many homes from lack of preventive maintenance, especially at this time of the year, when many of us with fireplaces, use them during the holiday seasons; but inadvertently, never check or clean them out!  

Creosote is an extremely flammable substance and with the right amount of heat, a fire can start within your chimney, and make its way into your home.  

Also, you must make sure your flu (the opening to let  the smoke from the fireplace out into the air) be open in advance of staring your holiday fire.   

The last thing you need to happen is a fire to spoil your party gatherings, that you have planed so well, but forgot about your proactive maintenance on your fireplace.  

Upgrading your circuit breaker to 200 or more amp, depending on your usage and needs within your home is another important area of concern.  

Some federal-styled boxes I have been told are very dangerous and some still exist in homes, which can cause electrical issues and overload situations.  

If you have a very old electrical box, especially with screw in glass breakers; do yourself a favor and replace them with permanent circuit breakers, that are much more safer and react quickly to overloads are up to the standard electrical codes that most villages have in and around Nassau County and beyond.

There are so many ways to get hurt in a home and potentially have fatalities due to fires, caused by the previous types of situations.  

Don’t be a common statistic and do your preventive maintenance on your electrical systems and fireplaces.  

Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish.  

Call your local professional and check out your homes and be safe, while enjoying the holidays!

P.S.  Have you checked your smoke/fire detector batteries lately?  

Change them immediately, if your detector is beeping or if you do not see a green or white light on, showing that the device is actively working.  

P.P.S.S. Try to do your final cleanup over the next two to three weeks before your ground begins to freeze and your leaves get stuck and you end up killing off the grasses beneath next spring.  

Also, trim off all dead branches to allow for new growth to spring forth next year!


Enjoy a More Healthier, More Happier, & Hopefully More Prosperous 2015!

Philip A. Raices, Pres.

Licensed Real Estate 

Broker Consultant

Past President of the Rotary Club Of Great Neck 2011-2012

G.R.I. (Graduate Realtor Institute)

C.I.P.S. Designee (Certified International Property Specialist)

Turn Key Real Estate

7 Bond St.

Great Neck N. Y. 11021-2414

Mobile: (516) 647-4289

Office : (516) 829-2205

Fax : (516) 829-0717

Email: [email protected]

“For Service, Before, During & After The Sale”

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  1. It is very sad that the sockets and wires are remembered only when there are sad, harmful consequences. Electricians should always be engaged in advance, just for prevention to check the condition of the wiring, because this is the safety of your family! It is equally important to choose a really good electrician, it is best to read more about his practice first. For example, in the Montgomery electrical services, you can immediately read examples from practice, precautions, and so on: It is very valuable when the service shares examples of its service, and you can clearly evaluate the work and make a decision.

  2. Great tips, thank you. Now everyone wants to live in a safe house that brings pleasure. Often, it all comes down to the usual safety rules and the use of proper and serviceable appliances at home. It is also important to monitor your water supply and electronic wiring. If necessary, look for the best electricians in the area, I used this list when I lived in Singapore


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