This Winter Keep Your Home Safe When Using Alternative Heating Sources

As summer comes to an end, it will be time to think about what you can do for heating home extensions melbourne during the winter months and how you should go about it. With the soaring costs of heating oil going up every year, many people are looking for alternative ways to heat their homes. The issue is that these replacement methods also come with a greater risk of causing house fires. Keeping your household safe when using alternative heating sources is the topic of this article.

Buying an electric powered fireplace or electric heater is one of the first things people do. These so called room heaters or electric fireplaces can be a rather large fire risk if not used properly. One thing you should know about these units is that you should never leave these running when your not home. While they are normally safe units, having these running when no one is home is a huge fire risk. Putting any objects in close proximity to the devices while they are running is something you should not do as well. Keeping objects that are flammable 3 feet or more away from the unit is highly advised. Lastly, you should not plug this device into a power strip.

An alternative choice many people decide on is get themselves a fireplace or a wood fire stove. It can also be a fire hazard, but at the same time is a great way to heat your home. Always employing professionals to put up the stove for you even though you think can do it yourself is the smartest decision you can make. This way you will be positively sure that it is installed properly and this little fact itself will help minimize the risk of fires.

Also after you have the unit set up you will need to make sure that you have your wood stove and chimney inspected and cleaned regularly. You have to remember that creosote will accumulate in the stove and in the chimney, this is what leads to most chimney fires. Putting a shield whether its glass or metal in front of the fireplace or wood stove is something else to keep in mind. Flammable materials or carpeting that is near wont have a chance to catch fire if sparks land on it because of the barrier. When you are not at your home, it is a good idea to shut the wood stove or fireplace off.

As a final point, making sure that every room comes with a smoke detector is critical. If there is a fire, it is a great way to protect your family and yourself as best you can, despite the fact that it is not required by law. A fire extinguisher should also be all set to begin using on each floor of your home. Even though the tips above should help avoid chances of a fire, mishaps still happen and it is better to be prepared.

What happens to your solar panel system if you move house

The Feed-In-Tariff, known as ‘FiT’, is a government backed cash-back scheme that pays people who create their own electricity using green technology, including Solar Panels Sydney systems. The scheme lasts for 20 years, but with the average family moving house every 7 years, where does this leave you if you decide to sell up and move on?

Can I continue in the FiT scheme by taking my solar panels to my new property?

In a word, no. Although you could remove your solar panels, you wouldn’t be able to continue in the FiT scheme, as technically the ownership of the scheme is linked to the property itself, not the person who owns the system. Taking your solar panels with you and using them at your new house would categorise them as a new installation; however, they would still not qualify for the FiT scheme as the system would have essentially become second hand.

Another important consideration is that your solar panels will have been tailored specifically to fit your roof and the direction in which your roof faces. It is unlikely that they will fit your new property and continue to work as effectively. Furthermore, there is the risk that your panels could be damaged in the process of removing them.

How will my solar PV installation be regarded by my estate agent or a potential buyer?

Solar panels are usually categorised as ‘fixtures’ and would generally be included in the sale of the property alongside all other fixtures and fittings, so you need to bear this in mind when deciding your asking price for the property as a whole. You are within your rights to exclude your solar PV system via a Fixtures, Fittings and Contents document. This gives you the opportunity to negotiate a separate contract to transfer the ownership of your solar panel system to your buyer.

Potential advantages of this arrangement can include:

•The chance to negotiate a better price for your solar panel system. This might be important if your estate agent hasn’t really taken your solar panels into account when valuing your property;

•You may be able to reduce the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) payable by your buyer if the property price is near one of the thresholds for SDLT – this can be a deal-breaker for some buyers.

However, there are also possible risks associated with this:

•A buyer could be put off by the complexity of having to negotiate separately to acquire your solar PV system;

•Your buyer could decide that they are not interested in buying the system from you, which might mean that you then have to include it as a free ‘extra’ anyway or have the hassle of uninstalling it.

Could a solar PV system increase the value of my property?

There is no evidence of a direct correlation between solar panels and property value. It’s more about how much your prospective buyer values the benefits of a solar PV system and how this in turn might affect their offer. Your property valuation could potentially be affected by how much value an estate agent places on ‘green technology’. You may find that different agents have varying attitudes to renewable energy generation, so it might be useful to research a number of agents before appointing one.

The most tangible evidence of value for your buyer will be the quarterly payment cheques received through the FiT scheme, so it’s well worth making prospective buyers aware of these.

Can I still benefit from the FiT scheme if I rent out my house?
Yes and no. Although the scheme will continue for your property, the government and HMRC have introduced tougher guidelines for people who claim FiT but no longer live full time at their property. Once you move out, the payments will be viewed as taxable income, so the scheme will not be as lucrative for you as it was when you were living in the house and it was tax-free.

So what does it all mean for me?

Given the evolution of solar panel technology, there has never been a better time to invest in a solar PV system and see such great returns on your investment; however, these benefits are more significant the longer you stay in your property. If you would like to know more about how your current property could benefit from a solar panel installation, contact us for a free survey and quote. You could also check out our Frequently Asked Questions to find out more.

Make Your Home Safe For Children

The first thing you should do is make sure you have emergency numbers posted close to each phone in your house. Numbers that could help save a life include 9-1-1 for police or fire department assistance, a poison control center, a hospital, a medical doctor, and ambulance service, and one or two trusted neighbors or friends who live nearby water damage Brisbane. Teach your child how to use the phone, and how to dial emergency help, especially 9-1-1. Make sure every child knows his or her name, phone number and address.

You should also have a first aid-kit handy – including a first-aid book with an index that gets you to the pertinent pages fast. Parents should know how to administer basic medical procedures, which could save the life of their child while they await the arrival of paramedics. Such procedures include artificial resuscitation, and the trying of a tourniquet to stop severe bleeding. County social services departments, schools and hospitals can direct you to classes in these and other procedures that you might need to use during an emergency.

Among the most common emergencies faced by parents are fire-related accidents, which account for many injuries to toddlers and small children. Fireplaces and wood stoves present many dangers. Children can fall into a fireplace or on to a woodstove and suffer severe burns. In addition, coals ashes often remain extremely hot for more than 24 hours after a fire goes out. Even after the heat dissipates, children can choke or suffer poisoning by inhaling or swallowing coals, soot, and ashes.

Parents need to consider carefully whether their home provides adequate protection from fireplaces and woodstoves to their children. Glass fireplace doors do some good, but they also get very hot. Iron gates can fall. Securely erected barriers – available at many fireplace and stove stores – do a much better job of keeping children away from the dangers associated with fires.

Another important practice is to keep lighters and matches away from children. Even lighters that can no longer produce a flame can produce sparks, which can ignite flammable material. If you have children in your house, use only safety matches, not the ones that you can light by scratching on any rough surface.

Fires can also start from a blanket or pillow falling against a hot night light bulb. Arrange your lighting so as to make such an occurrence unlikely, and buy newer night-lights, which use cooler, mini neon bulbs. Also, make sure your night-lights have strong secure shields to prevent little fingers from playing with the bulb.

Doing everything possible to prevent fires is the best defense, but no home should be without smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. Test detectors once a month and change the batteries promptly when necessary. Install a smoke detector just outside each bedroom and have at least one at every level of your house. Examine and service extinguishers on a regular basis as per the manufacturer’s instructions, and make sure family members and baby sitters know how to operate them.

Have fire escape routes that every family member understands. Have escape ladders handy, and keep all exits clear. If possible, every room should have a window large enough to be used as an exit.

As soon as your boys and girls can understand, teach them what they must do in case of fire. Many children die because they try to hide from a fire instead of fleeing from the house. Have fire drills regularly where escape routes are used, and children practice the stop-drop-roll technique. Never leave a small child unattended at home.