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How does bracing your water heater protect you during an earthquake?

Ever wonder why you need to have your water heater braced and strapped? Most people think it is a safety matter and most homeowners ensure it is done as it is required when they are selling their home.  If your tall, heavy water heater is not securely anchored and it falls over in an earthquake it could cause bodily harm to someone or damage something. But that is only half of the potential problem.

What is less obvious to most people is that there could be much more serious repercussions. Water heater movement during an earthquake can cause damage to gas lines, water lines, and electrical wiring, which may result in fire, explosion, and electrocution, or worse.

You can easily ensure you water heater is securely strapped and braced - and always best to check with a plumber or HVAC professional to make sure it is done properly.  If you need a referral to a professional plumber or HVAC tech to do so let me know!

Having watched my neighbors  home recently almost burn down in the middle of the night made me think what can I do to ensure my place is fire safe? Batteries replaced in all my smoke detectors - that was a given.  After talking to another neighbor watching the fire burn she told me her friends house had a fire that started IN their fireplace chimney because it turned out it was never cleaned and the fire came into the house.  That was enough for me to get my chimney cleaned!

Why is Chimney Sweeping necessary?

Creosote is a byproduct of fire, and will build up inside of the chimney no matter what type of fuel that you burn. Since creosote is flammable, as its building up the risk of it catching fire increases every time the fireplace is used. The primary purpose of sweeping the chimney is to remove as much of the flammable creosote as possible and as a result minimize the possibility of having a dangerous chimney fire.

* To reduce the risk of a chimney fire

* to remove acidic buildup that is damaging to a chimney

* To allow for proper evaluation of chimney condition

* To assist in removing noxious odors

* to improve chimney draw

Check of the great local San Diego company Swede Chimney Sweep I used for minimal cost to feel safe making fires this winter, the owner Rick was professional, efficient, clean, easy and quick - read more on his website for more details.

http://swedesweep.com/chimneysweeping.htm

A pending home sales index maintained by the National Association of Realtors showed an annual gain in September for the 17th month in a row.

 

Read more here;

 

http://www.inman.com/news/2012/10/25/pending-home-sales-17th-consecutive-month

Need a reminder how good we have it today? Take a look back at the history of interest rates!

http://www.car.org/aboutus/onecoolthing/interestrate/?=browser#

Tight housing inventory hurts September home sales;   median price continues to post higher than previous month and year, C.A.R. says

A continued shortage of available  homes for sale lowered California home sales in September, while the median price reached the highest level in more than four years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) reported. 

“Sales in the inland and coastal markets continue to move in different directions. Low inventory – especially in distressed areas – is dampening sales activity,” said C.A.R. President LeFrancis Arnold. “In many of these areas, there is a one- to two-month supply of REO homes on the market. "The Inland Empire and the Central Valley have experienced double-digit sales declines compared with last year. Meanwhile, sales were higher in San Diego and most Bay Area counties, where the economies appear to be growing faster than the rest of the state.”

Read more here!

http://www.car.org/newsstand/newsreleases/2012releases/septembersales

I recently had a buyer whose mortgage broker told hem they had to pay him for their pre-approval - read below as this is not legal!

http://www.car.org/aboutus/onecoolthing/avoidscams/