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Fire-Safe 2017: Defending Your Home Against Wildfires

With fire season in full swing, California residents need to be vigilant about maintaining fire-safe conditions on their properties. Photo: American Ratings Corporation (2017)

This year’s ample rain brought relief from the longstanding drought, but its deferred aftereffects have many California residents feeling an opposite sentiment. Following a profusion of spring growth, the onset of summer heat has transformed the landscape’s verdant splendor into a dry tinder, setting the stage for what fire authorities predict to be a harsh wildfire season. So far, this forecast appears to be accurate: According to a recent CNBC report, as of June 24, the amount of California acreage burned by wildfires is up threefold compared to this time in 2016.

While most of the fires thus far have taken place in Southern California, the state’s northern regions have an equally incendiary potential, with wildfires having ravaged Lake and Mendocino Counties in recent years. That’s why Northern California residents—particularly those situated in the wildland-urban interface—need to be vigilant about maintaining fire-safe conditions on their properties. Continue reading “Fire-Safe 2017: Defending Your Home Against Wildfires” »

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Fire Away! 4 Hot Tips for a Fire-Safe Summer


During the dry summer months, wildfires are a constant concern throughout California. Photo: American Ratings Corporation (2015)

So, you survived the 4th of July without any major fire-related catastrophes. However, just because the fireworks have subsided (for the most part—watch out for stragglers), it doesn’t mean you can cruise through the rest of fire season on autopilot. To make sure you have your bases covered in terms of fire safety, take a look at this checklist:

1. Make sure your smoke detectors are operational. If you’re like most people, you’ve probably been tempted to remove the batteries from a smoke alarm—especially by the 27th time you inadvertently set it off while cooking bacon. However, in the event of a legitimate fire emergency, having your smoke detectors out of commission can carry dire consequences. If you want to cut down on the frequency of accidental triggers, consider swapping out your old units for recently updated models. In addition to being equipped with built-in, tamper-proof batteries to ensure functionality, the new smoke alarms have a “hush” feature, so the next time you burn your toast, the mere touch of a button will restore tranquility to your home environment. Continue reading “Fire Away! 4 Hot Tips for a Fire-Safe Summer” »

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Preparing Your Home for Winter with Fall Maintenance: Part 2

While Part 1 of this blog series outlined important weatherproofing measures to protect your home against water and air leaks, this segment addresses a second, equally crucial aspect of winter home preparation:


In addition to weatherproofing, another crucial part of preparing your home for the winter season is inspecting and servicing heating fixtures. Photo: Bayhill Heat & Air (2014)

Make sure vital heating systems are performing safely and efficiently.
There are two fixtures you don’t want to break down in the middle of winter: your central heating system and your hot water heater. Losing either of these crucial home components can make for an extremely uncomfortable situation, so it’s a good idea to make sure they’re in good working order before the cold weather sets in. Continue reading “Preparing Your Home for Winter with Fall Maintenance: Part 2” »

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