How To Prevent Fires In The Home

We have all seen what fires can do to innocent lives.  Here’s a few tips that might save your life.  I’d like to thank Brady Spangler of Axia Home Loans for sharing this.

Everyone sets off a smoke alarm every now and then, but actual home fires happen more than you may realize. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there were more than 358,500 home fires per year from 2011-2015, resulting in an annual average of $6.7 billion in damage. Here’s what you need to know to prevent fire in your home.

Where Fires Start
Home fires are most likely to start in the kitchen, with cooking equipment being the leading cause. Never leave a burning stove unattended, and make sure towels, curtains and other flammables aren’t too close to the cooktop. Have a lid handy to help smother potential flames.

Space heaters, chimneys and fireplaces are also cause for concern. Buy heating equipment with automatic shut-offs, and keep heaters away from upholstered furniture, clothing and bedding. And be sure to have your chimney professionally cleaned and inspected every year.

Smoke Alarms
Your home should be equipped with functioning smoke alarms. The NFPA recommends having one alarm on each level of your home, inside each bedroom and outside each sleeping area. Test alarms monthly and replace batteries twice a year.

Fire Escape Plan

It’s also important to have a fire escape route planned in case evacuation is necessary. Walk through each room in your home and identify two possible exits in case of fire. Be sure to set a meeting place where everyone should gather once they are safely outside.

Practice your escape plan and these safety tips regularly. Fire safety is never something you want to leave to chance.

Economic News

Housing starts rocketed to a nine-year high, while retail sales exceeded market expectations and layoffs dropped to their lowest point in 43 years.

Housing Starts

Starts on new housing construction hit their highest point since the height of the housing boom in 2007. Starts on private housing in October shot up 25.5 percent, to reach an annual rate of 1.32 million, according to last week’s joint release from the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Compared to the same period last year, October’s rate for overall housing starts was 23.3 percent higher than October 2015’s rate of 1.07 million. Starts on single-family homes grew 10.7 percent to hit a rate of 869,000.

“Housing starts are being driven higher by improved household growth as the economy promotes further job and income gains,” Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. Chief Economist David Berson told U.S. News & World Report. “With improved employment and income prospects, millennials are an expanding portion of housing demand as they move out of their parents’ homes — increasingly to form families.”

Construction permits issued for private housing ticked up 0.3 percent in October to an annual rate of 1.22 million, which was 4.6 percent over October 2015’s rate of 1.17 million. Permits for single-family homes grew 2.7 percent in October to a rate of 762,000, which was 2.7 percent higher than September’s 742,000 permits.

Retail Sales

Retail sales for October grew 0.8 percent to hit $465.9 billion, beating marketing expectations of 0.6 percent, and sales for the August-through-October period increased 3.3 percent, the Census Bureau reported last week. Compared annually, October’s sales were 4.3 percent higher than October 2015’s and notably sales in October for non-store retailers (such as online businesses or kiosks) jumped up 12.9 percent over their October 2015 sales.

Key performers were sales for gasoline stations, which grew 2.2 percent; sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores, which increased 1.3 percent; building material and garden stores, which gained 1.1 percent; and food and beverage retailers, which enjoyed a 0.9 percent gain.

“The consumer is in very good shape and is poised to continue to lead the economy forward based on rising wages, low unemployment and clean balance sheets,” Amherst Pierpont Chief Economist Stephen Stanley told the Wall Street Journal.

Initial Jobless Claims

First-time claims filed for unemployment benefits by the recently laid off during the week ending November 12 tumbled to 235,000, a decline of 19,000 claims from the preceding week’s total of 254,000, the Employment and Training Administration reported last week. This is the lowest level for lay-offs since November 24, 1973’s total of 233,000.

The four-week moving average — considered a more stable measure of layoffs — fell to 253,500, a drop of 6,500 claims from the prior week’s average of 260,000.

This marked the 89th straight week of initial jobless claims below 300,000 — a level that economists say indicates a growing job market — and the longest streak since 1970.

This week we can expect:

     Tuesday — Existing home sales for October from the National Association of Realtors.

      Wednesday — New home sales and durable goods orders for October from the Census Bureau; initial jobless claims for last week from the Employment and Training Administration; consumer sentiment for November from the University of Michigan’s Survey of Consumers.

       Friday — Wholesale inventories for October from the Census Bureau.

Thank you to Brady Spangler of Axia Home Loans for this information.