Avoid Catastrophes in Your Home

Avoid Catastrophes in Your Home

When I started working at Coldwell Banker Caine, my morning routine had to change, as my workday would start 30 minutes earlier than at my previous position. I was excited to get a head start on my day, and consequently, get to leave the office while there were still a few minutes of daylight left, even in the winter, but there was one small drawback to this adjustment in my schedule. My workout would also begin earlier, which meant I wouldn’t catch the Today Show during my gym sessions. Nothing against Geoff and Allyson at WYFF 4, but I miss my favorite segment – Rossen Reports, where investigative journalist Jeff Rossen and his producers go undercover and conduct experiments to answer all of our burning questions. Are “all-inclusive” vacations really the best deal? How do you survive a heart attack? Shred it or save it? How do you trick your stomach on Thanksgiving? …that last one really hooked me.

Thankfully last year, Rossen came out with a book, “Rossen to the Rescue: Secrets to Avoiding Scams, Everyday Dangers, and Major Catastrophes,” which explains his most important findings. Though I can’t always catch Rossen’s Reports on the TV these days, this guide now lives on my shelf and makes me feel like I can “adult” a little more effectively. There’s a whole chapter on keeping your home safe, but I thought I’d share some small nuggets that I found the most enlightening.

How to Survive a Home Invasion

  • Don’t have a security system? Rossen suggests keeping your car keys on your nightstand. If you hear an intruder, you can quickly press a button and turn on your car alarm, which can scare the intruder away.
  • If you are captured, always cooperate. You can get more cash or valuables, but you only have one life. Don’t take any chances.

There’s Hidden Mold in Your Home

  • Did you know your refrigerator has a drip pan? If you didn’t, you’re not alone, but chances are, it has mold growing on it. Make sure to clean it 1-2 times per month.
  • Front-loading washers are another prime spot for bacteria to collect. Pull back the rubber lining around the door and wipe it down with a paper towel between washes, and keep the door cracked open to prevent moisture building up when you aren’t using it.
  • Mold loves to grow under products in the shower and on their paper tags. Clean underneath and rip the stickers off.

Fire Safety is More Important Now than Ever

  • They don’t make ’em like they used to… Homes are burning a lot faster now than they did in the past. That’s because furniture today is made with flammable synthetics since it is a lot cheaper and easier to make. That means there’s less time to get out. If a fire strikes, don’t dawdle.
  • On that note, we’ve all heard it before, but have you actually done it? Make a fire escape plan and stick to it!

When You Get Locked Out

  • Rossen lists several horror stories of locksmiths overcharging, demanding all cash, and doing the job plain wrong. To make sure you don’t get in a sticky situation, get the quote in writing and confirm they can take a credit card payment in advance.
  • If you do get in a conflict over the price, calmly say things like, “Well I had another locksmith over here and they told me something different” or “This happened to me once before and the locksmith charged me half of what you are saying” or “That seems a little steep, I should get a second opinion” to let them know you’re not about to get ripped off.
  • Before it happens to you, find a reliable locksmith and add their information to your phone in case of emergency.

Armed with this knowledge, I hope you can feel more confident if you ever find yourself in one of these stressful situations. The more you know, right?


About the Author

Marisa Stephens is the Digital Strategist and resident foodie at Coldwell Banker Caine. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, drinking craft beer and spending time with her husband, Louis, and their shorkie, Winston.