Fourth of July weekend brings family and friends together to celebrate our country’s independence and freedom. You might also get a little lax on fire safety at a time when it may matter most. It’s important during this holiday to keep in mind that open flames are not the only possible source of a house fire; anything hot enough can start one including fireworks and grills. Let’s look at some specific risks and how to protect yourself and your guests during the holiday:
Grilling – Cooking outdoors is a tradition, but according to the National Fire Protection Institute, grilling causes an average of 8,900 house fires each year. However, you can minimize your risks by following a few simple steps:
- Keep the grill at least 10 feet from the house and any wooden deck railings.
- Clear the area around the grill of flammable debris.
- Make sure the cover is open when lighting a grill.
- For propane grills, use the lighting button or a long-handled lighter.
- Always turn the grill off at the propane tank first.
- For charcoal grills, never spray fluid into the grill onto an open flame.
- Keep a bucket of water nearby.
- Designate someone to man the grill after it’s been lit.
- Keep other activities away from the cooking area.
Fireworks – The most obvious source of house fires over the Fourth of July weekend is fireworks. They’re usually the highlight of the evening and what everyone is waiting for, so make sure they’re legal in your county by checking your local municipality’s regulations before using. In addition, you can make sure they’re handled safely with these tips:
- Always put a sober adult in charge of handling and lighting fireworks.
- Never allow children to light fireworks.
- Use fireworks away from buildings, trees, and debris.
- Light only one at a time and keep clear once it’s lit.
- Leave big fireworks to the pros.
You can find even more safety tips on the National Council on Fireworks Safety’s website.
Fire Pits – Outdoor fireplaces are perfect for relaxing after the fireworks show or just for a nice evening in the summer. Keep everyone safe by following these easy safety tips:
- Use fire pits on concrete or sand and keep well away from buildings and debris.
- Start the fire using paper or twigs instead of lighter fluid.
- Keep all wood completely inside the fire pit.
- Burn only properly-seasoned wood.
- Have water ready to handle problems before they get out of control.
- When you’re done for the night, ensure the fire is completely quenched.
Find more fire pit safety tips at This Old House.
A fire due to carelessness ruins the Fourth of July weekend for everyone. By following these common sense tips, you can ensure safer fun for all and no damage to your new Trumark home.
Considering a move? Need a city that’s just as unique as you? Santa Ana, CA may be the exact place you’re looking for. With a fun, artsy, and laid-back community, Santa Ana has tons of activities for locals and their visitors to take part in, and our upcoming Tribella neighborhood just adds even more to the mix. Take a look at some of the area’s best attractions, schools and shopping opportunities, and learn more about why Santa Ana could be just right for you.
- Discovery Cube:If you’re looking for family fun in an educational environment, the Santa Ana science center is the place to be. Your kids can learn while having more fun than they might at a playground, and many of the exhibits are interactive, so you and your little ones can be hands-on during your visit. For even more fun, be sure to visit during the yearly Bubble Fest, a major attraction for the city which features a bubble laser show, water spheres and much more.
- Newport Beach:The beach, with its glorious surf, sun and sand, is only a short 20-minute drive from Santa Ana, so get ready to pack a bag and head over to the shining shore. Boat rentals and lively dining are plentiful, giving you the chance to have a family-friendly adventure or a more adult-friendly outing.
- Santa Ana Zoo:Santa Ana also has its own zoo with monkeys, reptiles and other wildlife to keep you coming back year after year. In addition, as you enjoy the animals, you can participate in fun events, such as Brew at the Zoo, which allows you to enjoy beer, crafts and music during your visit.
- Bowers Museum:If you enjoy culture, you can visit Bowers Museum, which includes a wonderful array of exhibits from around the world. You can view mummified remains from Egypt, religious artifacts from Rome and artistic pieces from China in the same place.
- Dia de los Muertos:Santa Ana celebrates the traditional Mexican holiday, the Day of the Dead, as a huge family festival with its own parade each year. You’ll dress up, eat traditional food and even learn about the holiday as floats and dancers fill the streets of Santa Ana.
Santa Ana schools are known for their excellence in education and have received multiple awards. In addition, area high schools, such as Mater Dei High School, are known for their athletic accolades. In fact, Mater Dei’s baseball team ranks among the top 25 high school teams in the United States, giving the city plenty to be proud about.
The shopping opportunities in Santa Ana are practically endless. In addition to great area stores, there are multiple downtown events that allow artists to display their creations and you to buy them.
- The Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival: Santa Ana is filled with artists and creators alike and one of the best ways to see what many of them are up to is at the Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival. This annual downtown event originated in Santa Ana, with dozens of artists displaying their creations for purchase.
- Santa Ana Art Walk: The art is never-ending, especially with this event held once a month in downtown Santa Ana that places a spotlight on up-and-coming artists as well as well-established artists in the city. You’ll be able to find pieces from a variety of collections that fit perfectly with your unique home.
Santa Ana is one of the safest cities in the U.S. and getting around is easy. You won’t have to worry about driving everywhere to enjoy the sites as sidewalks are ample and bike riding is a way of life. Specially designated lanes for people who ride bikes can be found across the city making most of your travelling easy and convenient. There is also an Amtrak system available for easy commuting.
If you’re visiting Santa Ana or planning to stay a while, you’ll find more to do as you explore the various communities that make up the enthralling city. As it continues to grow, Santa Ana will also continue to provide new and exciting experiences for its residents and visitors, so buying a home could be your best bet for staying tuned in to the growing Southern California city. Lucky for you, Tribella is almost here.
After four years of crammed open houses, heated competition and dizzying price gains that sent the median cost of a home to $1.2 million, San Francisco’s real estate market is starting to lose steam.
Technology has added a few more choices when it comes to eco-friendly cooling systems designed to cool a home from the inside out. Over the years, new materials have been developed to keep the cool air in the house while reflective methods prevent the heat from coming in. Not only are there environmentally-friendly ways to cool down your home, they’re also effective at saving costs on power. Check out a few ways you can stay cool and save a few dollars in the process:
- Green Energy
Depending on the region and area, many residential communities are taking advantage of renewable energy for cooling homes. The most noted renewable forms are the sun and wind, both of which require an initial investment to convert natural energy into power to cool the home. Swamp coolers or evaporative coolers, which require less energy to operate by blowing air over water soaked pads and lowering inside temperatures, have also been used for years.
Ceiling and floor fans move air to reduce the inside temperature, but they don’t necessarily cool that same air down. This is where air conditioners come in. They use thermostats to maintain the temperature and can also be programmed to cool the house before you get home from work, and if you program them correctly, it could make a big difference in the amount of energy needed.
It’s also important to make sure the unit is sized just right for the square footage of your home. A small unit has to work longer to cool the home and a unit that’s too big will recycle off air and cost you more money to operate.
- Heat Shields
Be sure to take advantage of the heat shields on the market today for windows and doors in your home. There’s a wide selection of sunscreen fabrics, shades and window dressings from provides such as Arizona Sun Supply that fit many home décors and aesthetics. Sustainable technology has also improved windows and now offers double glass panes and tinting to prevent the sun’s heat from entering the home. Reflective paints can also work to deflect the heat from the home’s rooftop. You may also want to consider updating your home’s insulation, especially if your home is older as the right type of insulation can help to reduce cooling costs in the home.
Environmentally friendly trees and shrubs in the yard are perfect shade producers reducing the heat in the area. Plants have a natural ability to absorb heat, releasing it as water vapors, which creates a cooling effect to lower temperatures. If you prefer bare minimums, think about window awnings or simple porch covers to divert the sun’s direct heat from the home as well. In this case, using what nature already provides could be the best preventative in an overheating home.
- Less Humidity
Heat is a natural conductor of humidity causing high levels of moisture in the home. This same moisture can damage window seals allowing cool air to escape along with your money. Humidity can also affect your health, allowing airborne molds and harmful bacteria to flourish upsetting respiratory functions, so in this case, cooling home can also help your health. Eco-friendly ways to reduce humidity include fans and air conditioners, both of which cool the air and remove moisture produced by heat.
To escape the heat at home and save a few dollars in the process, follow these tips and see the world of difference you can make not only for yourself but for Earth as a whole. Continued sustainability is something we can all chip in to help with, and with our upcoming Fielding at Wallis Ranch neighborhood, we all want to make sure we can live side-by-side with nature
GlobeSt. spoke exclusively with Trumark Homes’ SVP of sales and marketing, Mark Higgins, about the project as well as single-family development in Orange County.