5 ways to prevent break-ins during the holidays

(NC) A season filled with travel both near and afar makes a prime time for home break-ins. To minimize your home's risk, follow these security tips.
1. Out of sight, out of mind. Wherever you choose to gather your gifts this holiday season, make sure that they are out of any sightlines to the street. Showcasing the goodies stocked under your tree will easily pique the interest of a potential thief. 2. Time your lights. If you're proudly displaying your outdoor lights all season, one sure-fire way to compromise your home security is to turn them off. Put your lights on a timer so they go on and off at the same time each day, giving the illusion you're at home. 3. Stop the presses. Nothing screams you're not home more than a bursting mailbox. Plan to suspend your mail service while away, or ask a trusted friend or neighbour to collect it while you're gone. 4. Take to technology. Invest in home security accessories such as a video doorbell or an outdoor light with a buil…

10 easy tips for holiday safety

(NC) Don't let the hustle and bustle of the holidays lead to distraction and accidents. Whether you're hosting a holiday bake-off or an adults-only cocktail party, it's important to remember that safety comes first. To safeguard your home from potential fire hazards, follow these tips and protect your family and guests: 1. Test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms regularly to make sure they are working. Replace the battery as needed. If the alarms are more than 10 years old, replace them. 2. Have an exit plan in case of fire, and make sure you identify multiple exit points. 3. Check all of your lights before hanging them on the tree or around the house. Throw out any sets that have been damaged or frayed. When purchasing new lights, look for the certification mark so you know the product complies with applicable standards for safety and performance. 4. Use a timer for outdoor lights so they aren't left on overnight. 5. Don't overload power strips with too many a…

How to get your home holiday-ready

(NC) Prep your home for a flurry of activity with these simple steps. 1. Incorporate magical seasonal scents. Fill your space with holiday-scented aromas from candles, or simmer your own potpourri with ingredients like vanilla, cinnamon, pine or bitter orange. 2. Build a fire to create a warm and comfortable atmosphere. Keep fuzzy blankets and pillows on hand for both decoration and functionality and bring out a board game for a little entertainment. If you need extra warmth, cozy up in a Denver Hayes fleece robe from Mark's and make some hot chocolate. 3. Be the best host and stock up on supplies that guests will use if they stop by. Essentials include towels, sheets, pillows and shower supplies. Make sure you keep these items accessible close to where guests are staying. 4. Make a grand entrance. Welcome your guests at the door with a fresh wreath and add holiday touches such as an entrance table with lighted tinsel trees, candles and ornaments. These details make a great first imp…

Radon is a threat all homeowners should know about

CREA > CREA Cafe > Federal Affairs > Radon is a threat all homeowners should know about Radon is a threat all homeowners should know aboutSabrina Grover - Federal Affairs - December 5, 2017

While it may sound more like a villain from the Transformers movie, radon is a threat you won’t see on the big screen. Radon is a naturally-occurring radioactive gas, produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rocks and water. It is present in all homes across Canada but at different concentrations. Radioactive gas in a home can pose serious health risks if left untreated. However, the good news is radon testing is simple and accessible for all homeowners, and fixing the problem is generally inexpensive. How do you make sure your clients are effectively testing for radon? The most important thing is selecting the right type of test. Long-term testing, a test that occurs over a three-month period during the fall and winter months, is the

How to peak appliances for your dream home?

(NC) With so many options to consider, shopping for appliances can sometimes feel overwhelming. Function, size and design — it's about finding the right model for your lifestyle. Here are a few helpful insights from The Home Depot Canada to consider before making your next appliance purchase.


The sky's the limit when it comes to configuration — top-mount, bottom-mount and side-by-side are just the beginning. Review your daily needs and consider special features such as easy access doors, multi-tier freezer sections, icemakers, second refrigerator drawer options, convertible freezer sections, wine chillers and even smart home-connected capabilities.

Think outside traditional white or stainless-steel finishes. Instead, bring a contemporary feel to your kitchen with slate, glossy or matte black stainless or even a warm, gold-hued veneer.


 New designs have a host of convenient options available, like double ovens that cook at tw…

Get older trees inspected before ice storms

Get older trees inspected before ice storms (NC) In many Canadian neighbourhoods, older trees add character and a sense of heritage to streets and homes. But during severe weather, these trees often show their age and can break or fall, causing damage to property and even injury to people. Don't wait until after a major ice storm hits to inspect your trees — use this guide to spot signs of trouble and protect your family and neighbours. Inspect. Check your trees for dead branches, peeling bark, cracks in the trunk, fungus near the roots and cracked or raised soil. Take a step back to look at the tree as a whole to see if it's leaning; trees leaning towards the East are more likely to fall because most winds blow from the West. Prune. Tackle damaged limbs and branches to help balance leaning trees and distribute their weight more evenly. Pruning also opens up tree canopies to let in more light and air for a healthier tree. Brace. Add some support to weaker trees with cables or bra…

Products to stretch your small space

by Clare Kumar Clare Kumar, founder of Streamlife ( and co-creator of the Pliio ( ) line of organizing products, is a Productivity Coach and Professional Organizer. She speaks, coaches and consults on how to live with greater productivity and peace of mind.

08/12/2017Products to stretch your small space When space is tight, it pays to be selective about what you fill it with. Here are five favourites to help you make the most of your small space. Music to my ears

Is it time for a new furnace?

Is it time for a new furnace?
(NC) Sooner or later, every furnace dies. Ideally, you don't want to wait for the unfixable breakdown to happen in the dead of winter before shopping for a replacement. Begin your research before you've got an emergency and you'll have time to choose a furnace and service company wisely. Here are some factors to consider. Age. If your furnace is over 15 years old, it's unwise to trust it for more than a few years longer; repair costs are also more expensive for older models. If your 10-year-old furnace needs repairs that cost half of the installed price of a new furnace, then a replacement can make more sense. But if your 20-year-old furnace needs work, then even a small repair bill can mean it's time to replace the old clunker. Heat exchanger. This is the heart of the furnace and it's impractical to repair it. Furnace replacement is often the only option if the heat exchanger is at the end of its useful life. Efficiency. A new high-…

Safe at Home with Smoke Alarms

Posted by  Tuesday, October 24, 2017 Smoke alarms are an important defense against injury or death in house fires. Statistics from the National Fire Protection Association show that nearly two-thirds of home fire fatalities occur in homes with non-working or missing smoke detectors. Most building codes now require smoke detectors in all residential structures, which has resulted in a steep drop in fire- and smoke-related deaths. Homeowners should check with their local public safety office or fire department for specific information on these requirements. As in real estate, location is key! Smoke alarms should be in installed every bedroom, outside every sleeping area, and on each level of the home.Alarms should be placed high on a wall or on the ceiling. It’s best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement. High, peaked ceilings have dead air space at the top; in these instances smoke alarms should be placed no closer than 3 feet from the highest point.For are…

Buyer’s Guide: Freestanding Bathtubs

Buyer’s Guide: Freestanding Bathtubs Published - September 19, 2017
The latest wave of freestanding tubs is making a splash in the world of bathroom design. They are attention-commanding statement pieces, beloved both for their aesthetics and for the deep soak they can provide. Whether intended for a bathroom makeover or new build, a freestanding tub can instantly provide the luxurious spa feeling that many homeowners covet. Available in an extensive variety of styles and materials, they work beautifully with most design styles, from farmhouse to contemporary and beyond. When shopping around for the ideal tub to be featured in your new bathroom, there are several factors that you should consider. Since freestanding tubs play much more of a starring role than the integrated variety, you will find that the emphasis on looks will be a much bigger part of your overall consideration. Tub Size Freestanding bathtubs are available in a variety of different lengths and widths…

How To Prepare Your Community For The Next Hurricane With Evercondo

How To Prepare Your Community For The Next Hurricane With EvercondoSeptember 20, 2017, By  In the wake of disasters such as Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, we are reminded of the vast importance of communication and keeping communities informed and connected. When these types of events occur, there is often panic and chaos. Communities are faced with many questions about how to prepare in advance, where to find updated news, and what to do after the storm has passed. Platforms such as Evercondo are essential for staying organized and having necessary information available in one convenient location. Before a Storm Before a natural disaster strikes, Condo Associations and HOAs should reach out to members and let them know how they can prepare and what safety precautions to take. They can also share what the Association is doing to keep property and members safe. Instead of relying on members to get information from a variety of outlets, Evercondo can be used to send announce…