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Offered by Arlene Castro, iGo Realty

Two simple January projects designed to protect your home and your family. If you’re a home-owner, resolve to make 2018 a safer year by performing a few simple tasks. Here are two important projects to consider this month:

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
According to the National Fire Protection Agency, almost two thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. If you already have these devices, start off the New Year with fresh batteries. If you don’t have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, stop by the local hardware store and purchase what you need. They just might be the best investment you’ll ever make in your home’s safety.

Create a Personal Home Inventory
From floods to fires, burglary to tornadoes, having a photographic inventory of your possessions will help provide proof of personal property loss, and lessen the emotional strain of dealing with the insurance paperwork afterwards. At the very least, walk through your home, room-by-room, and take photos of everything. Open drawers and photograph everything inside. Then make a couple of copies on either a CD or thumb drive. For safety’s sake, store your copies outside of your home. However, if you really want to do it right, fill out an on-line Home Inventory form. The Insurance Information Institute offers inventory software you can download for free at

Fun Facts: New Years Around the World
Parties aside, the New Year typically brings hope for a more prosperous and happy 365 days. Here are also some fun facts and trivia associated with the celebration:

  • The top three places to celebrate New Year’s Eve are Las Vegas, Disney World and of course, New York City.
  • In Italy, people wear red underwear on New Year’s Day to bring good luck all year long.
  • In Spain, if you can manage to stuff 12 grapes in your mouth at midnight you’ve achieved good luck for the next year.
  • In some South American countries wearing colored underwear will determine your fate for the new year. Red underwear means you’ll find love. Gold means wealth, and white signifies peace.
  • In Japan they ring all of their bells 108 times in alignment with the Buddhist belief that this brings cleanness. It’s also considered good to be smiling going into the New Year as it supposedly brings good luck.
  • Forty five percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. The top 10 resolutions are usually to lose weight, eat more healthy, exercise more, stop smoking, stick to a budget, save money, get more organized, be more patient, find a better job and just be a better person overall. Unfortunately, twenty five percent give up on their resolutions in the first two weeks! So whatever you decide to do in the New Year make it fun and be grateful for what you have!

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