Archive | October, 2012

UCO Students Spread Awareness of Domestic Violence with T-shirt Decorating

30 Oct

Domestic violence is a sweeping epidemic across the country, but one way to reduce its occurrence is through awareness.

Being aware of this type of violence can help us recognize situations of domestic violence and how its victims are affected. Women who are victims of domestic violence experience physical and emotional pain, which causes a ripple effect of trauma. The act of letting them know that they are not alone and that people care provides a token of hope that can help them heal and put their hurtful past behind them.

Started in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in 1990, the Clothesline Project is a program that allows women to express themselves in response to the violence they have experienced. By decorating their own t-shirts with their own story using words and artwork, these victims are able to express the pain that they suffered inside and release it. After decorating their own message, they can hang their clothes on the clothesline for everyone to see.

Students from the University of Central Oklahoma campus in Edmond will be doing the same, helping to raise awareness of domestic violence.  Participating students will express their own messages about domestic violence, and the t-shirts will be hung next to the food court in the Nigh University Center for display.

After the t-shirt decorating, silhouettes of people that have been victims of domestic violence will be placed all around the university to help increase awareness.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent


Home Electrical Appliance Safety

29 Oct

Though we all enjoy the benefits of using electrical appliances at home, it is very important to carry out proper handling and safety precautions to avoid injuries and accidents. There are a number of situations in which bodily injuries, burns, and deaths have occurred from mishandling electrical appliances, so taking precautions is crucial.

So, how does electrical appliance safety come into play? First, it keeps you and your family away from possible danger. Mishandling can lead to detrimental situations that may harm you, so it’s a smart idea to steps to prevent that from happening. Secondly, it prolongs the life of your home devices. When you handle your electrical devices with care, they will provide several years of service.  Plus, it will save you the cost of repairs and replacements.

For some ideas on how to use your home appliances safely, here are a few tips:

  • The golden rule: unplug appliances when not in use.
  • Always check damaged wires and broken plugs and refrain from using them. Such flaws can easily cause electric shock or fire.
  • Avoid using your electrical devices near water. The most obvious example is that you should avoid using a hair dryer inside a bathtub full of water. If the device you’re using doesn’t require water to operate, keep it away from water to prevent electrocution.
  • Never run your electrical cord under a rug or carpet. In case of sparks, your rug will easily burn. This also prevents overheating in your wires.
  • Practice proper plugging and unplugging. To prolong the life of your devices, plug the cord into your device prior to plugging it into the wall outlet.  Likewise, unplug from your wall outlet before you remove the cord from your device.
  • Do not allow children near your electrical devices to avoid possible injuries.
  • Avoid overloading your outlets. This is also true with extension cords. If you have a spare outlet in a room, use that instead of plugging everything into the same one. Overload can easily cause sparks, which can lead to fire.
  • Have your wires tested if you live in an old house. Ground problems are common in old houses, so it’s a good idea to see what you are dealing with.
  • Leave repairs to the experts. When it comes to electrical work, this is crucial, especially if you have no experience. Never try to experiment when you need to repair your electrical wires, as it can cause injuries and expensive damage.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

Seven Tips for Window Replacement

25 Oct

Depending on the scope of your window replacement project, it can turn into a large task, and there are many factors to considerate before you actually replace them.  Aside from the style and cost of the window, you also have to take note of the installation and maintenance requirements.  Then, there are the function and capability factors as it pertains to protection and withstanding external forces.

In order for your project to be a success, keep these seven valuable tips in mind when planning:

  • Check its functionality and features.  Since you will be replacing an old window, make sure that your new one has improved function and durability because there is no reason to replace it with something that is exactly the same.  This means researching how it stands up to strong external forces like heavy rains, excessive heat, and harsh winter weather.
  • Educate yourself about the various styles of windows that are available. Knowing more about the options that are out there will enable you to truly choose the best type for your home.
  • Choose the right glass for your window. There are three kinds of glass panes for windows: single pane, double pane, and triple pane.  Single panes are the least expensive windows, but they are also  the least efficient and functional.  In fact, single panes are almost becoming obsolete. Double pane windows double the protection from harsh weather, and triple pane windows offer the greatest efficiency.  They may be more expensive up front, but in the long run, they will easily pay for themselves in the energy savings you will receive.
  • Consider a window with the Energy Star rating.  Energy Star windows include features that insulate your home against outside temperatures, which means it stays cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.  This will help you save money on your heating and cooling bills.
  • When installing your new window, check to see if you can actually do it yourself or if you need to hire a window installer.  Certain kinds are more straightforward than others, and you want to be sure the job is done right, so if you are doubting whether or not you have the skills, hire a professional.
  • Before having your window replaced,  be sure nothing is obstructing the area. Remove all window treatments, so your installer can easily access and work within the area.   When the installer is there, it is also best to keep your kids and pets away to avoid possible injuries.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

Edmond Celebrates Halloween with Pumpkin Palooza

23 Oct

Halloween at Edmond is not just about trick-or-treating or wearing costumes. It is also about the pre-Halloween celebration, and now, children and adults can do just that with Pumpkin Palooza on Saturday, October 27.

Pumpkin Palooza is a recreational event hosted by the City of Edmond Parks and Recreation Department, which will bring out the creativity in everyone as they carve pumpkins and bond with friends and family.

This year’s Palooza will be held in Mitch Park from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., located behind the Multi-Activity Center (MAC).  Admission is free of charge.

Aside from pumpkin carving contests, there will be several other pumpkin-related crafts, and participants can also bring along their own catapult or trebuchet to launch their pumpkins in the air.  Odyssey of the Mind will be selling grilled hamburgers and hotdogs as well as chips and drinks.  It will be a fundraiser to help fund a national competition in Michigan.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

Eco-Friendly Holiday Decorating Tips

22 Oct

The holidays are only a few weeks away, so it’s time to bring out your holiday decorations and add cheer and fun to your home.  Though we want to have a lot of beautiful holiday decorations at home, thinking of the overall cost and energy consumption can make you think twice about how you decorate.  However, it is possible to use your energy wisely and find other ways to decorate with less energy consumed.

Below are some useful tips on how you can save energy on your holiday decorations:

  • Decorate with holiday frills that do not use energy. You can still make your house cheery and ready for the holiday without turning on too many lights. Try using wreaths, colorful Christmas balls, or strings or miniature holiday characters on your door. If you need lights to light up certain decor, use a candle instead of a light.  Just make sure you turn it off when you go to sleep or leave.
  • Use smart lights to create holiday lights. You can always save on smart lights since they consume less energy than traditional lights.
  • Set timers for your holiday lights. Holiday lights are beautiful to look at and by putting timers on them, you don’t have to remember to turn them on or off.
  • Buy fiber optic decorations. Even if you need to invest a little more in these types of decorations, the energy savings for many holidays to come will be worth it. Fiber optic decorations make use of a single bulb in order to light up the entire decoration, so you can be assured that you are using less energy to beautify your home.
  • Choose decorations that run on rechargeable batteries instead of electricity. If you want a holiday decoration that lights up, find one that is run by batteries, so you can save on energy use.
  • Use smaller bulbs versus large ones. Smaller bulbs need less energy than larger ones. In addition, use bulbs with low wattage, which require less energy.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

Are You a Home Improvement Disaster?

18 Oct

Home improvements are great projects to undertake if you want to enhance and increase the value of your home. Upgrading your kitchen, giving your walls a fresh coat of paint, and refinishing your wood floors all help to enhance the beauty of your home.

However, the process of home renovations can sometimes go awry. When doing home renovations, expect a lot of costs, effort, and time to accomplish the project, not to mention possible safety risks if you’re doing things in perilous areas. Home renovation disasters are quite common, especially if you are not well-equipped with the proper safety knowledge when tackling the project.

So, how do you keep yourself from becoming a home improvement disaster? Are there ways to avoid disasters when renovating?  Of course there are!  Disasters during home renovations canbe averted if you are smart enough to know what you need to do and not do throughout the process.

Know if you can do it on your own or if you need to hire someone

Are you knowledgeable about home improvements? Have you done any home repairs before? Are you confident enough that you will be able to accomplish your renovation project on your own? If so, then you can probably work on the project yourself and save a lot of money in labor costs. If not, then it is best to hire someone who actually knows what they’re doing, so you will avoid costs associating with otherwise redoing projects that have been improperly done.

Implement safety measure throughout the process

Whether you do the project on your own or hire someone, it is important to ensure that safety measures are implemented to avoid physical injuries and damaged work.  Safety measures are not limited to the project area – they must also take place in areas surrounding it, such as your child’s bedroom, the hallway, the kitchen, and dining room.

Always read and confirm before doing anything

If you are using a tool for the first time, read the instructions thoroughly first before doing anything else. This will keep you guided on how to properly use the tool and avoid possibly irreversible errors.

Leave risky tasks to the professionals

Even if you do the renovation on your own, there are certain tasks that are best left to professionals, such as electrical installation and plumbing. Professionals specialize in dealing with these kinds of projects and are more effective at doing them.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

Free Smoke Alarms and Installation for Oklahoma City Residents

16 Oct

House fires have always been a major issue, and a lot of families remain homeless due to unexpected house fire.  These fires are usually brought on by a lack of smoke detectors, lack of fire alarms, and the improper use of fire.

In Oklahoma City, the fire department believes that smoke detectors can make a huge difference in avoiding house fires. That is why the Oklahoma City Fire Department they will once again be offering their Project Life Smoke Alarm Program to help provide homes with smoke detectors in case of fire.

Designed by the Oklahoma City Fire Department, Project Life is a program that provides residents in Oklahoma City with life-saving tools such as smoke detectors and accessories. Through this project, residents that are not able to afford these tools or cannot install them on their own can obtain these services directly from the firefighters at no cost.

Homes that already have smoke detectors, but only need battery changes, can also benefit from this program because firefighters will also be installing new batteries  for qualifying free of charge. All residents have to do is come to the station or call the Fire Department request assistance.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent