(NC) For many of us, the aesthetics of our home –– a colourful garden, new furniture or trendy appliances –– often become our primary focus. But this can leave little time for unseen elements that can become a safety hazard.


Something overlooked like a loose or frayed cord can spark a house fire, and this happens most frequently during the winter months, according to the Canadian Red Cross.


It doesn’t take much for a fire to start in your home, but it doesn’t take much to prevent one. That’s why around this time of year, it’s crucial to take small, precautionary measures that will keep your family out of harm’s way. Here are four easy steps for a fire-free home:


  1. Develop a fire escape plan. Should a fire occur, it’s important to evacuate the home as quickly as possible. Creating a fire escape plan and practicing that plan twice a year will help ensure the safety of your loved ones in the event of a fire.
  2. Check smoke detectors frequently. A functioning smoke detector can be the difference between a false alarm and a life-threatening scenario. Install them on every level of the house and take the time to test them monthly, replacing batteries at least twice a year; daylight saving time always serves as a good reminder.
  3. Store and recycle batteries the right way. Once you have changed the batteries in your devices, be sure to recycle the old ones. Used batteries that are disposed of or stored incorrectly or damaged can be a safety hazard. Keep your home and the environment safe by recycling all your old batteries. Call2Recycle Canada has more than 8,000 drop-off locations across the country, so one is bound to be close by. You can visit their website at call2recycle.ca and plug in your postal code to find one closest to you.
  4. Pay attention to detail. Have an eye for the little things. Make sure your home’s heating sources are clean, as many house fires are started by poorly maintained furnaces or stoves, or chimneys with buildup. Check wiring and cords and fix or replace any frayed extension cords, exposed wires or loose plugs. Finally, make sure to store combustible materials in open areas and away from heat sources.
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I have listed a new property at 4805 55 AVE in Stony Plain.
Welcome to this updated bungalow home with a warm, inviting layout. Upon walking in, you'll find the living area bright and open with a spacious kitchen, living room and dining space. All windows have been upgraded and modern laminate floors extend through the main floor including the three bedrooms and full bathroom. Downstairs, the basement is also fully finished with two more bedrooms, another full bathroom and a large entertainment/rec room area with carpeted floors and a unique, classy bar table. Outside, a newer deck looks out over the massive fenced back yard. There's a spot here to park your RV while barely making a dent in available yard space. All this plus a new furnace in 2015, an attached garage, newer kitchen, central A/C and more. Centrally located in the growing community of Stony Plain within walking distance of playgrounds and the elementary/junior high school. Don't miss this opportunity.
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(NC) Whether you’re building a home from scratch or replacing the roof of an existing home, it’s important to consider the range of materials available and build a budget based on your needs. With a variety of styles and colours to choose from, you can easily find a look to match your home at an affordable price.


Jack Rende, senior merchant of building materials at Home Depot, suggests asking the following questions when choosing your roof materials:


  1. How long will the roof last? The climate you live in is one of the most important factors here. When selecting roofing materials, choose one with better durability to withstand mother nature.
  2. Does the type of roofing complement the style of your home? Bring your personal style to the exterior with a wide range of roof colours, looks and architectural shapes. The appearance of a roof can dramatically affect the look of your home, so it’s important that the material be suitable to its aesthetic.
  3. Is this roofing material within my budget? The cost of a new roof can vary drastically depending on the type of material and cost of installation. An asphalt roof is the most commonly used. It’s also the least expensive and requires minimal installation. The complexity, height and steepness of your roof can also affect the installation costs. 

Find more information online at homedepot.ca.

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(NC) Sometimes you want to create a major change in your home, but don’t want to shell out for an expensive renovation. Fortunately, you can use these tips to makeover any space.


Kitchen. Instantly make this room look sophisticated and transformed with a new backsplash. Since it’s a relatively small surface area, you can splurge on more luxurious tiles to create the aesthetic of your dreams, whether it’s sleek and modern or rustic and country. Finish off the room by swapping out cabinet hardware for a fresh and polished look.


Living room. The right window coverings can add value, style and ambiance to your main living area. Frame the space with custom-designed window treatments from Hunter Douglas that let you choose the perfect fabric, size and style, whether you have patio or sliding glass doors or a bay window. Their shades offer both natural light and privacy, as well as energy efficiency and smart-home operating systems that move the shades automatically to their perfect positions throughout the day.


Bedroom. Switching up the bed linens can have a major effect on the mood in your bedroom, whether you want to go for chic and cheerful or eclectic and bohemian. Just be careful not to be too matchy-matchy with your comforter, sheets and pillows — it screams bed in a bag, which lacks style and personality. Instead, add your own flair with a variety of colours and patterns for space that is unique to you.


Bathroom. It’s wise to keep plumbing where it is, as moving the location of your sink or tub can be a pricey move that isn’t worth the expense. For a more affordable makeover, focus on decorative elements that can give you that home-spa feel. Add a bold frame to the vanity mirror and invest in open storage shelves. Store personal items in drawers or textured baskets, and line shelves with plush towels, candles and live greenery for a lush, comforting ambience.

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I have listed a new property at 1081 BARNES WAY in Edmonton.
Welcome to this gorgeous home on a quiet street in desireable Blackmud Creek. Upon entering, you'll notice the bright, open feel of this home with vaulted ceiling, plenty of windows, art niches and display ledges. The living room features a cozy gas fireplace surrounded by windows. The spacious dining room offers access to the two-tiered deck looking over the large yard. The kitchen comes complete with stainless steel appliances and plenty of cupboards and counters as well as a corner pantry. This floor also offers two bedrooms and a full bathroom along with main floor laundry. Upstairs, is the master suite with his and hers closets, a massive ensuite with separate soaker tub and shower as well as vanity. And just off the top of the stairs, unwind with a good book in the unique loft nook. The basement is also fully finished with family room, theatre/den, 4th bedroom and extra access to the attached garage. Upgraded furnace, hot water tank, A/C and so much more. Don't miss this fantastic opportunity.
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Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton.